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Valuing the voluntary

In a volunteer economy, roles, relationships and incentives have to be thought about differently to those where there is a contractual wage relationship. If the volunteer receives no payment, then the experience of the work and of contributing to a social goal has to be powerful enough to persuade them to continue. This requires particular managerial and organisational skills, and some overhead expense, but there is great potential value to a new venture if it makes one of its goals the attraction and effective employment of a wide range of volunteers. Many organisations, like the social housing venture Habitat for Humanity, are primarily volunteer organisations of this kind, with simple goals and a strong ethos.