I was a volunteer group owner & moderator for 8+ years. I dedicated my time to growing my group & encouraging the "gifting" of usable items to others. DB decided to run the entire network with the ultimate motive of taking groups off the FREE Yahoo Groups platform & maintaining an iron grip to earn profits from the efforts of many volunteers. Of course, this is a "nonprofit"... The hard working volunteers like myself were all kicked to the curb if we even tried to question his methods- very sad.
The shell that remains of Freecycle is nowhere as effective or personal as before DB dictated all Freecycle groups must be on a private network with administrative costs that were not needed before. But he certainly made sure to earn "per click" on ads & asking repeatedly for monetary donations from the Freecycle members. Asking for money in ANY form was strictly unacceptable on the original Freecycle Network, at DB's insistence. But he changed the rules, as his needs changed. Many other methods exist based on the original Freecycle principles- those are the methods I choose to support!
And the "Board of Directors" has remained Mr. Beal, his wife & a friend. Fairly elected Board- never! So much for a grass roots movement gone wrong...
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 :)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Review from Guidestar
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.