Where Should I Pick Up An Item?

In the interest of safety, the personal addresses of buyers and sellers are not provided to each other.

We advise that you use your discretion – considering the value of the item being sold, the safety of your location, the safety of the other party’s location, time of day, means of transportation, and other contextual cues – when deciding whether to meet at either party’s home.  If a buyer or seller wish to transact a purchase, it’s a good idea for the traveling party to 1) let someone know where he/she is going, and/or 2) to bring someone along. 

If you feel unsafe about a pick-up situation, contact us at info@siloz.com, and we’ll try to work something out.


As a silo Administrator, How Do I Get Paid? What are siloz’ fees?

If you are the administrator of a public silo, when your silo ends, the site will send you an email requesting your bank account and routing information, so we can send you 85% of the money raised.

If you are the administrator of a private silo, sìloz will use the PayPal email address you provided when you started your silo, and, when your silo ends, sìloz will pay you 85% of the money you raised.

This process usually takes 3 days to get underway, and another 3 days to complete.

How Do I Run a Successful silo?

  1. Make sure you have selected the right silo for your purpose – private or public.  Simple rule of thumb: if it doesn’t benefit your local community, and you are not also in a leadership position with the organization running the silo, and it isn’t one of the six categories of public silo (1) youth sports, 2) religious, 3) public education, 4) civic, 5) neighborhood, or 6) regional non-profit.), you should start a private silo.  
  2. Take time creating your silo page.  Craft your title well.  It should be simple to understand and attention-grabbing.  Your ‘organization purpose’ and ‘fundraiser purpose’ information should be succinct.
  3. Manage your silo from your ‘administration console’.  Delete members or items with inappropriate content.
  4. Upload a high-quality photo, and – if your organization has one (typically community silos) – a logo.  Upload an appropriate photo of yourself (as the administrator).  A human face does a lot to inspire trust and connection.  It may also be how your silo members recognize you.
  5. For public silos: promote off-line: coordinate your silo with an in-person event, such as a day at your church or at the field where sports are played, at a block party, street fair, at a public concert, etc.  You can print out 1/4 page flyers from the silo administration console, for your supporters.  
  6. For all silos: promote online: Use Facebook and our email contact tool (AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo! and Gmail) in the silo administration console.  You can also announce your silo on a local event guide, with posted bulletins, or on online classified websites, like Craigslist.
  7. Be responsible.  A silo is a covenant of trust with your donors.
  8. Once you’ve notified everybody, and they start donating items, it doesn’t stop there.  Encourage them to donate multiple items, and/or big-ticket items, and to promote the silo.
  9. Lead by example: you should be donating to your own silo.
  10. When your silo concludes, and you have received (and/or spent proceeds), use the ‘Thank You’ feature on the site.  You can select this option from the silo administration console.

What is the Lifecycle of a silo?

  1. Active Phase (1-3 weeks): A silo administrator (the person starting a silo) notifies his or her friends and associates, through Facebook and our email address book tool, about the silo.  Members join and in turn invite their people to pledge or shop for items.
  2. After silo ends (a few days to a couple weeks): silo administrator receives funds raised by a silo.  Typically this occurs in fewer than three business days after the silo expires, and may take up to three days for the funds transfer to occur.
  3. ‘Thank You’ Phase: The silo administrator begins ‘Thank You’ phase, by uploading photos (and .pdfs of scanned receipts, if he/she likes) to show how funds were spent.  Members are notified about the ‘Thank You’ phase by email, and invited to come see how funds were spent.

How Are Items Sold?

When buyers make payment on the site, we provide buyer and seller with each other’s contact information.  They then arrange a pickup, locally.  Buyers must be local to a seller to pay for the item, in the first place, since sales are geo-restricted, and nothing is ever shipped.

Note: siloz does not provide either buyer or seller with the other party’s physical address.  On the map (on the item page), the location is randomized to within 1,000 yards).  It is up to the parties to determine a meeting place for pickup.

Can I Decline A Purchase I Made?

Not at this time.  A future version of siloz will allow the buyer an option to decline a high-value item, and receive a 95% refund.

Since sellers aren’t the beneficiaries of the sale’s proceeds (it goes to the silo or fundraiser), there’s little incentive to misrepresent an item.  Still, exercise skepticism when purchasing items, particularly high-value items.

Sellers will never be able to back out of a sale.

What Should I Do If I Suspect A silo Is Fraudulent?

siloz is a technology provider for users to fund-raise.  We have built in safeguards, encouraged our users to exercise skepticism when joining a silo, and empowered our users to police the site, themselves.

Still, humans are intelligent and inventive – and sometimes unethical – and we cannot guarantee fraud or abuses will never occur.

Before joining a silo, research it.  Don’t join a silo that doesn’t seem legitimate to you.  If you have done this, we invite site users to exercise additional options to remedy a situation of abuse or suspected abuse, including:

  1. Notify siloz.com;
  2. Remove your listed items from the silo;
  3. Flag a silo for ‘fraud/scam’.


Does siloz Allow Shipping? Can I Sell For A silo In Another Region?

siloz is meant to operate regionally, buying and selling in local markets; so a buyer must be within 25 miles of a seller (your location, when you’re logged in, must bee close to the seller).

You can sell for a silo in another region.

As long as a buyer and a seller are near each other, an item can be purchased.  It is not necessary that sellers (donors of items) be near a *silo*, however; it is only necessary that potential buyers are near the seller (and this is, in fact, the only way a sale is possible – because of geolocation/georestriction).

Under no circumstances should a buyer coordinate with a seller to receive a shipped item. 

Is siloz a Non-Profit? How Does siloz Get Paid?

sìloz.com is a privately-held, for-profit company.  Our payment gateway keeps about 2.5%.

Without a discount code: silo administrators (for both public and private silos) keep 85% of funds raised.  In this case, we keep roughly 12.5% of money raised through the sale of items.

With a discount code: or, with a consultant’s coupon/discount code, a silo will keep 87.5% of a silo’s funds raised; the consultant whose code was used receives 10%, and siloz receives no payment.

How Do I Exit A silo?

You exit a silo by canceling the item donated to that silo.  

You cannot exit a silo if you have a pending pledged item.  You will be removed from a silo when all listed items are removed.  

What Sorts of silos Are Banned?

sìloz prohibits fundraisers for political, racial, heritage foundations or causes, or any other organization that other members (through flagging), or our site administrators, deem inconsistent with our values of goodwill, inclusiveness, respect, and legality.

What Are siloz’ Safety and Security Features?

sìloz is proud of the safety features we’ve incorporated.  The core design is, itself, a security feature. We do not permit silos for personal causes, for starters.  We have balanced the interests of the silo administrators against the interests of donors (members), and made the former accountable and transparent to, the latter.  We have similarly balanced the interests of buyers and sellers, with our Voucher Key/Voucher feature.

We share the number of Facebook friends the administrator has, if he/she has chosen to connect with Facebook. 

Another well-known security feature we have incorporated is user monitoring.  We encourage users to notify us (info@siloz.com) if they  see anything inappropriate.

If you are donating an item, you should always conduct your own inquiry into an organization or a silo’s administrator.  Their contact information and website are on their silo page (for public silos).  Private silos are unlisted, and thus there are no compromising connections to the general public, where strangers can donate to a cause they are not personally familiar with.  

We permit any potential member of a personal or community silo to send an one-way blind email to any silo administrator, to investigate the silo.

It is always advisable to skeptically investigate any organization or representative you are donating either money or pledged items to.  

Additional Safety and Security Features

  1. We do not permit shipping; we require sales to be transacted locally, in-person;
  2. The site is conceptually simple, and, therefore, relatively easy to identify ways members may attempt to defraud others;
  3. Because items have been donated, and since the seller is not the beneficiary of a sale, we expect seller fraud to be low.  
  4. Because the buyer is in a position to help a local cause, we expect buyer fraud to be low.
  5. Because sellers are asked to use real names, and appear in their ‘silo’ with other members in their community who support their cause, we expect fraud and other unfair play to be at a minimum.  
  6. The site does not use cash.
  7. All silos have an administrator whose contact information is and photo are publicly exhibited.
  8. We permit any potential member of a personal or community silo to send an one-way blind email to any silo administrator, to investigate the silo.
  9. We hold the silo administrator’s raised funds until the silo has come to completion.
  10. We do not not allow the administrator of a community silo that was canceled (either by the administrator, proactively, or due to an abuse of our Terms of Use) to collect any money for a silo.
  11. We track whether a community silo has a registered 501(c)3 EIN (employer ID number), and disclose this information on the silo’s detail page.
  12. We permit members of any silo to see who other members are, and to see the items pledged.
  13. We update all users (on the silo wall) about activity in the silo, fostering transparency.
  14. We forbid a silo administrator from running multiple silos at one time.
  15. We forbid a silo’s purpose, title, goal and category from being changed.
  16. When a silo expires, we require a silo administrator to ‘Thank’ by exhibiting how (read: prove to users that) money was spent.

Is siloz legal? Where Does siloz Stand With Federal Law and The Laws in All 50 States?

siloz is not just legal, it abides major fundraising advisories, and applicable laws in all 50 states.

siloz is a for-profit technology service provider and is not a professional fundraising organization, fundraising counsel, a fundraising adviser, a fundraising manager, a fundraising planner, a commercial co-venturer, or a fundraising solicitor.  We collect a fee approaching 10% of the total amount raised for the service we provide.

siloz provides only the tools for organizations to conduct their own fundraisers, and/or prepare soliciting materials, makes no representations about the veracity of a fundraiser, and never executes any aspect of a fundraising effort.

siloz is not responsible for vetting the legitimacy or authenticity of any silo – personal or community.  We have built in a host of security features to prevent abuse, but, pursuant to our Terms of Use, ultimately, users are responsible for pledging items or making donations to a given silo.

A non-profit organization is one that has registered with IRS as such, and therefore is tax-exempt, has an EIN (employer ID number).  They typically begin with ‘501’ in the IRS federal code.  All 501 organizations can receive donations, but only 501(c)3 (charitable) organizations are always capable of issuing tax-deductible receipts for donations.  Charities are a specific type of non-profit, whose objective is philanthropic.  There are cases where donations to other 501 organizations (such as 501(c)4’s) may be tax-deductible, if they are claimed as business or trade expenses.

Schools are an unusual.  They are not 501(c)3 organizations, but donations to public schools (and some private – talk to the school), are always tax-deductible.

In any case where an organization (wishing to run a community silo) undertakes a fundraiser, it is (in 40 states at the time of this writing) required to register itself with the appropriate governing body in that state.

Any organization registered with the IRS should report funds raised to that authority.  Consult an attorney if you are not registered with the IRS and unsure whether you are required to do so.

Your state may require a ‘disclosure statement’ or receipt (Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington State and West Virginia) in order to claim a deduction. siloz issues these automatically, when an item of any price sells.

We permit any ‘not-for-profit’ organization meeting our separate criteria (see or FAQ on which organizations can run a silo) to run a silo, but they cannot all issue tax-deductible receipts.  For example: a little league may not be a registered non-profit (and therefore cannot issue produce an EIN or issue tax-deductible receipts), but, provided it is observing applicable laws, it would be permitted to operate a community silo.  The same would be true of a neighborhood association.

Note: these organizations may qualify for non-profit status (if not 501(c)3 charitable status), in the event they to organize and register with the IRS.

Laws and Advisories

The Modal Charitable Solicitations Act (MCSA; a federal law) applies specifically to charities, and defines ‘solicitation’  as making written requests for donations, announcements to the press, distributing publications, or otherwise advertising), and ‘charitable organization’ as being registered as such with the IRS.

This Act states siloz cannot be a charitable ‘adviser’ or ‘counsel’ (defined as planning a fundraiser for a charity, managing a fundraiser for a charity, counseling  a fundraiser for a charity, consulting on  a fundraiser for a charity, or preparing materials for a fundraiser for a charity), for a fee, without also being required to register in a given state as such.  The law was enacted to prevent charlatans from collecting money on behalf of (and/or exploiting) charities, specifically.

This Act is federal law, and must be observed in all states, including theDistrict of Columbia.  Many states have adopted the language of the MCSA into their own respective code, with some variations in language. siloz is not in violation of this law, as – though it collects a fee – it does not serve in any of the aforementioned capacities.

Typically, the regulatory burden is less for a person who doesn’t actually conduct the solicitation but only advises the non-profit organization. Some states have added language that exempts a ‘person’ (who otherwise meets the definition of ‘fundraising counsel’) from being defined as such, and therefore required to register with the state, provided the funds raised are in the perpetual control and custody of the fundraising organization.  These states include Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  However, siloz does not meet the definition of ‘fundraising counsel’.

The National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO) released The Charleston Principles, an advisory guideline on solicitation of charitable giving, indicates that technology providers, who do not charge excessively for their service, are less likely to be seen as charitable advisors.  We charge around 7%.

Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) advises an express, formal agreement, between a technology service provider, such as sìloz, and a charitable organization.  This appears in our Terms of Use, which must be accepted to create an account and therefore to create a silo.

We are proud of sìloz, and believe we can help people help themselves.  If you have any additional questions about the legality of fundraising, feel free to reach out to us, through the ‘Contact Us’ link at the bottom of our website, or to consult your attorney.