Hour Dollars - Neighbors Sharing Skills

About Membership

Service Exchange Checklist

Helpful Calling Tips

Hour Dollars Board of Directors

Childcare Policy

Gift Certificates

Service Exchange Checklist

When negotiating a service exchange, in general . . .
If smoking is an issue for you, discuss this upfront.

Ask for references, if you want them, or ask for examples of other jobs.

Be clear about your expectations or requirements for the job. Discuss the amount of time you think the job might take; agree upon the estimated time. Talk about what should happen if the job takes more or less time than expected.

Discuss the need for any materials or equipment and who will purchase or provide them. Remember that any cash paid out is the responsibility of the person receiving the work, but must be discussed prior to the job starting.

Accurately record the name, phone number, and location of the Receiver as well as the time, date and the number of hours of service.

When you are negotiating a complicated job such as remodeling, plumbing, electrical, etc., consider obtaining estimates from both Hour Dollars members and outside contractors.

As a Receiver of services . . .
Warn the Provider of dangerous areas in your home, such as a steep staircase or loose step.

If you must cancel, give as much notice as possible.

Sign the transaction agreement form upon completion of the job.

If the job was done exceptionally well or below expectations, fill out the evaluation form and return it to Hour Dollars.

As a Provider of services . . .
Be on time for your appointment. If you are running late, call and see if you need to reschedule.

Do not bring anyone else with you unless approved when negotiating the job.

If you must cancel, give as much advance notice as possible.

If appropriate, ask to be shown any special areas or equipment in the home which you may need to help you on the job. Sign the transaction agreement form upon completion of the job and return it to Hour Dollars.

Top of Page

Helpful Calling Tips

Hour Dollars connections usually begin with a phone call. Whether you are the caller or the one being called, here are some tips to keep in mind to help you make the most of these transactions.


Identify yourself as an Hour Dollars member.

Leave a detailed message.
We all lead busy lives. If you reach an answering machine, remember that the more information you leave about your request, the greater the chance you'll get an answer quickly.

Don't assume that they can take on the project.
Here's one way you can ask: I saw your name listed in the Directory under the heading of Lawn Care. Are you currently available to provide that service?

Be prepared to call a few numbers.
You may have to call several people before finding someone who's available, qualified and willing to provide the exact service you need.


Return all phone calls as quickly as possible.

It 's frustrating to leave a message and never hear back. Calling back doesn't mean you have to say yes. . .

It's okay to say "no ".
We all get busy, and sometimes we change our minds about the services we wish to provide. Again, be sure to call back even if you can't provide the service. Here are some tactful ways to say no, if you need to:
"Thank you for calling, but I'm afraid I don't have the time right now to take on another project. I expect to be available in about two months. Please feel free to call me again. "
"I've decided not to offer that service at this time. But if I can be of any help with driving or cooking, please let me know."

It's even better to say "yes"!
Saying YES to a service you listed in the directory will go a long way toward keeping our members motivated.

Top of Page

Hour Dollars Board of Directors

Hour Dollars is governed by a Board of Directors. Each Board member must be at least 16 years old and must be a member of the Hour Dollars program. If under 18, they must have the permission of their parent or guardian. A limit of two minors are allowed on the board at any given time. Election of new board members is held whenever there is a vacancy on the board. There are currently 7 members on the Board. Board members earn hour dollars for board meetings, which occur about once a month. A maximum of two hour dollars are allotted for each meeting per person attending. In addition, other administrative duties where board members will be paid hour dollars include: calling members, marketing, event planning, producing newsletters, representing Hour Dollars at meetings or public events, or extra projects approved by the Board.

Top of Page

Childcare Policy

IMPORTANT: If you are considering using the Hour Dollars Program to provide or receive child care, we suggest that you look into the following:

County licensing, if needed
Additional insurance to cover all children
Additional car insurance and permission slips
Food program restrictions, if licensed child care

The Hour Dollars program cannot be responsible for any transactions regarding child care.

Top of Page

Gift Certificates

Hour Dollars also offers Gift Certificates for services. This will allow you to give a service to either a member or a non-member as a gift, using your personal Hour Dollars. Please use the following steps to give a certificate:

1. Call the provider
of the service you wish to give, and ask if they would be willing to provide their service for your friend. Be clear about any charges for supplies, expiration dates, etc.

2. Contact Hour Dollars at info@hourdollars.org and let us know how many hours are being exchanged, who is the receiver, who is the provider, and your name.

3. The Gift Certificate will be mailed to you.

4. The hours will be taken from the giver's account and transferred to the Gift Certificate account.

When the certificate is redeemed, the hours will transfer from the Gift Certificate account into the provider's account.

Example: Beth wants to give Pam a certificate for some baking. (Lucky Pam!) Beth calls Carol, the baker, and asks if she is willing to do 3 hours of baking for Pam. Carol says yes. Beth calls Hour Dollars informing them that Beth is giving Pam 3 hours of baking done by Carol. Hour Dollars sends Beth the Certificate and transfers 3 of Beth's hours to the Gift Certificate account. Beth gives Pam the certificate and Pam has Carol do 3 hours of baking the next month. Carol turns in the certificate as a time tally. The office transfers Beth's 3 hours from the Gift Certificate account into Carol's account.

Top of Page