What is a Time Bank?

Time banking is a way for people and organisations to share resources, skills and knowledge and be rewarded for it – in time. For every hour of time you give, providing a service for another member, you receive one time credit. (1 hour = 1 time credit). These time credits can then be spent within the time bank community on things that you may need help or support with.It works on the principle that everyone’s time is equal, so one hour of my time is equal to one hour of your time, irrespective of whatever we choose to exchange. Because time banks are just systems of exchange, they can be used in an almost endless variety of settings.

Traditionally Time banking can be split into three models:

1. Person to Person: reweaving social networks, strengthening communities by offering support, friendship and valuing skills of individuals.

2. Person to Organisation: enlisting people to contribute to agencies missions.

3. Organisation to Organisation: ensuring agencies share underused resources and skills.

Further details on the three models can be found here

In reality however, time banks are most sustainable when these artificial boundaries are withdrawn, and the three models are brought together. In that way, people, organisations and public services can be brought together and skills, support and physical assets can be exchanged in an equitable manner.

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