TimeBank Mahoning Watershed

Strengthening Communities

2015-01-07_Beyond Sustainability Strengthening Communities

The Integrative Potential of Time Banking ver1.23.15
by – Marie Wilson Nelson & Tony Budak

Time Bank Mahoning Watershed (http://tbmw.org/) is a community service exchange or “Time Bank,” a collection of people and organizations who connect unused resources with unmet needs. Time Bank Mahoning Watershed is part of an international social change movement grounded in five core values articulated by founder Edgar Cahn in No More Throwaway People: The Co-Production Imperative:

  • Assets: We are all assets. Every person has something of value to offer.
  • Redefining Work: Some work is beyond price.
  • Reciprocity: Helping works better as a two-way street.
  • Social Networks: We need each other. People helping each other reweave communities of support, strength and trust.
  • Respect: Every human matters. When respect is denied to any, all are injured.

Acting on these values our Time Bank fulfills its mission— Time Bank Mahoning Watershed, Inc., an umbrella network of Community Groups based on Time Dollars, the currency of equally valued services, the exchange of which empowers individuals to utilize their assets, to enhance their lives, neighborhood and communities — promoting equality and building a caring, just and sustainable community economy through inclusive exchange of time and talent. The concept is simple. Members help someone for an hour, earn an hour of credit, and spend the credit on services offered by any other member. Reweaving community one exchange at a time, they document exchanges in an online database and revitalize what Cahn calls “the core economy” on which the Market depends. The core economy includes;

  • Raising healthy children
  • Revitalizing neighborhoods
  • Making democracy work
  • Nurturing the spirit
  • Building strong families
  • Strengthening local economies
  • Advancing social justice
  • Making the planet sustainable

Community Partnerships. Time Bank Mahoning Watershed invites groups that are closely aligned with these values to become partners and begin exchanging services. Signed agreements reflect what each group can offer and what each needs. Partners may be businesses, governments, arts associations and social service agencies, neighborhood and community groups, health-care facilities, educational institutions, and faith communities. (Partisan political groups are the exception.) Partnership accounts are designated in several ways:
Very Small Local-Connections 2013-10-15

  1. non-profit (ORG)
  2. family (FAM)
  3. business (BIZ)
  4. faith-based (FAITH)
  5. club (CLUB)
  6. governmental agency (GOV)
  7. project (PROJ)
  8. educational (EDU)
  9. medical (MED)
  10. arts (ARTS)
  11. Unincorporated community groups (GROUP)

Family Accounts. After some training and after signing an agreement, a parent may set up a family account and manage personal accounts for children and a spouse. Children may then make supervised exchanges, but only the designated parent arranges these exchanges, posts offers and requests, records the Hours exchanged and takes responsibility for family members’ safety and the exchanges they make.

In the PBS documentary Fixing the Future, time bankers help each other weatherize homes, access medical care, eat healthier food and take sailing lessons (8-minute clip: http://video.pbs.org/video/1646871620/). They contribute to low-carbon lifestyles, reduce transportation costs and provide services within neighborhoods. They grow capacity for community groups, non-profits, small businesses, and government groups, serving schools, hospitals, churches, libraries, and court systems. They do so by

  • Offering groups an expanded pool of volunteers.
  • Providing something valuable groups can give back to volunteers.
  • Identifying and connecting unused community resources with unmet needs.
  • Incubating new businesses.
  • Facilitating restorative justice.
  • Lowering operational costs.
  • Keeping prices low for businesses, clients and customers.
  • Reducing medical expenses.
  • Helping elders age in place.
  • Mentoring & tutoring.
  • Offering internships and on-the-job training.
  • Reducing tax burdens.
  • Containing administrative costs.
  • Tracking volunteer hours for reporting in funding proposals.

Each of these benefits reverses the opportunity costs of not banking time. In addition, paying volunteers in Time Bank Hours could support start-ups in under served communities. A few potential examples come to mind:

  • Weatherization projects
  • Urban farms Plant nurseries
  • Food preparation and distribution
  • Water catchment Backyard garden installation
  • Home building Home repair
  • Solar installations
  • Canning and preserving
  • Home Repair

Any group aligned with the five core values may partner with a time bank:

In the spirit of reciprocity, Time Banking offers community partners:

  • A complementary currency, the Time Bank Hour, created by doing some work.
  • A means of rewarding unpaid work by converting it to goods and services.
  • A way to reactivate social capital that lies untapped within neighborhoods.
  • Proven models for co-producing each other’s operations.
  • A way to restore community values ignored by the market economy.


Thanks for interest and work in strengthening community,
AFB Signature 01


Ask your Coordinator?

Do you have a Time Bank, service exchange, or community currency question or comment?

Ask your Coordinator?

Click the “comment” button in the upper right corner and post your question or comment, or reply in the text box below. Looking forward to hear from you.

Or you want to discuss the above ideas, Contact Tony

Thanks and Cheers,
Tony Budak

Learn More


There is so much to learn about TimeBanking, Service Exchange Communities, the ideas and the people that have led the way.

If you are interested in learning more you have come to the right place!

This “learn more”  menu will start you on your way….

Video “How to Use Time & Talent” software

Introduction Starts here

Basic information here

Edgar’s book; “No More Throw Away People”

Timebanks USA, network

hOurworld, network

Background and context

FROM Hackney Shares

Whether you are a business, an individual or a charity, Time Banking is a way for you to get as much as possible from yourself, your organization and the wealth of resources in the community around you.

A Time Bank network is simple tool that unlocks the value in the expertise, resources and assets that you have, enabling you to trade them for what you really need to progress as an organization or individual, saving money and achieving more in the process.

For every hour of resources a member trades within the Time Bank network they receive one credit which can then be spent on one hour of resources, expertise or assets offered up by network members.

This means that identifying and unlocking dormant resource that you can afford to share (a meeting space? mini bus? staff time?), you’re able to buy in resources that you really need (business mentor ship? accountancy? maintenance work?) at no cash expenditure.

So, Time Banking can help you to

  • Increase your organization’s capacity
  • Save money
  • Build new and fruitful relationships
  • Raise your profile
  • Create local champions for the work you do
  • Open new areas of business and win new clients

We network businesses, schools, arts organizations, corporates, charities, leisure centers and religious groups. All sorts. And all for Time Banking credits

Close Menu