Members’ Frequently Asked Questions
Hudson Area TimeBank

Do I have to add my address and other personal information in my TimeBank Profile.

Only add what you feel you need to add so people can connect with you. Remember, the more open you are with others, the more they will be open (and trust) you.

How is member privacy protected?

The information you give to the Hudson Area TimeBank is secure and password-protected. You can restrict your information to the Hudson Area TimeBank Adminsitration Only, or to members of Hudson Area TimeBank Only.

How can I trust the other members?

How can you trust anyone? Get to know them, just as you would with any other relationship. People are people whether they are in the Exchange or not. There are also many features built into the software that allow you to assess the connectedness of another member.

What if I don’t have Internet access?

There computer terminals in the Hudson area that you can access. For example, The Hudson Area Library. We can also team you with a helper.

You can also email or mail your information (who received the service, who gave the service, a description of the service, and number of hours) by fillling out the contact us form or by post to our office.

What are Hours in the TimeBank?

TimeBank Hours represent the amount of time one TimeBank member has spent helping other members. When you spend an hour helping another TimeBank member, one TimeBank Hour gets added to your account and subtracted from the account of the member who received your service. You can record half- and quarter-hours too (we always round up). TimeBank Hours can be exchanged at the one TimeBank Hour per hour rate for anything being offered by someone in the network, provided the person is willing and available.

How is my Time Dollar balance tracked?

Hudson Area TimeBank is an affiliate of hOurworld, and uses their Time and Talents software to list service offers and requests, and to track member balances. Don’t worry – it’s not hard, and you don’t have to ‘bank’ a lot of hours before accepting an offer from another member. You are allowed to “overdraw” your account – at some point you’ll perform a service for someone else, and will make a deposit to bring your balance back up. You won’t get that kind of trust from a big commercial bank, would you?

Can I give Time Credits to someone else?

Yes. If you are aware of a need that member has to receive a service, but they are unable to earn time dollars themselves, you may donate time credits to them. Contact a coordinator on how to do this.

Should I tip a member for good service?

No. Rather than give a tip, “pay it forward” instead by giving excellent service to another member!

I need urgent help. Can I count on the TimeBank?

Maybe. The Hudson Area TimeBank is not here to provide emergency services, but depending on the service, our members may still be able to help. Ask the Coordinator to send an Alert. It is always best to give as much notice as possible when requesting a service.

What are my responsibilities as a member once I join?

Your main responsibility is to log in any hours you receive while using the TimeBank. Secondarily, you should do your best to offer as many services as possible so that your account will be as balanced as possible. Also, the more you can rely on the TimeBank for services you need, the healthier the TimeBank will be.

However, members are encouraged to:

  • Keep your account up to date and monitor account actively.
  • Give and receive time in Reciprocity. Please do not become indebted to the bank for more than 10 hours without contacting the TimeBank. Assess what gifts and talents you have that might be a valuable service to Others!
  • Record all hours contributed.
  • Please limit communications to within the TimeBank so there is a record of your agreement in case of a potential dispute.
  • Think of community needs, not just individual needs. Participate in group projects!

What if I feel uncomfortable about someone I’m exchanging with?

We strongly believe in safety first.

We like to think of the Hudson AreaTimeBank as a community of trust, and problems rarely arise, but of course many exchanges are with people you’ve never met. If anything goes wrong or feels strange during an exchange report it to the coordinator so we can be aware of it. If you feel uncomfortable during an exchange, or when you first meet the person, trust your instincts and tell them you’d rather not do the exchange after all. If they complain about having made plans, tell them they will still earn the hours agreed upon. Then report the incident to the coordinator. Don’t hesitate to back out of you are feeling apprehensive about any part of the interaction – better safe than sorry and we will understand.

What if the service I want isn't listed?

Go find someone to provide that service. Recruit that skill, and the next skill provider, and the next one. This will enrich your service menu for everyone!

Can I hold a small group class?

Yes, you can. This is a great way to share skills with other TimeBank members. The teacher should receive as many time credits as the time spent on the class and in preparing and cleanup. Each student should give the amount of time they spent in the class.

The balance goes into the Community Fund to create community wealth.

This is done a little differently than regular exchanges, and we will help you with recording hours.

Can I exchange products, or goods, in addition to services?

Yes, some members exchange things like muffins, artwork, etc. In most cases the hours exchanged should be the amount of time it took to make the product. In cases where this is not applicable, members can work out an arrangement they both agree on. Material costs are paid separately.

Do I include travel time in my “time hours” charged?

If you are going to travel more than 1/2 hour, it would make sense to be compensated for that time as well as for the gas. However, all travel is negotiable between the giver and the receiver of a service

I need a service that requires tools. Who is responsible for providing these?

Always check with the member providing the service to confirm what is needed, and who will provide it. The default is that the person requesting is responsible.

What about hard costs like gas, ingredients, or materials?

Things that cost real money like gas for rides, ingredients for cooking, etc., should be paid by for the person receiving the service. Whether you buy the materials up front or pay the service provided back is up to the two of you. If you both agree, it’s also possible to add an extra time credit in exchange for the materials, but the default is to pay cash.

What if I'm not satisfied with the service offered? Example: I didn't like my haircut.

What would you do if you paid cash for that haircut? Same thing. Talk to the provider. Express your opinion, work out a solution. Treat the situation the same as you would in the cash economy.

Are negative balances (debt) allowed?

Yes – life is like that, needs don’t always come when we have means.

We encourage members to always be earning enough hours for what they want to spend them on. Under special circumstances, members may reach out to the TimeBank administration to help others in the TimeBank to facilitate a donation. In addition, you are able to earn additional hours for the TimeBank by recruiting people to join the time bank.

When I spend all my time and I have zero balance in my account, how can I earn more time if nobody is requesting my services?

At the Hudson Area TimeBank you have options to earn time besides offering your services:

  1. If you invite your Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin friends to register on hOurworld you will earn ½ Hour for each person that joins the community
  2. You can become a TimeBank Ambassador and help us grow the community. Please fill out the contact us form if you want to learn more.

Can I exchange products, or goods, in addition to services?

Yes, some members exchange things like muffins, artwork, etc. In most cases the hours exchanged should be the amount of time it took to make the product. In cases where this is not applicable, members can work out an arrangement they both agree on. Material costs are paid separately.

What are some important Dont’s as a member of the Hudson Area Time Bank?

Members may not:

  • Accept tips
  • Accept financial info such as bank account numbers, PINs, or credit card numbers
  • Participate in site on behalf of non-member (encourage the non-member to join)
  • Possess or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs during exchanges. The use of prescription drugs is permitted only if so doing does not impair member’s ability to provide or receive services effectively.
  • Offer services which are illegal or unethical (i.e. doing a student's homework)

If you observe illegal activity

occurring within the Time Bank, please contact police immediately and notify a Time Bank coordinator when you can.


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