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The Freecycle Network

Rating: 2.56 stars   27 reviews 756

Nonprofit Issues:

Environment

Address:

Tucson AZ 85702 USA

Mission:

Programs:

Our mission is to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community.

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www.freecycle.org

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Reviews for The Freecycle Network

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been moderating with Freecycle since 2011 and love the site.It keeps items out of landfill and helps people furnish their homes for free.best organisation on the internet.keep it going folks :)

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been with Freecycle.org since 2004 and have watched the organization grow and continue to keep usable items out of the landfill. Groups have moved away from the awful Yahoo neo group system onto Freecycle's own network. If a group does not have a local moderator, the interim moderator team takes care of the group and actively searches for someone local.
Freecycle.org is still run by a great network of volunteers who work together to keep recycling items.

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I have been A UK volunteer with Freecycle(R) for over 4 years now, and I love it, Many people say its just an American run organization, I can catogorically say that is not true, grass roots running of this organization is now UK and American.
Many many people have been helped by Freecycle(R) to set up homes and when they are in need of something that they can not yet find the cash for, Items are kept out of landfill and many members make friendships as well, It's a win win situation.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The best thing about being involved as a volunteer with Freecycle is the team work! I have never felt so supported nor so listened to by staff! My voice is heard to help the groups run more effectively and efficiently. There is a Wish List for all volunteers to submit and vote on what they think is most important for the tech team to develop onsite next. The member and mod support is second to none--for a nonprofit with only a couple of paid staff, these volunteers are always able to help with any tech issues immediately. Help is always only an email away.

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Fantastic organization that reduces landfill, helps people and helps the community. I've met several members to complete exchanges and everyone has been a pleasure to interact with and I look forward to meeting many more. I highly recommend this organization.

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Rating: 1 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I began with the Freecycle Network soon after it was first created as a grass-roots organization. The concept is great - give things you no longer want to others who can use them. The problems came later when the decision was made to take back the grass-roots groups and form a non-profit company. At that time, the founder, Deron Beal, began threatening volunteers, throwing many out of the organization. He even began legal proceedings against one volunteer. He ultimately lost, but the damage was done.

He also attempted to steal information from the Yahoo! Groups that were used in the initial grassroots program to set up his own groups and reap the advertising revenue. When confronted by volunteers, he claimed to have permission. When Yahoo! was contacted, they stated unequivocally that it was against their Terms of Service and demanded he stop. Even when confronted with this information, he continued to claim he was acting ethically, yet he did shut down that program.

What was once a wonderful group of people became a centrally controlled company. There continue to only be three members of the board of directors, Deron Beal, his wife, and a family friend. They continue to remove volunteers who ask questions remaining secretive and appearing paranoid to many volunteers who remain.

Unfortunately, a wonderful program was destroyed by these actions and what remains is only a shell of what should have been.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I met wonderful people, but left due to the unethical behavior. I continued the same work in other freecycle groups that did not have the ethical problems that The Freecycle Netwok has.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Return to the grassroots program that it started with. Open the board of directors to more people.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

No

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Okay

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Listen to the volunteer and allow them to speak freely.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I met wonderful people. I learned how to run a Yahoo! Group.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Sad. What could have been amazing became sadly twisted.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Rating: 1 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

the Freecycle Network is chaired by a maniacal dictator that thinks nothing about spending money to do what can be done without cost. He created the Freecycle network to take control of the grassroots program that was founded on Yahoo and is still running, without costs, and created a network that now requires a 50K a year salary and money paid out to programmers and others to duplicate what he had on Yahoo for free. He now has the expense of programmers, servers and support staff as well as his salary not to mention the thousands of dollars spent on a legal action in a weak attempt to take away the name Freecycle and close down the groups on Yahoo doing exactly what he does. The 'network' is run with a dictatorial hand and anyone asking questions and pushing for answers is generally censored or removed from the network. This so-called charity drains money from other deserving charities by taking money to duplicate what others are doing just as successfully, if not more successfully on Yahoo for free. Deron Beal turned what was Freecycle into a cash cow for himself, it has nothing to do with charity or saving the planet. When Deron can't turn a buck the Freecycle network will shut down.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I was on the recieving end of Mr. Beal's lawsuit. I was forced to change the name of my group until he finally lost the action and we were allowed to once again call ourselves Freecycle. I've been on the receiving end of his threats, attacks and harassment.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get rid of Deron Beal and take the group back to Yahoo where it works just as well and does not take money from deserving charities

Would you volunteer for this group again?

No

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Get rid of Deron Beal and the expenses he has CREATED so he can line his pockets.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I've met lots of new friends and been able to make a difference in my community.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Running my group helps me to make a difference in my community and do so without draining the pockets of deserving charities.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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1 previous review
Rating: 1 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I was with FC when it began as a grassroots movement, when it was truly what might be considered charitable. That was before Deron Beal the would-be king decided to change all the rules and turn it into a charity for him and his family. Most of the money donated to FC is laundered and placed in the personal bank accounts of Deron, his family and friends. Very little of it ever gets to the community. Right now he is trying to scam Pepsi out of $250,000 by having members of the FC community in the UK and others out side the U.S. vote for his bank account. He has encouraged them to create false email accounts and use their dogs, cats, birds and anything else they can think of to rig the contest in his favor. FC is not about community, it is about a man and his quest for riches.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

make Deron Beal rich.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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Rating: 1 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Recently TFN lost their court appeal trying to trademark the term "freecycle". Greed & control are what Deron Beal cares about most. Why does the Board of Directors consist only of Deron, his wife & their close personal friend? The many unpaid volunteers that actually do the daily work of moderating have NEVER been given a voice in the direction of TFN. If we ask questions, we are silenced.

When Deron spent grant money to create TFN's own Freecycle site, it was to generate money for TFN (including his salary) instead of allowing groups to continue for FREE on the Yahoo group platform. It's also about control- Deron's control. The TFN site (my.freecycle.org) is still being beta tested & there is no reason is should not yet be fully functional.

All new groups are FORCED to be implemented on that system, even if a local moderator prefers the well-known Yahoo site. And if an existing group on the Yahoo platform allows TFN to have "temporary" control through an "interim moderator" or an "emergency response team rep", that group will ALSO be forced onto the my.freecycle platform. Of course there's really no such thing as "temporary" once TFN gains control. Group moderators are "required" to live in the immediate area their group covers- but a "imod" or "ert rep" can run a group in a totally different STATE for years! And this is done with TFN's knowledge! Rules & guidelines are applied inconsistently, at TFN's convenience- NOT necessarily in the best interest of the members served!

Freecycle is a wonderful concept, but TFN has become corrupted by power.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Wonderful, giving moderators & members who truly care about reducing what would go into our landfills by gifting usable items to others.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The Board should be opened up to include representation of the volunteer moderators.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 1 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

I was with this organization at a very high level since the incpetion of TFN. I assisted locally, nationally and internationally. I saw what happened when the originator of TFN stole back the various groups by non-profitting the name without a vote. I saw the mass exodusses of groups over and over, year after year all becuase the ED refused to give the people who were building this organizaiton a vote. The ED lost the respect of folks as he lied about issues, the final straw for many being when he stated he had a written agreement with Yahoo to violate their TOS agreement, and in the end, Yahoo unheld their TOS and shut down the TFN function. The concept of TFN is great; however, the organization lacks any true success due to the failings of an ED who can not tell the truth, operates from a place of paranoia and lacks the basic knowledge of how to grow this organization with any integrity.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

assisting with the organization at all levels.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The ED, as well meaning as he is, needs to be replaced, along with the current BOD. The BOD consists of the ED, his wife and best friend. There is no accountability within the organiaztion. There is no integrity within the organization.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

meeting people from all over the world

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

various personalities, most nice, some very paranoid

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change recycling, but not with the current ED

Ways to make it better...

the organiation had remained grassroots, community owned groups like it was supposed to be

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

a corrupt BOD and an ED that refuses to relinquish control

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-6-01

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Rating: 1 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

I have been with fc since 2004. I own former groups as myself and other owners took 5 groups away from fc control. deron is a dictator who lives by the rule, My way or else. If you ever get to talk to him, your teenager sounds more mature. Hard to think of him as an adult when the answer he gives is WHATEVER!! Real mature there deron. And how does he need so much money for a freecycle?? It is run on Yahoo groups for FREE. So what does he need millions of dollars for? I know, so he doesn't have to work. His aw golly gee line is old and tiring. Answer the tough questions deron. On the ModSquad and OIDG. We , the former owners of the original fc groups dare you. Or answer on here. But you won't. And on the last note, on our astroturf groups ( replacement ) the beggars are prevalent there. The ones wanitng money for their light bills, homes for their grandkids, someone to provide Christmas for their family, this is what we lost taking our, I repeat, OUR groups from fc. You want to knwo what changed when we took them off the fc platform?? NOTHING. Members could have cared less.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

do away with deron and his wife and friend as the BOD of the organization. Keep it free, no money for deron and let the owners run their own groups.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

most are rude, arrogant,heavy handed people. Some owners and their husbands talk down to members, call them out on group. Things I would never do. And I would never allow a husband/wife team to own a group.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

make deron and his wife rich. Which isn't fair to the volunteers who work their behinds off for their local groups. If deron gets money, so should all the owners and mods.

Ways to make it better...

deron and his cronies were not running the organization. And he would allow local owners the freedom they had at first. And be opne and honest. No gagging members of the OIDG or Modsquad.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

deron and his minions.

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-2-01

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