When you work for an hour to do something for an individual or group, you earn an hour in your TimeBank account.” You can exchange that hour to “buy” an hour of a neighbor’s time or engage in a group activity offered by a neighbor. And unlike bartering, it doesn’t have to be with the same individual or group you worked with to earn your hour!
Can you buy or sell things using the TimeBank?
Yes, but…we ask that you follow a following formula for selling things.
Separate labor and materials. You charge for the hours it takes to produce something in TimeBank Hours (labor) and charge the cost of the materials in regular dollars.
Never make an “equivalency” between a TimeBank Hour and a regular dollar. You can not “convert” TimeBank Hours to an equivalent dollar value to buy or sell things, or to value an exchange of goods for services.
These are important for two reasons: it’s how we are able maintain our tax exempt status and it’s how you are able to treat your time as tax-exempt.
Who runs the Time Bank?
Most Time Banks have a part-time or full-time Coordinator(s) who helps set up exchanges and runs the day-to-day business of administering the Time Banks. With the size of Indianapolis, we will have a part-time or full-time Coordinator responsible for one or more neighborhoods.
How do people connect to each other?
People connect at pitch-ins, orientations and group events or projects.
To exchange time, people do so online via our Time Banks software or through their Coordinator. We will also be soon adding the ability to exchange time via texting!
You can post a request for services online in our TimeBank system or contact your Coordinator to ask them to make a match for you as your “Guardian Angel” in the system. Because our Coordinators are volunteers and not paid staff, they really like people to find and make their own exchanges but are happy to help if assistance is needed.
How do you keep track of the exchanges?
There are several ways.
The easiest is for one of the people involved in the exchange to record the information and the number of hours in our online system after the service is completed. The hours will be added / deducted appropriately.
You can also contact your Coordinator to ask them to record the match for you in the system. Because our Coordinators are volunteers and not paid staff, they really like people to find and make their own exchanges but are happy to help if assistance is needed.
We will also be soon adding the ability to exchange time via texting!
What kinds of people join Time Banks?
Everyone can join a Time Bank and all kinds of people do.
Can social service agencies and non-profits use Time Banking to deliver services for less?
Certainly they can, and many agencies have found that Time Banking does help them reduce costs because their clients become active participants and service providers for one another. But, even more importantly, the reciprocity that is naturally built into every Time Bank helps clients to become more engaged in directing and creating positive outcomes for themselves and all the members of the program. This sense of ownership and empowerment is often of far greater value to an agency than delivering services at a lower cost because their clients are creating their own path toward meeting the program’s goals.
Hours may also be exchanged for group and community projects – either donating hours to a project or earning hours volunteering time for a project.
Projects are built around many requests in the community including education, medical care, elder care, youth, social justice.
What does TimeBank Indy provide?
- Tracks exchanges of time earned and spent providing services
- Organizes events, potlucks and projects to build networks and have fun
- Spreads the word and gives orientations for new members
- Works with members to pursue new possibilities
- Works with sponsoring partners to provide resources that ensure a thriving TimeBank for Indianapolis
- Establishes governance and policies