[In response to a post on the Internet of Ownership discussion list which posited that money rewards are a slippery slope leading to thinking of incentive in terms of money for a bigger house, flying on holiday, etc., and citing not-for-profits who definitely don't do it for the money.]
Keeping people who are attracted primarily to money and power in check is important in any movement. But that requires a different set of safeguards—which one member, one vote is a major step toward—from not using money as compensation or reward at all. Disentangling founding from leading is one important step, so note that nothing below is an argument for higher compensation for so-called leadership.
I think 'reward for founders' is just as applicable in the not-for-profit
An anecdote: The founder of the Center for the Arts in Natick, Michael
Moran, spent five years and several thousands of his own money starting it
as a strong community-oriented arts center. Shortly after succeeding in
moving from a storefront to the former firehouse with significant town
support, the establishment types brought onto the board of directors staged
a palace coup with a minority of the board (but the majority at a meeting
called with questionable legality) and fired the founder from the Executive
Director position. Most of the community-participation events stopped.
Being motivated more by injustice than by art, apparently, that's when i
got involved and helped found Amazing Things Arts Center as a
community-oriented arts center with Michael Moran as founding executive
director and with a board of directors elected by the membership. It
ultimately ended up the next town over, and, eventually, in a bigger
firehouse. As the Johnny Most would say, and justice prevailed. Amazing
Things is technically a cooperative organization, although no one used that
term at the time we founded it.
We were necessarily very concerned with just compensation for the executive
director who, for the second time, is putting in significant time and
resources before the organization had the means to support itself, this time
going debt. There wasn't a straightforward legal way to set aside back pay or construe his input as a loan to the organization.
In a world that does not guarantee food, shelter, and medical care to all, it is of great importance that we structure cooperatives so that people involved in starting it — including finding and convincing various sorts of members to join in — have a fairly direct path to replacing lost income, retirement savings, etc.
For cooperatives and particularly platform cooperatives to supplant parasitic capitalist corporations, we do need them to offer both a way to pay back loans that may come from a variety of sources (even if we have an excellent coop loan fund) and, yes, to recompense in material terms what will often be material sacrifice.
Financial reward on top of that is fine too, and what people do with that, from traveling the world to starting another cooperative, is up to them. Cooperatives' historic potential is to eliminate the rents that go to the 1% in perpetuity— reward for actual contributions to society are well within the cooperative frame.
(Incidentally, anyone in the Natick/Framingham/*borough area of Massachusetts, check out http://amazingthings.org/ !)