About Freecycle

The Freecycle Network® is made up of more than 5,000 local Town groups with over 11 million members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Membership is free, and everything posted must be free, legal and appropriate for all ages.

Here's how it works: When you sign up with Freecycle.org, you join one or more local Town groups and/or invite some local friends to form a Friends Circle. You make posts about things you want to gift or receive. Other members reply and then you arrange a pickup time and location. Just like that, you've saved something from going to a landfill and given it a new life.

As a nonprofit, The Freecycle Network's server and operating expenses are funded by grants, underwriting/sponsorship, ad royalties and individual donations. Our IRS 990s are available for review on Guidestar.org. Town groups are run by volunteer moderators and members take part in this worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources and eases the burden on our landfills.


Mission Statement



History and Background Information 

Sources and Use of Funds



Mission Statement

Our mission is to build a worldwide sharing 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.




Deron Beal

Board Chairperson & Treasurer. Deron founded The Freecycle Network on May 1st, 2003. He now also fills the position of Executive Director. During and previous to this, he spent 2 1/2 years with RISE as its Enterprise Manager. RISE runs a recycling and transitional employment program in downtown Tucson. Before that, he worked with a conservation group called Native Seeds/SEARCH as its Director of Foundation Giving & Venture Philanthropy, and prior to that, as its Development Director. Deron has a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, and an MBA in International Management from Thunderbird. He spent several years living, studying and working in Germany. He also can give any beanstalk a good run for the money at 6'6"... and has a soft spot in his heart for cats, as long as it's not 5am.

Jennifer Columbus

Board Vice Chair. Jennifer currently is employed as the Academic Affairs and Research Development Strategist for Long Island University. Previously she held a similar position at the University of Arizona in Research Development, Global Research Alliances and has worked with various nonprofits including Habitat for Humanity, The Nature Conservancy and Greenpeace USA in DC. Her years of nonprofit and global leadership experience are an invaluable asset to us. And, in the interest of full disclosure and as a point of pride, Jennifer also happens to be married to Deron.

Jolie Sibert

Board Secretary. Also based in Tucson, Arizona, Jolie is the Director of The Nature Conservancy's Coda Global Fellows Program. She has previous experience in marketing with not-for-profit healthcare organizations, fundraising and program & strategy development for The Nature Conservancy, and has been an advisor for many other nonprofits. Her years of in-depth and high-level nonprofit experience add a critical element to the board. Jolie also shares Deron and Jennifer's love of cats...




It is with great pride and with many, many thanks that we acknowledge the thousands of volunteer moderators worldwide. Each Town group generally has two to six local moderators who, in turn, are helping millions of members to keep good stuff out of landfills and to develop stronger community ties.

Some 8 of these moderators volunteer further time to approve new Town groups. In addition, there is a committed crew of some 20-30 moderators putting in countless hours for Group Outreach and Assistance, helping existing Town groups with day-to-day problems.

Another 6-8 volunteers answer questions and provide technical assistance to members, moderators and the general public; 4-5 lead the two worldwide moderator discussion groups, and there are 6-8 team leaders who do a great job in helping teams do their jobs. There are also a few adhoc committees set up to deal with issues at hand. There are a few more volunteers who help administer the Website and our extensive database. 

Wow! Hats off to ALL these wonderful people!! The Freecycle Leadership consists of:

Deron:  The founder & Executive Director is Deron Beal. Clocking in at 6'6", he heads up the Freecycle basketball team and is a sucker for black & white cats. He is blessed to be able to work with all these good people from the global HQ in Tucson, Arizona.

Sutton:  Sutton is our full-time lead engineer, based out of the "Global HQ" here in Tucson with Deron. Sutton has a mutual love for coding and the desert, not necessarily in that order... (or is it dessert? My spelling is so bad...)

Adam:  Adam is our UK-based SysAdmin without equal. When he isn't pounding his keyboard, he's pounding a sound board: a man of many talents!

Alison:  Alison is our volunteer Hub Coordinator, which means she oversees the activities of the all-volunteer teams of The Freecycle Network to keep Freecycle running smoothly behind the scenes. She tends to be somewhat fearless about tackling big projects and in helping mods out in the Freecycle Leadership Community.

Caroline:  Caroline volunteers as the Support Team Coordinator to help members and mods with any on-site Freecycle.org issues they may be having, whether it's something that can be resolved easily or something that needs input from Sutton. She shows her brilliance by heading up the teams that answer all such questions. These teams include Member Support and Spam Control. Any issue is followed up on and resolved as soon as possible. Technical issues are tracked and members informed once resolved.

Simon:  The TM (Trademark) Team assists groups and the general public in using the Freecycle™ mark correctly, works to educate the press about proper use of the mark, and pursues infringement. At the helm of this team is Simon who, thankfully, is probably the most organized person within Freecycle. Thank you, Simon!

Jakkie:  In every state or region there is a Group Outreach and Assistance (GOA) volunteer. Each GOA team member works with existing volunteer group moderators when they are having issues with the local group. Jakkie volunteers as our head for this devoted international team.

Bernard:  Bernard heads up the New Group Approver (NGA) Team. The NGAs evaluate the need for, assist and approve new Freecycle groups.

Becky and Miriam:  Becky and Miriam head up the Interim Moderator Team (the "IMods"). This team steps in and moderates local groups when a local volunteer steps down and they look after that group until new local volunteers can be found. It is a large team and they run a tight ship. Yay and go, team, go!

History and Background Information 

A Brief History

On May 1st, 2003, Deron Beal sent out the first e-mail announcing The Freecycle Network™ to about 30 or 40 friends and a handful of nonprofits in Tucson, Arizona. At the time Deron founded The Freecycle Network, he worked with a small nonprofit organization, RISE, which provides recycling services to downtown businesses and transitional employment to Tucsonans in need.

As the team recycled, rather than watching perfectly good items being thrown away, they found themselves calling or driving around to see if various local nonprofits could use them. Thinking there had to be an easier way, Beal set up that first Freecycle e-mail group in a way that permitted everyone in Tucson to give and to get. Freecycle was off and running.

The Freecycle concept has since spread to more than 110 countries, where there are thousands of local groups representing millions of of members -- people helping people and 'changing the world one gift at a time.' As a result, we are currently keeping over one thousand tons a day out of landfills! This amounts to fifteen times the height of Mt. Everest in the past year alone, when stacked in garbage trucks!

By giving freely with no strings attached, members of The Freecycle Network help instill a sense of generosity of spirit as they strengthen local community ties and promote environmental sustainability and reuse. People from all walks of life have joined together to turn trash into treasure.


The Freecycle Network is incorporated as a nonprofit in the State of Arizona.

Nonprofit Status

The Freecycle Network is a private, nonprofit organization incorporated in the State of Arizona. We have our federal IRS nonprofit status -- what's known as a 501(c)3 ruling which was approved in November, 2006 by the IRS for donations stretching back to our original application date in July of 2004.


The Freecycle Network has registered trademarks in 32 countries including the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, The United States, and all European Union countries. For more trademark info please click here.

Organizational Chart




Sources and Use of Funds

The Freecycle Network's current annual budget is running at about $275,000 a year. The funding comes from individual donations, grants, sponsorship, and ad royalties. Approximately 90% of these funds are used directly for program expenses. The remaining 10% is split evenly between membership, fundraising and other administrative expenses. Our most recent IRS 990s may be located on Guidestar.org. We are an IRS 501(c)3 nonprofit charity and, as such, donations to The Freecycle Network are tax-deductible. Freecycle UK also maintains charitable status in the UK. Further, The Freecycle Network is registered as a nonprofit corporation in the State of Arizona. Any donation, no matter how modest, is deeply appreciated so donate to your heart's content!

Our model is much like that of PBS. We seek to provide a free public forum for our members, and seek grants, underwriting and voluntary donations to fund these efforts. It's a rather unique model for a website, but The Freecycle Network is a unique organization. As we further develop community reuse and recycling on a globally local scale in over 110 countries we are creating a global gift economy in the process. Simply beautiful how one can change the world, one gift at a time.