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Managing a Fundraiser
by Deane Brengle
"In Kind Donation" has taken on a whole new meaning with the advent of Freecycle.
Is your nonprofit in need of items and short on money? A fax machine for the office? A kitchen table for the break room? Or perhaps you need items for your constituents? Clothing? Household items? Or you're a teacher in need of classroom supplies?
Freecycle may be able to help.
The Freecycle Network is a nonprofit organization and a movement of people interested in keeping good stuff out of landfills. It's completely internet based and broken down into local groups by geography. Using the web, it connects folks offering items with those looking for them.
The Freecycle Network was started in May 2003 to promote waste reduction in Tucson, Arizona's downtown and help save the desert landscape from being taken over by landfills. The one main rule is this- Everything must be free. And they back it up too, by providing the service completely free- there is no charge to join or post messages. It's a huge success with over 4,000 local community Freecycle groups and over 3.7 million members.
Nonprofit groups are also welcome to participate too! There are two ways you can acquire items your nonprofit needs.
The first is to look for items that others are offering. These goods will be listed on the Freecycle site with the subject line- Offer: (name of item here). It will be followed by a description of the item and a link to contact the owner of the item. You contact the owner to express your interest in the item, ask any questions, close the deal, and arrange to pick it up.
The second way to acquire items is to post a Wanted notice. It helps to be very descriptive about what you want and to explain that you are a nonprofit and what the requested item will be used for. This helps to eliminate time consuming back and forth emails. Some nonprofits post wanted listing for goods to use in auctions and yard type sales.
A word of caution: Any time you are meeting with a stranger (and not just through Freecycle), use common sense. Arrange to meet at a neutral site or their place, never yours. Don't go alone, take someone with you. And leave notice with someone about where you are going. Protect yourself from predators.
Can Freecycle work for you? Definitely. Will it be worth your while? Maybe. There is only one way to find out. Surf on over to their website and sign up for your local Freecycle group- http://www.freecycle.org/
About the Author:
Deane Brengle is the editor of several free online publications that cover fundraising for small nonprofit groups. You can visit these publications and read more about fundraising in articles by him and other experts in the field at The Fund$Raiser Cyberzine, The Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter, and Fundraising Booklets.
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ISSN 1530-6127 - Library of Congress, Washington DC, USA
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