Charity CHAMPs – get involved with microphilanthropy now!


Recycle and get free stuff with Freecycle.org and Bluebin.org by sylvng
August 16, 2009, 5:38 pm
Filed under: General Charity Musings, Microphilanthropy | Tags: , , ,

As a former eBay employee, my first approach to getting rid of things I don’t want is selling.  I’ve sold all sorts of things on  on eBay, and for bigger items that are hard or expensive to ship, I’ve used Kijiji or Craigslist. As great as those sites are however, there have always been 2 things limiting me from using them more: 1) it’s very time consuming to make a posting (you need to do price comparisons, upload photos, write detailed descriptions, etc.), and 2) I always think that  I can probably do more “good” by giving the items away to charity instead.

Well this month I have come across 2 sites that solve both those problems by being focused solely on the giving and receiving of free stuff for the purposes of doing good – both by diverting from landfills and by helping people in the local community who can use certain items.

  1. Freecycle.org – this organization has grown tremendously since its inception in 2003 and now has over 7M users worldwide. The interesting thing about FreeCycle is that it’s nothing super high-tech. It uses Yahoo Groups to bring together people in local communities, and “postings” are essentially emails to the group list. You can post both wanted and offer ads easily, with many ads being only one line long, so it’s really easy to list. What I like most about it is that by browsing the wanted ads I can basically offer things to people who are in need.
  2. Bluebin.org – this site was just launched this month, and while they don’t have the huge user base that Freecycle has just yet, it shows great promise. The site is more “web 2.0”, with a very easy and intuitive to use interface that does allow photos that you can’t do with FreeCycle, and a Twitter account for you to follow. Since they are new, they are looking for feedback for improvements and new features, so this would be a great way for you to get involved with a new microphilanthropy site.

And of course, if you’re actually looking for stuff, this is a great way to find things for free.  A quick browse of FreeCycle right now gives  you things from kid’s playhouses to shirts, fans, and even top soil! Try it out!

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2 Comments so far
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Freecycle, while a brilliant concept, has become too corporate. The Board of Directors is closed & NOT representative of the masses of volunteers who actually run the groups. Now that they have discovered the joy of funding, they are forcing new groups to be formed on their own platform (my.freecycle.org) even though that platform is still being beta tested & is not ready for “public consumption”. Existing groups are being forced onto this platform also, since advertising revenue goes to Freecycle and NOT Yahoo.

We all believe in recycling by gifting to others, but Freecycle upper echelon is not open to suggestions or feedback from the moderators, who generously give hours of their time in an effort to give back to their communities. Such a shame…

Comment by karma

This was a really great read, I am very glad I came across your site.

Comment by pure water




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