FAQ

The Organization             Joining VTT                 Hours explained                     Services                Other


The Organization

Who runs Valley Time Trade (VTT)?
A Core Group of interested members meets monthly to make policy decisions. We also have five committees: Events and Workshops, Membership, Administration, Tech, and Outreach. Members can earn hours for serving on committees. Please consider joining one of these committees–it’s a great way to meet fellow time traders and to help Valley Time Trade.

Is Time Trade and Bartering the same? Do I need to report service exchanges to the IRS?
There is no IRS reporting. The services that you exchange through the Time Trade are not taxable.
Time Trading is not bartering because:
1.      It is not tied to a cash value.
2.      It is based on the currency of time, not money.
3.      It is not generally an exchange, like barter, between two people but among a network of people.
4.      It is not a contractual agreement but recognized as a friendly favor.

I noticed a Donate button in the footer. Why?
There is no charge for individuals to join VTT.  Members’ services to the timebank cover many of our expenses. However, like any nonprofit organization, we operate within the larger money economy, relying on yearly donations to accomplish our mission. Also, VTT would like to grow and provide new programs and opportunities for our members, which requires funding.

Where can I get more information
Reach out to us at VTT ~ P.O.  Box 523  Northampton MA 01061-0523
info @ valleytimetrade.org

I want to be more involved. Options?
Exchanging services with other members is the easiest and best way to help VTT.  Tell your friends and local communities about VTT!  Also, we are always looking for members to help with organizing social events, fundraising, new member intake, community ambassadors, and clerical support. Talk to a coordinator if you are interested in being a part of any of these teams and earn time dollars as you help to keep Valley Time Trade sustainable.

Can you do a presentation for my organization?
Valley Time Trade coordinators can schedule speaking engagements when available; email info @ valleytimetrade.org to request this. We are always looking for members who are willing to be ambassadors to the community and represent us at these functions.
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Joining VTT 

Do I have to live in Northampton to be part of VTT?
No! We chose the name Valley Time Trade because we encourage members of the communities outside Northampton to be involved as well. We currently have members in Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden County.

Is there a minimum age requirement?
No! We believe everyone, young and old, has something to offer. Youth can offer services for navigating the computer and internet, yard care, pet sitting, crafting, volunteer projects, and more! Please do take care however to exchange safely: meet in a public space with a parent or guardian nearby! Prospective members under the age of 18 need a parent or guardian’s information and signature on their applications.  Minor-membership form PDF    TIP: Download and save this fillable-form to your computer. Complete it online. Then send as an attachment to info @ valleytimetrade.org.
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Hours Explained

What is an “hour”?
<-keeping, the minimum credit allocated is one “hour.”
≤1 hour      =   1  “hour”
1 hour 45 minutes =   1.75 “hours”
1 hour 30 minutes =   1.5  “hours”
1 hour 15 minutes =   1.25 “hours”

How do I earn or spend hours?
To earn an hour, you provide an hour of service for another Valley Time Trade member or member organization. To spend an hour, you have a Valley Time Trade member complete an hour of service for you.

What happens if I go into debt?
Going into debt is 100% ok. The ideal balance would be ZERO because our members would be providing as many services as they are receiving. An exchange happens when one person receives a service (a ‘negative’ transaction) and the other one provides the service (a ‘positive’ transaction). Each member receives 2 hours of credit to spend just for joining VTT.

Can I save “hours”?
Each hour in your personal Time Trade account is available to be used when you want or need a service from another member. These savings are inflation-proof. One hour of “time credits” will always equal one hour of service.  In some way, saving hours without spending hurts our time trading economy as the cycle of reciprocity ends. With this in mind, we encourage you to try to complete at least six hours of exchanges per year.

Can I give hours to someone else?
Yes. If you are aware of a member who needs a service who is unable to earn hours themselves, you may donate hours to them.
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Services 

What services are provided?
The services provided are dependent upon what our members are willing to share with each other–they vary with members’ availability and as new members join us. If you need a service that is not offered you can post a message to request it–maybe another member will respond.

Can you provide some examples of services?
Read to a home-bound member
Sit and chat with a member
Walk another member’s dog
Weed someone’s garden
Offer assistance with a specific software program
Take pictures for a fellow member
Drive a member to his/her appointment
Clean gutters
Cook a meal and deliver it to a member
Walk with a fellow member to motivate him/her to exercise
Help organize another member’s home
Repair a member’s bike
Distribute flyers
Clean a member’s home
Be a mentor for a new Valley Time Trade member
Volunteer for an organizational member or Co-op Member
Complete tasks for a Valley Time Trade subcommittee

When I want to receive a service, where do I start?
1. Find a member who can provide the service you are looking for by searching member profiles, posting a request ad, or responding to an offer already posted.
2. Contact the member in advance of when you need the service and agree on the date, time, location of service to be provided; the amount of time the member will spend providing the service; and if travel time to and from the location is to be included.

Tip:  A free online tool that will help you efficiently come up with a date and time for trading a service is doodle.com, because it shouldn’t take 30 emails to schedule a 1 hour trade.

3. Think about the tools, parts, supplies, or ingredients that will be needed. The member receiving the service is responsible for paying for anything required to complete the service. You and the other member decide which of you will provide tools, etc. when needed.
4. If your presence is required for the service, please be there and on time. If you will be late, be sure to notify the other member as soon as possible.
5. The person who provides the service documents the hours exchanged on the website, and the receiving member will get an email documenting that the time was removed from their account.
6. Enjoy receiving and giving the time trade way! And, invite your friends, family, and colleagues to join VTT!

Can Time Trade members do service for a member of my family?
Yes and No. If the family member shares the same household as you, then yes, we consider them to be members along with you.  If a family member or friend who doesn’t live with you needs help on a short term basis–and if a VTT member is willing and available to perform the service it is ok to use your hours for their benefit.  Ultimately though, f your family member or friend lives in another location, we encourage them to apply to be a member of  Valley Time Trade to receive services.

Can I help someone finish their profile and count that time?
Though you cannot earn a time credit for encouraging someone to become a member, you can earn a time credit for spending an hour with that person once he has become a member to help him complete his profile so that he will be ready to enjoy exchanges! In this case, you would charge Valley Time Trade Organization for your hour of time.

Can I provide a service that I am not listing as an offer and earn hours?
Yes. If another member requests a service that you can perform, you are encouraged to do so.  If you would like to continue to offer that service, you may choose to add it as a service offer on your profile on our online time trade software.

I need urgent help. Can I count on the Time Trade?
Maybe. Valley Time Trade is not here to provide emergency services, but depending on the service, our members may still be able to help. Post a message on the online message board but give as much notice as possible. The messages get emailed to all members (unless they’ve opted out) once a week on Monday morning.

I need a service that requires tools. Who is responsible for providing these?
Either person may provide the tools, but the recipient of the service always pays for any materials required to provide the service.  Please talk this over before the trade so both parties have the same understanding of the exchange.

Should I tip a Time Trade member for good service?
No. Money and time credits can never mix. Instead of giving a tip, “pay it forward” instead, by giving excellent service to another member!
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Other

If I have a question that is not answered here in the FAQ section, whom can I ask?
Reach out to us at VTT ~ P.O.  Box 523  Northampton MA 01061-0523
info @ valleytimetrade.org