Time Bank Volunteering Mass Adoption On The Horizon
The concept of time bank volunteering is still not fully understood by the masses; nonetheless, behind the scenes, the idea of using ‘time’ instead of ‘cash’ as a currency is a phenomenon that is continuously gaining support year on year.
As an increasing number of people see the benefits of being part of a community willing to put aside ‘level of skill’ or ‘education’ so they can swap time for work, and work for time, regardless of the task at hand, there is now a newfound global buzz surrounding time banking.
Today you will find that multiple countries spanning all the major continents now have active time banking communities. Although many of these groups are small-scale movements, they are undoubtedly on the rise.
Most time bank operations are quite small because they are young organisations only just starting and the idea of time banking is quite new to them, while there are also many mature time bank communities - some even boasting over 100,000 volunteers that participate by bringing together multiple time banking social networks!
With time bank communities now trending across the globe, it is reasonable to predict that mass adoption of the time bank concept is on the horizon.
How Does Time Bank Volunteering Work?
People that engage in time bank volunteering are effectively joining a group of like-minded individuals that agree to use ‘time’ as a currency.
For example, a volunteer can carry out 2 hours of work, and bank 2 hours in their time bank account. The week after, that same person may need someone’s skilled services. As a time bank volunteer, he or she can book a time bank volunteer for 2 hours using the time credits already in his or her time bank account to pay for the required hours.
You can find out more here on our ‘The Time Banking Definition Explained For Beginners’.
Keeping Track of Time Bank Volunteers’ ‘Hours’ and ‘Minutes’
With the concept of swapping time easy enough to grasp, the next challenge for time bank communities is how to keep track of everyone’s time. All time bank volunteers receive ‘time credits’ and just like money, those credits need to be centrally recorded.
It is easy enough for a small community of 5, 10, or even 20 members to keep track of its members’ ‘time credits’, but when these communities grow to 1,000 or 10,000 strong, the need for organised record-keeping becomes vitally important.
Sometimes a time bank community will grow so large that those responsible for managing the time bank will need to designate individuals whose job responsibility is to log volunteers’ time.
As with any business that needs to keep track of their monetary affairs, time banks also need to devise a way to keep track of each person’s time. This means creating a system that confirms the time banking volunteers ‘hours’ and ‘minutes’ are on the community system – a time receipt for services rendered if you will.
The obvious answer to keeping track of time is to use a digital system. There are plenty of custom tools out there such as clockify.me or myhours.com. These software solutions may not be perfect for a large time banking community, but they serve as a good example. There is also no reason a time bank volunteer could not use accounting software by swapping dollars for time on the system.
And just in case you were wondering if the people tasked with keeping track of time receive ‘time credits’ for their work, then the answer is yes. This could fall under the community services category in time banking whereby one individual helps many.
Keeping Track of Skills and Hiring Time Bank Volunteers
For a time bank organisation to fulfil its purpose, volunteers need to actively participate by earning and spending their ‘time credits’. This keeps the currency of time moving within the community. That means people need to be able to find other volunteers with the skills to carry out the tasks they need accomplishing.
Smaller time bank communities can use a simple Google Sheet and share it to their members’ email address. Member’s names and contact details are on the sheet as well as his or her skills and jobs they are willing to do. This makes it easy for each member to hire the right person for the job. However, it is also quite long-winded and does not work for larger time banking groups.
Luckily, the concept of time banking is growing, which has given rise to purpose-built SaaS apps dedicated to time banking. A time bank participant can advertise their services on the app and then other members can simply click a box that says ‘I want Johnathan’s Help’ for example.
You can see an example of this for yourself on the Nomos.net homepage here by clicking on ‘screenshots’.
You will see that it is possible to leave feedback, keep track of the date of the job, and view how many hours the job took to complete, which is also digital proof of the hours worked on the task in hand.
You can also read about the ‘Top 5 Time Banking Software Apps’ here to see that else is available.
How to Become a Time Banking Volunteer
Time bank volunteering is generally very easy because these communities are always looking for grow their volunteer base. By joining you in fact help in the process of building community driven time banking services. Therefore, anyone that believes in the concept of time banking is welcome.
All you need to do is join an app, or search online for a time banking community in your area. You should find all the contact information on the website, leaflet, or poster that the time banking community is advertising for new volunteers.
Once you join, you can list your skills so you can start earning and spending your own time credits!
Use the Nomos App For Time Bank Communities
The Nomos app is free and allows time banking volunteers to advertise their skill sets to those that are part of their community. Once you earn ‘time credits’, you can then spend them to get the jobs you need help on done!
Features of the Nomos App include:
Connecting with local time bank communities
Create jobs offering your skills/services
Hire time bank volunteers
Leave feedback for other volunteers’ work
Log how many hours the job took to complete
The app is fully mobile compatible and FREE
Using the Nomos app allows time banking communities to grow quickly and seamlessly. Think of it like the Facebook of time banking where people connect but instead of connecting to socialise, they are connecting to earn and spend time credits as well as help improve community spirit.