Start a Group

© Liesl Clark
© Liesl Clark
The Buy Nothing Project is made up of a worldwide network of hyper-local gift economies. Official groups are set up on Facebook using our copyright protected documents, artwork and images so that every branch of our network operates under the same Mission and guiding Principles. We are an incubator, seeding local gift economies all over the world. We provide our materials through a Creative Commons license and give local volunteers leadership training on how to steward a local community group. We also connect volunteers in a network of Local, Regional, Development, and Global Teams of volunteers to provide support and answer questions.


Would you like to join an Admin team for an existing local Buy Nothing group? Please check this page for more information about the admin role in the Buy Nothing Project. Check with the admin of your group to find out if there are openings in your neighborhood! Once you’ve made that connection, please be sure to connect with someone from the Regional Team to learn how to participate in our training! You can also email us at if you have any questions.


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 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!


The primary responsibility of the Local Admin is to uphold, through example and explanation, the Mission and Principles of the Buy Nothing Project.


As stewards of our Mission to their varied local communities, our 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!


Every local admin volunteer in the Buy Nothing Project is similarly connected through our network of volunteers. Buy Nothing volunteers uphold, through example and explanation, the Mission of the Buy Nothing Project. We also have opportunity to collaborate within the project to strengthen our communities and the Buy Nothing Project as a whole.


The primary duties of the Local Admin are to:
· Regularly review posts and comments, and take action regarding posts and comments that do not fit within our 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;
· Participate in the hyper-localization (sprouting) process when you feel your group is ready, as our goal is to have a worldwide network of hyper-local gift economies;
· Review our volunteer-centered forums and groups, and participate in these groups in order to engage and collaborate with other volunteers and admins.
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 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 Admin be able and willing to take on any and all of these tasks if necessary.


A Buy Nothing Project local volunteer admin spends a bit of time each day checking the posts in their group to ensure they are within the scope of our rules, verifying and adding new members, modeling preferred behaviors and types of posts to 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 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.


We recommend that all 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 we 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 take our 7-day Training Course, and collaborate with a Buy Nothing Project Development Team member, consider asking a neighbor to join you in this endeavor. All of our 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 your Regional Team, and we will invite you to join our Buy Nothing Project Admin support and resource groups, where our admins and volunteers communicate, collaborate and contribute to the Project as a whole.


3. There is a link in the form to a Buy Nothing Admin Training group of which there are 2 each month, starting on the 1st and 15th. Through the 7-day training, our Training and Development Teams will be in touch with you to discuss the geographical area for your group, and then we’ll walk you through the steps for setting it up.

4. Once the group is set up and we have introduced you to the rest of the Regional volunteer team, we will add your group to the Find-Your-Group page, and you will start getting requests from the general public to join! We encourage you to invite your neighbors, and talk about the Buy Nothing Project wherever you go!


Once you send us a request to start a new group, wait until the Training group begins on either the 1st or the 15th, the specific date will be indicated in the group’s name. 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: 


After your training session, we’ll ask you to become a member of the Buy Nothing Project Volunteer Resource Center and your Local Admin Support Team, where you will be provided with further details on how we perform each of these tasks. 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, please do not hesitate to ask. Your Regional Team, the other Local Admins in your Region, and the Global Team are all available to support and assist you whenever possible.


After that, you just start posting! We encourage all our 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 our Admin groups.


Keep in mind that this project is made up entirely of 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!

653 thoughts

  1. Hi, I would love to start a buy nothing group in Sheridan Indiana. This town would benefit this type of group and the community would really enjoy it. Thank you

  2. Wouldn’t it be better to have a group expand it’s boundaries some instead of starting a brand new group?

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