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Would you like to see a more sharing society?

Would you like to be part of the change?

The freelender community are those of us who want to do something beyond registering on freelender.org in order that lending and borrowing is supported and developed in ways that work better for people.


Freelending CIC provides the administration for the "St Leonards Sharing" Consortium, founded 2011.

We are seeking funding & volunteers from the NatWest CommunityForce here.

More information about St Leonards Sharing Consortium is here


Initially we set up “The Freelender Development Groups


This website provides information about the development groups which you are welcome to join:

  • Networking Group (A particularly recommended meeting to join if you are new to the freelender community)

-next meeting: 16th September 2011 (details to follow, or contact us)

-next meeting: 16th September 2011 (details to follow, or contact us)

-next meeting: 16th September 2011 (details to follow, or contact us)

-next meeting: 16th September 2011 (details to follow, or contact us)

-next meeting: October 2011 (details to follow, or contact us)

-next meeting: October 2011 (details to follow, or contact us)


This freelender community website (a wiki site, like wikipedia) is run by the Freelending CIC (Community Interest Company) which promotes borrowing and lending, and provides the freelender.org website as one way of doing this.

"Local sharing schemes like Landshare, Hospitality Club and Freelender.org mean you don't need to own your allotment, car or drill, and you can sofa-surf your way around the world without ever having to book a hotel. Such schemes were predicted only two years ago in Forum for the Future's project 'Low Carbon Living 2022; but are already proliferating on the web."

            (Editorial from Forum for the Future; a leading UK think-tank).

"Freelender is a good example of an organisation springing up to fill another part of the 'gift economy'; a social movement in which goods and services are regularly given."  (Mark Boyle, The Moneyless Man) -Full extract from the book here about Mark's work with Freelender.

Next Project Steering Group - 16th September 2011 -to review the lead role being taken by Freelending CIC in the St Leonards Sharing Consortium, to meet with the director of Action for Happiness & to promote (& develop plans for) streetbank.com



One way we may choose to finance the further development of freelender.org is for Freelending Community Interest Company to provide consultancy and software development in fractional-ownership; the sharing way of getting new stuff for less (if you can set up sharing arrangements with others who want the same thing, and wouldn't be using it all the time).

We believe there is much money to be made from 'the optimum fractional ownership' solution.

We are working on this product under the name 'Wanted!'. To join in, please contact us.


At present our publicity budget is very limited.

Past publicity by freelender.org or 'the lend-it-all-man' (Paul Crosland) has included lending packs offered at UK Aware 2010 and the following leaflets:

  • Freelender on a bicycle leaflets
  • Avatar related Leaflets
  • Buddhafield Festival le

Please visit our marketing group pages to access and develop these resources for your own use in generating a more sharign community around you.

Contents of this page:



Website Development to date 

Freelending CIC has designed, developed, tested, deployed and maintained a sophisticated website, www.freelender.org, which allows users to lend and borrow online.  The core functions of the website include user registration, addition of items which are being offered, and search and request functions to allow a user to find out what is being offered in their area, and to ask for it.  The lending of each item is tracked from the request stage onwards until the item is returned, with the lender and borrower able to send messages to each other via the website.  After the item is returned, both lender and borrower can leave public feedback about the other, which is used to generate "trust stats".  This encourages respectful behaviour and helps other users decide who they wish to engage with.  Users can list their lending policies on their profiles (eg. see user - PoolResource's profile). Items can be made available UK wide by post as well.) 


Categorisation of items is flexible enough that any possible item can be added with no further modification to the site, while categories already exist for the most commonly added items.  Users have control over which of their items are visible to other users, and can value their items prior to lending them, to limit confusion over value in the event of loss or damage etc. (We believe that this is more valuable than just setting a Deposit Level).  Clubs can be allocated a special code which allows items to be lent only amongst members of the club.


Other functions include the creation of a wishlist of items wanted, help pages which include tips on how to avoid conflict, and a "Contact us" page.


In keeping with Freelending CIC's ethos, the website has been developed using only open-source tools and products.  The site is written in Ruby on Rails, an easy-to-learn yet powerful framework which allows rapid development of robust applications, and uses a MySQL database which is backed up daily.  An open-source web-based bug tracking system is used, which allows any member of the community to report an issue with the website.


Freelending CIC have decided to make all of the code behind the freelender site open source, and are planning collaborative ways to share this code over the web, so that anyone can join the development team and contribute to improvements to the site.


Editing the Freelender Wiki


Just click on 'edit' at the top of any page to ask for permission to start editing these pages.

We want to make these pages as useful as possible to anyone who is concerned about the use of resources and who believes in the value of finding ways to increase sharing.

Open Source Community Development Ethos and Aims


We have developed freelender.org with the intention of providing both a website and a set of code (for further development by a community interested in taking further the sharing of resources).

We set the following aims which are guiding our next steps at the end of 2009 / beginning of 2010:


First Aim

We are working to enable the sharing of resources and resourcefulness specifically by establishing in 2009 a website, freelender.org, that enables people to find and lend items that otherwise would not have been so accessible to them.


Second Aim

We are seeking to work with others who share values of generosity and trust-building in sharing community resources; in 2009 to establish clarity with justfortheloveofit.org about our working relationship, and later with other providers e.g. freecycle / freegle groups.


Third Aim

We are committed to establishing

in 2010

ways for the work of freelender.org to be self-sustaining or amalgamated with an organisation that is self-sustaining.

We define self-sustaining in this context as having the wherewithal:

  1. to  continue to develop the look, feel and functionality of freelender.org

  2. to "market" the benefits of (and address the concerns related to) lending both to people you know and to those you don't

  3. to respond individually to enquiries within 5 working days.


Individual Vision & Mission Statements

People involved in Freelending CIC may support the above aims and work effectively together whilst having different value systems, personal visions and missions. One supporter of the above aims may have a personal vision of building the essentials of community - fellowship, security and meaningful participation in a totality greater than one's self and be engaged with freelender for that reason. Another supporter of these aims might simply want to borrow and lend rather than spend.

Freelending CIC - technological and cultural change in the service of sustainability

Freelending Community Interest Company has been set up by Paul Crosland and Edmund Johnson to promote the many benefits of borrowing and lending - benefits to individuals, communities and the biosphere - and to provide people with tools which will enable us all to borrow and lend more easily.

We are using this wiki to plan ahead and to be open and accountable in relation to our plans, with which you are again invited to join in.


Two types of changes complement each other to create more sharing (and sustainable) communities:

  1. cultural change; within Freelending CIC, the cultural change responsibility is led by Paul Crosland.

  2. technological change; within Freelending CIC, the technological change responsibility is led by Edmund Johnson.


We are keen to connect you with others who want a more sharing society and believe that freelending is an important and timely cultural transition, enabling us to extend our lending and borrowing beyond those we know.

Navigating this site via the Side Bar


Please see the side bar to the right (and up a bit) as the main way in which to navigate this site.

There are approximately 150 pages on this site.

These pages are arranged under the headings of the Development Groups


Ways you can get involved with the exciting development of freelending


- from which others can learn the benefits of sensible lending and/or reckless lending?

(You can also put your story on the freelenders blog

Photos from the launch of freelender.org

- at the Buddhafield Festival (16th July 2009 launch)

- see also the market research pages


Responsible borrowing and lending


If you contact us and ask for a copy of our latest version of the borrowing and lending tips we have some notes not yet on this wiki site which might further increase the success of your borrowing and lending, even to your close friends and family!

Things you can do now to improve humanity's sharing of resources

  • give something back that you've borrowed longer than you agreed.

  • contact someone who's borrowed something to extend their agreed lending.

  • make a list of things you've currently lent/borrowed.

  • make a list of things you don't use every day (and think about how you could get the benefits of lending out some of them).

  • put a wishlist of DVDs, books, music, tools, bikes, tandems or whatever onto freelender.org (or pass the list around neighbours).

  • hold a freelender event in your house or community centre and invite neighbours (more information on-line about how to do this to maximum satisfaction).

  • arrange to co-ordinate a short or longer freelender training.

  • print out this web page and hand copies to friends.

  • write your own leaflet.

  • chat to someone about what your both think helps you get what you want by borrowing and lending.

  • join one of our Development Groups (which might also boost your CV as well as connect you to others with energy for the change you want.)

Read and add to the freelender Development Plan here

If you want to suggest improvements (or add relevant information) to our plans on this website just click 'Edit' at the top of any page and a message will pop up that you need to be approved by us. You can then send us your email address and we will add you to the list of those who can edit. (We will never share your email address with any third party without your approval.)




REMINDER: Next Project Steering Group - 16th September 2011 -to review the lead role being taken by Freelending CIC in the St Leonards Sharing Consortium, to meet with the director of Action for Happiness & to promote (& develop plans for) streetbank.com











































Comments (3)

Paul Crosland said

at 12:02 am on Jun 30, 2010

The Guardian piece today on freelender.org and our sharing and gift economics colleagues: http://bit.ly/b4nqX7

Paul Crosland said

at 4:15 am on Feb 29, 2012

Work being done by Freelending CIC for Timebanking UK is something that will be made visible only to directors of Freelending CIC until we have brokered an agreement that sharing the work in progress on this wiki & encouraging wider collaboration in building a Timebanking Social Media strategy is "a good thing".
Please contact us if you want to become a co-director of this Community Interest Company; two adverts just placed on http://twitter.com/paulcrosland

Paul Crosland said

at 4:22 am on Feb 29, 2012

Finding that the 2010 comment about freelender.org in The Guardian doesn't work from this iPhone I'm on; I offer the link again in full format: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/jun/29/moneyless-man-cash-gather-posessions and refer you to YouTube Channel Toothpaste007 to search for any of the other videos I've tagged as related to "Moneyless Man" / "The Moneyless Man". This includes, of course, a reading of pages 144 & 145 of the book (with some ad-libs by me) - freelender.org engaging Mark Boyle in the launch event at the 2009 Buddhafield Festival, before he went on to become a http://ted.com "celebrity".

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