Volunteering

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There are literally thousands of volunteers who represent the passion and commitment behind the scenes which enable The Freecycle Network (R) to function as a grassroots and nonprofit gifting movement.

Within your local group

The first stage in volunteering is usually to become one of the Moderators of your local group. To do this, you can mail your group moderator (from the home page), or respond to an appeal for new moderators on your local group.

The requirements to be a moderator vary from group to group, but generally:

  • You'll need to have been active on your local group for a while.
  • You should be computer literate.
  • You'll need access to a computer, and to the Internet (usually, but not always, broadband).
  • You'll have to be able to spend at least a couple of hours per week moderating the group. Some groups have a [rota] and schedules.
  • You should have good language skills - correct spelling, proper punctuation, complete sentences, and proper grammar are a must. You mustn't type in "chat mode" or "IM mode", or all lower case or upper case.
  • You'll need the ability to follow instructions. There are guidelines in place for all Freecycle group moderators to maintain in order to be listed on the main Freecycle webpage.
  • You should have a positive attitude and the ability to keep your cool when dealing with irate or irresponsible members.
  • You should have an interest in environmental causes. You know that Freecycle isn't about FREE stuff but about keeping stuff out of the landfills and building community awareness.

We don't have anything tangible to give to a moderator - it's all free, right? - but it's rewarding nevertheless. You'll be keeping the Freecycle Network ticking over and ensuring usable items stay out of landfill sites to have a new lease of life.

Setting up a Group

First, make sure there really is no group in your area. If there is, it, of course, has priority. See here for how to check.

Once you're sure there's no local group already, see here for more details.

Share a skill

Do you have a skill you could volunteer to help Freecycle? We are always looking for help in areas such as graphics, fund-raising, and networking. Contact us with your desired volunteering position at Volunteers.

Offer ideas

Let us know what you think would improve the Freecycle experience by emailing our Suggestion box. Thank you.

Already a moderator? Want to get more involved with Freecycle.org?

There are literally thousands of volunteers who represent the passion and commitment behind the scenes which enable The Freecycle Network™ to function as a grassroots and nonprofit gifting movement. If you feel a "volunteer calling" beyond moderating for your local group, then by all means have a look at the opportunities below. You may also contact Volunteers if you have general volunteer-related questions. Thanks for all the good you are doing and making possible!

Interim Mod Team (IMod Team)

IMod team members work behind the scenes to keep headless groups running until new mods are recruited. Although each IMOD might moderate 50-100 groups, it's not as daunting as it sounds, as IMOD groups are fully unmoderated and member inquiries are handled by the team leaders. This is a fun, low-stress volunteer position open to current Freecycle.org moderators of all experience levels. Hours are flexible.

If you're interested, please send an email with the subject line that states I want to volunteer with the Interim Moderator Team.

Info Team (Info Team)

This team consists of Freecycle.org support, the Mod Manual and the FAQs. Also included under the info team title is Social Media (Twitter, Facebook and Google+).

Assistance is needed in various areas including: answering member inquiries about Freecycle.org; helping moderators with technical issues; updating the FAQs and Mod Manual; and assisting members and moderators having difficulty using the site. Depending on the area you work in, this position may require good interpersonal skills, effective written communication skills, problem solving and diplomatic skills.

The time commitment varies greatly depending on your wishes to do more or less and which position you work in. All areas are very rewarding and you will always have constant support. If you're interested, please send an email with the subject line that states I want to volunteer with the Info Team

Translator (Info Team)

The Info team is seeking enthusiastic people who are fluent in multiple languages to translate the Members FAQ and Moderators Manual from English into their own native tongue.

If you can spare a little time each day to translate a few paragraphs, over time - your efforts would see the Members FAQ and Moderators manual in your own language. This will make it easier for you, your fellow moderators and your group members to understand what Freecycle is about and how to use the groups.

We are currently seeking translators for French and German, however if you can translate into any other language we are still interested in hearing from you.

If you're interested, please send an email with the subject line that states I want to volunteer with the Info Team

Mentor Mods (MMods)

Mentor Moderators train new and seasoned moderators, guiding inexperienced moderators by offering reassurance, recommendations and advice. Mentor Moderators also provide cover for groups where a moderator needs time away for any reason. This position requires experience in moderating a local Freecycle.org group, a desire to help, an open mind and a patient heart.

If you're interested in volunteering to serve as a Mentor Mod, please send an email with a subject line that states I want to volunteer with the Mentor Mod Team.

New Group Approver Team (NGA)

The NGA Team receives and processes requests from members who want to start new groups. NGA Team Members research proposed groups for viability and handle all aspects of new group setup. A qualified volunteer is adept at map reading, has an interest in geography and possesses good internet research skills. Applicants should have a solid familiarity with Freecycle.org guidelines and the Mod Manual. Because NGA team members correspond with applicants from all over the world, patience, good people skills and a sense of humor are a plus. Training is provided. If you're interested, please send an email with the subject line that states I want to volunteer with the NGA team

Group Outreach and Assistance Team (GOA)

This position is usually filled by special invitation or via promotion from other support teams, as we've found the experience and knowledge base from these teams to be beneficial to the volunteer prior to taking on the varied responsibilities that come with GOA. However, suitably qualified volunteers can be an exception, so if you feel you have the necessary skills please do get in touch.

Candidates for this position must be extremely tactful; have a good grasp of the written word; be friendly and insightful; be willing to devote several hours a week to the "job"; be fair-minded and unprejudiced; and have strong problem-solving and diplomatic skills. Potential volunteers for this position must also have a complete understanding of the workings of Freecycle.org and its guidelines, as well as an understanding of what is appropriate for groups and moderators. A solid familiarity with the Moderator's Manual is a must and some familiarity with Yahoo Groups would be advantageous, though not essential.

Please note that this is a time consuming position; ample time for volunteering is required. If you're interested, please send an email with the subject line that statesI want to volunteer with the GOA Team.

Graphics Team

This position requires that you have graphic design abilities and a desire to help other local mods put together a nifty new graphic for their local graphics/description which incorporates our logo with nice surrounding graphics that reflect the spirit of the local community. It requires good interpersonal skills in working with local mods to figure out their wishes The time commitment varies greatly depending on your wishes to do more or less. This is a small team with creative design energy. It does not require a great deal of moderation experience. If you're interested, please send an email with a subject line that states I want to volunteer with the Graphics Team

Moderator Resource Assistance Team (MRA)

This team is responsible for making sure that all the moderator groups function smoothly and are responsible for the day-to-day task of making sure the questions mods have get answered. Only a few team members are needed for these roles. Candidates for this position would need to be seasoned TFN moderators who are familiar with TFN guidelines, the mod manual and functionality of the mod groups. Diplomatic skills are also a must. If you are interested in learning more about this team's duties, please send an email with a subject line that states I want to volunteer with the MRA Team

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