The Bay Area Community Exchange (BACE) Timebank is a free, online directory, communication, and time accounting system that facilitates distributions of needs and resources using a system of giving and receiving of time credit. Every hour a member uses doing something for someone is an hour earned that can be used to purchase services from another member. It's that simple.
BACE’s Timebank is a community of more than 3500 members and organizations that offer and provide services and skills in 50 categories such as gardening/farming, childcare, education, home improvement, professional development, and personal development. The Timebank is available to residents in Alameda, Contra Costa, Lake, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Sacramento Counties.
BACE is fiscally sponsored by Local Futures, a 501 c(3) organization, which gives the BACE its non-profit status.The Timebank operates using open source coding. We are indebted to Tom Brown of Open Source Currency and Austin Time Exchange for innumerable hours of volunteer time setting up and tailoring this system for us!
To learn more:
Bay Area Community Exchange Timebank (BACE Timebank) is a nonprofit community organization that facilitates skills and service exchanges through a grassroots community network. Each member is responsible for his or her individual exchanges. Prior to the activation of exchange privileges, all members must read and acknowledge this agreement. The agreement helps protect all of us.
Completion of this application may not conclude the process for joining BACE Time Bank. An orientation or introduction and/or references may be necessary to finalize your membership.
(March 16, 2010)
Timebanking can be a lifestyle or something that you occasionally use. The more you timebank, the easier it becomes to continue doing. When you practice timebanking on a regular basis, you build community, and you are more likely to meet your needs regardless of your financial situation. The BACE Timebank honors the unique gifts, talents and resources that each of us has to share, regardless of age, employment, ethnicity, or other demographic.
How to get started
Please be very conscientious of your communication and transactions. Friendliness, honesty and generosity help foster the kind of community we hope to create together. Your word is everything. Honor it. Trust before suspicion.
As a community-run system, members are encouraged to help develop and maintain Bay Area Community Exchange. Invite others to join the timebank so we will have more abundant resources from which the community can draw upon. If you have ideas or comments please share them with the community in the forums or contact us at email@example.com to get involved. Our goal is to create a positive environment for community building and exchange. Be part of it!
LIABILITIES, LIMITATIONS, & CONFIDENTIALITY
ACCOUNTING & BALANCE POLICY
MEMBER RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES
MEMBER FEES POLICY
Currently membership in BACE Timebank costs no US federal reserve notes (dollars). Other timebanks have added a system of collecting national money from Members to maintain a healthy timebank, administration for offline users (elderly), etc. The BACE Timebank Membership Committee has not moved on setting any US$ fees, and would like to keep it that way, as long as our server costs remain donated.
MEMBER REMOVAL POLICY
Like any job, being a time banker comes with responsibility to the community. Members may be removed for many of the same reasons one would be dismissed from a traditional job. These include but are not limited to:
DOs & DON’Ts
Disputes, complaints, misunderstandings and questions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or a Mediator of your choice.
In order for us to keep the BACE Timbank running smoothly, we need to know how our member exchanges are going. Please let us know how you are doing. We want to hear about that great exchange, or help you work through a less-than-ideal interaction. If you have been having trouble getting a hold of other members, let us know and we will work with you to try to get you in touch!
Email feedback to email@example.com. Please note that we will not share any information regarding your feedback with other members unless you give us permission.
A timebank is like a local community bank that keeps track of time instead of US dollars. For every hour you spend doing something for someone in your community, you earn one hour to use to have someone do something for you. It is an alternative way to give and receive resources.
Let's say you need someone to help out in the garden for two hours. You can post a request to the timebank or search the timebank directory and contact another member to set up an exchange. A timebank member then comes by and helps out in the garden. Once the service is completed, you transfer hours on the timebank from your account to the service provider. You've spent two time dollars and another member has earned two time dollars that s/he can spend elsewhere in the timebank.
You can also post service offers to earn more hours and help out your community. Posting specific offers and requests help generate more exchanges and invigorates the timebank.
For every hour of help you give, you also receive an hour of help. You may get credit for things you may not normally be rewarded for but do anyways or things that you love to do but don't often make time for. You can save your scarce cash for things like rent, food, and medicine and use time dollars for the rest.
You are also making a difference in someone's life, whether it's giving a ride to a person who doesn't have a car, tutoring a student, translating, sewing, or helping with computer problems, things that they might not be able to afford but need. You are contributing to a more caring culture and healthy community to live in that can help take better care of you in the long run.
You may participate in service exchanges as often as you are able. Some members give or receive services every week, or every month, or a few times per year. You are invited to help each other by doing what you enjoy when it is convenient for you. Usually the more you give the more you get back in many ways.
Many of the services people exchange in a timebank are the types of things they are already doing every day. For example, those of us who have children are already cooking for them, driving them to activities, and helping them with their schoolwork among other things. Cooking an extra portion of food for someone down the street who is housebound, picking up your neighbor's kids on the way to soccer practice, or helping the child down the street with his homework doesn't add work to your day. Or, if you have a dog and take it for a walk every day, why not pick up your neighbor's dog along the way?
At the core of timebanking is the belief that everyone is valuable and everyone has something to offer. Think of the various tasks you do everyday (e.g. cooking, driving, walking a dog, etc.) and your hobbies (e.g. sewing, graphic design, writing, playing tennis, photography, etc.). Don't list only what you could get paid to do in the formal economy. The timebank economy is an informal economy of people doing the types of favors that family and neighbors have been doing for millennia. Thus, mentoring, braiding hair, beginning guitar lessons and making chicken soup are all great offers!
You can also contact the timebank administration if you volunteer for a nonprofit and want to earn time dollars for volunteering. If your organization offers services to the community, it may be eligible to join the timebank. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about how an organization can apply to be a part of the timebank.
At first glance, it seems crazy that someone is paid the same for web design and pulling weeds, but this turns out to be the core of what makes time dollars really work. Putting a price on people's time separates us by making some people more valuable than others. Time credits excel in building relationships because they place an equal value on everyone's time and relationships above profit.
Time credits aren't meant to replace US dollars. They are designed to counterbalance the market economy where people may have invested in special training to make their time more valuable. There's nothing wrong with that, it's just taken over too much of our experience of the world. Almost everything is monetized. We are building a parallel economy where people take care of each other as families. We build extended families or villages by geography.
Most people on the timebank are probably trustworthy. However, we do not screen people. If you have any doubts, please do not accept the person's offer to help. It is up to each member to get to know and feel comfortable with another member. You can also look at each member's profile to see comments about them made by other members they have exchanged with.
Whenever one person earns time dollars, there is a corresponding debit for the same amount in someone else's account. No one is anonymous in a timebank and transactions are transparent. This makes it pretty easy to know whether transactions are honest or not. There is not much incentive to cheat because the system is inherently abundant and is based more on reputation than anything else.
Sometimes you get professional quality work, but you can't always expect professional standards as the receiver or giver. People are donating their time and skills to the best of their ability. If you have a concern that you want to share about someone's exchange, pleases contact email@example.com.
We have a process for handling complaints about conduct. Through this process a member may be suspended or removed from the system. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a problem.
We can help you find free public computer terminals or a friendly neighbor with a computer and set up an email account. We are hoping in the near future to have more ways for the off-line population to participate.
Yes, with their parent or guardian's permission, children and teenagers can participate in the timebank. The timebank can be a great way for children and teenagers to secure tutoring, music lessons, mentoring and job coaching, as well as feel useful and develop skills.
Having a negative balance is not a big deal in a time dollar account. After all, people have to receive in order for others to give and everyone needs to be cared for sometimes. Currently, we have set the limit around 50 hours. Reaching the limit triggers an administrator to contact you to help you spend or earn more hours. Limits may change as we see what works for the system.
Our system functions a bit more like a reputation system than a normal accounting system. You can see how much other members have both given and received and others comments about them, as well as profile information that may help you determine who you would like to exchange with.
We prefer that members be in the Bay Area on a fairly regular basis. It is difficult to build a community with people you can't get to know and are not able to regularly exchange.
Yes, timebanking is different than bartering, it is not taxable. In normal bartering, you have to declare the value of the good and services you receive to the IRS. In independent contractor or consulting work, you should declare your income in US dollars. However, timebanking is considered volunteering as long as you don't charge market rate for your service (more or less than one hour for an hour). Goods are also nontaxable as long as they are valued based on labor time, not market value. Timebanks USA, a very similar system to ours has an IRS private letter ruling that time dollar exchanges are tax-exempt. However, laws and their interpretation by the courts change all the time. You are responsible for knowing the law and reporting your income if necessary.
Yes, you can always gift your earned hours to a member of your family, a friend, or someone in the community who may need hours.
Please request removal by emailing us at email@example.com using the email address that you use on your account, and we will remove your account from our system.