Start a Group

© Liesl Clark
© Liesl Clark

The Buy Nothing Project is a worldwide network of hyper-local gift economies. Groups are set up (primarily on Facebook at the moment), using our Creative Commons public copyright-protected documents. These resources can be used as-is without any changes to create a Global Standard group, or changed (following Creative Commons’ license directions) to create a Local Variation group. The co-founders see all of these groups as equally important and valuable parts of the overall Buy Nothing movement.

The Buy Nothing Project is an incubator and library, seeding local gift economies all over the world with freely-given resources that help individuals build strong, vibrant, inclusive and equitable local sharing groups. We provide our materials through a Creative Commons license and provide local volunteers leadership training on how to steward a local community group. We also connect volunteers in an Admin Hub to provide support, up-to-the-minute announcements, resources, and answer questions.

Would you like to join an Admin team for an existing local Buy Nothing group? Check with the admin of your group to find out if there are openings in your neighborhood! Please review this page for more information about the admin role in the Buy Nothing Project. Once you’ve connected with the local admin team, please be sure to ask how you can connect with someone from the Development Team to learn how to participate in our free admin training!

Want to start a Buy Nothing group in your own neighborhood? Please be sure to double check whether there is an existing group for your local community listed here and on our maps before volunteering to start a new group. Once you’ve confirmed there is no existing group in your area, please read the information on this page and fill out our Start-a-Group form at the bottom to participate in our training! If there is already a group in your area and you’ve reached out to the admin team and haven’t received a satisfactory response from them, please fill out the form at the bottom of this page and be sure to connect with a Development Team member to learn more about starting an additional group to serve the community where you live.

As the Buy Nothing Project founding team sees it, the primary responsibility of Local Group Leaders (aka Admins on Facebook) is to uphold, through example and explanation, the Mission and Principles of the Buy Nothing Project.

As stewards of the Mission to their varied local communities, volunteers are essential to the continued success of the Buy Nothing Project. If you love the Buy Nothing Project, have some spare time each week, and would like to help this amazing experiment grow in your neighborhood, we would love for you to join us! In addition to leading local groups, there are opportunities to collaborate within the Project’s internal support system and working teams to broaden our reach, strengthen our communities, and improve the Buy Nothing Project as a whole.

The primary duties of a Local Group Leader/Admin are to:

· Regularly review posts and comments, and take action regarding posts and comments that do not fit within the Rules;

· Model giving, asking, and gratitude within your own local group;

· Respect and explain the Buy Nothing Project Rules, guiding members to better understand and implement them;

· Model and encourage the Buy Nothing Project Suggestions for successful posts;

· Regularly engage members with Admin posts, comments and encouraging remarks;

· Strive to communicate with members with clarity, compassion, humility, and by offering a face-saving solution whenever possible;

· Respond to all membership inquiries in a timely manner;

· Respond to member questions or concerns and resolve group issues in a timely manner, in keeping with all Buy Nothing Project policies;

· Consider participation in the hyper-localization (sprouting) process when you feel your group is ready, as our goal is to grow a worldwide network of hyper-local gift economies. Please note that sprouting is not required, and there are other possible options for dealing with the growth of your group.

It is very important for volunteers to be familiar with the Project’s 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. 

Local Leadership/Admin teams perform these roles collaboratively, with each admin taking on the tasks that feel most comfortable to them, as long as all of these tasks are completed. While these duties are often shared, it is important that every Local Leader/Admin be able and willing to take on any and all of these tasks if necessary.

A Buy Nothing Project Local Leader/Admin spends a bit of time each day checking the posts in their group to ensure they are within the scope of the rules, verifying and adding new members, modeling the behaviors and types of posts that inspire others in the community to participate and learn about the mission, and posting Admin Reminders or encouragement for more activity in the group as needed.

Local Leaders/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-leaders/admins.

We recommend that all Leaders/Admins have some access to a computer. Volunteers with access to Facebook only via their phone may have difficulty performing certain tasks.

Every Buy Nothing Project Admin lives in the hyper-local area where their group is located.

Here’s how Buy Nothing Project volunteers can help you set up a new group for your neighborhood:

1. Let us know that you would like to steward a group for your community by filling out the form at the bottom of this page. Since you know your region better than we do, think about what area makes sense as a single group. You’ll want an area large enough to gather members, but not so geographically large that it will be difficult for members to connect in person. Typically, we hope for no more than 20 minutes travel time from one end of a group to the other. Groups with over 30 minutes of travel from one end of a group to the other should be a rare exception for very sparsely populated rural areas. General population of an area comes into play as well, since the best way to reach our goal of being hyper-local groups is to keep the size of the group itself small enough to build community. We recommend an area with a population of 25,000 people or less.

2. Each group will need one or two volunteers. As you participate in our Admin Training Course, consider asking a neighbor to volunteer with you in this endeavor. All admins must have a Facebook account. If you do not have one, you’ll need to create one in order to get started. Once your group is set up, we will introduce you to our Buy Nothing Project Admin Hub where admins and volunteers communicate, collaborate and contribute to the Project as a whole. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with a Buy Nothing Project Development Team member regarding setting boundaries, creating a map, and setting up the Facebook group.

3. There is a link in the form to a Buy Nothing Admin Training group. The training is set up in a Facebook group and all the Units are available to complete at your own pace. Our Training and Development Teams will be collaborating with you to discuss rules and expectations, to help determine recommended geographical parameters for your group, and walk you through the steps for setting up the group.

4. Once the group is set up and you start getting requests from the general public to join, we will add your group to the Find-Your-Group list and map! We encourage you to invite your neighbors, and talk about the Buy Nothing Project wherever you go!

If you’ve requested to join the training group and the Training Team or Development Team needs additional information from you before you can be added to the training, we will reach out to you as quickly as possible. Please be sure to check your Facebook “message requests” folder. Message Requests: https://www.facebook.com/messages/requests/ 

Our Admin Reference Manual covers a wide range of topics and procedures, and provides a wealth of information for you to read at your own pace.

If you have any questions at all, the Admin Hub is a place where you’ll find answers! You can also connect here with independent one-on-one mentors and a variety of independent support groups.

After that, you can start posting in your group! We encourage all admins to set an example by posting offers and requests, as well as informative posts and helpful tips. You will find examples to get you started in the Admin Hub.

Keep in mind that the Buy Nothing Project is run entirely by volunteers, many with families and jobs, and there has recently been a huge influx of new-group requests. Thanks in advance for your patience!

Here is the direct link to our Google Form to get started!  https://goo.gl/forms/XwGdEnqmr3J7scjI3

653 thoughts

  1. Hi Sharona,

    If there isn’t a Buy Nothing group yet in your community (check this list which is updated frequently https://buynothingproject.org/find-a-group/ ), we’d love to see a gift economy started where you are. We just need a local volunteer to join us as admin (our entire network is run by volunteers).

    If you’re interested in becoming an Admin, please fill out the form you will find on the page in the following link. Once you have done so, the Development Admin for your area will contact you. Please have patience, this process is done in our volunteers’ free time, as such a reply may take some time, but I assure you they will respond. Currently there is a backlog of several weeks, due to the huge increase in interest; our Development Team is working diligently through the requests for new groups as quickly as they are able.

    https://buynothingproject.org/start-a-group/

    Thanks for your interest in our social experiment!

  2. Thanks for offering your time as an Admin to the Buy Nothing Project. I can confirm your inquiry has been received on August 29th. Please have patience, this process is done in our volunteers’ free time, as such a reply may take some time, but I assure you they will respond. Currently there is a backlog of several weeks, due to the huge increase in interest; our Development Team is working diligently through the requests for new groups as quickly as they are able.

  3. Hi Victoria,

    If there isn’t a Buy Nothing group yet in your community (check this list which is updated frequently https://buynothingproject.org/find-a-group/ ), we’d love to see a gift economy started where you are. We just need a local volunteer to join us as admin (our entire network is run by volunteers).

    If you’re interested in becoming an Admin, please fill out the form you will find on the page in the following link. Once you have done so, the Development Admin for your area will contact you. Please have patience, this process is done in our volunteers’ free time, as such a reply may take some time, but I assure you they will respond. Currently there is a backlog of several weeks, due to the huge increase in interest; our Development Team is working diligently through the requests for new groups as quickly as they are able.

    https://buynothingproject.org/start-a-group/

    Thanks for your interest in our social experiment!

  4. Hi Nicka,

    If there isn’t a Buy Nothing group yet in your community (check this list which is updated frequently https://buynothingproject.org/find-a-group/ ), we’d love to see a gift economy started where you are. We just need a local volunteer to join us as admin (our entire network is run by volunteers).

    If you’re interested in becoming an Admin, please fill out the form you will find on the page in the following link. Once you have done so, the Development Admin for your area will contact you. Please have patience, this process is done in our volunteers’ free time, as such a reply may take some time, but I assure you they will respond. Currently there is a backlog of several weeks, due to the huge increase in interest; our Development Team is working diligently through the requests for new groups as quickly as they are able.

    https://buynothingproject.org/start-a-group/

    Thanks for your interest in our social experiment!

  5. I would like to start a Buy Nothing group for Harlem, NY. There is already a large community of people sharing, bartering, and passing along free items, especially furniture and childrens’ items, but the offerings are scattered among a a half dozen general neighborhood groups. I think it would be wonderful to have a single resource for the community. Thank you!

  6. If I started a group in my area, what exactly are my responsibilities for keeping it going on Facebook? I want to be sure it will not be a large and time consuming commitment… thank you…

  7. I absolutely love this ideas everyone on Facebook now a days is trying to just make a quick penny buy selling literally everything they can it would be so nice just to see others helping others when needed l. I live in a small town in Iowa that has a cluster of small towns around us with not many major store really close by I feel this would be perfect for us and I would love to admin the area!

  8. Hi Sarah,

    If there isn’t a Buy Nothing group yet in your community (check this list which is updated frequently https://buynothingproject.org/find-a-group/ ), we’d love to see a gift economy started where you are. We just need a local volunteer to join us as admin (our entire network is run by volunteers).

    If you’re interested in becoming an Admin, please fill out the form you will find on the page in the following link. Once you have done so, the Development Admin for your area will contact you. Please have patience, this process is done in our volunteers’ free time, as such a reply may take some time, but I assure you they will respond. Currently there is a backlog of several weeks, due to the huge increase in interest; our Development Team is working diligently through the requests for new groups as quickly as they are able.

    https://buynothingproject.org/start-a-group/

    Thanks for your interest in our social experiment!

  9. Hi Janice,

    Thanks for considering having us start a group for your area, and becoming an Admin for that group. It is wise for you to learn a bit about the role before taking it on. This page is a good starting point to learn about the responsibilities of an Admin for Buy Nothing.

    https://buynothingproject.org/join-our-team

    If you still find yourself unsure if you can commit enough time, perhaps you can find a neighbor to help Co-Admin alongside you. Having a Co-Admin team is advisable, because sometimes a solo Admin needs to take time away, and that leaves the group with no one Admining it.

    Thanks for your interest in our Social Experiment!

  10. Hi!

    If there isn’t a Buy Nothing group yet in your community (check this list which is updated frequently https://buynothingproject.org/find-a-group/ ), we’d love to see a gift economy started where you are. We just need a local volunteer to join us as admin (our entire network is run by volunteers).

    If you’re interested in becoming an Admin, please fill out the form you will find on the page in the following link. Once you have done so, the Development Admin for your area will contact you. Please have patience, this process is done in our volunteers’ free time, as such a reply may take some time, but I assure you they will respond. Currently there is a backlog of several weeks, due to the huge increase in interest; our Development Team is working diligently through the requests for new groups as quickly as they are able.

    https://buynothingproject.org/start-a-group/

    Thanks for your interest in our social experiment!

  11. Hi Nikki,

    Thanks for offering your time to the Buy Nothing Project as an Admin for a local group for your area. Please have patience, this process is done in our volunteers’ free time, as such a reply may take some time, but I assure you they will respond. Currently there is a backlog of several weeks, due to the huge increase in interest; our Development Team is working diligently through the requests for new groups as quickly as they are able.

    Thanks for your interest in our Social Experiment.

  12. Hi,

    If there isn’t a Buy Nothing group yet in your community (check this list which is updated frequently https://buynothingproject.org/find-a-group/ ), we’d love to see a gift economy started where you are. We just need a local volunteer to join us as admin (our entire network is run by volunteers).

    If you’re interested in becoming an Admin, please fill out the form you will find on the page in the following link. Once you have done so, the Development Admin for your area will contact you. Please have patience, this process is done in our volunteers’ free time, as such a reply may take some time, but I assure you they will respond. Currently there is a backlog of several weeks, due to the huge increase in interest; our Development Team is working diligently through the requests for new groups as quickly as they are able.

    https://buynothingproject.org/start-a-group/

    Thanks for your interest in our social experiment!

  13. There is one other group in my city (Fremont) but we are not in the area. I would like to start one for my area as well.

    Thank you.

    Jonalyn

  14. Hi Jonalyn,

    If there isn’t a Buy Nothing group yet in your community (check this list which is updated frequently https://buynothingproject.org/find-a-group/ ), we’d love to see a gift economy started where you are. We just need a local volunteer to join us as admin (our entire network is run by volunteers).

    If you’re interested in becoming an Admin, please fill out the form you will find on the page in the following link. Once you have done so, the Development Admin for your area will contact you. Please have patience, this process is done in our volunteers’ free time, as such a reply may take some time, but I assure you they will respond. Currently there is a backlog of several weeks, due to the huge increase in interest; our Development Team is working diligently through the requests for new groups as quickly as they are able.

    https://buynothingproject.org/start-a-group/

    Thanks for your interest in our social experiment!

  15. Hi Connie,

    Thanks for offering your time to the Buy Nothing Project as an Admin for a local group. It is not important to share your Facebook URL. In time a Development Admin will contact you by email.

    Please have patience, this process is done in our volunteers’ free time, as such a reply may take some time, but I assure you they will respond. Currently there is a backlog of several weeks, due to the huge increase in interest; our Development Team is working diligently through the requests for new groups as quickly as they are able.

    Thanks for your interest in our Social Experiment!

  16. Hi Mike,

    If there isn’t a Buy Nothing group yet in your community (check this list which is updated frequently https://buynothingproject.org/find-a-group/ ), we’d love to see a gift economy started where you are. We just need a local volunteer to join us as admin (our entire network is run by volunteers).

    If you’re interested in becoming an Admin, please fill out the form you will find on the page in the following link. Once you have done so, the Development Admin for your area will contact you. Please have patience, this process is done in our volunteers’ free time, as such a reply may take some time, but I assure you they will respond. Currently there is a backlog of several weeks, due to the huge increase in interest; our Development Team is working diligently through the requests for new groups as quickly as they are able.

    https://buynothingproject.org/start-a-group/

    Thanks for your interest in our Social Experiment!

  17. Hello there…. I’m Tarence from Malaysia… I’d like to start a buy nothing community in my neighborhood… Plse advise… Tqvm

  18. Hi … I submitted my interest in starting a group about 2 weeks ago….how long doe it normally take?

  19. I’d love to start a group in League City Texas. The area was somewhat affected by Hurricane Harvey. Other areas in LC like where I am were not. This would be such a great resource right now and in the future!!

  20. i have searched this group in abilene and i did not find any and thats why this is an opportunity to give a chance to the people. please contact me.

  21. Hi Tarence,

    If there isn’t a Buy Nothing group yet in your community (check this list which is updated frequently https://buynothingproject.org/find-a-group/ ), we’d love to see a gift economy started where you are. We just need a local volunteer to join us as Admin (our entire network is run by volunteers).

    If you’re interested in becoming an Admin, please fill out the form you will find on the page in the following link. Once you have done so, the Development Admin for your area will contact you. Please have patience, this process is done in our volunteers’ free time, as such a reply may take some time, but I assure you they will respond. Currently there is a backlog of several weeks, due to the huge increase in interest; our Development Team is working diligently through the requests for new groups as quickly as they are able.

    https://buynothingproject.org/start-a-group/

    Thanks for your interest in our social experiment!

  22. Hi Michelle,
    Thanks for offering your time to the Buy Nothing Project as an Admin,

    The Development Admin for your area will contact you. Please have patience, this process is done in our volunteers’ free time, as such a reply may take some time, but I assure you they will respond. Currently there is a backlog of several weeks, due to the huge increase in interest; our Development Team is working diligently through the requests for new groups as quickly as they are able.

    We look forward to having you as part of the Admin Team, as soon as we are able!

  23. Hi April,

    If there isn’t a Buy Nothing group yet in your community (check this list which is updated frequently https://buynothingproject.org/find-a-group/ ), we’d love to see a gift economy started where you are. We just need a local volunteer to join us as admin (our entire network is run by volunteers).

    If you’re interested in becoming an Admin, please fill out the form you will find on the page in the following link. Once you have done so, the Development Admin for your area will contact you. Please have patience, this process is done in our volunteers’ free time, as such a reply may take some time, but I assure you they will respond. Currently there is a backlog of several weeks, due to the huge increase in interest; our Development Team is working diligently through the requests for new groups as quickly as they are able.

    https://buynothingproject.org/start-a-group/

    Thanks for your interest in our social experiment!

  24. Hi Suzy,

    If there isn’t a Buy Nothing group yet in your community (check this list which is updated frequently https://buynothingproject.org/find-a-group/ ), we’d love to see a gift economy started where you are. We just need a local volunteer to join us as admin (our entire network is run by volunteers).

    If you’re interested in becoming an Admin, please fill out the form you will find on the page in the following link. Once you have done so, the Development Admin for your area will contact you. Please have patience, this process is done in our volunteers’ free time, as such a reply may take some time, but I assure you they will respond. Currently there is a backlog of several weeks, due to the huge increase in interest; our Development Team is working diligently through the requests for new groups as quickly as they are able.

    https://buynothingproject.org/start-a-group/

    Thanks for your interest in our social experiment!

  25. Hi Jessica,

    If there isn’t a Buy Nothing group yet in your community (check this list which is updated frequently https://buynothingproject.org/find-a-group/ ), we’d love to see a gift economy started where you are. We just need a local volunteer to join us as admin (our entire network is run by volunteers).

    If you’re interested in becoming an Admin, please fill out the form you will find on the page in the following link. Once you have done so, the Development Admin for your area will contact you. Please have patience, this process is done in our volunteers’ free time, as such a reply may take some time, but I assure you they will respond. Currently there is a backlog of several weeks, due to the huge increase in interest; our Development Team is working diligently through the requests for new groups as quickly as they are able.

    https://buynothingproject.org/start-a-group/

    Thanks for your interest in our social experiment!

  26. Hi Eunice,

    If there isn’t a Buy Nothing group yet in your community (check this list which is updated frequently https://buynothingproject.org/find-a-group/ ), we’d love to see a gift economy started where you are. We just need a local volunteer to join us as admin (our entire network is run by volunteers).

    If you’re interested in becoming an Admin, please fill out the form you will find on the page in the following link. Once you have done so, the Development Admin for your area will contact you. Please have patience, this process is done in our volunteers’ free time, as such a reply may take some time, but I assure you they will respond. Currently there is a backlog of several weeks, due to the huge increase in interest; our Development Team is working diligently through the requests for new groups as quickly as they are able.

    https://buynothingproject.org/start-a-group/

    Thanks for your interest in our social experiment!

  27. Hi, I have tried several times to fill out the app to begin a group, however when I select my region it directs to a comments page. Any advice? Thanks!

  28. Hi Toni,

    I’m sorry to learn you are having trouble getting our “Start-A-Group” form to work correctly. Please look for an email from me later tonight.

  29. Hi Kathryn,

    If there isn’t a Buy Nothing group yet in your community (check this list which is updated frequently https://buynothingproject.org/find-a-group/ ), we’d love to see a gift economy started where you are. We just need a local volunteer to join us as admin (our entire network is run by volunteers).

    If you’re interested in becoming an Admin, please fill out the form you will find on the page in the following link. Once you have done so, the Development Admin for your area will contact you. Please have patience, this process is done in our volunteers’ free time, as such a reply may take some time, but I assure you they will respond. Currently there is a backlog of several weeks, due to the huge increase in interest; our Development Team is working diligently through the requests for new groups as quickly as they are able.

    https://buynothingproject.org/start-a-group/

    Thanks for your interest in our social experiment

  30. I want to see this in my area. I’m in the Schertz/ Cibolo Texas area. I will consider being an admin if I have to.

  31. Hi, would love to start up a buy nothing group in my area. Suburb name is Darch. It is 16 KMs from Perth City, in Western Australia. I do have a profile on Facebook [removed for privacy].

    Would like to be administration of group if possible. Thank you Tania Guerrero

  32. I’d like to propose a Golden Hill/ Grant Hill: Sherman Heights group in San Diego County. We are located on the border of four existing groups but the North Park north border is very far away while the Barrio group is hardly active perhaps because of a culture of giving, sharing food, helping neighbors, etc exists on its own without Facebook. I am very active in my community and can begin easily with 100 group members for his subdivision. Thank you!

  33. Hello
    My state and area (Las Cruces, New Mexico) is not on your list nor do we have anything like this in our community. I feel a lot of people here can really benefit from this type of group, and I’d be more than happy to help out with it!

  34. There is no group for the Colma, Daly City, California neighborhood.
    I’d be interested in starting a group.

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