When is the right time to help an OFS?

Ben G. Said:

I got this message from an editor that I’ve been working with since January now:

“By the way Sir, can I ask for your help, just $60? I just really don’t have enough money to pay for my medical bill. Maybe a cash advance if it is okay? :)”

I did pay him an extra $100 to help him out – did I do the right thing?

It’s been a good few months working together now, and he’s done really great so far.

How do you judge when the right time is to help out with that sort of stuff?

It’s a good question, and Ben used the right word: judge.

You have to use your judgment.

I’ll give you a couple thoughts of mine.

1. If this happens right off the bat when someone is new, say NO.
A brand new OFS asking for money or for a new computer is likely a scam.

2. We’ve helped lots of OFS over the years.  And with a lot more than $60.
But when we do, it’s because we have a relationship with them.  I know them and trust them.

3. If someone is newer (like a few months) you need to use your judgment. How much are they asking for?  How good have they been for you?

Sending money when they’re down can really buy you more loyalty.
Plus, $50 to you is different than $50 to them.

4. Just be careful that this doesn’t get out of hand. If they start asking for more and more money, maybe have a conversation with them about their financial situation.  I’ve done this a number of times with my people.  Things like, “Why are you struggling so much financially?” or “Can I look at your income/expenses?  I want to make sure I’m taking care of you.”

I’ve reviewed their entire finances with them.  I’ve found usually that they’re budgeting pretty well….sometimes they just need a little extra help.  One time I found that I just wasn’t paying them enough.

You don’t always have to help.  We haven’t always. But when you can/do you make a world of difference.


PS. This is only a topic because the people we hire aren’t “freelancers”. They’re part of our team. Part of our company. The most successful people I know treat the people they hire as part of their team too.
If you’re just looking for a “freelancer”, go to upwork.
If you want team members, OnlineJobs.ph is the place.