The Atlanta Community ToolBank
The Atlanta Community ToolBank is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with two unique programs, the Tool Lending Library and Rescue & Reuse. Program benefits are designed specifically to increase the impact of Atlanta's nonprofit and community improvement efforts. Membership is open to nonprofit organizations, faith-based institutions, public schools, organized volunteer groups and community-based service organizations. Through a nominal membership fee, qualifying agencies gain access to a wealth of ToolBank resources and the expertise of ToolBank staff to help achieve greater heights in their agency's mission.
Tool Lending Library
The ToolBank's Tool Library is the country's largest tool lending program, providing tools to Atlanta's nonprofit organizations for use in volunteer service projects. The ToolBank is proud that the Tool Lending Library was community-initiated and is still community-driven today. The program contains $500,000 worth of tools and more than 170 nonprofit member agencies borrow the equipment for use in community projects. The Tool Lending Library equipped more than 54,000 volunteers in 2006, performing more than 700 service projects. A handling fee is associated with borrowing tools, which is 6% of the tools' retail value. For example, if an agency borrows $100 worth of tools for 2 weeks, the handling fee is $6, which helps the ToolBank defray costs.
The Atlanta Community Food Bank borrowed generators from the Tool Lending Library to power the Hunger Walk at Turner Field, and at the 11th Annual Edgewood Clean Up & Beautification Project, 100 volunteers came out to clean up their neighborhood with tools from the ToolBank. Whether there are 5 volunteers or 15,000 volunteers coming out to landscape, build a playground, repair homes, or perform hundreds of tasks all over the city, the ToolBank has the tools to help make the project successful. Please visit the website at www.toolbank.org to see the inventory listed on the Online Tool Request. From wheelbarrows to cordless drills, generators to scrub brushes, the Tool Lending Library boasts more than 140 different types of tools to equip volunteers. Agencies are encouraged to plan big! Volunteers want to make an impact on the nonprofits they serve and the ToolBank has the tools to ensure success.
Rescue & Reuse
The ToolBank initiated another community-minded program when staff noticed leftover materials as projects returned tools. Project leaders wanted other charitable groups to have access to the remaining materials, such as plywood, paint and hardware, to supply the next project. The ToolBank responded to the community by formalizing a materials redistribution program in 2000, Rescue & Reuse. The ToolBank now redistributes 100 pallets of facility maintenance and building materials per year to the same nonprofits that borrow tools.
Like the Tool Lending Library, handling fees are associated with acquiring materials from Rescue & Reuse. Because items are donated in different conditions, handling fees vary from 5-20% of retail value. The ToolBank now actively solicits corporate donations, ranging from paper products to hardware. Nonprofits are able to serve more clients or provide more services to their existing clients when they can acquire project and facility maintenance materials at the ToolBank. This program also serves the environment, because the ToolBank literally rescues new and gently used materials from the waste-stream. Whether volunteers are painting nonprofit offices or cleaning every senior's home in the neighborhood, the ToolBank can help supply the project. Rescue & Reuse has a constantly rotating inventory; to view the most recent materials, please visit the ToolBank website.
Membership to the ToolBank is open to nonprofit organizations of all sizes and locations. From public schools to churches, shelters to transitional houses, neighborhood associations to international service organizations, the ToolBank can provide the resources needed to equip volunteers and maintain facilities. Some longstanding members of the ToolBank include Grant Park Conservancy, Hands On Atlanta, Historic Oakland Foundation, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Kelley Lake Elementary School and Metro Christian Center, to name a few. For a complete list of ToolBank Member Agencies and for more information, please visit the ToolBank's online home at www.toolbank.org. A Frequently Asked Questions page is provided for each program and for membership.
In addition to tool and material resources, ToolBank Member Agencies enjoy informal project consultation in the areas of volunteers, carpentry, construction and other tool/material-related matters. With more than 30 cumulative years of experience, ToolBank staff is on hand to answer questions and provide guidance regarding project planning.
ToolBank membership runs on an annual cycle, and there is a sliding scale annual membership fee based on the size of the applying agency's budget. The membership application can be submitted online. A ToolBank staff person will call within 2 business days to address questions and schedule a tour of the warehouse. ToolBank staff encourages you to fully utilize this community resource in achieving your agency's goals. The Atlanta Community ToolBank exists to serve nonprofits, so visit the website or call Program Manager Carey Martin today at (404) 880-0054 Ext. 11 to inquire about membership.
ToolBank Tool Drive at Highland Woodworking
The Atlanta Community ToolBank seeks donations of used and new tools to the ToolBank to expand its capacity to equip volunteers in metro Atlanta. May is the perfect time for a spring cleaning project, so be sure to set aside those spare tools and drop them off at Highland Woodworking on May 5th. Attend the Spring One Day Sale from 9am until 4pm for great deals on new tools and receive a tax deduction for the tools being replaced. Your contribution will go a long way to providing Atlanta's nonprofits with the resources they need for successful community service projects. Visit the website at www.toolbank.org for more information about membership, programs, volunteer opportunities and the Tool Drive.