Buy Nothing Project
As Your Group Gains Momentum
This document was created by Buy Nothing Project volunteers on behalf of the Buy Nothing Project.

You’ve got your Buy Nothing group set up, now what? This document is designed to answer some questions about things that may happen as you’re living your life as a Buy Nothing group admin.

Whether your group is new or established, marketing is something you may want to do. For smaller groups, it's often hard to find homes for each item posted or to fulfill Asks simply because there are fewer people connecting within the community. If you’re just getting started, one of the best things you can do is inspire people to join your group. Many seasoned admins have observed that these connections happen more seamlessly once the group reaches about 75-100 people, so each person who joins has a big impact.
We have flyers you can download and share online or print to post offline here. We have a host of other resources that you might find useful here, especially if you scroll down to Tools & Resources. For starters, here’s one idea you’re welcome to use (or simply say it your own way; authenticity is always powerful):

Hello, (your town here) Neighbors! I’m excited to invite you all to join our new Buy Nothing group that’s set up and ready for our community. We’re part of the worldwide Buy Nothing Project, which is a network of local gift economies that reaches around the globe and includes millions of people. Right here, our own Buy Nothing community will bring us together to Give, Ask, and build connections between real-life neighbors. It’s simple and fun: You join our Buy Nothing group, you post any freely-given gift request or offer, without limit, and you just might get exactly what you want and need. Gifts can be old stuff, new stuff, red stuff, blue stuff, anything at all (so long as it’s legal); you can gift things or time, stuff or skills. There’s no buying, selling, renting, trading, borrowing, or advertising, only gifts freely-given without any reward except the joy of giving, receiving, and connecting to build a stronger local community. You can learn more about the Buy Nothing Project at and join our local Buy Nothing group for (list neighborhood(s) here) at (list group URL here).

If you’d like more tips, here’s a collaborative document with advice from many Buy Nothing Project local group admins:

Tips - Getting Your Buy Nothing Group Started:

We encourage all groups to have more than one admin. Sharing this role means that you don’t feel on-call all the time and you can more easily take the time you need for life outside Buy Nothing. This means you’re more likely to balance your life and volunteering and won’t burn out of either.. We don’t have a specific rule of thumb for how many admins is the right number. We do recommend at least two for any size group and then maybe think about adding another person to the team every time you grow by around 150/200 members.
You can spread out the duties anyway you like. Some groups have one person who does membership, another does challenges/reminders, and a third monitors the group for ways they can assist or inspire participants. Other groups split up the membership approvals alphabetically by first name or take shifts doing membership approval duty, such as two weeks on, two weeks off. If you have a part of the local admin role that you don’t like as much or are finding it harder to do, consider looking for someone who likes that part. Teams can work in many different ways.
When thinking about adding a co admin, there are two ways to go about it. You can directly message members who post or comment frequently and constructively in your group. To help get an idea of who is active in the group, if your group is using Facebook as a host, you can check your group dashboard for all sorts of information to help you decide to whom you would like to reach out as a potential co-admin. You can also recruit new volunteer(s) by posting directly in the group, with something like this (add a photo of your own to help people find and remember your post):

Hello, Buy Nothing Neighbors! Do you LOVE this group? Are you passionate about making the world a better place? Do you enjoy inspiring and guiding others to get the most from their Buy Nothing experience? Do you have reliable internet access and a friendly familiarity with Facebook Messenger? If so, you might be just the person we’re looking for to join our group’s admin team!

You’ve seen the Buy Nothing Project magic at work in our group, and here’s an opportunity to amplify the good we can do as a group by serving our community as an admin. We have a hard working team and we’re looking for at least one person to join us.

Please reach out to us in a comment here or privately so we can talk details. We may not have space for everyone who’s interested, but we’d love to start the discussion with anyone and everyone who’s ready to step up.

When you reach out to people directly, you're making a more focused choice about co-admins than waiting to see who comments on an "admin wanted" post. They may feel flattered that you’ve reached out, and might consider becoming an admin even if they weren’t thinking of this role for themselves. But posting to the entire group may turn up someone you'd never have thought to ask. When posting directly in the group, you may also have individuals volunteer whom you don’t feel you would work well with, or whom you don’t feel would be a good admin. Remember, just because someone volunteers to be your co-admin doesn’t mean that you have to accept their offer. For help turning down a well-meaning neighbor that you don’t want to help you admin, you might find it helpful to talk with any other admins you’re in contact with.

If you need to step down as a local admin for some reason, hopefully you have at least one other co admin who can keep the group going. If you are a solo admin and need to step down, please try to find a new admin using the steps above. If you are a solo admin and can’t find a new local admin, ask any neighboring Buy Nothing group’s admins if they might be willing to help until someone local steps up.

And finally, many admins who are unable to run their groups any longer post a welcoming post for everyone to move over to the free BuyNothing app. They can all meet up on the app where the app does the admin-ing and everyone can join. The app is available for iPhone and Android.