Local Policies of The Time Bank of Thrive Lake County

From time to time, a situation may arise or is brought to our attention for which it seems a good idea to establish a policy guiding the actions of staff and members, specific to our Time Bank.

We want these policies to strike a balance between being proactive, responsive, and not burdensome.  We, the staff, will do everything in our power to not create policy without good reasons, and will always document those reasons when we do.

As new policies are developed, they will be posted to this page.  At the moment, there will be no particular structure to this document;  it will just be a list of policies.  As this list grows, and if it makes sense, we will develop a more formal and structured means of presentation.

This page is not meant to be an all encompassing guide to the operation of a Time Bank, but merely a repository for policies developed in response to specific situations.


Members are responsible for assuring the safety and success of their transactions.  Neither the Time Bank staff nor any organization the Time Bank may be affiliated with assumes any responsibility or liability for the interactions between Time Bank members.

All members must either be residents of Lake County or have significant business for which they are present in Lake County on a frequent basis.

Our Time Bank is a means by which trust and cooperation are strengthened amongst the members of a local community.  As such, it is expected that Time Bank members will typically meet face to face in the course of a service exchange.

However…,

In the age of the Internet, it is possible for individuals who have limited or no personal presence  in the local community, to be connected with that community in some significant way.  It is for that reason that we do permit persons living outside of Lake County to become members of our Time Bank, but only on a case by case basis, if it is deemed by Time Bank staff to sufficiently align with the principles of Time Banking.

All members must disclose their full, legal, first and last names on their Time Bank profile.

Upon joining, a Time Bank applicant will be required to provide their full, legal, first and last names.  If by whatever means an existing member’s profile does not disclose this information, the member will be contacted to make the necessary corrections.

It is permissible for a member to provide a nickname by which they are commonly known, but only in the first name field, and only if the full and legal first name is also specified, e.g. John (“Red”).

If an applicant or member is unable to meet this requirement, then their application will be denied or their membership will be suspended (though their account will remain on record should the time come that they are comfortable with full disclosure of their names).

Please keep in mind that the purpose of this policy is to balance everyone’s interests in safety and privacy, in as fair and consistent a manner as possible.

The recipient of a service records the transaction.

This is not a hard and fast rule, but it is strongly recommended that whenever possible, it should be the recipient of the service who records the transaction.  The analogy is of someone writing a check for services rendered.  It’s like “paying a bill”..., both are concepts that everyone is accustomed to using.

While the issue of who records a transaction should always be discussed prior to the service being performed, it is preferred the practice outlined above should be used whenever possible.

A member may not exceed a debt of 50 hours without prior arrangement with Time Bank staff.

One of the guiding principles of Time Banking is reciprocity.  We strive to balance the services we receive with the services we provide.

It is perfectly normal and expected that a Time Bank account will alternate between a positive and negative balance, and within reason a member should not be concerned about accruing some debt.

However, there can come a point where a member with growing debt should ask themselves how they might provide service to offset that debt.

At the moment, members who exceed the 50 hour debt limit will be contacted to discuss their situation (or they should feel free to contact Time Bank staff).  The actions taken by Time Bank staff in this situation are at the staff’s discretion.

Under no circumstances will a single transaction greater than 50 hours be permitted.

It is highly unlikely that a transaction that is made within the spirit and intent of Time Banking would approach anything like 50 hours.  Certainly, multiple transactions totalling in excess of 50 hours are possible between members, but a single transaction near or exceeding this limit probably does not represent a single occurrence of a service exchange between two members, but is more likely best represented as a series of transactions over a realistic period of time.

If a transaction is found that violates this limit, both the service provider and recipient will be contacted (if possible) to determine the best course of action to resolve the problem, however;  under no circumstances will the transaction be permitted to remain as-is.

Only individuals aged 18 years or older are permitted to have a Time Bank account.

It is possible for an individual younger than 18 to participate in Time Bank related activities, but only with the approval and supervision of a parent or legal guardian who is a registered Time Bank member.

Hours either earned or spent by someone younger than 18 would be recorded using the registered Time Bank member’s account.

“E-buddies”:

An “e-buddy” is a time bank member who helps another time bank member manage their service offers, requests, and time credit transactions.

The e-buddy service is just like any other service provided by one time bank member to another.  It is up to the e-buddy and the member they are helping to agree upon what, if any, compensation may be offered in the form of time credits, by the member receiving the help, to the member providing the help.

We encourage but do not require e-buddies to notify time bank staff at timebanklakeco@gmail.com that they are acting in the capacity of an e-buddy.  

We realize that some time bank members have needs but are unable to earn time credits themselves for a variety of reasons.  The time bank wants to recognize the help an e-buddy may provide in such instances.

When an e-buddy is providing service to another member who is unable to earn time credits, that e-buddy is eligible for time credits each time they assist with the completion of a transaction on that member’s behalf.  This time credit will be paid from the time bank’s “Social Capital Fund” at the rate of 15 minutes (0.25 hours) per completed transaction.

If you are an e-buddy who is providing this service to another time bank member who is unable to earn time credits, and if you wish to receive the e-buddy credit, you must first contact time bank staff at timebanklakeco@gmail.com and describe the situation and the name of the member who you are assisting.  Upon receiving approval from staff, you may then credit yourself for 0.25 hours for every e-buddy assisted transaction you manage.