16 Frequently Asked Questions
- In no particular order ...
1. What is a Time Dollar? A Time Dollar is earned for every hour of service provided in an exchange. When a member receives a service their account is debited an equal number of Time Dollars.
2. How does it work when an exchange is made between a highly paid professional and a 'regular' person? Time Exchange is a complementary economic system. It is not meant to replace our current system of exchange, but to enhance it. In a Time Exchange everyone's time is equal. At first this may not seem to be a balanced exchange, but think of it this way: We all have 24 hours in a day. And this idea of a system where everyone is equal is not new. It is also reflected in our government where our Congress is made up of both a House of Representatives and a Senate. In the House each state is awarded a number of Representatives based on the state's population. This would be like the highly paid professional who can earn as much per hour as he is able. Across the aisle in the Senate every state gets 2 seats - no matter how populace or powerful it is. In Time Exchange we are all Senators. We are all equal.
3. How are hours credited? When contact is made between members details and understandings for the exchange are discussed and agreed upon. Important discussions should also include how many hours are expected to be credited/debited, if any materials are to be supplied by the giver or receiver, if there are any issues concerning mobility, allergies, etc. Hours are posted after the exchange is completed; typically by the person providing the service. Hours can be broken down into 15-minute intervals. For additional questions about posting hours from an exchange contact your Coordinator at info@1EqualShare.com.
4. What kind of services can be exchanged? The list is endless, but exchanges must meet guidelines noted in One Equal Share's Policies and Procedures, and of course, they must be legal. Examples include: tutoring, driving, child care, lessons, technology support, health care, shopping, light home or auto repair, legal and accounting advice or services, hair care, manicures, pedicures, fung shui, office support, meal preparation, house cleaning, yard care, coaching, non-profit support, reading for another, craft making and decorations, massage, hiking guide, and the list goes on and on... What would you like to exchange? If in doubt contact info@1EqualShare.com.
5. Does One Equal Share guarantee the quality of services exchanged? No. Exchanges are offered in a 'neighborly' manner. It is the responsibility of members to be comfortable with anyone they choose to exchange with. Ask questions, be clear about expectations and responsibilities, and get to know other members by attending One Equal Share events and volunteering for projects presented by our non-profit sustaining members. For additional help, our exchange and tracking software notes the frequency of member’s exchanges as well as personal recommendations. It also offers the opportunity to report unsatisfactory exchanges; happily these are infrequent and usually resolved amicably. On the rare occasion where a dispute persists, the parties should contact their Coordinator for assistance with a resolution.
6. How do I know who to trust? Exchanges through One Equal Share are based on trust, personal responsibility, accountability, and respect. Members' references are checked prior to being admitted to the group. In addition, all applicants are checked against the national sexual predator list, and those offering driving services are checked for a valid driver's license, active insurance and any negative driving record. Note too that typical Time Exchange members are people seeking to create community and a positive social safety network. Exchanges are made on the Honor System. In the hundreds of thousands of exchanges made over more than 30 years, we are aware of only two issues. Both were resolved. Members are encouraged to attend our 'Getting-to-Know-You Potlucks and other One Equal Share events to meet other members they might like to exchange with, and to build interest and trust.
7. Why do I have to attend an orientation? Most people are unfamiliar with a Time Exchange; and attending an Orientation means everyone starts with the same basic understandings. You will learn how to use the exchange and tracking program, the basic tenets of Time Exchange, have the opportunity to ask questions, and meet other new members.
8. How can I help One Equal Share? Contact your Coordinator at Info@1EqualShare.com and let us know your interests!
9. Can I donate my Time Dollars to another member? Yes. Members may choose to donate Time Dollars to other members who for health or age or other issues need a little extra support. Keep in mind however, that reciprocity is a key tenet of Time Exchange. It is as important to receive as it is to give. If you are one who is always giving, expect a call from your Coordinator.
10. Who is in included in a Family Membership? A Family Membership covers 2 adults, and any children though the age of 19, living in the same home.
11. Are Time Exchanges Taxable? Unlike barter where exchanges revolve around an equal dollar value exchange between 2 people within a determined time period, time exchanges are based only on hours of service. The market value of services exchanged may be broadly different, and there is no requirement that the person providing the service ever receive anything directly in return from the person they are serving. For these reasons, time exchanges have not been deemed taxable. One Equal Share has no reason to believe this will change, but offers no assurances that this will always be the case.
12. What if I don't have a computer? A Coordinator is assigned to all members to assist with trainings, questions, and support. For members who do not have direct computer access, simply contact your Coordinator when an exchange is desired. The Coordinator will search available options and call the inquiring member with their options. It is then the member's responsibility to call the exchange parties to discuss arrangements.
13. My English isn't very good. How can I participate? Using a drop down menu the exchange and tracking software can be instantly translated into more than 20 languages. Your Coordinator may also be able to pair you with one of our members who can act as a translator. We encourage diversity and exchange between members from different cultures. Who knows what we might learn?
14. What can I offer that anyone else would want? We all have talents. We all have value. Your service doesn't have to have anything to do with your profession, nor does limited mobility necessarily affect ability to serve. Talk with your Coordinator. Let's find your talent together.
15. Why isn't One Equal Share a non-profit? Most Time Exchanges are set up as non-profits or operate under the pervue of a non-profit. Many have been successful; many have failed when funding ran out or grants were no longer available. The very process of applying for grants however, seems to us contrary to the basic tenets of balance and reciprocity that are part of Time Exchanges. As a non-profit, the Time Exchange is put in the position of neediness, while the foundation holds the power (money). Our collaborative approach with local business and non-profits brings the values of balance, accountability, and reciprocity to bear at the community level. We make our community stronger by helping each other.
16. What does it mean to be a sustaining member? Local businesses and non-profits become sustaining members by paying an annual fee to One Equal Share. Sustaining members are recognized on One Equal Share's website, at company events, and are given the opportunity to submit comments, information, discounts and events for posting on the site. In addition, membership fees for employees of sustaining members are covered for the year. Businesses should talk with their financial advisor about considering cost of their sustaining membership as an employee benefit, advertising expense, and/or community goodwill. Non-profits receive all these benefits, and may now be able to offer a sort of 'volunteer benefit' as members earn Time Dollars for 'volunteer' service. Finally, foundations look favorably on non-profits that act in collaboration with others. Becoming a sustaining member may enable non-profits to qualify for additional grant monies. For more information, contact us at Admin@1EqualShare.com.