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The Influence of the Process of the Monetarisation on Voluntary Service

In many countries, it can be observed that different social areas, which have traditionally been covered by unpaid work, are increasingly moving into the area of paid work. This fact is valid – both for the house and family work on the same level as well as for the engagement in the public welfare and associations. Generally, the argumentation about the necessity for increased professionalisation is vital and widespread. However, professionalisation is, unfortunately, rather misunderstood as being paid work. This trend is meant to be valid for all areas of unpaid work, i.e. also for voluntary work.

The promotional measures of voluntary work, which are being discussed today, have practically all of them a direct or indirect monetary aspect. This even applies to the social certificate, where one of the main aims is a better classification in the paid work world. The request for a reduction of the income tax or the effect of the formation of a pension scheme for voluntary work is – without any doubt – a monetary action. Even the discussion of “time-banking” – practically another “currency” – cannot deny the aspect of monetarisation. 

In the management committees of the non-profit-organisations (NPO’s), it is argued – to an increasing degree – that the same work has to be done there as being in a Board of Directors. Therefore, an adequate compensation should be paid out. Voluntariness and work of an honorary nature are, therefore, being partly queried for the strategic committees of the NPO’s.

Generally, i.e. not just in the area of voluntariness, an increasing process of monetarisation can be observed. A major part of our inter-relations in life are opened to the market and, thus, become an object of gainful employment. It seems that this process has enormously accelerated in the past two to three decades.


What are the position and the recognition of voluntary work in their different fields of action? Which workable models and concepts do exist? What are their specific characteristics? By which forms of recognition are they distinguished from all others?  Which types of gratification are successful? Where are tensions and problems? From the point of view of the volunteers, respectively, the voluntary work, which developments are worth to be aimed for? 

Central questions in the background

Which influence has the historical process of monetarisation in respect of voluntary work? Are there any promotional measures outside of this process and which ones are suitable for promoting the unpaid engagement in favour of social welfare?

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