Volunteer’s folly theory argues that one creates more value for the society by NOT volunteering but by engaging experts. For example – a software developer, rather than leaving her/his job (or utilizing weekend time) to volunteer for building houses for poor, would create more value by hiring masons using ‘extra’ money earned in ‘extra’ time using core skills.
Here’s a counter-argument though. Intrinsic motivation. Money only acts as an extrinsic motivator, which is not very powerful in bringing about the REAL change.
Volunteers have a deep-rooted interest in making an impact in the field of their choosing. To do so, they draw on their intellect and skills that may remain otherwise non-existent to the impact area. They are also insecure about proving right their decision to go offbeat, staking a ‘safe and rational’ career. This insecurity coupled with an unbridled ambition is what makes them special, and bring about a greater change than what volunteer’s folly theorists profess.