Barter is back!
After years of experimenting and exploring with different methods of sharing with neighbours, we are excited to launch the gHood Calgary Timebank, where your time is actually money!
Our gHood Calgary Timebank is an online platform that helps you share your skills and talents with your neighbours. By sharing, you earn time credits that you can spend on other neighbourhood services you need.
Becoming a member of the gHood Calgary Timebank will help you reallocate your time so more of it is spent on doing the things you love!
WHAT IS TIMEBANKING?
gHood Timebank History
For those that don’t know me, my name is Tammy Maloney and I served as President of the Tuxedo Park Community Association from 2013 – 2016. When I got involved with the community association in 2011 as a volunteer at events, I never had any intention of becoming President. But when I ran into Shannon, the current GM, on the bus that fateful day in 2013 and learned they couldn’t find anyone else to step up, I became excited by the opportunity it represented for me to increase the impact of the work I was already doing to bring people together to make our city a better place.
My excitement got the best of me, I leapt before I looked, and I soon discovered we seemingly had no money, no paid staff, our accounting was three years behind and we were in danger of having our Casino License revoked and not having our License of Occupation with the City of Calgary renewed. All of this meant that the majority of my time was spent running the business of a community association and not on my passion for creating stronger relationships between neighbours.
On the bright side 😊 I was able to do a few events that filled my heart with joy.
The first was held on the inaugural Neighbour Day, June 21, 2014. It was called, “Share with Your Neighbour Day”. The highlight of our event was a Share Board where neighbours shared their Needs and Offers and then networked with each other to find matches. We also encouraged people to sign up with www.streetbank.com, a free online platform to share and lend your things to your neighbours. Mayor Nenshi was in attendance at our event and he told City Council at the following Council Meeting that our Share Board was one of the coolest things he saw during his 17 Neighbour Day stops. It was our hope that we could continue to collect needs and offers from people in our neighbourhood and continue to make connections between them. Unfortunately, other priorities took precedence.
In September 2014, we launched a Clothing Swap. Unlike typical clothing events at community halls, ours wasn’t a give away, it was an exchange. To better market these events based on a principle of giving and receiving in equal measure, I branded the events as yycShares, built a website, and created @yycshares facebook and twitter pages.
In October 2014, we held a Share With Your Neighbour Potluck. Here we had neighbours verbally share needs and offers and a few great connections were made instantly.
To stimulate the conversation of how to grow sharing in our neighbourhood, we invited Sam Hester, a local artist, to create a graphic recording of our event.
During the spring of 2015, using the input we obtained during the potluck, we launched an email-based Sharing Circle where we tracked things on offer with a spreadsheet and sent updates to the group monthly. This initiative ended in November 2015.
On Neighbour Day 2015, we did a Front Yard Party Crawl where we gave people the freedom to share anything they wanted with their neighbours in their own front yards. In addition to an amazing lemonade stand, we had a few neighbourhood businesses such as the Tuxedo Park Soap company sell their wares in their front yard.
In March 2016, I stepped down as President so I could focus my community work on my passion for bringing people together to create a stronger, more self-reliant neighbourhood economy.
It has taken me over a year, but I believe I have finally figured out how I can best be of service to our neighbourhood. At all of our yycShares events, I could feel that people are craving connection and are looking for an easier way to share what they love to do with their neighbours. In addition, over the years, I’ve met so many people in our neighbourhood that could use just a little extra support. If you combine these two things with the state of our economy, I think now is the ideal time to launch a timebank in Tuxedo Park.
The Five Core Values of TimeBanking
- Asset- Every one of us has something of value to share with someone else.
- Redefining Work – There are some forms of work that money will not easily pay for, like building strong families, revitalizing neighborhoods, making democracy work, advancing social justice. Time credits were designed to reward, recognize and honor that work.
- Reciprocity – Helping that works as a two-way street empowers everyone involved – the receiver as well as the giver. The question: “How can I help you?” needs to change so we ask: “Will you help someone too?” Paying it forward ensures that, together, we help each other build the world we all will live in.
- Social Networks – Helping each other, we reweave communities of support, strength & trust. Community is built by sinking roots, building trust, creating networks. By using timebanking, we can strengthen and support these activities.
- Respect – Respect underlies freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and everything we value. Respect supplies the heart and soul of democracy. We strive to respect where people are in the moment, not where we hope they will be at some future point.
Timebanking is a time-based currency that helps to build circles and network of mutual support. With timebanking, you give one hour of service to another, and receive one time credit. An hour is always an hour — regardless of the service offered. You can use the credits in turn to receive services — or you can donate them to others.
Timebanks are formed when people come together to use time credits to achieve a shared goal. Currently, the most common model of timebanking focuses on community service exchanges that help the most vulnerable and build a strong sense of community. But in some places, people and organizations are approaching timebanking as an opportunity to design targeted uses of timebanking to achieve specific goals.
Timebanks can be local, regional, national or international in scope. They can vary in size from as few as 20 people to tens of thousands. Most (but not all) timebanks use timebanking software, which helps them keep track of member activity. Because timebanks are self-organized, we cannot know precisely how many there are, but in the United States we can guesstimate there are around 500 local and regional timebanks, totaling around 40,000 – 50,000 members.
Who Can Use Timebanking?
That includes individuals, groups, organizations, government agencies, churches, businesses.
That also includes any organization that is helped by volunteers. Volunteers can earn time credits for the help they provide. They receive one credit for each hour of service.
But it is important to remember that in timebanking, both receiving and giving have equal weight. People cannot give if others will not receive – the two are bound up together. And mutual value is found through both.
What Types of Services Can Be Offered?
Timebank networks can be wide open to any kind of service.
Currently, the majority of timebanks use the neighbors-helping-neighbors model, where members are free to choose what services they would like to offer – either to other members or to the community at large — and also what services they will request.
Members may be individuals or organizations.
Services offered and requested vary from timebank to timebank – but there are some consistent favorites. Transportation is one. Minor home repair is another. Computer help is a third.
Our Timebank Structure
As you can see from our timebank’s history, we originally launched this concept of sharing your time with neighbours using a not-for-profit structure. By solely relying on volunteers and fundraising, we were unable to grow and sustain our sharing initiatives.
For this reason, gHood Calgary Timebank is a social enterprise. By charging a membership fee, we will be able to cover our costs and spend the time needed to grow and promote it. The more members we have, the less money you will have to spend paying for services that aren’t available in our timebank. As a social enterprise, all profits are reinvested into the enterprise to achieve our social mission of healing the social fabric of our neighbourhood by helping neighbours share their skills and talents with other neighbours.
If you find you are not using the timebank enough to justify your monthly fee, we hope you will continue your membership and consider it a donation that helps people in our neighbourhood gain affordable access to the services they need. Although we can’t issue you a tax receipt, your membership fee is a direct investment into the strength, vibrancy and resilience of our neighbourhood. This makes it one of the few donation opportunities where you get a direct return on your investment.
Individual Membership – $7/month – less than a Netflix subscription
This membership is for neighbours who want to connect with neighbours to share the work it takes to stay healthy and happy and living in cared for homes. We all have things we love to do and things we don’t love to do. As our timebank grows we will be able to redistribute our workload and spend more of our time on things that make our hearts sing.
For small businesses or home-based businesses that are hoping our timebank will also help grow your business, please sign up as a business member.
Sponsorships are available for unemployed residents and residents on fixed incomes.
Household Membership – starting at $12/month to a maximum of $25/month
Fun for the whole family! This membership is for groups of people living at the same address that want one person within the household responsible for paying the annual membership fee. Rates vary based on the number of individual users within the household. Sponsorships and/or discounts are available for unemployed youth living at home, other unemployed residents, and people on fixed incomes.
Business Membership – $25/month for businesses with net revenues under $25k/year
A great way to grow your business is to share your services in our gHood Calgary Timebank. By trading your services within our neighbourhood you can grow your connection to our community. This, in turn, becomes a natural word-of-mouth marketing strategy for your business. Because the Timebank serves as an affordable marketing tool for your business, membership rates are higher than they are for residents.