Starting a TimeBank is an exciting process, but requires a lot of thought, planning, commitment, and solid hard work. TimeBanks share the same core principles and practices, and at the same time are each one is unique because they reflect the communities that create them.
Creating and maintaining a TimeBank is an on-going process. Needs lots of teamwork! Your members will create your TimeBank’s personality.
To help you and your community create a new TimeBank we have made a list of the typical steps that new TimeBanks find helpful. These steps will give you a good overview. For a start-up toolkit with detailed information relating to each of the specific steps, go to the TIMEBANK KNOWLEDGE COMMONS. This TB Knowledge Commons has been put together by a group of truly dedicated TimeBankers who spent months collecting the vast amount of how-to information created and used by TimeBanking pioneers and leaders. They have organized that information and posted it in a forum that allows people to comment on what they find particularly helpful.
Creating the TB Knowledge Commons — so that our site and others could access the wealth of materials that TimeBankers around the world have generated– was a labor of love and a great achievement. We hope that you will add your comments as you use it.
1. Beginning the journey:
- What’s your passion? — How will your TimeBank relate to that?
- Who will help and support you?
- Who do you see joining when it’s up and running?
- Who will you ask to join the start-up team?
2. Imagine the possibilities with your partner or team:
- Learn more about TimeBanking
- Contact existing TimeBanks through the TBUSA online directory, Facebook, etc.
- Consult TBUSA how-to materials.
- Brainstorm with friends and supporters.
- Share the ideas and get feedback.
- Enjoy the dreaming! (This is a really important process.)
3. Create a “make it happen” group of champions:
- Get buy-in from those who will help your TimeBank succeed.
- Determine who will take on needed roles.
- Create an action plan for first steps, including outreach for TB members.
- Plan out possible costs and income sources (however small).
- Write up policies and procedures (can be informal).
- Learn what on-line software can do for you – Community Weaver Demo site.
- Plan your use of traditional or online social media.
- Decide when you’re ready for real time.
4. You’re in real time now: Making it happen:
- Create a flyer or brochure for members.
- Start the outreach (go to local meetings, knock on doors, talk to friends, neighbors — all of that.)
- Prepare a members’ handbook and orientation materials.
– > Here is a Member Orientation Training Guide on how to run an orientation based on the Arroyo S.E.C.O Network of Time Bank‘s guide.
- You could make a web site and/or make a social media page of your choice.
- Get access to a TimeBank software, and prepare it for your new TimeBank. To learn more about Community Weaver the online TimeBank software and to request that we set it up for your TimeBank, please click here.
- Set up your traditional and/or online social media.
- Send out invitations to your first gathering.
- Make sure that the finances and admin are sorted out and will be taken care of.
- Perhaps start a newsletter.
5. Go public, hold your first meetings:
- Start with a TimeBank launch event, hand out information, flyers, newsletters.
- Sign up your first new members.
- Hold an orientation for new members.
- Are you good to go with handling the money and admin?
- Begin exchanging at the orientations and other events.
6. As it begins:
- Help members set up offers and requests.
- Set up/celebrate the first exchanges.
- Hold regular orientations for new members.
- Plan for regular events for members (potlucks, group exchanges.)
- Seek out opportunities for targeted group activities.
- Watch that you’re TimeBank is good with handling the money and admin.
- Celebrate as you go.
7. Keep Going and Growing:
- Keep true to the core values: Assets, Redefining work, Reciprocity, Community, Respect.
- Keep those core values ever in mind — we can’t stress this enough.
- Find, nurture and support your champions inside and out.
- Strive for your TimeBank to be leaderful, and truly owned by its members.
- Take care of the money and admin. (Yes, it will always be there…..)
- Remember that your TimeBank will become a source of hope, comfort and community in this challenging day and age.
So there you have it! It’s a lot of work. Start where you are. Look for others who will join you on this journey. Build a team to spread the work load and to envision the future together.
TimeBank USA Affiliates
TimeBank USA affiliated TimeBanks are members of the TimeBank USA network. While there is no formal membership, we do invite TimeBanks in the network to contribute to the learning of others. We provide an infrastructure to share resources and to work together. TimeBank USA holds regular calls for TimeBank leaders to share their knowledge, and works with TimeBank leaders nationwide and internationally to expand the practice of TimeBanking.
We provide Community Weaver, an open source software that TimeBanks can use to share their member’s offers and requests with each other and to track their exchanges and hours exchanged.
To learn more about Community Weaver the online TimeBank software and to request that we set it up for your TimeBank, please click here.
Do you have more questions? See our Frequently Asked Questions for more help.