another forum i am a member of has a "feel good karma, free items thread" where, like RAOK an item is offered up for karma. it is intersting to watch. i've donated some stuff (it's a motorcycle website, with high traffic)
i think that our local community forum is probably too small to susbstain anything like that on the same level, but it is worth a try.
it is similar to what i was thinking with the swap thread.. kind of a "i've got XXX and i'd like to offer it up for your trade and lets see where we end up" kind of idea.