Core Group Roles

The core group is responsible for all aspects of running a CSA distribution site. It is important that all members of the core group share common goals and understanding of the group’s role.

It is useful to have distinct roles, each with a general job description including what skills are involved, how long it will take each week/season, special equipment needed, etc. Having specific jobs helps keep the Core Group focused and interested. To determine the roles needed, make a list of all the tasks that need to be done and some logical categories for breaking them up.

You may choose to distribute the tasks (by advertising amongst your members for help wanted) and shift them around seasonally so that nobody burns out. It may be beneficial or necessary to compensate some of the more time-intensive jobs with a free share or with an hourly salary.

Core group roles are completely variable, given the unique resources and needs of each community, so use this list as a potential guide.

1.    Core Group Coordinator   

Many groups like to have co-coordinators.
        A.    Oversees entire CSA operation.
        B.    Convenes and facilitates meetings
        C.    Speaks with farmers and all other core group members on a regular basis to ensure that broad goals of farm and community are being
                met
        D.    Uses these conversations to create agenda for meetings.
        E.    Time commitment will vary depending on organizational structure.



2.    Newsletter Editor
20 hours per season
        A.    Collaborates with CSA coordinator, farm, recipe collector and other members to get newsletter material.
        B.    Format and edit newsletter at least 2 times per month, ideally every week
        C.    Help to create innovative ways to get other members involved in the newsletter


3.    Volunteer Coordinator
15 hours per season
        A.    Works with coordinator and members to ensure that members contribute at least 4-6 hours of volunteer time throughout the CSA
                season
        B.    Sets up weekly schedule for members to work/volunteer at the distribution site
        C.    Contacts volunteers each week to confirm shifts


4.    Events Coordinator
12 hours per season
        A.    Collaborates with core group, other members, CSA coordinator, Just Food and farm to plan fun, informative and relationship building
                events for members
        B.    Plans at least one farm visit per season, potlucks, food/cooking demonstrations, kids programs


5.    Site Coordinator
At least 2 people needed.  Five hours per week during season, plus meetings.

        A.    Oversees distribution of vegetables every week, including unloading of truck and cleanup of site.
        B.    Oversees weekly volunteers 
        C.    Involves heavy lifting. 
Note: Many CSA groups require members to volunteer throughout the season to assist the site coordinator. It is possible for member volunteers to run distribution without the oversight of a coordinator who is there every week. For this scheme to be successful, in-depth instructions must be available to the volunteers when they arrive for their shifts. See an example of these instructions in Section 2: Sample Materials.

6.    Treasurer & Records Keeper 
Three to four hours per month during enrollment period (December - May) and one hour per month during rest of year, plus meetings
        1.    Collects and keeps track of checks and membership information; pays farmer.
        2.    Computer and database skills needed; must be very organized. 


7. Outreach Coordinator 
Two to five hours per week during enrollment period (December-May), plus meetings. 2 people recommended. 
        A.    Recruits new members; handles publicity (mailings, media, word-of-mouth incentives)
        B.    Answers phone and mail queries
        C.    Oversees volunteers to help with these activities.


Some other possible roles and tasks:
8.  Policy Coordinator- Develops strategies for CSA members to become more
 knowledgeable about and involved in agriculture and food policy issues
9.  Just Food Liason- Acts as contact person for Just Food CSA Program Manager
10. Website Manager- Develops and updates CSA website 
11. Site Contact- Coordinates with owner of distribution site (such as a church).
12. Food Pantry Contact- Ensures that weekly surplus is donated appropriately
13. Secretary- Takes minutes during core group meetings, distributes minutes, etc
14. Recipe Distributor- Collects, copies, and distributes recipes and food ideas.

 

Back to CSA in NYC Tipsheets