Affiliation Guidelines

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  • Free Geek takes its reputation very seriously, and its independence is essential to maintaining that reputation.
  • Official sponsorships etc mean that Free Geek takes on the reputation of other entities. Free Geek could jeopardise its reputation if the behaviour or mandate of these entities is inconsistent with Free Geek's policies, mandate or principles.
  • Generally speaking, autonomy and/or principles can be compromised or constrained when money is involved. Such relationships are to be handled with circumspection.
  • Free Geek needs to be aware of how other entities use the Free Geek name.
  • However good their intentions, for-profits by definition have some objectives inconsistent with some of Free Geek's objectives.
  • Any official relationship with another entity must be adopted by the general membership.
  • Customer relationships are not covered by these principles.
  • Endorsing or recommending entities may extend our liability. It can also prove embarrassing if these organisations are not what they appear to be.

We therefore have a number of policies and practices in regarding Free Geek affiliations.


  • Free Geek does not submit to official sponsorship by other entities.
  • Free Geek does not sponsor other organisations or their events without prior approval at a General Meeting. We actively discourage other entities referring to us as a sponsor, and practice due diligence to check promotional materials before distribution to prevent transgression of this tenet. Exceptions can only be made if cleared at a General Meeting first.
  • Free Geek does not under any circumstances make official partnerships with for-profit organisations. Terms like "in cooperation with," "working with" or "in tandem with" may be used in informational materials when working with other organisations on an event or issue.
  • Free Geek does not do link exchange. Other entities may however recommend us and link to us.
  • Other entities should not buttress or legitimize their own reputation by invoking Free Geek's name, if this will prove detrimental or risky to Free Geek in any way (including perceived affiliation). Free Geek needs to be aware of how its name is being used.
  • Free Geek does not make financial donations to organisations or individuals in exchange for volunteer service.
  • Free Geek does not endorse or recommend entities that undermine or contradict our mandate, policies or procedures.
  • Membership in new associations should be approved at a General Meeting. Approval for renewal of current associations is not necessary.

Additional Guidelines and Details

  • Free Geek practices ethical purchasing wherever possible. This means searching for suppliers who share our objectives and principles (like waste reduction or free software). Other examples of attributes we look for in suppliers: locally-owned and operated; Canadian-owned; sustainable; nonprofit/charity; family owned; independent; non-hierarchical; fair trade; worker-run; providing benefits to workers; community-based; etc.
  • Customer relationships are not covered by these tenets. For example, Free Geek can purchase goods or services from suppliers without permission. In this type of transaction Free Geek is a customer. Also, Free Geek can sell goods or services to anyone, as long as these transactions do not violate our mandate, policies, or principles.
  • Free Geek accepts equipment donations from anyone, as long as they are items we already accept. We extend ethical recycling services to everyone, and do not discriminate.
  • Free Geek is a member of the Intergalactic Federation of Free Geek. We provide hospitality, information and camaraderie to other official members of the Free Geek family.
  • Free Geek is a member of the Gay and Lesbian Business Association (GLBA), Recycling Council of BC (RCBC), and has e-Stewardship status (from the Basel Action Network).
  • Free Geek looks to the Basel Action Network (BAN) for information and advice. The relationship has been greatly beneficial to Free Geek in regards to implementing ethical recycling in Vancouver. For this reason we link to them on our website, and refer to them as a friend.