There is a place for volunteers, I'm a volunteer train driver on a tourist railway as well as a Driving Instructor and Testing Officer and in the past I've been a volunteer seaman on a square rigged ship but in both these cases there is no taking of a paid job from someone who needs the money. If either the railway or the ship ever became a financially viable concern and could afford paid staff then I would cease to be a volunteer worker.
Can I please rephrase your quote above to mean, it is alright to use volunteers if an organisation cannot afford paid workers?
And with just a little step, this means, it is OK to use volunteers if an organisation's wages budget has been reached?
And just another small step, this then means, it alright to use volunteers if an organisation decides to allocate its entire wages budget for materials, premises', and marketing and use volunteers instead of paid staff if this makes a company financially viable.
I do not understand the ethical difference between these three examples I have outlined above.
Take 2RPH (Radio for the sight impaired 1224kHz) for example, they use many volunteers and also spend a lot of money on equipment, premises, marketing etc, and a very small amount on perhaps a couple of staff members. Should they spend less on equipment, marketing, advertising and such like and more on paid workers to replace volunteers? They could do so and still remain financially viable.
My view is that the term financially viable means many things to many people and is not a good means of determining if volunteering is ethical or not. We all know businessmen who can make the finances of an organisation look better or worse than it really is.
All you volunteers out there, keep up the good work. And you too Samuel. I commend you for it.