Start a New Timebank
Starting a TimeBank is a journey. And like all great journeys, it calls for a lot of thought, planning, commitment, and solid hard work — but the reward can be a powerful new sense of community as well as lives transformed.
Gathering With A Purpose – An Introduction to Timebanking for New Timebanks
For your first steps on your journey to a new Timebank, Timebanks USA has created Gathering With A Purpose Level 1 — An Introduction to Timebanking. This free, self-guided program for a two-hour meeting provides you with the materials and guidance you will need to inspire and energize a group of 5-10 of your friends, neighbors and community residents about the possibilities of timebanking in your community.
The Gathering 1 comes with complete instructions and handouts for every step of the two hours, and moves swiftly. It’s fun, it’s helpful, and you can do it a number of times over the course of a two or three months. Use it to build a network of champions and supporters for your timebanking start-up project. To access the Gathering With a Purpose Level 1 materials, click here.
The Gathering Level 1 stands alone as an introduction that will help you move more confidently and firmly into your timebanking journey. But you should also know that in the works are Gathering Levels 2, 3 and 4. They will be coming soon, and we’ll be sharing with timebank coordinators old and new when that happens.
Finally, for a broad overview of the start-up journey, check out all the steps listed below, then turn to the start-up toolkit at the Timebank Knowledge Commons. It was 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. We believe that you will gain even more from this powerful resource after you have taken part in hosting and presenting The Gathering 1 at least one time, and maybe several times more.
Seven Key Steps
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:
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. Make it happen:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Reach out to us at TimeBanksUSA with any questions.
We’re more than happy to help.