Why and How to Run an Offers and Needs Market – SASM 112
The first question I always get is, “What the heck is an Offers and Needs Market?”
That's normally after I tell people that I run Offers and Needs Markets (OANM) and that they're fantastic for community-building, simple-living, and good ol' fashioned fun.
At its core, an OANM is about discovering, elevating, and distributing gifts within a community. These gifts become the foundation for connection, a beacon of hospitality, and make a real difference in the lives of an OANM's participants.
In other words:
“Each gift exchange builds a connection, more connections create meaningful relationships, and the collective relationships strengthen existing communities. It highlights what people can already do and provides a positive way to short-circuit the ‘But … we don’t have any resources!' narrative.”
I'll explain why and how to run an OANM in this episode and, at a minimum, you'll experience these benefits if you make your own OANM happen:
- It reduces consumption. By making the most of existing assets, people don’t need to buy something that they can access when they need it.
- It reduces waste. When someone else’s surplus or gift can become another’s resource, less material and time goes to waste.
- It builds and enhances personal connections and community. Knowing who is doing what, who has access to what, and who knows who are vital for getting things done.
- It’s a simple, fast, and inexpensive way to resource a movement because it focuses on what already exists and is positive in nature.
- It’s mostly (or completely) non-commercial. OANMs don’t typically involve financial transactions.
Whether you think before or after you listen, consider these questions that Peter Block asks in his great book, Community: The Structure of Belonging:
- What gift do you have that nobody knows about?
- What's the positive feedback you receive that still surprises you?
- What's the gift you have that you don't fully acknowledge?
Let the Offers and Needs Market match-making begin!
You're about to Learn ...
- Five simple, powerful benefits of an Offers and Needs Market in any community.
- Why your friends, family, and neighbors are counting on you to own your gifts.
- How to elevate your own and other people's gifts.
- Examples of the inspiring, hilarious, or practical offers and needs I've seen.
- My favorite OANM match yet and how it helped a whole family for months.
- The core difference between needs-based and asset-based community development.
- The essential prep and housekeeping notes of an OANM.
- How ABCD relates to OANM (it makes total sense when you listen).
Resources and Items Mentioned in This Episode
- The Asset-Based Community Development Institute
- The Puttytribe
- Post Growth Institute
- World Domination Summit
- How to Run an Offers and Needs Market
- Asset-based community development (ABCD)
- SimpleREV Local
- How 241 Post It Notes, Candid Stories, and Huggr Power Changed 55 Folks (SimpleREV 2015 Recap) – SASM086
Direct Audio Download for This Episode
Timestamps and Topics
- [03:58] Defining and contextualizing an Offers and Needs Market (OANM)
- [10:07] Why and where to run or participate in an OANM
- [16:59] My experiences running OANMs
- [31:57] How to run an OANM
- [49:46] Curiosities about virtual OANMs and some final encouraging words
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