The Atlanta Community ToolBank Tool Lending Program shares its resources with charitable groups so they can equip volunteers to efficiently complete work in less time with the right tools at a minimal cost.
By using ToolBank tools, nonprofits avoid the expense of purchasing, repairing, and storing tools. For example, an organization can spend $100 at the ToolBank in tool handling fees and equip 50 volunteers or purchase a few tools for around 4100 for a few volunteers to use on a project.
Member agencies also pay nominal handling fees to borrow tools based on a percentage or their retail cost. For example, the one week handling fee for a 16-foot ladder, which typically sells for around $99, would be $2.97 (3% of retail cost), significantly less than the $31 per day a rental company would charge for that same ladder. Tool handling fees help encourage the return of tools and are kept as low as possible to enable members to use the tools often.
As of early 2016, the Atlanta Community ToolBank has 234 different types of tools and almost 45,000 individual tools in inventory. With this number of tools your local ToolBank can help member agencies equip projects ranging from a few volunteers to thousands of volunteers.
The Atlanta Community ToolBank began in 1991, when a group of volunteers providing home repairs to low income seniors in south Atlanta neighborhoods incorporated at Community Redevelopment, Inc (CRI). Their mission of helping homeowners maintain a warm, safe and dry home. CRI began to share the steady accumulation of tools donated to them in support of their mission in the local community. In 1996 CRI moved that now larger inventory of tools and their home repair program into a 11,045 sf warehouse purchased from the city of Atlanta. In 1998 CRI officially became the Atlanta Community ToolBank In. They continued to lend blue tools to local agencies and build their inventory of tools. In 2013, with the help of many local organizations and foundations, the Atlanta Community ToolBank purchased a new warehouse at 410 Englewood and moved its vast inventory to facilitate its growth.
Though an affiliate of the ToolBank network, the Atlanta ToolBank is independently operated, governed by a local board of directors, and relies solely on local funding to fulfill its mission.
To learn more about the impacts of ToolBanks across the country, check out our 2016 Impact Fact Sheet.