The Travel Reimbursement Policy


In many ways, a nonprofit organization is just like a for profit organization. Nonprofit organizations hire executives, purchase property, engage in business, and, most importantly for this blog post, require significant amounts of traveling for staff and volunteers to perform the needed operations of the organization. When a considerable amount of traveling is done, those doing the traveling may want to receive reimbursement for expenses such as gas, air travel, hotel stays, and other travel necessities. To help with this process, organizations should adopt a travel reimbursement policy.

What is a Travel Reimbursement policy?

A travel reimbursement policy is a policy adopted by an organization’s governing body that governs how directors, officers, executives, employees, and volunteers will receive a reasonable reimbursement for necessary travel.

Why is it Necessary?

In the context of a nonprofit organization, especially an organization recognized as tax-exempt, it is critical that organizations ensure that officers, executives, and other insiders are only paid reasonable amounts for services performed. Funds cannot be diverted to such persons in such a way so as to give them a private benefit or in such a way that ultimately enriches them. The organization cannot simply allow such insiders to travel to expensive destinations and receive unreasonable reimbursement from the organization. Additionally, in the case of volunteers, nonprofit organizations need to ensure that any reimbursement to volunteers is not classified as compensation and thus transforms the volunteer into a paid employee. The travel reimbursement policy is the solution to these issues.

How do you Draft a Travel Reimbursement Policy?

A good travel reimbursement policy will detail which travel expenses will be reimbursed, who is eligible to receive reimbursement, maximum amounts of reimbursement, and procedures on how to apply for reimbursement, including who to submit reimbursement requests to and under what time period to submit such reimbursements. An organization adopting this policy should ensure that the policy adheres to all regulations and guidelines put forward by state law and the IRS.


If you need help in preparing a travel reimbursement policy for your organization, please feel free to call The Apex Law Group PLLC at (206) 448-7000 or visit our website. We’d be happy to help! The above article is for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as specific legal advice. This article, or contacting Apex, does not in any way form an attorney-client relationship. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please contact Jacob Ferrari at

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