Join Our Team

IMG_7917 © Liesl Clark

The Buy Nothing Project Connects Us With Our Neighbors. © Liesl Clark

Our volunteers are stewards of the Buy Nothing Project, and essential to its continued success.  Local Admins are supported by and collaborate with our vast network of Buy Nothing Project volunteers throughout the world, including our Founders, our Global Admin Team, Regional Admins and local co-admins.  If you have some spare time each week, love the Buy Nothing Project, and would like to help this amazing experiment grow in your neighborhood, here’s some information you might be looking for.

Responsibilities of the Local Buy Nothing Project Admin

The primary responsibility of every Buy Nothing Project Admin is to to uphold, through example and explanation, the Mission of the Buy Nothing Project. Our Admins achieve this goal by performing the tasks described in this document.

Summary of Duties:

  • Participate and lead by example;
    • Your role as local admin is to guide the group’s interactions and activities and to set the tone.  The more excited and welcoming you are and the more posts you make, the more receptive and active the group will be.  Be yourself and have fun!  
  • Respond to membership requests;
    • Refer out-of-neighborhood requests to proper groups;
    • If there is no group available, refer requests to Start-A-Group.
  • Review posts and comments;
    • Remove spam or  inappropriate content;
    • Provide guidance using posts, comments, and reminders.
  • Direct members through the hyper-localization (sprouting) process;
    • All admins are expected to participate in the hyper-localization process, as we move closer to our goal of a worldwide network of hyper-local gift economies.

It is very important for our volunteers to be familiar with our Rules and Standards. Make sure to review these before moving forward.  Another great source of information is our Frequently Asked Questions page.  All Admins are also asked to regularly review and be familiar with our Mission and Principles.

We perform these duties collaboratively, with each admin taking on the tasks that feel most comfortable to them, as long as all of these tasks are completed.  

Toward these ends, all admins commit to:

  • Collaborate with Co-Admins and Regional Admins;
    • You are a Local Admin. It is likely that you are a part of a team with at least one other Local Admin. Each of you will have equal status as admins and mentors for the group.
    • Your Regional Admin is available to provide information, guidance and support, on behalf of the Founders and the Global Admin Team, as well as conflict resolution and problem solving.
  • Stay informed and connected with the Buy Nothing Project;
    • All Admins are required to belong to the Buy Nothing Project Volunteer Forum – a Facebook group for the Admins of Buy Nothing groups all over the world.
    • Admins are also required to belong to and participate in their Local Admin group – groups specifically set up for volunteers in a given geographical area.
  • Use the platform we have chosen with integrity and responsibility;
    • The founding document files in each group are copyrighted and the membership lists are proprietary materials of The Buy Nothing Project.
    • Admins are directed to not change any Buy Nothing Project copyright protected documents or group description, except as directed by a Regional Admin.
    • Admins are never to alter the Facebook URL or change any other settings.
  • Commit to resolve any conflicts in a way that aligns with our Mission and Principles;
    • We act with empathy, compassion, integrity, and humility. We take a deep breath, listen patiently, and we find common ground. We speak our minds without degrading others.
  • Treat all Buy Nothing Project members and group applicants with civility and respect;
    • Admins are not expected to mediate, resolve legal matters or negotiate when things don’t go as planned. As all of our members are adults, we expect everyone to handle these matters for themselves.



As representatives of the Buy Nothing Project and stewards of our local groups, we expect all of our Local Admins to:

  • Review posts and comments in your neighborhood’s Buy Nothing group at regular intervals;
    • All posts and comments must comply with our Buy Nothing Project Rules.  There is also a list of Standards, which are preferences for any posts or comments in our groups.
  • Respond to membership requests in a timely manner;
    • In order to participate in any of our groups, each person must confirm that they are an adult, living within the boundaries of that group, and that they do not belong to any other groups within the Buy Nothing network.  There are no exceptions to this rule.
  • Address membership issues fairly;
    • It is sometimes necessary to remove members, neighbors, and even friends from our groups.  This is not an easy decision for an admin to make, and is not to be taken lightly.
  • Have regular and consistent access to Facebook;
    • If members and other admins report that they are unable to contact you, or you appear to be absent, we may remove you from the Admin role until contact can be re-established.
  • Maintain communication with co-admins and other volunteers;
    • Our Founders, Global Admins and Regional Admins have access to all Buy Nothing groups, so that they are available to  you for resolution and clarification, and may, in turn, reach out to you to offer assistance, support or coaching.
    • Admins are not ever to remove Liesl Clark, Rebecca Rockefeller, or Shelley Schwinn, or any other Global or Regional Admins from the Buy Nothing Project groups.
    • All admins are expected to join and review any Admin groups deemed necessary for your commitments to the Buy Nothing Project, including the Local Admin group for your region, and the Buy Nothing Project Volunteer Forum.
  • Represent the core tenets of the Buy Nothing Project to the best of your ability;
    • The Buy Nothing Project reserves the right to remove admins who act or communicate in a way that leads the administration to believe that they are not a good fit for this endeavor.
  • Protect and respect the privacy and confidentiality of all member-related information, documentation or discussions;
    • Our Admin groups are intended to be safe spaces, where admins can share information, collaborate on solutions, seek encouragement, and celebrate successes.  Information shared in these groups is to be considered confidential.
  • Notify your Regional Admin and/or Global Admins if you need to step down or take a break.

Local Admins estimate that they spend 15-60 minutes per day looking over the groups, reviewing posts, replying to questions, verifying membership requests, and participating in the group, depending on the size and activity level in a group, as well as the number of co-Admins.

Would you like to join an Admin team for your local Buy Nothing group? Check with the admin of your group to find out if there are openings in your neighborhood!

If you have received an invitation to become a Local Admin via email, your next step is to return to that email and follow the additional instructions.

Once you become a member of the Buy Nothing Project Volunteer Forum and your Local Admins group, you will be provided with further details on how we perform each of these tasks. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to ask.  Your Regional Admin, the other Local Admins in your Region, and the Global Admin team are all available to support and assist you whenever possible.



There are four teams of Admins in the Buy Nothing Project Admin structure.

Local Admins uphold, through example and explanation, the Mission of the Buy Nothing Project in our hyper-local gifting groups.

Development Admins assist with the creation and setup of new groups to the Buy Nothing Project, and collaborate with those interested in introducing the Buy Nothing Project to their neighborhood.  Our Lead Development Admin is Shelley Schwinn.

Regional Admins provide information, guidance and support to the Local Admins, on behalf of the Founders and the Global Admin Team, as well as providing conflict resolution and problem solving.

The Global Admin Team collaborates with the Founders to guide the Buy Nothing Project in keeping with the Mission and Principles, and provides administrative support to the Founders, Regional and Local Admins.

Our Founders are Liesl Clark and Rebecca Rockefeller.


No group in your neighborhood? Contact us so that we can get one started!

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