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Is Volunteering Work or Leisure?

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The field of volunteerism spends inordinate amounts of time arguing the finer points of just what is and what is not volunteering. Most readers are familiar with a range of concepts that strive to ‘define’ volunteering. Such concepts include volunteering being conducted

  • without coercion,
  • without monetary reward, and
  • for the benefit of the community.

However, a much more fundamental question was posed recently on both the OzVPM (Australasia) and UKVPMs (United Kingdom) newsgroups, causing quite a reaction, and prompting us to share the thoughts of respondents with you all through this Keyboard Roundtable forum.

The question was, quite simply: ‘Is volunteering work or leisure?’

With the generous permission of the participants, we have compiled some of the key postings in this debate and hope e-Volunteerism readers will join in.