How to start a givebox
We collected the following experiences to understand the main reasons for the success of the concept, as well as acquaint people with the Givebox concept. All details including the name and the construction guide is "open-source" and can be used or modified.
Building the Givebox alone is honourable, doing it with friends, neighbours or strangers is real fun. Besides you get to know like-minded people and support for the start:
- See if someone near you already built a Givebox or is planning to:http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=269015689777067
- Create an new fanpage on facebook with name "Givebox [City]" and copy the description from a Givebox site
- Invite your friends and acquaintances from your city, to become a fan. Tell everyone that they shall do the same and post this site on their wall.
- Apply a Username (Edit Page -> Basic Information) in format "Givebox[City]", so that the Givebox Pages take on a uniform style like URL http://facebook.com/GiveboxCity
- Tell your neighbours and any interested person from your page
- Post the page on the main Givebox page as to get it linked and promoted (also possible by sending a message to email@example.com)
- Ask the page fans for their opinion of the best location (see below)
- Arrange a first meeting in a Café / Bar to get to know and to discuss
- Print these instructions, the shopping-list and the construction plan and do it! :-)
The location is really important. It has to combine a lot of things to make the Givebox work:
- Somewhere where many people pass by and can see the Givebox
- People should have an own interest in the place e.g. near to their flat (quarter), so that they can easily bring things to fill the box and keep an eye of it (protect from vandalism)
- There should be a local ambassador who takes care of the Givebox during the first few weeks - keep it clean, water the flowers and promote the concept – this will take a maximum of 5 min. per day. This task can be shared with neighbours – a neglected Givebox is just another garbage dump.
The construction is another important component of the Givebox’s success:
- The construction and furnishings should be beautiful and lovely – to keep vandalism away and motivate others to participate and to talk about it.
- The furniture should be solid. This means, everything should be screwed on tightly or strapped to the case.
- When the location is outside, make sure that the things inside of the Givebox are protected from the weather.
- In the following document link, is a calculation for the cost of the model “Kollwi” without materials:https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AjoDK8hxiq-RdHpuN0hNdTlEalQxMHdnLTVZdm4zWnc
- The construction manual for the model “Kollwi” (https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1RMXlzyRM-_xwKH8rcS1PhcmSOWKmzFdG0FR4FKdgm0c/edit )
- There is also a construction group who kindly help with organization and sharing of building materials.
- With Betterplace.org you can collect donations for the construction (like in Düsseldorf:http://www.betterplace.org/de/organisations/giveboxduesseldorf )
The listed points are our recommendations for beginners:
- A guestbook is really great, motivating and makes the concept more personal. Many people write down funny, nice and positive things.
- An Information-Sheet with rules and short explanations, helps people to grasp the idea more quickly (http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=269025539776082)
- A pinboard is pretty handy because small things can be pinned on the board and allows the exchange within the community to grow.
- A clothes rail (including hangers) invites people to put things on and makes it easier to examine clothes.
- A flyer in the postboxes of your neighbours helps to promote the idea.
- A bookshelf is also very practical and should be in a location protected from the weather.
- When a lot of people invest time in the project at the start, the project will be easier to get up and running.
Communication & Promotion
The following things can be supportive to establish the Givebox in the beginning:
- Now with DVD rental using info-stickers (with a reminder, that you have to give the DVD back)... Who doesn’t know "Life is Beautiful" (original title: La vita è bella) – sad, but beautiful! With this, people get used to the rental idea for Givebox-books, -DVDs and more info-stickers can be used.
- The stickers can be cheaply bought here:http://www.amazon.de/dp/B000R4LZ6M/
- The template can be downloaded here:http://www.2shared.com/document/4rUaiG6b/Vorlage_Sticker_Zweckform_3474.html
Contact us in case of questions: