Member Resources

How To Bring About Positive Change Within a Group To Help It Come Closer To The Buy Nothing Project Vision

Q: I’ve read through your Rules and suggested best practices and my local admin is doing something quite different in our group. How can we bring the group more in line with a Buy Nothing Project group as outlined on your website?

A: Each local Buy Nothing Project group is run solely by its local leadership team (admins in Facebook-speak). These volunteers spend countless hours nurturing the group in service to their local community, bringing the Buy Nothing Project to life for their own communities. If you see ways that your local group could change to be more in line with the Buy Nothing mission, or have new suggestions about how to bring new depth to the mission, please share them with your group! Each group is a work in progress, and there is always room for change and movement to better bring the mission to life. The Buy Nothing Project publishes Global Standard documents with public copyrights that can be used as-is or adapted by local group leaders, and each local group’s leadership team answers only to its members. The more you take an active role in your group, the stronger it will be. Here are some tips and resources we hope you will find useful: 

— First, please use all of the resources available to all members on our website to try to answer your questions or better understand the reasoning behind the Global Standard Rules. We have the following pages that can help you:

Mission & Principles
The Fine Print
– Community Agreement

— If your question or concern hasn’t been answered through the resources on our website, you could post in your group about the particular rule or suggested best practices that you’d like to bring to your group. Invite your fellow group members and leaders to join you in a conversation about this. The Global Standard rules encourage members to post their gratitude, thoughts, and concerns about their groups and gift economy thinking itself. Bringing ideas and suggestions to your group in a post is a great way to get engage everyone in the basic Mission and Principles of a Buy Nothing group, building an understanding of what a Buy Nothing Project group has the potential to become.

— Private Message your local group leadership team at the same time, inviting a direct conversation about your suggestions or concerns. You are welcome to use documents from this website to support your questions or concerns.

— You could suggest some of your members and local leaders get together to discuss how to help your group further embrace the ideals and standards the Buy Nothing Project promotes, and suggest ways to creatively shift the existing culture in your group. Person-to-person discussions are always much more productive than those in online forums. We encourage a sense of ownership by the members of the Buy Nothing mission and principles, which are for all neighbors. Buy Nothing Project volunteers work hard to create documents that will help people around the world build gift economies to strengthen their own communities. 

— If you’ve been in another Buy Nothing group and your new group feels quite different, post to your new group, sharing your experiences and observations. Describe what you enjoyed, what may not have worked well for you, and offer your suggestions about how your group can become an even stronger gift economy. Be the change you want to see and model what you’ve seen happen in other Buy Nothing groups.

— Offer your support to your local admin(s) if you’d like to help. Perhaps you can help as an admin, as a moderator, or with the membership queue. All Buy Nothing group leaders are encouraged to take part in our Admin Training as well as our Volunteer Resource Center. We are a global network of volunteers, all are here to support your local group and its leaders.

— If you’ve been waiting in the queue to join the group, to no avail, please contact your local admins, not the Buy Nothing Project. You can also see if you have any Facebook friends in the group. If so, you could contact those friends and ask them to post in the group, asking why there are people pending in the queue.

— Take our free online course about how to build a local gift economy. It will give you insights into how to run a healthy and equitable sharing economy in your community and gives you options for doing so. 

— Join our new BuyNothing app! It’s available to anyone and you’re welcome to start building your local gift economy through the app. (It will be available in just a few months, so please sign up!) 

— If all of your efforts have proven fruitless, you can read about all of your options for starting your own Buy Nothing gift economy in your community so you and your neighbors can all build just what you’d like to see in your community. 

(most recent update to this page 28 August 2020)