Are members volunteers: an exploration of the concept of membership drawing upon studies of the local church

Document type
Cameron, Helen
Date of publication
1 April 1999
Voluntary Action: the journal of the Institute for Volunteering Research. Vol. 1; Number 2
Volunteering, Employment, Education and Skills
Social welfare
Material type

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This article aims to provoke further thought about the nature of volunteering by comparing volunteers with members. Drawing upon two studies of local churches, it identifies six distinctions between members and volunteers. Theoretical ideas from the work of David Billis are used to explain those distinctions. Finally, the article argues that these theoretical distinctions have implications for practice. Unpaid work can be organised more effectively if the different relationships between worker and organisation are acknowledged.

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