How, in bid to get off of Facebook as a platform, Buy Nothing founders Liesl Clark and Rebecca Rockefeller have struggled to find a viable business model for a gifting movement conceived to flout capitalism while building community.

AT THE ONE-YEAR anniversary of its launch, the Buy Nothing app had been downloaded 600,000 times, but only 91,000 people were regularly using it, not many more than at the beginning. Meanwhile, the Facebook groups from which the founders had disengaged were thriving without them. Global membership had surpassed 7 million. When I asked what Rockefeller and Clark thought would happen to Buy Nothing Inc. if they couldn’t come up with additional funding, they said they weren’t interested in thinking in such fatalistic terms.