Tuesday, May 22, 2012

We Are Open for Business!

Our initial Community Meetings have been held in Gualala and Point Arena. We have new members and two members have volunteered as Coordinators. Check out the Mendonoma TimeBank website and join us.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Community Members Donating Their Time

Timebanking is not barter. Never use that word. Timebanking is not about exchanging. Members donate their time to the community. Period.

The reason why we count hours provided and received is that timebanks are about equality. We want to create healthy relationships of equality, we track hours only to see if we are are being successful in creating those healthy relationships of equality and reciprocity. The problem is people are trained to look at the world in terms of profit for themselves.

Timebanking was created to challenge this perception, that our relationships can be about more than taking, that the truth is our relationships with the planet and with people are about balance and equality, we reap what we sow, we receive what we give. To create division, to separate things into my side and your side only leads to imbalance and catastrophe for all.

The problem is when people look at timebanking through the lens of profit for themselves then what they see is exchanging, when that is not what is happening at all. Even people in the timebanking movement get trapped into looking at things through this false lens, then they talk to the IRS and use words like barter and of course the IRS is going to start seeing personal profit if that is what the people in the timebanking movement are telling them that is what is happening.

We need to continually educate ourselves and remind ourselves what timebanking is really about, healthy communities founded on the idea of equality and reciprocity.
- By Orion Breen of www.HourExchangePortland.org

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Community Approach

This week end I attended a workshop "Engineering the Turnaround, A Community Approach to Creating Jobs." The focus was on Sonoma County and I was invited is because I am working on a TimeBank. I was the only out of county attendee. The topics centered on mutual credit clearing, micro lending, worker owned business-co ops, public banking and TimeBanking. These represent the variety of ways we can organize and distribute our assets differently than the status quo. What I came away with in regards specifically to TimeBanking follows.

We were shown a short clip called 'the barter bank' and the segment on TimeBanking from the PBS show 'Fixing the Future'. We discussed some of the more recent tax and legal findings, as the IRS is taking a much closer look now than even a couple of years ago. I came away with a 40 page document outlining the current findings. I can forward that if anyone is interested. Some specific suggestions: dues being a 'suggested' donation and for folks to not necessarily trade their professional skills for time credits unless it is to be considered as a 'pro bono' contribution. The idea of having a paid staff member is discouraged, rather to have a member organization appoint a staff member to work on the project as part of their job description and earn time credits for the organization.

There was consensus among the participants about both the importance of and the lack of a mobile platform for TimeBanking. There was also some discussion about both major softwares having difficulties to navigate and use, with neither hOur world nor Community Weaver being ahead in design features.

I am not sure how TimeBanking can help 'create' jobs. Some tell me that many 'jobs' are threatened by the use of TimeBanking. Time Exchange is a tool, to distribute the assets available in our communities, often overlooked for lack of capitol, to improve the resilience and well being of all participants.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Stacey Jacobsohn and Lacey Sinn

This workshop allowed participants to engage in an open forum focusing on the issues that surround rural area TimeBank. Participants hammered out a few of the problems relevant to small towns and rural areas; the exchange of ideas was wonderful.
Questions and Answers
Questions and concerns emerged regarding the general community feel:
  • “Where is the value in art and music? Most folks from here need to have a talent in hard work!”
  • “We are all there for each other through the tough times—why do we need a time bank?”
  • “We already barter.”
Answer: TimeBanking can help ease that attitude by engaging the community in special projects and ensuring quality of exchanges.

Question: How do we transition from being a giving community to being able to receive?

Workshops and learning opportunities. Example: By receiving and using TimeBank hours, you can get to a workshop that can further your ability to be a better involved in the community. Members can be given the opportunity to take time off to do something new, like a cooking class.

Question: How do you connect with other communities?

Use strategy: “Go where the people are.” Partner with other organizations, like youth leagues, truancy courts, homecomers, the recovery community and the neighboring farms and ranches. Partnering with local clubs is a great way to initiate a special project. For example the Lion’s Club, the FOP, the American Legions, the local grange, and local churches help the community already; why not join forces and ensure the quality of the exchange?

Question: What do you do about lack of available technology (internet and computers?)

  • If using Community Weaver with limited computers, billboards at local diners and churches could alert folks to your meetings and trainings.
  • Check with your local United Way for help with technology
  • Create some urban connections and co-produce a program that fits both your needs.

Holly Cekala, Meredith Hackleman, Laura Brooks, Amanda Smith

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Time Dollar Ten Commandments

An experienced TimeBank Coordinator, Ana Miyares, shares her reommendations.
1. Start Small! Your community currency economy will ultimately consist of many small, personal networks linking together. Start with the skills and resources available to you.
2. Build Cooperation with a variety of groups of people who have specific skills. Remember that everyone’s talents and expertise can be shared within the Time Dollar network.
3. Timing is what makes Time Dollar networks happen. Don’t try to force it; just keep adding members and services that members want to earn and want to spend.
4. Know your goals and stick to them! Be clear about how far along you are, and celebrate what you’ve accomplished. Learn from your mistakes, but don’t let them stop you.
5. Don’t compromise your goals by trying to include inappropriate people, even if they are a source of funding or your best friends, who distract your from your course.
6. Community Organizing is the most valuable skill for creating Time Dollar networks that are self-generating and inclusive of other networks in the community.
7. Think solutions, not problems! You’ll get there sooner if you avoid getting bogged down in solving small problems that will eventually work themselves out as you go.
8. Involve the “real” leaders in the neighborhoods! Find the traditional and respected people that others seek for advice and direction.
9. Be realistic! Miscommunication and unrealistic goals can cause a loss of trust. Establish trust by doing the do-able and promising what you can deliver.
10. Don’t rely on miracles! Fund raising and resource development are ongoing tasks if you expect to sustain and expand your network of services. Learn it and enjoy it!
Remember: your commitment is to a just social economy, not to one person, one vision, or one group of people. The Time Dollar strategy touches and moves people at a spiritual level, leaving them feeling important, loved, and connecting with others in important ways.
Ana Miyares

Friday, March 9, 2012

How is Time Banking different to bartering?

Bartering is when people negotiate the exchange of products or services based on a market value. In Time Banking all services are recognised as having the same value, based on the time it takes to provide the service. That means 1 hour of reading aloud to a Time Bank Member, is valued the same as 1 hour of fixing a bike or 1 hour of legal advice. Time Banking works on the philosophy that no-ones time is worth more or less than anyone elses.

Thanks to Tauranga Time Bank 􏰀 Frequently Asked Questions.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Asset Mapping

We think a great way to begin to get active is through asset mapping. By using the group you have brought together to help you with your thinking you can build an asset map for your area. An asset map is a great way of identifying and understanding the resources you have within your community. An individual has abilities and capacities and organizations to have many resources that you might be able to access. The mapping will not only help you to see what you have but will start the process of building connections, relationships and networks between people and people, people and organizations and organizations and organizations. Asset mapping starts with what you have, helps you to build the capacity and problem solving skills within your community and potentially leads to a stronger local sense of determination.

Note; Asset mapping at this stage will be a great way of getting other people and organizations excited by your ideas