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Notes of Meetings

Page history last edited by Paul Crosland 14 years, 5 months ago

This page is being overseen by the Project Steering Group


For notes of meetings dated August 2009 and beyond see:

Networking Group

Networking and Campaigning group

Marketing Group

Website Development Group

Community Conflict Transformation Group

Staff Recruitment and Induction Group

For planning purposes, why not try this pdf:


 SamplePlanner.pdf -to help with planning




Key Decisions from earlier meetings:


Name of Website

freelender.org was chosen over freelend.org.

freelender scored better than freelend in the areas of memorable, ease of spelling, compelling, complementary to my values and conveying USP.

freelend scored better than freelender interms of brevity.

The names were equal in terms of descriptiveness and trustworthiness.


Action: Edmund to buy domain names freelender.org, freelender.org.uk and freelender.co.uk.

freelender.com is no longer available.


The CIC will be called "freelending".

Action: Paul to send CIC registration letter to Companies House.



Open Source Software


-discussion held


Item Categories and Tags

Note that the greater the level of detail allowed during searches, the more work it is to add an item.

Each item has one category. The categories are shown below.

Each category has a number of keywords, as shown below.

(Each item of any category also has a Lender Comments field.)

Each category has a number of tagsets, as shown below. Each tagset has a number of tags, presented to the user as a set of checkboxes.  Any number of tags may be selected from each tagset. Tags are entirely optional - an item may be added with no selected tags.




Tagsets / Tags


Title, Author

Genre, e.g.:
- Crime

- Biography
- Sci Fi / Fantasy

Format, e.g.:

- Large Print

- Audio Book

- Braille

- Magazine

- Etc





Title, Artist


Video Game

Title, Format (?)

Format, e.g.:

- Playstation

- Wii

All Other Description


- Metal

- Plastic

- Wood

- Fabric

- Paper / Card / Cardboard

- Glass / Stone / China


- Home

- Kitchen

- Office

- Garden / Allotment

- Public spaces (park, beach, etc)

- Highways and footpaths


- Leisure

- Transport

- Catering

- Horticulture etc

- Repair, Maintenance, Improvement

- Work

- Keeping Warm (clothing, heating, etc)

- Security




Supercategories and subcategories discussion

Action: Edmund to work this into a plan and bring it back.

Examples of items that we thought might be loaned (some presenting challenges to categorisation systems) were:

Book, ladder, bike, minibus, clothes, toys, DIY tools, blender, lawnmower, tent, futon, barbeque, DVD, CD, musical instrument, houseplants, iron, traffic cone, crockery, games, electric heater, icebox, canoe, stepladder, personal safety alarm, massage table, overhead projector, television, office equipment. be loaned


Payments when website users sell?

Discussion ensued with the following assumptions:

-that a member borrows an average of 10 items a year

-that 1 in every 50 loans becomes a sale

-that the average loan is valued at £15; therefore 10% = £1.50

Conclusion was that 50,000 members giving 10% of value to freelend when there is a sale (minimum £1 donation) = £15,000 (or more)

Decision - Not to levy a charge and to encourage donations.

Action: Paul to write text encouraging donations and consider how best to give this prominence without losing the 'free and easy' feel of the site.

Action: Paul to put the arising new function requirements into list of functions section of Website development page

Action: Paul & Edmund to consider WorldPay as small donations system.


Draft criteria for reviewing the 'product' name and strapline:


Name 1: freelend.org

Strapline 1: -sharing the wealth of the community

Name 2: ................

1. Memorable ('Stickyness')




2. When you hear it you know how to spell it




3. Descriptive of what it does




4. Trustworthiness




5. Compelling (I'm going to go there)




6. Complementary to other things that I value




7. Brevity




8. Does it include the USP?









Setting up a Community Interest Company / Limited Company


Paul to complete a table as follows:





  1. Accountability of use of funds, which are 'locked into' the community purposes, with public annual reports and financial statements. (Promotes trustworthiness)
  2. Raising finance - this structure appears (intuitively) to provide a more viable proposition for securing funding e.g. from charitable trusts. (Also "A CIC may find Community Finance Institutions a valuable source of funds."*)
  3. Converting to a charity is possible
  1. Greater complexity of statutory requirements (The question is whether there is a full return for the extra time spent in jumping the extra hurdles?).
  2. It might be more difficult to work alongside campaigning and political groups in promoting freelend as CIC formation requires that we declare that the company in respect of which this application is
    made will not be:
    (a) a political party;
    (b) a political campaigning organisation; or
    (c) a subsidiary of a political party or of a political campaigning organisation.

Limited Company

  1. Simplicity
  1. Not 'locked into' serving the community



Compared to a charitable company the CIC has:

- Greater flexibility in terms of activities

- No trustees and no trustee control

- Directors who can be paid, but this is regulated

- Light touch regulation, but no tax incentives

A charitable company has additional reporting requirements and administration e.g.

SORP requirements.


Compared to an ordinary company the CIC has:

- An asset lock, which is inexpensive and easy to set up

- Statutory provisions, which prevent the members of the CIC removing the

“asset lock” by special resolution

- Regulation to ensure the CIC maintains its asset lock and provides benefit to the

community it was set up to serve

- Checks and balances provided by CIC legislation

- A community benefit report open to public scrutiny

- Transparency of directors’ remuneration and use of assets

- Legal protection


For more info see: www.cicregulator.gov.uk/index.shtml and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_interest_company

(Follow this link for draft text for Freelend Company Formation)

Graphics Design Requirements:

We are working towards:

-a poster about the site -encouraging browsing on the site (for display in Libraries, cafes, health food stores etc).

-a leaflet to deliver door to door inviting people to attend a freelend party (house/hall, date & time to be handwritten) or to register.


Starting Small

We've chosen a smaller launch than previously anticipated. If not ready for 26th October launch, then Sunday 16th November back-up date.

(Requirements for launch:

1) Functional Website

2) Aesthetically designed website

3) Publicity Materials (including emails to Freeeconomy, Freecycle discussion group, permaculture group)

4) Launch Event


Is this an Open Source Project?

Our first reflections are that we are going to be willing to share all development /code for others to develop if they want to.


Data Tags

Action: Edmund to reflect further on the options for tagging items and presenting items by tag.


eg ebay list of book Categories

- Agenda Item for next meeting


Bug Checking Database

Action: Edmund to establish this. 




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