This page summarises our agreed Best Practice for running a Freegle community. Each point has a link to further information on Best Practice Notes.
Freegle promotes reuse. We need to make sure that using Freegle is as quick, easy and enjoyable as possible for us and our members. Further explanation about each of these points can be found at Best Practice Notes
Our Aims outlines expectations of Freegle and Volunteers. The intent of this is to support Freegle and members, and to safeguard our reputation. All the advice below is within the context of the Basic Requirements of a Freegle Group#Local Rules.
To safeguard your community and give you peace of mind, have backup arrangements in place.
- Make sure all of your Volunteer Team know they can contact Mentors to get some help - email [firstname.lastname@example.org](mailto:email@example.com)
- Exchange contact information with your chosen other volunteers locally and/or nationally in case of crisis.
Home pages (Freegle website, Facebook etc.) should be welcoming and quick and easy to read. All website homepages should have a logo or local picture, tagline, welcoming message and, optionally, local rules. To do this, go to Settings in Modtools.
New Freeglers need an easy start
- Ensure all posts, especially first posts, are dealt with swiftly and sympathetically.
- Don’t overwhelm members with lots of admin emails.
Ideally, moderation of messages needs to be at least every few hours. Put members who post correctly on Group Settings (unmoderated).
Simple and minimal rules
Keep rules short and to the point. Apply them fairly, always politely, and with flexibility where appropriate. Your community rules are for your community only, it’s not acceptable to try to enforce your rules on other communities, such as asking your member to leave another community.
Don’t knock enthusiasm
It isn't an indication of ill intent if a member is a ‘multi-joiner’ or makes lots of requests. Freegle is about encouraging reuse, so people who are able to travel or need things are not going against our objects. They don’t need to be removed or restricted unless there is a very good reason to do so. Occasionally, there will be people who exploit Freegle - but this is rare, and you should assume that people are innocent and kind until proven guilty.
‘Wanted’ posts are a good thing
Equally accept requests or offers as first and subsequent posts from members. Our primary purpose is to keep things in use, so members who reuse those items are essential for Freegle. Requests should be encouraged, with no restrictions on numbers of wanted posts or numbers of items requested.
Avoid rejecting messages
Members have made the effort to post a message, so unless it contravenes core rules (free and legal), try not to reject it. Editing a message and, if needed, sending a friendly personal message to the member to explain the rules, whilst promoting Freegle Direct (if available) as an easy way to compose messages, will be more effective in the long run.
Impression of you and Freegle
We are providing a service which is helping your members get in touch with one another to keep stuff out of the waste stream, so let’s be good hosts.
Handling problems and complaints from members is tricky. Finding the balance between running the community how you would like it to be run and how members would like you to run it is not always easy but is important to do well.
Use tools/services to make it easier to run or use your Community
Take up some or all of the helpful tools and services that Freegle makes available for your members and you.
Ask for help
You are not alone. All Freegle volunteers are in this together, we have a shared mission, so take advantage of others’ experience, friendship and advice.
Publicise your community
The more people who know about your community, the better it will be for freegling. Make use of national publicity tools to spread the word and get more members.
Freegle is run collectively by all of us, so make sure that you are involved and informed about Freegle nationally.
Get to know other Freegle Mods
Chatting to other Freegle volunteers can help put a 'face' to people and to establish better rapport for good and bad times.
Note: The guidelines on Best Practice Notes were last formally discussed and amended on Development Group in 2021.