Help centre

Using Made Open Exeter

Made Open Exeter supports many types of community action and brings people together. We enable people to volunteer, timebank, fundraise, share ideas, form groups, exchange resources and a whole lot more.

Here is a quick overview of our top ten features. For more detailed tutorials, please visit our guides.


1. Activities 6. Start a project
2. Community 7. Start a poll
3. Exchange 8. Create an event
4. Find volunteering opportunities 9. Create a group
5. Ask the community 10. Embed activity on to a third party site.


1. Activities

When it comes to supporting good causes, crowdsourcing is an inexpensive way to enlist the help of the whole community. Here’s how you can support community activities or start your own:

  • Ask the community
    Ask a question, see what issues others are trying to solve and share your ideas.
  • Start a project
    Ask for money, materials or volunteers. Pledge to help in a few clicks.
  • Start a poll
    Canvas opinions via a single or multiple-choice poll, and throw your own voice into the mix.
  • Create an event
    Create ticketed or non-ticketed events. Use Eventbrite to secure your tickets to paid events.
  • Pledge
    Pledge your support to the all of the above features on the ‘Activities’ stream.
  • Search
    Filter the ‘Activity Stream’ by location, theme, activity type and recently added / popularity.
  • Your user dashboard
    Click on the ‘manage activities’ bar to view statistics, edit details and manage pledges.

Many users are pleased to know that you can ask questions of the whole Made Open Exeter community or keep things private within your group. Same goes for projects – these can be made public or kept private. And remember, the only charge for crowdfunding is Stripe’s payment processing fee (1.2% + 20p). We don’t charge a penny.


2. Community

The Made Open Exeter platform allows you to connect with other socially minded people and organisations. Here’s how:

  • Start a group
    Click on the drop-down arrow next to your username and select ‘start a group’.
  • Connect with others
    Use the ‘Community’ stream to connect with other people, groups or organisations.
  • Search
    Use the filter to find volunteers, volunteering opportunities; and users with specific skills and interests.

Remember, every user that signs up gets a personal profile. This profile can include things like place of work, interests, skills, a brief bio and social media links. Once you have connected with someone (click the connect button next to their profile) you will be able to contact them directly.


3. Exchange

Join the Community Exchange and exchange or donate the credits you earn from giving your time or materials (if enabled) to support the community. Here’s what you can do:

  • Add an offer
    Add an offer to the Exchange; detailing where, when and how you wish to make this offer.
  • Add a request
    Ask the community for some help with a problem and see who’s willing to support you.
  • Make an exchange
    Make your exchanges with others on the ‘Exchanges’ stream.
  • Search
    Filter by offer / request, location, theme, value and recently added / ending soon.
  • Your user dashboard
    Click on the ‘Exchange’ tab to donate credits, edit details, manage exchanges and end offers.

If you are familiar with Timebanking or Local Exchange Trading Schemes (LETS), the Community Exchange allows you do to both. However, your site administrator will have set up how they’d like the Exchange to work. They can also transfer unwanted credits to support vulnerable users of the community through the ‘community pot’.


4. Find volunteering opportunities

As well as finding ‘projects’ in your area that need volunteers, ‘groups’ and ‘organisations’ can also advertise that they are looking for volunteers by listing all the roles they have available on the Made Open Exeter platform or by linking through to their website. This means you can find great groups and organisations near you who have interesting opportunities that match your skillsets. Here's how you can find opportunities for you:

  • Go to ‘Community’.
  • Select ‘Search groups’.
  • Select ‘Show only groups looking for volunteers’.
  • Customise your search further (i.e. set a location, choose a theme that interests you).
  • Click ‘Go’.


5. Ask the community

Ask the community is all about sharing ideas with each other to solve a community issue. A question can be added and shared in minutes. Here's how it works:

  • Login into your account.
  • Click ‘Ask the community’.
  • Follow on screen instructions.
  • Click ‘submit’.

Once created, your question will be listed on the ‘Activities’ stream. You can also share your question via social media or embed your question into your own website.


6. Start a project

Asking for money, materials or volunteers can be set up as a project, which has a unique URL. People can view you project and pledge to help. Projects have targets and are time limited, if your project reaches in its targets before the time is up you will receive you funds within 7 working days, be connected with your volunteers and your material pledgers to arrange your project delivery.

To start a project, follows these simple steps:

  • Login into your account.
  • Click ‘Start project’.
  • Follow on screen instructions.
  • Submit to Made Open
  • Click ‘submit’.
  • Wait for your project to be approved by the site administrator.

Once your project has been approved, it will be listed on the ‘Activities’ stream and can be shared via social media. You can also embed projects into your own website.


7. Start a poll

Set up a simple poll to capture your communities opinion on pretty much anything. Whatever the topic, polls can be easily created and shared on Can Do Bristol and beyond:

  • Log in to your account.
  • Click ‘Start a poll’.
  • Follow on screen instructions.
  • Click ‘submit’.


8. Create an event

Creating an event can be a simple way to advertise an open event like a park litter pick or promote ticketed event through Eventbrite. Whatever the type of event, you can create a bespoke event page which appears on Made Open Exeter, which can be shared with the community.

  • Log in to your account.
  • Click ‘Create an event’.
  • Follow on screen instructions.
  • Click ‘submit’.


9. Create a group

Groups are a great way to form action teams. You might have an existing community group that you want represented on the platform or you may want to make use of the collaboration features such as sharing documents, live video streaming, starting discussions and organising tasks. To create a group, click on the ‘Groups’ tab within your user dashboard and follow on screen instructions.

If you are the chairperson of your group (e.g you set the group up), you can:

  • Set up private questions, projects, polls and events.
  • Set up public questions, projects, polls and events.
  • Set up discussions on topics of your choice.
  • Invite people to join and control membership.
  • Set tasks for group members and share assignments.


10. Embed activity on a third-party site

If you want to share your community question or project on your own website, all you have to do is cut and paste a few lines of text into your code or Content Management System (CMS). Here, people visiting your site will be able to add ideas or pledge money, time or materials without having to leave the page they are on. Here’s how you can do this:

  • Visit your question or project page on the Made Open Exeter platform.
  • Click the ‘Embed’ button in the top right-hand corner of the page (or under ‘share’ if you are viewing on a mobile).
  • Copy the embed code that appears in front of you.
  • Paste this code into your web page, normally via your chosen CMS.

Please enjoy using Made Open Exeter. It's simple to use but we always welcome feedback on how to make it better. And remember, you can control and edit most things through your ‘user dashboard’. Simply click on your username to access these set of features.

Together, everyone has something to give.