TimeBank Mahoning Watershed

Role IV. Webmaster

The web master is at home in front of the computer. They don’t need to be a computer whiz, just comfortable with exploring software. They are the go to person when any member or leader doesn’t understand something about the on-line Community Weaver software.

The On-Line Time Banking Trainer/Webmaster has three main tasks:

A. Basic Trainings and Technical Support

There is a demo movie on the TimeBanks USA website that covers all the basics of running the Community Weaver software. Many members will find the demo movie provides all the training they need to go on-line and get started. Other members will need more training. The orientation coordinator can provide some of this basic training, but there needs to be at least one person in the Time Bank who knows the software inside and out.

B. Local Web master

All the on-line content on the community page of the local Time Bank is posted by the local webmaster. The web master uploads text on upcoming community events, urgent requests, and pictures of past events. No knowledge of HTML is required (though if you know it you can make even fancier pages). The member engagement coordinator can be trained to post events as well, but often needs the web master to answer questions when they get stuck.

C. Technical liaison to the TimeBanks USA web master

The local Time Bank web master is responsible for reading the software manual cover to cover. Sometimes users will ask questions that even stump the local web master. The local web master can look up answers in the software manual (users rarely do) or consult the software support web forum. The local web master is the contact person for surveys on which new features should be given priority and training on new features when they are implemented.

Role VI. Team Leader

The team leader is generally not a separate person. They oversee all the Time Bank leadership roles to make sure there is a primary and back up person for each role. They are checking in with each of the leaders to make sure that they aren’t overburdened and burning out. They plan for and seek out people to rotate into the leadership roles. We placed the team leader role last to indicate that the team leader is there to serve the other leaders, not the other way around.

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Role V. Admin

The Admin role is not just for introverts, but it is for people who get joy from keeping things neat and organized. As long as you keep your Time Bank small and informal it doesn’t take much money or admin time to run. The admin collects the dues, pays whatever incidental expenses come up for printing brochures and flyers and running potlucks.

The member-led neighborhood Time Bank is essentially a club with donations and a petty cash account. It is not an incorporated entity. There is no liability insurance because you know everyone and you trust your neighbors not to sue you if something happens while you are doing them a favor.

We recommend a sliding scale of $40-10 for membership donations. Also we believe that all members should donate at least two Time Dollars™ per quarter to their Time Bank. These are just suggestions. It’s your Time Bank and your coordinator team decides what contributions make sense for your Time Bank. Requiring a Time Dollar™ co-payment has the double benefit of lowering the cost of running the Time Bank and making the Time Bank more member engaged. Having the members feel a sense of accountability over their Time Bank is essential for long term survival and fund raising success down the road.

After a few years, the start-up leaders often get restless for bigger challenges. Members get a deeper sense of the value of Time Banking and want to make it a bigger part of their lives. They often want more members in the Time Bank to create a wider array of services. They may want to start projects that partner with other organizations and help those with fewer advantages. All of these add to the Admin’s role.

* Extra costs per member could include things like office supplies or paper products for potlucks.

It is very tempting at the beginning to request very low membership donations because the expenses are so low when members do everything. Be careful not to set donations too low. It is VERY difficult to raise them later and there are always expenses that you haven’t anticipated.

As you can see from the table, adding paid staff takes real money and that means fund raising. If you raise funds, you’ll probably want to incorporate as a non-profit entity (a.k.a. 501(c)(3)) so donors can get a tax deduction for their contribution.

Fund raising can and should be fun. This is especially true for Time Banks because their fund raising events serve a dual purpose of “raising community” as they raise funds. For it to be fun, the fund raising coordinator must be a coordinator not just a good asker. More on this in the fund raising books…

As these greater aspirations manifest, email or call us and we’ll help you in taking those next steps. We have training classes and a network of consultants to help you through the next level of complexity. Remember you can lower the cost of a paid coordinator by sharing the cost among several neighborhood Time Banks.

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