This page summarises our agreed Best Practice for running a Freegle group. Each point has a link to further information on Best Practice Notes.
Freegle promotes reuse. We need to make sure that using Freegle Groups 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
The Freegle Volunteer Agreement outlines expectations of Freegle and Volunteers. The intent of this is to support Freegle and group members, and to safeguard our reputation. All the advice below is within the context of the Basic Requirements of a Freegle Group#Local Rules.
For safeguarding,there needs to be back up arrangements in place, so
- Have at least two volunteers with full moderation privileges, including adding new moderators, for your group.
- Make sure that Mentors know who all your Volunteers are, and all Volunteers know they can ask them for holiday or long term support (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Your group’s home pages (Yahoo, FD, Facebook etc) should be welcoming, quick and easy to read and understand, include the Freegle logo and link, and be up to date and personal to your community.
New Freeglers need an easy start
- Use open membership to keep your joining process as quick and simple as possible.
- Ensure all posts, especially first posts, are dealt with swiftly and sympathetically.
- Don’t overwhelm new members with lots of admin emails.
Ideally, moderation of messages needs to be at least every few hours . Put members who correctly format their messages on Group settings (unmoderated) as soon as practicable for your team.
Simple and minimal rules
Keep rules to a bare minimum to enable the smooth running of the Group. A lot of Groups impose rules that members have no idea exist! Apply them fairly, always politely, and with flexibility where appropriate.
‘Wanted’ posts are a good thing
As long as the post is legal and free, equally accept a wanted or an offer as a first post from members. People that want other’s unwanted stuff are essential for your Freegle Group to work. Wanted requests should be encouraged and not overly restricted.
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
You are providing a service which is helping your members get in touch with one another to keep stuff out of the waste stream, so be a friendly, courteous and welcoming host.
Handling problems and complaints from members can be one of the trickiest jobs for a moderator. How a group handles problems is a reflection on the group and Freegle. There is a wealth of advice in the Wiki that has been compiled by experienced Freegle moderators on dealing with issues and complaints.
Don’t lose potential Freeglers
Make it quick and easy for new members to join Freegle and start freegling. And make all members feel welcome into your community.
Use tools to make it easier to run or use your Group
Freegle Direct, Modtools, Freegle app, Facebook and Twitter can help to make your group more accessible for you and/or your members.
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 and advice.
Publicise your group
The more people who know about your group, the better service it will offer your community. 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 2015/2016. This summary was discussed and added in July/August 2017. Splitting the whole document into two pages was done as part of the whole wiki review in light of ditching Yahoo.
Link: Running Your Group