What would you do in this situation?
You are at a charitable event as a speaker. You care deeply about the cause, and because you are speaking at the event you are closely associated with the charity. As the evening winds down, there are only a few people left, including the major donor to the charity. The major donor has been drinking – she’s not drunk, but is clearly a little tipsy.
The event is in a remote(ish) location, so the only way to get back into town is to get a ride with someone and this major donor is one of only two people with a vehicle.
The tipsy donor offers to drive you back to your hotel. What do you do?
The happened to my wife this week and she felt very torn. She would never drink and drive, nor would she normally drive with someone who had been drinking. But in this case, she felt in a really awkward position. She didn’t want to jeopardize the charity’s relationship with one of its biggest donors. And she was afraid that if she turned down the drive, this person may get indignant and might even withdraw funding – anyone who has experience working with the major donor class of charities knows that donors are incredibly fickle.
So, should she suck up her fears and take the drive, or should she decline?
Very luckily, as they started to figure out who would ultimately drive home with whom, my wife got shepherded to another group, all of who were staying at the same hotel. This group was to be driven by one of the charity’s staff, who had not been drinking. So no need for the awkward, tough decision.
But she is having a hard time figuring out what she would/should have said if she had been in the position of having to either accept the drive or confront the tipsy driver.