Tool Lending Program

The mission of the Cincinnati ToolBank is to serve community-based organizations by providing tools, equipment & expertise to empower their most ambitious goals. Our vision is to equip Cincinnati communities with tools for change.

The heart of the ToolBank is the tool lending program. Not-for-profit organizations have year-round access to the ToolBank’s inventory of tools and equipment for a nominal fee. ToolBank tools are only available to not-for-profit organizations, such as:

          • Nonprofit/Charitable/Tax exempt organizations
          • Schools and PTAs/PTOs
          • Neighborhood associations
          • Faith-based groups
          • Civic organizations
          • Government agencies

ToolBank tools are inexpensive, convenient, and fully functional, maximizing agencies’ financial and human resources and empowering them to improve community engagement and to achieve greater impact for those they serve.

 How It Works

          1. Become a ToolBank Member Agency: First time borrowers must complete our brief online membership application before they can borrow tools. There is small yearly membership fee to have access to the tools. Our registration process captures documentation of their not-for-profit status and creates a user account for the agency contact in our online tool ordering system.
          1. Submit a Tool Order: Agency logs in to their ToolBank account and submits a tool order online.
          1. Pick Up Tools: Agency picks up their tool order at the ToolBank at their scheduled pickup time. ToolBank staff and volunteers have already prepared the order in advance and help the agency load tools and equipment into their vehicle. ToolBank staff provides agency with usage and care guidelines and an itemized receipt.
          1. Return Tools: After the completion of the project, the agency returns borrowed tools at the scheduled return time. ToolBank staff and volunteers assist agency in unloading tools and check tools back into inventory.

Fee Structure

Agencies are required to pay a tool handling fee as well as an annual membership fee to borrow ToolBank tools and equipment.

Tool Handling Fee = 3% of the retail value of each tool borrowed x # of weeks borrowed

For example, an agency borrows 30 rakes for 1 week. Rakes are valued in our tool ordering system at $9.98 each. The tool handling fee for 1 rake is $0.2994 per week. The total tool handling fee is $8.98.

$8.98 = 0.03 x 9.98 x 30 x 1

Membership dues are collected annually from agencies who wish to borrow blue tools from the Cincinnati Community ToolBank. These dues are based on the agencies annual budget. Members will be charged for their annual membership at the time of their first order each calendar year. This fee may be added to your first order or billed separately.

Membership FeePrice Annually
$0 – $100,000$10
$100,001 – $250,000$25
$250,001 – $500,000$50
$500,001 – $750,000$75
$750,001 – and above$100
*All Government Agencies$100
*Public School System$10

In addition to tool handling fees, agencies may also incur late fees, replacement fees, and cleaning fees – all of which are easily avoidable. To learn more about our fees and other policies specific to our tool lending program, check out our Tools & Fees page.