A number of people at the Regional meeting brought up the topic of time banking. We in the Newburyport area are in the process of setting up a new time bank.
We have been looking at the TImeBanksUSA model and reviewing the information resources on their website. I wondered if any of you are currently managing a timebank and if so, if you could share what resources you used in starting up and lessons learned.
About 5 years ago, I supervised an Americore Vista Volunteer in operating a Time Bank in Rockland, Maine. It was low-tech, but very effective, The Time Bank Americore Volunteer wasn't too computer savvy; she kept a 3-ring binder of members and interviewed folks face-to-face when they walked in off the street or called. She was personable and worked at it full-time until her stint was over, at which time the thing kind of fell apart due to lack of funding.
The scope of my responsibilities at the agency included other programs where I used the services of Time Bank members. I particularly remember using the services of musicians, servers and caterers at events.
Personally, my husband and I in the building of our home used the services of an architect through Time Bank. He gave time to the bank by repairing the skirt on a mobile home for a woman who was most appreciative and working for a farmer.
Lessons we learned:
1. it is important that people sign on for things they want to do, rather than things they are able to do - I called a woman once who, when I said I was calling because of her listing in Time Bank, said she didn't want to give anybody a ride anymore (apparently she'd had tons of calls for this service). When I said I was calling because I wanted her to play the flute at an event, she perked right up
2. lots of coaching for members is necessary, as people hang out chatting when they're needed on a job or worse, get treated poorly, or even overcharge their time. All of these things happened to us.
Good luck! We're hoping to get a Time Bank started here in Belfast one day.