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Community Skill Exchange-Richmond County TimeBank

Frequently Asked Questions

How exactly does it work?

When you spend an hour doing a job or sharing a skill for a member(s), you earn a time credit.  Then you can use that time credit to buy an hour of another member's time or bank the credit for a later time. You might use your time credits for help in your garden, to get a ride somewhere, or to get help with computer problems. The sky is the limit! Time credits can be donated or gifted, too, either to another member, group or charity. Giving the gift of time to a charity or as a holiday gift to a friend is a great feeling! Members use a very simple web-based system (Community Weaver 3) to build a profile, let others know what they want to give and receive, and track the time credits going in and out of their TimeBank accounts. (Assistance from the TimeBank Coordinator is always available.) Remember an hour of your time is equally worth an hour of any other member's time.  We encourage members to offer services that they really enjoy to make earning time credits fun and pleasurable. You can exchange something basic like sewing popped-off buttons or even giving a ride in exchange for trying something new like kayaking or taking a painting class. Our monthly events also give plenty of time to socialize and create new friendships.


Why should I join?  

In addition to getting valued services without having to spend money, it allows each and every one of us to feel ingrained in the community as a whole. The Community Skill Exchange gives us the opportunity to meet new people, expand our social network, and enjoy the satisfactions of giving back while equally receiving. As many of us deal with the realities of our current tight monetary economy, this provides with an alternative, tax-free, economical way of life.


What about people who are not comfortable with the Internet or who don’t have a computer?

There is a feature in the easy-to-use software that allows the member to assign the role of "guardian angel" to certain tech savvy members to "watch over" the account and help keep the profile updated. Family memberships are also available, where a whole family uses one account to be involved as a group. The TimeBank Coordinator is accessible by phone to help make profiles, update profiles, or add and receive time credits on your behalf.


What is the membership fee?  

Currently there is no membership fee. 


Why is everyone's time given the same value?

At first glance, it seems a little unusual that someone is paid the same for baking as for house repairs, but this turns out to be the very root of what makes time banking really valuable. As human beings our time is equally valuable, no matter the task being preformed. Putting a price on people's time separates us by making someone more valuable than another. By placing equal value on everyone’s time, time banking builds relationships, and a strong community of respect.
Together we can build a parallel economy where people take care of one another without exchanging money.


What if I don't have the time?  

It is your decision to choose how many hours you offer and receive. Community Skill Exchange does not necessarily require a lot of extra time. If you are already cutting some wood, why not cut a bit more or bake a dozen extra cookies. You are in charge.


Isn't time banking like bartering?

It is, but the fundamental difference is that you don’t have to pay back the time to the person who gave you service. It is a “pay-it-forward” system. One hour is equal to one time credit so you are free to choose who you repay it to and in which way by searching through skills that are being requested by all members.


What kinds of services can I receive? 

Anything you can imagine can be requested and received. The options are endless! Here are a few: transportation (doctor visits, airport), minor home repairs, computer assistance, errands, groceries, cooking, dog walking, lessons (singing, dancing, yoga, painting, instrument, school), landscaping (garden work, raking, mowing), crafts, house sitting, care giving, cleaning, business design.


What can time banking do for me?

Time banking is multifunctional and has the ability to do many things for different people. Here’s a short list of some ways people have used time banking to achieve their goals across the world:

  • Neighbourhood renewal

  • Community safety

  • Health improvement

  • Mutual support for single-parent families

  • Peer self-help, especially young people

  • Involving older people as active citizens

  • Integrating people with physical and learning disabilities

  • Respite for caregivers

  • Intergenerational understanding

  • Residents participation

  • Environmental clean-ups


I have offers in the system but no one has requested them yet. Can I still request another member’s time?

Yes, you are able run a negative balance in the TimeBank. If someone responds to your request and you have offers in the system, you are able to accept.


What happens if a person is taking but not giving back?

The Community Skill Exchange is about reciprocity. Equally receiving and giving is what builds a strong community.  The TimeBank Coordinator can help find offers that the member will enjoy in order to contribute back to other members.


Are TimeBank exchanges tax-exempt?

Yes.  This is another reason why time banking differs from bartering: It is not taxable. In normal bartering, you have to declare the value of the goods and services you receive to the CRA. There is no tax on time.


If I am going into town and someone asks me to pick up an item, how much time do I chart for my extra effort?

If it takes a small amount of time you may decide to not charge them the time credit or you may request your hour credit. The minimum time unit is one hour.


What are the rules for reimbursing out-of-pocket expenses or wear and tear on equipment?

Out-of-pocket expenses can be negotiated directly with the other member; for example: ingredients, gas or materials. If any assistance is required, contact the TimeBank Coordinator.


Does this take paying jobs away from our community?

It is in no way the intention to take away from our valued paying jobs. It is highly recommended to higher qualified skill trade person’s and verify qualifications prior to receiving jobs; for example: electrician, plumber, roofer, elderly care, child care, transportation and etcetera. By saving money on gardening care, now, there is money to fix your leaking roof.


How can I get free time credits?

Easy, by signing up and completing your profile in full (name, photo, which neighbourhood you live in and posting at least 2 Offers and 2 Requests) you will receive one time credit. You can receive another free time credit by attending an orientation near you! Other free time credits may be announced at a later date on the member events / notifications page. *Subject to change


What kinds of people join the Community Skill Exchange?

Everyone and anyone can join!


Questions fréquemment posées

Comment est-ce ça fonctionne?

Lorsque tu travailles pendant une heure ou tu partages une compétence avec un membre, tu gagnes un crédit de temps.  Ensuite, tu peux échanger ce crédit vers une heure d’un autre membre ou sauver lecrédit pour une autre journée.  Tu peux échanger tes crédits pour de l’aide dans ton jardin ou de l’aide avec ton ordinateur.  Les possibilités sont illimitées!  Les crédits de temps peuvent aussi être donnés à un autre membre, un groupe ou une charité.  Les membres utiliseront un système web très simple (Community Weaver 3) afin de créer un profil, informer les autres membres sur ce qu’ils veulent donner et recevoir, et voir les crédits de temps qui entrent et sortent de leur compte. (L’aide de la Coordonnatrice de la banque de temps est toujours disponible).  Notez bien – une heure de votre temps vaut également une heure du temps d’un autre membre.  Nous encourageons les membres d’offrir des services qu’ils aiment.  Cela va faire la tâche de gagner des crédits plus plaisante.  Vous pouvez échanger quelque chose simple comme coudre des boutons ou même conduire quelqu’un à un rendez-vous, en échange pour essayer des nouvelles choses (faire du kayak ou prendre un cours de peinture).  Nos évènements mensuels vous donneront beaucoup de temps à socialiser et créer de nouvelles amitiés.

Pourquoi m’inscrire?

Cette banque de temps vous permettra de recevoir des services de qualité sans dépenser de l’argent et de vous sentir profondément ancré à votre communauté.  L’Échange de compétences vous donne l’opportunité de rencontrer de nouvelles personnes, élargir votre réseau social et ressentir la satisfaction de donner, tout en recevant.  Nous vivons dans une réalité économique restrictive, mais ce projet nous fournit avec une excellent alternative!