I volunteered at an event. It wasn't my expectation to get paid. However, at the beginning of the event the person doing the "training" said any tips we make, we pool together and divide at the end. I was working in a team of two other people selling beverages. Some customers insisted on tipping (for example they walked away from their change saying "keep it as a tip"). The girls I worked with said they thought we weren't supposed to take tips, and I told them I thought we were. There was no way of contacting anyone in charge to confirm, we were by ourselves.
All of a sudden the lady in charge came up to us and told me specifically I was done my shift. I went to get the tip jar to count how much was there and she spoke to me as if I was stealing money. I told her this was our tips. She said we weren't supposed to have them, and I said the person who gave me the orientation said we were. She then said the tips are going to charity.
I told her this should have been communicated to me in advance and that other people were doing this too, and she said "sorry it wasn't made clear". At this point I left.
I felt a bit of a moral dilemma. The owner of the money intended me to have it, not go into the pockets of some company. On the other hand, I know some service jobs specifically tell their employees not to accept tips.
Was there anything I could have done differently? Should I have let her keep the tips or should I have told her she's stealing them? Is there anything I can do after the fact, such as post on social media or email her manager?
A few general observations: the work it self seemed very serious for an unpaid volunteer position, for example the manager told people not to lean on the table. The shifts were 7.5 hours with no break. A lot of this information was not communicated before hand. Also everyone but me was given a credit card reader to attach to their personal phone to accept payment card, and I thought this was strange if they were just random volunteers too.
Update: I emailed the volunteer coordinator with my concerns. She said the tips were to go to the paid staff or the event itself which she claims is non-profit. I'm unaware of any way of verifying whether or not an organization that claims to be non-profit actually is? I've done volunteer work before but what stinks is this event clearly had a large source of revenue.