I tend to agree. Donations of any kind should come from a sincere heart, not from guilt or pressure from someone else.Tobylou, you have to decide for yourself what you are worth. To me, I always feel that I will take a little less money for a regular/consistent gig, because it is regular. Normally I charge $150 for a church service, and I don't like to leave my house and drive anywhere for less than $75, rehearsal or not. So that adds up to $225 a week. I would probably take $175-200 since it is a regular gig. But that is just me, and what I can get in this area.
As far as donating my time, I donate my time elsewhere. I teach a couple of students for free that I know could not otherwise afford it, and every once in a while I will do a basic repair on a kids horn if I know it is the difference of them quitting band because they can't afford it or their parents won't pay for it. The churches I play at all have money, and they pay everybody else from preachers to landscapers and everybody in-between. Why should I be any different? I don't know if I am bitter towards free gigs or not, but here is how I feel about them: I don't mind playing a free funeral, or church service or whatever, if I am moved to do it and it is my idea. When I offer to do it basically. Whenever anybody assumes I will be playing for free, or tries to guilt me into playing for free, it just makes me want to charge them more.
For example, not long ago I got a call from a funeral director about playing taps at a military funeral. Please note, I have played taps many times, and I have done it for free a lot of those times. Usually I offer to do it for free, and the family usually offers to pay me which I graciously accept, because they insist. However in this instance it was not the family calling me, or the veterans association, it was a paid funeral director. He has heard me play many times before. When he called he asked if I was available, I said yes, and he said "ok see you then" and hung up. I called back and asked about pay, he got very uppity and said something to the effect of expecting me to do it for free and duty and whatnot. I asked him if his funeral services were being donated. Of course, there was a long pause, because he knew where I was going...I then insisted on $200, and I wanted a check from the funeral home, and I wanted to be promised that that cost would not be passed along to the family. Surprisingly, the funeral director was very apologetic, realized he was in the wrong and paid me that price. I have worked with him again since then and he always offers a fair price right up top now. I got lucky in that instance, because most funeral directors probably would have just hung up and called somebody else, a risk I was willing to take. But, sometimes when you point out somebody's errors to them, they learn and grow from them. So, take that story for what it's worth.
As motivators, those are no more honorable than money.