Before Starting a Timebank
Making the decision to start a Timebank is exciting, and also worthy of some research and planning before getting started. The first step before even considering starting a timebank is seeing if there is already a timebank in your area that you can join. If not, a good strategy to explore is finding a timebank reasonably close to you (within a couple of hours) and see if they would be interested in a hub or a sub-timebank in their already established timebank. Building a timebank into another timebank’s already created and running structure can be a great help with getting started.
Starting a Timebank
Here are some great resources to get you started.
Frequently asked questions from people who are thinking of starting a Timebank
What it Takes to start a Timebank from Autumn Rooney, Arroyo S.E.C.O Network of Timebanks
A guide for how to start a member led Timebank (tb-kc) from Tony Budak, Timebank Mahoning Watershed. This has some great detailed ideas on how to start a Timebank. Some of the training resources and software information in it are out of date, but the how to get started is spot on.
Also see documents and resources with tag tb-startup
How to make your timebank work
How to make your timebank work (tb-kc) – This is a wonderful list of 20 points for making your Timebank work based on the guidelines of Philippe Granger of Rushey Green Time Bank in South London, from the book Your Money or Your Life: Time for Both by Martin Simo (tb-kc)n. Philippe adds two things to this list that he feels are really important as a reminder: “Having fun and loving are really the first priorities as for me, love especially is the foundation of it all. If you don’t love people, you can’t build community!”
Also see documents and resources with tag tb-best-practices
Purpose / Mission / Goals
It is good to have an idea of what you are wanting your Timebank to accomplish. Is this going to be a neighbor to neighbor timebank mainly focused on exchanges between members and building community? Some timebanks are closely aligned to other movements like Transition Town and that will give different goals to your Timebank. Will it be a timebank that looks to use time banking in an applied way to achieve a goal? Like improving health care outcomes or working with a specific population or creating racial justice? Having a clear vision of your broader goals of your Timebank is important and it will help you make decisions.
Here are some Timebanks that have different purposes and goals.
One project of the Dane County Timebank is a youth peer court and restorative justice program (tb-kc) that uses timebanking as a way to have better outcomes for youth who have made a mistake, providing positive alternative to the juvenile justice system.
Also see documents and resources with these tags related to purpose – tb-neighbor, tb-community, tb-culture, tb-sustainable, tb-government, tb-health, tb-disability, tb-elder, tb-family, tb-youth, tb-school, tb-labor, tb-justice, …
Potlucks are a big part of Timebanking. Members meet each other and share food, celebrate life events, and they are a wonderful way to have members get to know each other–which encourages more exchanges.
This document about Timebank Potlucks (tb-kc), by coordinator Abby Greer for a TBUSA coordinator presentation, has really great ideas how to organize potlucks and make them really work for your Timebank.
Orientations – when you first get started, you might meet with members individually, but as time goes on, having regular set meetings for new members and the public to learn about the timebank, ask questions, and for you to show how to sign up, any projects you are doing is a really good idea.
Other Events – Timebanks have done all kinds of events that are about sharing and community building. Having fun is a big part of people wanting to stay involved, so check some of these ideas out. Here are some examples: Share Fests, Really, Really Free Markets, Repair Cafes, and Clothes Swaps.
Shareable (tb-kc) is a wonderful organization as a resource for all sharing projects and organizations, and they have exceptional “how-to” road maps for many of these types of events. Shareable – Learn Together – resource catalog (tb-kc)
Marketing, PR, Outreach and Media for Timebanks
( writing and links needed here )
Do you have background with Outreach, Marketing, Social Media, or PR with Timebanks? We would love to have you write about your experience or give us quotes about it. Please contact us here.
Also see documents and resources with tags tb-outreach, tb-publicity, tb-newsletter
Software / Internet Service
Here’s an article on popular timebanking software / services – Timebanking Software Overview
Here’s an article on evaluating timebanks.
tb-core-economy – the invisible/core economy
tb-stories – stories about timebanking
and the whole TB-KC Resource Directory + Document Library