Starting a timebank?
Check out Gathering With
A Purpose

Community Weaver
Timebanking software.


The Steps to Start a New Timebank

Starting a TimeBank is a journey, one step after another. And like all great journeys, it calls for thought, planning, commitment, and solid preparation — but the reward for that effort can be a thriving Timebank that creates a powerful new sense of community as well as lives transformed. 

Gathering With A Purpose – An Action-Based Introduction to Timebanking for New Timebanks

On the surface, timebanking looks pretty simple — but anything new comes with hidden traps! That’s why we created Gathering With A Purpose. As an action-based introduction, it has been carefully designed to take you step by step through different aspects of timebanking, gaining real experience in how timebanking operates and the kinds of actions you will need to take. Each step of the way, you will gain more insights into how timebanking works, so that at the end, you can confidently plan out your new timebank to achieve your purpose, and line up the resources you will know you need to get it done.

Gathering With A Purpose Level 1 — First Steps to Timebanking Action is a free, self-guided program that will last two-three hours depending on your group and your own style. We provide you with the materials and guidance you will need to inform a group of 5-10 of your friends, neighbors and community residents about Timebanking. It includes guided group activities which highlight the first core value, Assets, and basic asset-mapping involving members of the group. 

The Gathering 1 comes with complete instructions and handouts to printout. It is action-filled and fun. Do it just once — or, better still,  run it a number of times over the course of two or three months. Use it to create a single, enjoyable exploratory evening, or use repeats of the Gathering 1 to build a group of champions and supporters who will be interested in setting up and doing the Gathering levels 2-4 with you. To access the Gathering With a Purpose Level 1 materials, click here.

Gathering Level 2 introduces two more core values in action, plus timebanking for group activities.

Gathering Level 3 introduces the final two core values, and what it takes to do individual exchanges.

Gathering Level 4 builds on what you will have already learned and experience to guide you through a process to decide the purpose of your future timebank and to map out how you will get your new timebank up and running. 

Timebanking Start-Up, an Overview

For a broad overview of the start-up journey, check out the video from Ioby below, and the 7 steps listed below that. You can also 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 that powerful resources after you have taken part in hosting and presenting The Gathering — either Level 1, or all levels.

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:

  • 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. 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.

Need Help?

Reach out to us at TimeBanksUSA with any questions.

We’re more than happy to help.