A community fridge is a great way to bring people together in your neighborhood or city, and an incredible way to reduce food waste while helping those in need. 

Perhaps you already manage a community fridge, and you’re looking to increase donations and streamline the donation process. Maybe you’re interested in spearheading a community fridge for your neighborhood, and interested in learning the best way to collect donations and manage your funds.

If you’re in charge of managing a community fridge or want to start your own, here are some ways to help start and maintain a friendly fridge.

You’ll learn:

  • What is a community fridge?
  • The benefits of a community fridge
  • How to start a friendly fridge
  • How Can Braid Pools Help Collect Donations For Your Community Fridge?
  • Benefits of Using Braid To Manage Your Community Fridge Funds

What is a Community Fridge?

A community fridge is just what it sounds like – a refrigerator located in a public place for anyone in the community to access. It’s shared by the members of a local community, and serves as an easy way for individuals or businesses to donate food items, which can then be accessed by those in need without having to worry about questions of payment or judgment.

There are many advantages associated with setting up and managing a community fridge, and there are countless ways your efforts could benefit your local area when starting up a friendly fridge.

Benefits of a Community Fridge

It’s a great way to bring people together in your neighborhood or city, and it’s also an excellent way to reduce food waste while helping those in need. As more people become aware and join this kind of initiative, it often becomes a primary source of food for many people who may not be able to afford it, and otherwise wouldn’t have access to fresh produce or other goods.

Additionally, managing a community fridge provides an opportunity for community members from all walks of life to come together and make positive changes in their local area, as the fridges are typically stocked by volunteers and other members of the community who donate items or money to keep them running.

Organizing a community fridge requires some planning and effort, but can have amazing results if done properly!

If you’re in charge of managing a community fridge or want to start your own, here are some tips to help start and maintain a friendly fridge.

How To Start A Friendly Fridge 

Setting up a friendly fridge doesn’t require much work, but there are several aspects you should consider when getting started:

1. Rules and Guidelines

Establish rules and guidelines with the help of other volunteers and interested parties. These should include details such as when the fridge will be open, who can access it, what kind of donations will be accepted, who is responsible for stocking, cleaning, etc.

2. Promote the Cause

Tell family and friends about the cause, and reach out via social media or word-of-mouth marketing, so that potential donors and community members know about the community fridge. This could include posting in local message boards, emailing local officials, creating flyers or posters around town, as well as utilizing online platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor.

3. Food Donation Protocols

Create safe protocols for handling food donations, so that everyone involved feels comfortable with the process. This includes labeling and storing donations appropriately and cleaning out the fridge regularly.

4. Collecting Funds

You’ll need to make sure that you always have enough funds on-hand for purchasing necessary supplies, such as food items and cleaning supplies. Determine what costs will be associated with running your friendly fridge (e.g., electricity bills), so that you can calculate how much money needs to be collected each month/year in order to keep things running smoothly.

It’s important to have a reliable and efficient way of managing the money involved in running a community fridge. Who collects the money, where does it go, and how is it spent?

With Braid Pools, you can easily collect funds from the community with Pool Links. 

Ready to start a pool for your Community Fridge? Click here to get started. 

How to streamline donations for community fridge with Braid Pools 

By setting up a Braid Pool, making donations has never been easier! Braid helps people pool their money together to save up for big projects, purchases or shared causes, such as funding a community fridge.

Here are a few benefits to streamlining your donations with Braid Pools:

Easily collect donations from anyone

With Braid Pools, you can create a Community Fridge pool, and share the Pool Link with the entire community. 

This makes it easy for everyone in the community to come together and pool their donations to support the fridge. By using the Pool Link, donors don’t have to sign up to contribute. All they need to do is use their debit or credit cards.

Automatic recurring donations

Once you have someone join the pool as a volunteer, they will be able to set up recurring payments using Braid’s Recurring Add $ feature, so that donations flow into the pool on a regular basis. 

This makes it easy for donors who want to contribute regularly without having to remember to make multiple payments each month.

As the pool admin, you can adjust individual member permissions to allow only certain members to have spending permissions.

With recurring payments and simple links that make donating quick and secure, contributing donations has never been so stress-free or straightforward!

Manage your pool with co-organizers                  

Not only does Braid make it easier for individuals in the community to donate money towards funding the community fridge, but it also makes it easier for the volunteers managing the funds.

Co-organizers of your Braid Pool have complete transparency, and can see incoming donations and outgoing expenses from the pool. This also allows pool members to keep an eye on the balance of funds, and when it’s time to raise more awareness for donation contributions.

Benefits of Using Braid To Manage Your Community Fridge Funds

Braid pools are an easy way to collect donations, manage them and spend them as needed. All transactions are processed securely with Braid, so there's no need to worry about misplaced cash or checks. 

Your Braid Pool also provides transparency for volunteers, allowing them to view and manage all of the funds and spending, since all donations and payments are tracked and visible within the secure pool.

Braid Pools also provide a simple and easy way to purchase items that you need, with a free debit card that’s linked directly to your pool! This allows various volunteers to take their own shopping trips and each spend from the Braid Pool. Braid Pools make it easy, so multiple volunteers can be responsible for purchasing different items or visiting different stores, all utilizing the same pool funds.

What are the costs to keep the fridge running?  

You might be wondering what total costs are involved with running your community fridge. Here are a few costs to consider:

1. The Refrigerator

First and foremost, do you already have a refrigerator? Purchasing a used refrigerator is a great way to get your community fridge started. Browse local stores for refurbished ones, or connect with locals on websites such as Facebook Marketplace, Nextdoor, and OfferUp. 

With your Braid debit card, you can purchase your fridge directly from your Braid Pool! Click here to learn more.

2. Location

Where is your community fridge located? Is the space provided at no cost, and will you need to contribute to an electric bill? You can reach out to local businesses or community centers to find  a potential partner for the location.

3. Food costs

Of course, there are the obvious costs of food. Wholesale clubs may be wise to consider, as you may benefit from bulk pricing, especially for shelf stable items. It might also be worthwhile to speak with local grocery stores and markets, to see if they would be interested in donating excess inventory to the community fridge.

Involved volunteers would be responsible for the shopping trips to stock the fridge. Consider the items you may need, such as produce, proteins, dairy and bakery items, and canned or non-perishable items. 

You might also want to supply paper goods and disposable silverware, for those in need. With Braid Pools, it will be easy to divvy up shopping responsibilities and purchase items with the debit card provided by Braid!

4. Marketing costs

In order to get the word out about your community fridge and donation opportunities, you may incur some minimal marketing costs, such as printing fliers and posters, publishing in a local community newspaper, or boosting a social media post. 

These costs can all be spent directly from your Braid Pool, and will ultimately pay off to help increase donations needed for incidentals and stocking the fridge.

Your community fridge just got easier to manage with Braid Pools!

Pooling your money with Braid Pools makes it easy for individuals and groups alike to fund community fridges without having to worry about collecting or managing cash donations.

By creating a pool and inviting others from your local area or even from around the world, you can easily raise enough funds quickly so that everyone has access to fresh fruits, vegetables, milk and other perishables.

Join Braid today to help your community by starting or managing a community fridge!