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Volunteering at Borrow Don’t Buy.

Type: Admin Support, Fundraising, Governance/Leadership, Information / advice, Marketing & Social Media

Location: All of Plymouth

Borrow Don’t Buy is Plymouth’s Library of Things and we believe that

“You should have access to the stuff you need without costing the earth”

We’re like a normal library, but with things instead of books! What kind of things? All the sorts of things you need.
Perhaps you’re doing some DIY and need a drill? Maybe you’re having friends over and you’d like a projector to watch a film on? These are the sorts of things you can find at Borrow Don’t Buy!
Why buy an electric drill when you’ll only ever use it once? By joining Borrow Don’t Buy you’ll pay just a few pounds to have that drill for just the time you need it.
What we do here helps reduce clutter, saves money and reduces our carbon footprint, and its available to anyone in the local community to use!

We are looking for four volunteers who can help Borrow Don’t Buy develop by bringing their expertise and passion to the project as part of our brand new Sustainability and Accountability Working Group or, as we like to call it – SAWG (catchy, isn’t it?). We would like people with a bit more knowledge or experience than us in the four specific areas; Customer, Financial, Partnership and Accountability, to help Borrow Don’t Buy develop those areas. We need creative people who take initiative, are outcome-driven, willing to learn, and aren’t afraid to make mistakes, as we often do. All four roles are flexible and will be co-designed with the chosen candidates with regards to when the hours are worked and how outcomes are completed. We believe the more people power behind the project, the more awesome the results will be!

Customer Champion
Financial Champion
Partnership Champion
Accountability Champion

Group Logistics and Expectations
– Four differing roles with communication and teamwork between members to assist each other and exchange ideas as roles will overlap in some instances.
– Six-month contract with a chance to extend based on the group’s success.
– Quarterly group meetings at Borrow Don’t Buy HQ to overview each role’s progress to catch up and discuss ideas.
– WhatsApp group set up for simple communication between the group and Borrow Don’t Buy Team Coordinator.
– Direct reporting to Borrow Don’t Buy Team Coordinator regularly – update and info swap.
– Borrow Don’t Buy will provide an induction to what we do and any additional information specific to your role.
– Each member will have a ‘*****@borrowdontbuy.co.uk’ email set up for them.
– Remote working (pre-booked use of THINQTANQ co-working space meeting room available if needed.)

What you receive in return
– Borrow Don’t Buy Tote Bag! Super cool, if we do say so ourselves…
– Recognition on the Borrow Don’t Buy website’s team page and social media if wanted.
– The opportunity to be part of Plymouth’s only library of thing’s and create positive change in the city.
– Help people reduce their carbon footprint, make things more accessible to them, reduce waste and develop an important community interest company.
– Meet and learn from the others in the group and valuable insight into Borrow Don’t Buy and running a library of things.
– Access to Borrow Don’t Buy’s paid Skillshare account and courses available whilst part of the Working Group.
– References from Borrow Don’t Buy in the future if required.
– 50% off all loans for the duration of time in the Working Group
– Refreshments at meetings provided – so yeah, Snacks!!!

These are the roles we are looking to fill.

Customer Champion.
This role will be an active customer outreach role. The ideal candidate would preferably have experience in customer-facing roles, promoting and growing a customer base within a small business, and a friendly and approachable manner. In addition, a willingness to better the community of Plymouth and provide a service to the local area is our desire for the Customer Champion and help us reach as many people as possible.

Tasks and responsibilities
Being a Borrower
– Experience being a borrower, producing feedback and research on how we can make it more ergonomic.
– Create surveys about previous experiences, collecting and developing reviews of past and recent borrowers to see how we can improve.
– Create and push taglines #beaborrower, develop a movement associated with Borrow Don’t Buy in the local community.
Events
– Finding events that Borrow Don’t Buy would benefit from attending, liaising with event coordinators securing places.
– Attending events, selling Borrow Don’t Buy as a concept, educating people about what we do and why.
– Event write-ups pros/cons: what can we do better to increase engagement?
Outreach – digitally and face-to-face
– Research and action on the latest social media algorithms and how Borrow Don’t Buy can harness them.
– Tagging and finding links to appropriate organisations we can promote bulking out our content and reposts, shares etc.
– Engaging with borrowers to get them tagging and sharing stories or their adventures.
– Get out into the local community talking about Borrow Don’t Buy, engaging people and making connections, getting people to sign up as members, and collecting feedback.
Group-specific targeting
– Build relationships with and educate specific groups about a library of things, introduce people to Borrow Don’t Buy who otherwise might not have heard about us.
– Research and target groups that would benefit specifically from using our services, either as a regular borrower or as a borrow-it-forward beneficiary.
– Help manage and promote membership options for low income or specific groups, e.g. students.

Financial Champion.
This role will be an integral part of helping us develop into a more financially self-sustainable business. The ideal candidate would preferably have previous financial experience, whether that be in small or large businesses. They will have an ability to work creatively to maximise financial gains whilst sticking to our ethos and keeping the community’s needs at our core. Our Financial Champion will be essential to the future and growth of Borrow Don’t Buy.

Tasks and responsibilities
Assist Borrow Don’t Buy with finding and writing applicable funding bids.
– Minimum of three funding bids completed on Borrow Don’t Buy’s behalf within the six months.
– Research into new funding opportunities and filtering those that Borrow Don’t Buy qualifies for.
Plan development and targets for the next 12 months.
– Create plans of action for short and long term financial targets.
– Study figures and reflect on current finances with constructive feedback and research.
– Implement plans and creative solutions off the back of that research.
– Develop and promote all types of donations. How can we maximise and market this in line with our ethos?
– Market information to those who donate and borrow, showing how their money or items have helped others/local community/environment/carbon footprint/money saved.
Research and planning into new routes of funding and income avenues.
– Look at statistics and market research, applying it to Borrow Don’t Buy.
– Research how other libraries of things access funding and use those findings to expand our opportunities.
– Research and apply for Government and Council funds with regards to environmental targets.
Borrow-it-forward financial plan.
– Plan how it will work financially, execution, and make it accessible for those who need it.
– Figures and proof of how to cover these costs and surveillance of how it is going.

Partnership Champion.
This role will primarily focus on building relationships with other organisations, both local and further afield. The ideal candidate will have previous experience in partnership, sponsorship and general relations within business and community. A passion to create meaningful and collaborative relationships that further impact our work and bring people together, will in turn support the financial stability of Borrow Don’t Buy and our place in the community.

Tasks and responsibilities
Developing partnerships with local businesses and larger companies
– Promote each other in line with ethos, build on relationships we already have, create new ones.
– Advertising, how can we use these relationships to create more advertising without creating too much merchandise.
– Contact larger companies of the stuff we have in the inventory, i.e. tools, equipment, to see if they would be interested in donating items or money to be featured.
– Liaise with other Libraries of Things to see how they operate and partner, then develop Borrow Don’t Buy’s strategy.
Sponsorship package creation for businesses
– Employee perks, supporting sustainable business and encouraging staff to do so too.
– Adverts in their shops, windows, tagging/sharing on socials, we do the same, mutual benefit partnerships.
– Partnership recognition on website
Partnership packages for our members
– Discounts and insider deals for our members with our partners
– Actively focusing on promoting other small businesses with similar aims to our customers

Accountability Champion.
This role will be a responsive and ever-developing regulator for all that we do at Borrow Don’t Buy. The ideal candidate will have previous experience in accountability and be up-to-date with current procedures and policies. We try to hold ourselves to strong ethics and sustainable practice, and the Accountability Champion will help regulate and hold us to those values. As a CIC, it is important that we are constantly reviewing our impact and always looking for ways to improve.

Tasks and responsibilities
Impact reporting.
– How does Borrow Don’t Buy benefit the local community and environment?
– Collating figures and facts that will provide information used by the Financial Champion for funding bids.
Be our external regulator looking in.
– Exhaust and keep up to date with all paths of sustainability and accountability.
– Research into inclusivity, what are we doing right, what else can we do? If so, how?
– Examples and strategies to be created.
Keeping us on track and aligned with our ethos.
– Help write a coherent ethos statement and make sure we as a business are doing what we can to stick to it.
– Research into alternative technologies and businesses that we could use to avoid contributing to unethical big corporations and helping us to make the switch.
– Creating a set of guidelines for us to work by that keeps us within those ethics.
Develop new strategies of inclusivity.
– Research groups in society that may benefit from the Borrow-it-forward scheme and make contact with them.
– Targeting groups that we could engage more with, are we unknowingly not engaging as much as we can? How can we engage more and diversify our borrowers?
– Membership options to be more inclusive of all incomes.

If you could fill one of these roles and you like to help move us forward, we’d love to hear from you……

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