The Membership Coordinator is the most important leadership role in the Time Bank. The person who takes on this role is the classic “people person.”
• They love to get to know people’s stories and people often end up being surprised how much they shared.
• They intuitively grasp people’s best qualities and aren’t picky about (or blind to) people’s foibles. They also have a good sense of who will like each other.
• They are asset mappers. They enjoy helping people find their skills and matching them with others who need them.
The membership coordinator has three main tasks – member orientation, keeping in touch, and match making. The membership coordinator runs the Demonstration workshops with the Events Coordinator and possibly the web master or Time Bank ambassador.
A. Member Orientation
Member orientations provide an opportunity for both the member and the Membership coordinator to share mutual expectations and understanding about the nitty-gritty of how Time Banking works. Member orientation is often part of the Demonstration workshop. It can be done one-on-one or in small groups for the member orientation process. One-on-one orientations give the Member coordinator lots of time to get to know the new member. Group orientations provide an opportunity for members to meet one another and begin exchanging with each other right away. Group orientations save time – orienting up to 10 new members together.
The core task of the member orientation is to set-up some matches. The first Time Bank exchanges are the hardest. People are shy, they don’t know who to ask, and the software is unfamiliar. The membership coordinator often helps the new members to set up their on-line profile and add some offers and requests. The web master can help here too.
There is an art to eliciting people skills in the core economy because they are so easily overlooked in favor of “marketable” skills. The core economy skill form in the appendix is very helpful. Being a natural people person, the member coordinator will use their genuine interest in people to bring out these skills. They can work together to write colorful descriptions of the offerings.
It is very important to make sure that new members are engaged in giving or receiving within the first few weeks of joining. Members join because they want to be part of a community and if no one calls on them, it’s a let down. If they don’t find a match on their own, the membership coordinator should offer to help set up a match.
B. Keeping in Touch
The key task here is to encourage participation and keep in touch in a consistent and timely way. We encourage you to:
• Call new members & welcome them to the Time Bank (within a week of joining)
• Ask them how you can help? Encourage them to ASK for a service
• Let them know who the ‘matchmaker’ is if they would like assistance
• Let them know about upcoming events or activities
• Call or email ALL members once a month or every couple of months to check in
• Prioritize the calls, calling ‘inactive members’ to inspire participation
• Call ALL members at least once every couple of months just to touch base
• Encourage and inspire active participation in any way that you can!