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.
- 1 Within your local group
- 2 Setting up a Group
- 3 Share a skill
- 4 Offer ideas
- 5 Mentor Mods (MMods)
- 6 Graphics Team
- 7 Moderator Resource Assistance Team (MRA)
- 8 New Group Appprover Team (NGA)
- 9 Group Outreach and Assistance Team (GOA)
- 10 Trademark Team (TM Team)
- 11 Interim Mod Team (IMod Team)
- 12 Media Team (MediaTeam)
- 13 Translator (Info Team)
- 14 Info Team (Info Team)
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 owner (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.
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.
Let us know what you think would improve the Freecycle experience by emailing our Suggestion box. Thank you.
Mentor Mods (MMods)
This position requires varying amounts of time depending on the interest of the individual Mentor Mod. Some choose to help only one group. Others help a couple groups. This role is purely a peer-to-peer role in which one offers tips, guidance and whatnot to a typically newer local volunteer moderator. It's a sort of big brother / big sister type concept -- a nice extra way to help newbie mods. This position requires probably a good year of experience moderating a local TFN group under your belt and a desire to help and an open and patient heart.
The Mentor Mod team also heads the Emergency Response Temps - if you wish to learn how to have a mod take care of your group in the event of a disaster, a holiday vacation, or if you're interested in volunteering to serve in one of the positions above, please send an email with a subject line that states I want to volunteer with Mentor Mods
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
New Group Appprover Team (NGA)
Each state or region has one NGA who is responsible for approving all new groups for that area. This position requires varying amounts of time depending on the area, ranging from a brief daily check-in of approximately 15 minutes a day to a half hour a day. Additionally, it requires membership in the NGA Yahoo Group as well with occasional interaction with the Group Outreach and Assistance volunteer who handles any issues of concern with group overlaps and other issues. A qualified volunteer will also possess basic geographic knowledge of the state or region in question or is adept at map reading skills and has a solid familiarity with TFN guidelines and Mod Manual. 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 promoted from other team positions within the Network as we've found the experience and knowledge base from these teams to be beneficial to the volunteer prior to taking on the responsibilities that come with GOA. Qualified volunteers can be an exception. Candidates for this position must be extremely tactful; have a good grasp on the written word; be friendly and insightful; be willing to devote several hours a week to the "job;" be familiar with the workings of Yahoo Groups and Yahoo Messenger; have strong problem solving and diplomatic skills. Potential volunteers for this position must have a complete understanding of the workings of TFN, its guidelines, and what is appropriate for groups and moderators. A solid familiarity with the Moderator's Manual is a strong plus. 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 states I want to volunteer with the GOA Team
Trademark Team (TM Team)
This position requires a great degree of responsibility with varying time commitments depending on the specific role. Generally, you will have a great deal of experience as a Freecycle moderator before assuming a role in this team. Likely, you'll have gained experience previously in another team before doing a role here. It requires a high degree of attention to detail, and a great deal of diplomatic care in working to help educate local moderators regarding proper mark usage as well as in working with external entities. If you're interested, please send an email with the subject line that states I want to volunteer with the Trademark Team
Interim Mod Team (IMod Team)
IMod team members work directly with local groups whose owner has left, to find and help new local moderators get started. IMods are placed either individually or in teams of two. Team vacancies are normally filled by referrals. If applying, please include at least two references that can be confirmed, such as neighboring moderators, GOA, etc.
The main goal of the IMod Team is to recruit and train new moderators for local groups. Candidates for an IMod Team position must be willing to commit 3 weeks to several months training new moderators. The ability to communicate effectively and the understanding of Freecycle guidelines is essential. The workload varies from month to month and the successful candidate could expect to be working with 2 to 20 groups in a lead or back-up capacity. Although this volunteer position requires a significant amount of time daily, it is also a very rewarding opportunity. If you're interested, please send an email with the subject line that states I want to volunteer with the Interim Moderator Team
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!
Media Team (MediaTeam)
This is a team we are just starting to get off the ground. We intend to have a regular member and/or moderator newsletter as well as a waste elimination group email which collects member waste elimination ideas from other members and sends them out as an email to all members signed up for it (not just mods). A further role would be organizing our media / press room position. These positions require press/media/PR experience; perhaps good writing skills and good organizational skills. Time requirements would be pretty flexible. Not a great deal of moderating experience is required and a general knowledge of the organization is sufficient. You may have a real inspirational or didactic urge to reach out and enable positive pro-active change. If you're interested, please send an email with the subject line that states I want to volunteer with the Media 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
Info Team (Info Team)
This team consists of the Ambassador team, My.Freecycle.org support, the Mod Manual and the FAQs. Also included under the info team title is the Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Google Buzz and My Space) which has a presence on all platforms.
Assistance is needed in various areas including: helping answer member inquiries on the my.freecycle.org website and live groups; contacting mods to get them access to their groups on my.freecycle.org; editors needed to update the FAQs and Mod Manual; and all around basic assistance in the Member/Mod information areas. Depending on the area you work in, this position may require good interpersonal 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