My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for The Freecycle Network, Tucson, AZ, USA
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.