Core Volunteers are the heart of your organization, they will be the faces that last through the years, not just the summer.
Where do we find them?
The Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective started from a group of cyclists that attended Critical Mass and the Mayors' Bicycle Advisory Committee regularly. For the most part they all had or were obtaining college degrees in various things, most of them were from out of town...
- Motivated by by helping people and teaching.
- Economically sound minimalists. They have the freedom to volunteer without worrying about money [too much].
- Students, graduate students have an especially flexible schedule.
- Prior volunteering experience, make sure it has been long term.
- Single, sad to say, but single people just have more time than most.
- Activists, just make sure they haven't spread themselves out too thin.
- Core volunteers are in it for the long term, short term parts needs don't usually make for a long term relationship.
How do we keep them?
Building and maintaining a solid group of core volunteers takes community and responsibility. Regardless if they are paid or not, they have to feel that this is a cool place to go and hang out. As a result it is no surprise that most collectives and cooperatives start out as a group of friends.
They also have to feel like they are responsible for the direct success or failure of some part of your organization. In other words, if they feel like they are not needed, they will find some place else to go. It seems that most collectives and cooperatives are personality driven, in other words there is 'that guy' or 'that girl' that just seems to get things done. It helps to have people like this in the start of an organization, but in order for the organization to grow -- they need to learn how to let go and delegate, not micro-manage.