Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I have to live in a certain neighborhood to join?
No. You can join if you live in Dane County or even if you live in a different county but spend enough time in Dane County to earn and spend TimeBank Hours here. If you live far from other members your exchanges might start slowly. But we are adding new members all the time. And you can help AND earn TimeBank Hours by hosting a house party to recruit your neighbors!
Q: What are TimeBank Hours?
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.
Q: How many dollars is a TimeBank Hour worth? Does a TimeBank Hour have a monetary value?
No, a TimeBank Hour never has a monetary value. TimeBank Hours just track services (and sometimes goods) people provide for each other.
Q: Are TimeBank Hours taxable?
No. In several cases TimeBank Hours have been ruled tax exempt by the IRS because an hour is always valued at one hour. There is no legal responsibility on anyone's part to redeem a TimeBank Hour, and the purpose of TimeBank Hours is charitable. Read the IRS rulings here. And more articles here. At some point this could be challenged and we think we have a great case to make that our time spent helping one another should not be taxed.
Q: What about liability?
The Dane County TimeBank has purchased volunteer liability insurance through CIMA. Many TimeBanks have volunteer liability insurance to covers problem that can occur during a service exchange. But in the decades that TimeBanking has been around no claims have ever been filed against it. TimeBanking is based on trust and reciprocity. Background checks are carried out for each new member and there is no anonymity in the system; all strong deterrents to misuse.
Q: What about safety?
All TimeBank applicants are screened. The Dane County TimeBank Coordinator does a criminal background check through CCAP and asks for at least one personal reference. Individuals with criminal records are not excluded. But, depending on the offense and recommendations of supervisors, they may be limited to certain types of participation such as group events and supervised activities. If a member has a violent criminal history that threatens the safety of other members that person will not be given access to the online listings of names and addresses and will only work under supervision.
Not everyone is guaranteed a TimeBank membership, but the TimeBank strives to accommodate as many people with as many different backgrounds as possible.
The criminal background checks we perform should not be expected to be completely comprehensive (they only cover Wisconsin Circuit Court records and National Sex Offender Registry) and no background check is a substitute for due diligence. TimeBank members are encouraged to exercise caution, use your intuition, meet in public places at first and look out for your own safety and comfort. That said, TimeBanking builds bridges and trust between people and we don't tend to have many problems with people being untrustworthy.
Q: Screening guidelines
Q: How do I access my account?
Click on My Account (top right, below your name).
Q: How do I change my email or password?
Click on My Account (top right) > Settings > Save.
Q: How do I change my address or phone number?
Click on My Account (top right) > My Info > Save.
Q: How do I view my exchanges?
Click on My Account > Exchanges
Q: How do I add an Offer or Request?
On the right, below your name click on > Add an Offer or Add a Request > Save.
Q: How do I contact a member?
Here is the easiest method: click on "Members" in the top navigation > type in their name to search and click to go to their account > click on "contact" to send email (you can send yourself a copy by checking the box above "send message" button....or they may have their phone # on their profile
Q: Why can't I see my account or contact members?
Only users who are logged in can view contact info of other members. If you are logged in and still having trouble, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.