Member Resources

How To Bring About Positive Change Within a Group To Help It Come Closer To The Buy Nothing Project Vision

Q: I’ve read through your Rules and suggested best practices and my local admin is doing something quite different in our group. How can we bring the group more in line with a Buy Nothing Project group as outlined on your website?

A: Being a volunteer admin of a Facebook group can be challenging, especially the more members you have. We have spent 7 years evolving our rules to accommodate the very real experiences we’ve had in our thousands of local gift economies. Yet, no single Buy Nothing group is perfect, and so we do allow admins to make reasonable calls on how to administer our rules and the assumption is that they know their communities’ needs well. But if your group doesn’t look or feel like a Buy Nothing group, yet it uses the Buy Nothing name and rules, here are some resources to give you the tools to help bring your group back into the spirit of a local Buy Nothing gift economy.

— First, please use all of the resources available to all members on our website to try to answer your questions or better understand the reasoning behind our Rules. We have the following pages that can help you:

Mission & Principles
The Fine Print
The Evolution of The Buy Nothing Project
Code of Conduct

— If your question or concern hasn’t been answered through the resources on our website, you could post in your group about the particular rule or suggested best practices that you see are not being applied to your group. Let your local admin and the members all have opportunity to talk about it in the group. Our rules do allow for members to post their gratitude, thoughts, and concerns about the group and gift economy thinking itself. It’s a great way to get everyone on board with the basic Mission and Principles of a Buy Nothing group helping them to embrace what a Buy Nothing Project group has the potential to be.

— Private Message your Local Admin at the same time, inviting a direct conversation about your concerns. You are welcome to use our documents to support your questions or concerns.

— You could suggest some of your members and Local Admins get together to discuss how to help your group follow the ideals and standards we promote, and suggest ways to creatively shift the existing culture in your group. Person-to-person discussions are always much more productive than those in online forums. We encourage a sense of ownership by the members of the Buy Nothing mission and principles which are for all neighbors. Our rules are in essence shareware for anyone to learn best practices for behaving in a gift economy.

— If you’ve been in another Buy Nothing group and your new group feels quite different, post about your observations made in your original group, what you enjoyed, what may not have worked well for you, and ideas about how the community can bring about the behavior you enjoyed in your previous group. Be the change you want to see and model what you’ve seen happen in other Buy Nothing groups.

— Offer your support to your local admin(s) if you’d like to help. Perhaps you can help as an admin, as a moderator, or with the membership queue. All Buy Nothing admins are encouraged to take part in our Admin Training as well as our Volunteer Resource Center. We are a true network of volunteers, all are here to support your local admin.

— If you’ve been waiting in the queue to join the group, to no avail, please contact your local admins, not the Buy Nothing Project. You can also see if you have any Facebook friends in the group. If so, you could contact those friends and ask them to post in the group, asking why there are people pending in the queue.

— If all of your efforts have proven fruitless, you can start your own Buy Nothing group for your community.