Training Lesson 5

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This training module has been superseded. Please click here for the current moderator orientation guide


Because The Freecycle Network at is unique and amazingly successful, there are many who have and who would try to use it for personal gain and profit. For that reason:

  • The Freecycle Network is incorporated as a non-profit organization.
  • The logo is trademark protected.
  • We link only to those groups which are approved local groups.

We need to do our best to use the trademark properly so that we don’t lose the right to it. As Moderators, we have an essential role to play in protecting the trademark. These are the key points:

  • Always use the term "" correctly. "Freecycle" is NEVER used as a verb and must always be capitalized.
  • Include the proper attribution statement in group emails and home pages.
  • Use the registered trademark symbol, either ® or (R), the first time the word "" is used in any text (in Admins, Files, signatures, etc.). Freecycle group sites should have an (R) or ® next to the logo at the top and an (R) or ® next to the first use of The Freecycle Network (or of the word Freecycle, whichever comes first). The subsequent uses of "Freecycle" can be without the trademark symbol.

The U.S. copyright and trademark information is explained fully in the Moderator Manual. If you are in the European Union, please refer to the E.U. guidelines in the Mod Manual.

Sometimes group mods will get mad at and start their own group. If they use the word "Freecycle" or some derivative, it is a violation of copyright law. Contact your GOA if you see a group that has done this. The way to determine if a group is "official" is to go to and enter the name; if they are listed there, then all is well.


  • Your members are your best advertising resource. Have membership challenges. Remind them often to tell their friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers.
  • Contact the local school's principals and ask them if you could place flyers in the teachers’ mailboxes or send flyers home with the students. Maybe join in the school recycling educational programs in some of the areas. Sometimes you can even get the schools to offer you a booth during their open house.
  • Contact your local waste management department. Sometimes they are willing to add a line to the bills and letters they send out at no charge.
  • Join in the local Earth Day & Arbor Day events.
  • Contact local newspapers.
  • Contact your local churches, Salvation Army, and other community resources.
  • Place flyers on public bulletin boards, like at grocery stores, libraries, Laundromats.
  • Please click here for a print-ready brochure or flyer.


  • BOD - Board of Directors
  • ERT - Emergency Response Team, now incorporated into Mentor Mods
  • EULA - End-User License Agreement, the type of license used for most software. A EULA is a legal contract between the manufacturer and/or the author and the end user of an application.
  • FC -
  • FIOD - Indie-Onsite Discussion Group
  • FLC - Freecycle Leadership Community
  • GO - Group Owner, known on the site as Lead Moderator.
  • GOA - Group Outreach and Assistance, a group of mods trained to help local mods with problems such as an abandoned group, an overlap of groups, sales being allowed on a group. The GOA has the authority and experience to be the final arbiter of any and every issue out there. To find your GOA go to:
  • HUB - A leadership team consisting of each volunteer team including the Country Directors, Moderator Resources, Info Team, Back Office, and Outreach.
  • IMOD - Interim Moderator, is just what the name implies. This team takes over orphaned and abandoned groups until a local moderator can be found and trained.
  • LM - Lead Moderator
  • MyF -
  • MM - Mentor Mods – A team that teaches new mods about and how to use website.
  • MOD - Moderator of a group (whether on Yahoo! Groups or MF).
  • MRA - Moderator Resource Assistance, the moderators of the leadership groups including Modsquads, FIOD, etc.
  • MYFC - My.Freecycle.Org
  • NGA - The New Group Approver, helps avoid overlap of groups, approve (or deny) all new groups.
  • PPU - Pending Pickup (not recommended but is used by some members).
  • TFN - The Freecycle Network
  • TOS - Terms of Service

For more acronyms, abbreviations, and definitions, please click here.


Most members think of The Freecycle Network as being a community resource, but it is actually a large, global organization with more than 5,200 groups in over 110 countries. See the Org Chart and Leadership team for more information about the basic structure of The Freecycle Network.

LINKS & RESOURCES is developing and improving on an on-going basis. To keep up with changes, join FIOD and Freecycle Leadership Community on Yahoo!Groups. Only moderators are approved for membership, so you will need to wait until you are a moderator.

Tech Discussion Group/FIOD

Tech Discussion Group/FIOD -- Indie On-Site Discussion Group -- is a discussion group for moderators with problems with the site. There they can ask questions, make suggestions and search for past messages to see if they can find the answers to their questions.

If you are having a technical problem this is the first place to make it known or find out if others are having the same problem. This is not a place to discuss group dynamics, posts about what to allow on the group or general chit chat. Whenever you post on FIOD always include your Group name and Unique TFN Group ID number which are found on your Info and Options Page.

If you are not already a member of this group, send a join request to: Only mods on active MyF groups can join FIOD. Do NOT apply until you finish training and are promoted to Moderator. Click here for more information on how to join.

Freecycle Leadership Community

Freecycle Leadership Community. FLC is a forum where moderators from around the world discuss issues with their groups, offer advice and opinions, and share fun stories from their own groups. Moderators come here for the latest news and updates about Click here for more information on how to join FLC.

Other Links

More links can be found here:

Day 5 Assignment

Answer the following questions:

  1. Does currently have a trademark? If so, what?
  2. What does GOA stand for?
  3. How would you contact your GOA?
  4. What should be placed at the bottom or within the body of all official web sites, articles, press releases, automatic notices, and group home pages?
  5. Why is it important to carefully protect how we use the trademark?
  6. What groups should you join to keep up with changes on My.Freecycle?

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