Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Clonakilty Favour Exchange is a visible, welcoming, trusting, egalitarian, open and moneyless skills share community.

Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

How do I join?

Click here to use our handy registration form and one of our CFE community facilitators will contact you as soon as we can. NB You will also need to email us a picture of yourself separately or upload one via my profile on the website – so that members can recognise one another. Alternatively, we can meet and take your picture and upload it for you. Then you will be ready to rock ‘n’ roll with the favour exchange!

I don’t know what skills to offer or how much time I will have?

All members of the favour exchange are equal – there is no skill that is valued more than another. CFE is about community building and sharing abilities in practical, mutually supportive ways. If you are willing to give lifts, to pick up groceries or to cook e.g. - your skill share will be important to the favour exchange. There are many skills listed which may suggest some ideas for how you would like to participate.

There is no such thing as a person who does not have some valuable ability to share with other members.

young man beard_optIf you are using the favour exchange well, then it will be time-neutral. Remember you get back the time and effort you put into it. Once again, the key to worthwhile involvement in the favour exchange is asking for favours. That is how people will best get to know you.

How do I ask for a favour?

There are four main ways to ask for a favour: by email, text, phone or in person. Contact information is provided for each member on the website on their individual member pages but you will need to log in to see them – click here for the current list of members. Everyone expects to be asked to do favours so please don’t be shy! Asking for favours is the best way to get to know other members and to realise the benefits of being part of the CFE community. Texting your request where possible is an immediate way of making a request.

How do I find members who can do the favours I need?

We have tried to make it as easy and flexible as possible to find what you need. There are six ways to do this:

i. If you know the name of the person whose skills you are looking for you can search for that person in the "Members Section".

ii. If you don’t know who can offer the skill/help you need you can contact "The Squirrel" and they will try and help you with what you are looking for.

iii. Also on the ‘Members’ page there is a comprehensive list of all the skills that members are sharing. It’s worth browsing this list so you have an idea of the range of things members can do. Remember too that the list is added to as more people join, so it’s worth checking it out from time to time.

iv. Having tried all of the above, if you still can’t find the type of skill you need, don’t give up! We also have an ‘Asks Notice Board’ where members can directly post requests for other types of skill. Click here for the Asks Notice Board. This will take you to the notice board which gives easy-to- follow instruction on how to post your request or ‘ask’ there. The page is moderated regularly to keep it up to date. If you have any problems with posting to the Asks page, please contact "The Squirrel" who will help.

NB – The Asks page is especially good for asking for things – items that you might need to borrow, eg, or for unusual skill shares.

What do I do if members don’t reply to a request for a favour

We ask all favour exchangers to be especially mindful to reply to requests for favours. You have joined the Favour Exchange ‘economy of goodwill’ and the assumption is that you will share your skills whenever you can – and that others will do the same for you. There can sometimes be good reasons why people do not reply to requests for favours: illness and holidays, for example.

Allow a reasonable period of time for a reply to requests – we suggest waiting up to 48 hours before sending a reminder. If you have not heard back after a further 48 hours - and to help us keep the membership information fully up to date - we would be grateful if you would "Contact Us" and let us know. We will then check to see what the problem is, if any.

If you are asked to do a favour, please do reply as promptly as you can and try not to allow requests to go unanswered – if only to say that you cannot help. Nobody is obliged to share skills if it’s inconvenient. When you are one of a few people who may have been asked for a favour, we ask you not to assume that the others will reply. An unnecessary and unexplained silence can seem rude and offensive. It is also discouraging and risks undermining the hard work that other members are putting into making the favour exchange community work well.

I don’t know the member who is asking/offering a favour.

CFE is a good-will, good-neighbour community and care is taken to provide members with as much information as possible about who is sharing what. All favour exchanges are the responsibility of the members between whom they are arranged. If you don’t know the member who has asked you for a favour or responded to your request, have a look at their membership page.

How do I register favours I have done?

The default position is that the person who does the favour registers the work done. There is a favour registration form on the website that is easy to fill in – be sure to include details of who you did the favour for, the date on which you did it and how long it took you. Remember 1 Favour = 15 minutes.

How can I get to know other Favour Exchangers?

The very best way to get to know other members of the favour exchange is to Ask For Favours!

Don’t feel shy of doing this: everyone who has joined expects to be asked and is just as keen to get to know you as you are to get to know them. If everybody waits to be asked to do favours, no sharing can happen.

If everybody is asking for favours, the community is rocking!

CFE is as much about building a networked, mutually supportive community as it is about sharing practical skills. In addition to asking for favours there are a number of ways to get to know and meet people:

Wednesday Coffee Meetups: Every Wednesday at 11am at O’ Donovan’s Hotel in Pearse Street, you can drop in for coffee and a chat with members who are there to answer any and all questions you might have about using the favour exchange. It’s a great way to get to meet other exchangers.

The Speed Exchange. The CFE Speed Exchange is our own version of speed dating. The difference is that you get to know a lot of other members in a single evening and come away with at least one favour offered and one favour to do at the end of the evening. Terrific fun, our first speed exchange in Spring 2012 was the subject of an article in The Sunday Times and the journalist who came to cover the event, Louise Roseingrave, was so impressed that she became a member herself! Speed Exchanges are held approximately twice a year.

Social Events: Members frequently organise social events such as our first Halloween beach party 2012 for which we teamed up with the West Cork Sand Circle Group for an after noon of brilliant fun, games, food, storytelling and more.

The Favour Fayres – explained in more detail below this is the Favour Exchange market where goods and produce can be swapped or exchanged for favour currency. Great fun and a great way to join in and meet other members.

The Favour Exchange Academy – members offer courses, workshops and demonstrations to groups in return for favours (more below).

How can I make other members aware of the skills I can share?

There are many things you can do to help ensure other members are aware of you and the skills you are offering to share.

Browse the list of members to familiarize yourself with who is in the community – you will almost certainly find at least a few people there whom you could email or phone to say you have joined and that you are offering skills which they might be interested in.

Arrange to meet other members for coffee – or come to the weekly Wednesday Coffee Meetup in O’ Donovan’s Hotel, 11am.

Ask to be included in the ‘Fabulous Favours Famously Featured’ item in the CFE newsletter which is sent out to all members approximately once a month. This a fun feature which showcases different people/skills.

Join in as many activities as you can:

*Be a part of the Favour Academy - offer to do a group workshop (cleaning tips, cookery demo, car mechanics, gardening, therapy, accounting, flower arranging etc).

*Have a stall at the Favour Fayre

*Come to the Members Meetings and join in with the running of the favour exchange. Bring suggestions of your own, if anything occurs to you.

*Be sure to come to the Speed Exchange (see above) when it is happening – an excellent way to meet people and to make others aware of what you are sharing

*Join in any social events such as the terrific Halloween Beach Party organised jointly with Clonakilty Sand Circles in 2012.

What was the Favour Fayre?

The CFE Favour Fayre was an exchange of goods, produce and skills that takes place from 2-4pm in The Venue and courtyard behind O’ Donovan’s Hotel in Clonakilty. Any CFE member can have a stall or booth at the fayre to exchange cakes, vegetables, ready-made food, toys, books, art, various therapies and advice booths etc.

Don’t have a stall? No problem, come anyway and draw down favours from your CFE account at the Fayre Favour Bank - and exchange them for whatever you would like. CFE has a favour token especially for the favour fayre only: the Favour Tiddly Wink comes in denominations of one and two favours (worth 15 and 30 minutes of time respectively.). No money is involved at all – the fayre is a means by which goodwill and skills can be swapped for tangible items.

The CFE Lift-share

For regular journeys and one off lifts, CFE has a Lift-share community which members can avail of. To find out about this go to the "Asks page". NB the person giving the lift will earn favours equal to the amount of time the lifts take plus petrol costs as agreed. The AA formula for calculating petrol costs will give a good idea beforehand. (A general rule of the favour exchange is that when a person incurs any actual cost for materials, petrol or whatever, the recipient of the favour will pay them. Time is always shared for favours only!)

Share Squads

At present share or help squads are organised on an ad hoc basis where a member needs a group of people to get a job done in a limited period of time (house move, gardening, cleaning etc). It is planned in the future to organise standing groups who can be contacted directly via the website but for the time being members can identify other members who could help them by contacting them directly.

The Logging Group

There has been at times a small logging group which any interested member can join. From time to time members need trees cut down or pruned and the wood is exchanged for the work involved. Email [email protected] if interested.

Who runs the Favour Exchange and how can I participate?

The Favour Exchange is an open and democratic community. Any member can participate in running it if they wish. It requires a lot of work to run CFE effectively so there is always a need for help with this – and favours are awarded by the community for the time given to it. There is no obligation on any member to do this work but clearly the more people who do become involved the better it is for the community as a whole. Any offer of help will be very much appreciated.

There are a variety of ways to become involved:

Logging/banking favours

General administration

Chairing/minuting the Monthly Members’s Meeting

Registering new members

Outreach

Membership Support

The Favour Fayre

Organising various CFE events (social, Speed Exchange etc)

Website maintenance

Editing/monitoring CFE facebook page

Editing/monitoring CFE twitter account

Editing/monitoring CFE Community Calendar and/or ‘Asks’ Notice Board

All the above are determined via the Members’ Meeting, held via Skype or in The Boardroom over the Courtyard Bar in Clonakilty. (Check this website to confirm date/time/venue each month.) All are welcomed – find out who is doing what and have an input in the planning process.

Your Favour Balance/Account

Your favour balance can be viewed by going to the Member’s Profile Page.

If you have any queries about your favour balance email [email protected]

You don't need to wait to earn credits before you can start availing of favours. CFE maintains a 100 favour limit in debit or credit on each member's balance. The aim overall is that the membership is exchanging at a steady rate. Don’t worry if your balance goes down over a period of time. There will be no cross letters or reprimands! If your favour balance goes deeply into the red for a long period of time, one of the coordinators may contact you to suggest ways to help bring it back up again. (Share Squads, help with coordinating the favour exchange or organizing a group workshop are a few of many effective ways to put back what you have taken out.)

If you have a need for a lot of skills/favours for a particular project (decorating your house e.g.), then you can apply to the Members’ Meeting in advance to explain why you need the favours and how you plan to return them. There is no formality involved - an email request to [email protected] will be plenty. We will then submit your request to the next Members’ Meeting for approval –you are always welcome at the meeting. This process helps us to keep track of the exchanges occurring within the community and to prevent anyone from taking advantage of it. This type of request helps to keep the exchange rates up and is also a good way of getting to know other members.

There is also a quarterly administrative levy of 5 favours per member which is under review. This levy is applied to return the time given to helping with coordination/administration. Submissions made for administration or support work for CFE are submitted openly to the Members’ Meeting for approval – again, all members are welcomed.

No member may credit their own account with favours for work done – this is always done by an impartial third party.

Communicating within the Favour Exchange

By far the best method of communicating with other members of the favour exchange is to contact them directly via the contact information given on their member profiles, you will need to be logged into the site to see this imformation.

You can also send queries and suggestions to the coordinating group at [email protected]

A newsletter is emailed to all members with news of everything that is happening.

As above, all members are very much welcomed at the Members’ Meeting which is a great opportunity to have your say in how the community runs.

How can I edit my personal profile page?

Use the registration form on the website to send in the details of any changes you would like to make to your personal profile page or edit them online. Manual Edits/changes are done within a week – usually much sooner.

What should I do if I am going away or unable to exchange for a while?

Please let us know as soon as possible if you are not going to be available for exchanging favours and we will rest your account. It is disheartening and off-putting for other members to experience an unexplained silence when requesting a favour. It also undermines the very hard work that the coordinators put into ensuring that CFE is as welcoming and responsive as possible for all members. Email us by using the "Contact Form".

While your account is rested there will be not quarterly administration levy applied to your balance.

Problems

A disagreement between members over work done is for the members themselves to resolve. NB all exchanges are undertaken at the discretion of the people offering and receiving the favours. It’s important to check member profiles and to discuss what is being done before it is done.

If you experience any other type of problem, please notify via email.

If you do not receive a reply to a request for a favour, please let us know via the "Contact Form". We suggest you allow 48 hours for a reply and another 48 hours for a reply to a second request.

We ask you to remember that this is a favour exchange and that members are interacting as a matter of goodwill and in community spirit – whether giving or receiving favours.

Do your best, be your best!

If you think there is a special reason for involving the coordinators in any disagreement, please contact us and we will consider whether we can help resolve the matter.