2nd Discussion....Businesses and Time Banking

Started by Tony Budak, February 27, 2015, 07:02:35 pm

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Tony Budak

June 28, 2015, 05:45:24 pm #6 Last Edit: June 28, 2015, 05:54:46 pm by Tony Budak
TOP 10 Selling Points
for Your Nonprofit's Cross-Sector Partnerships

Create a Business Value Proposition
•    Meet the business objective of each partner
•    Have suitable "brand fit"
•    Clear focus on greater good

Top 10 Benefits for the For-Profit Partner:

1.      Increase sales of products or services

2.      Increase employee engagement, morale and retention

3.      Increase customer and brand loyalty

4.      Draw media attention and coverage for free

5.      Provide a motivating purpose for their company and employees

6.      Increase shareholder return

7.      Increase employee skill development, teambuilding, leadership

8.      Attract new business partners and relationships

9.      Generate recognition for the good they create in society

10.    Receive a tax donation for contributions. 

Top 10 Benefits for Your Nonprofit:

1.      Increase funding

2.      Expand donor base

3.      Connect to new business partners

4.      Attract in-kind donations

5.      Provide professional development for employees

6.      Attract new volunteers, Board, pro bono services

7.      Increase brand recognition

8.      Increase media coverage

9.      Connect leaders with community thought leaders

10.    Develop earned income opportunities

The Key to Successful Cross-Sector Partnerships?
Source: Bruce Burtch, "10 Benefits Only Nonprofits Can Offer For-Profits in a Partnership" via ThirdSectorToday.com

With Respect and Cheers,
Tony Budak, Site Owner and Webmaster

Please do not email or PM me for Forum/Board technical support. Instead Post Questions and Concerns Here


I've just learned about timebanking and am a little overwhelmed by all the information.  I'm glad to hear it is around.  I was sort of thinking about trying to do something similar.  I'll explain what I was thinking about doing, and some questions I have based on what I've learned so far.  Bear in mind I'm at the bottom of the learning curve on all of this.

I'm on the board of a neighborhood association.   The general goal of the association is to help stabilize and improve the neighborhood in terms of crime prevention, housing, quality of life and the environment in the neighborhood. That includes community building and trying to revitalize neighborhood businesses which can make the neighborhood friendlier and conducive to non-automotive modes of transportation.

I was aware of and a winning bidder on a couple of occasions for some services that were donated to a silent auction at church.  The church got the cash, the winning bidder got the services.  In my case it was yard work.  I thought collecting information on talents and interests of people in the neighborhood would be a good thing just to make connections and build community.  Later I gathered up a list of registered businesses with our area for another board member who was looking to contact them for donations.  It was a pretty large list.  The businesses were not necessarily store fronts or shops.  More often than not they were the registered locations for contractors,  etc.

Somewhere along the line I thought that some sort of inexpensive or open source software could be developed to allow community organizations, etc. where people/businesses with talents/interests/goods could donate their services or goods to the neighborhood association to offer on an online silent auction.  It could help build community by making connections and could also raise money for the association by both the funds raised through the auction, but, by also increasing membership by either requiring a small fee for participation in the service and membership and by gathering email addresses which can be used for a low cost way to reach them for appeals for support.  In the case of businesses or people where there is a recognized dollar value for their time or services they could probably write this off on their taxes.

I've been running what I had in mind by people and I've learned that what I had in mind was a lot like timebanking where low cost/free and sometimes open source already exists.  That was good news.

However, in talking to a couple timebanks, the ones I talked to sort of steer clear of working including businesses, because they have concerns that it could lead to tax or tax evasion concerns and problems.

I'd be interested in anything anyone else has to say about including businesses in the mix along with legal problems and ways to avoid them.  I see sometimes timebanking is sometimes described in pretty ideological terms.  I'm more interested in getting something done more for pragmatic reasons.  I suppose having a good timebanking system in place could take a big load of a a neighborhood association if not  at some point theoretically replace it.

I'm wondering what others have to say about this sort of hybrid approach, pros and cons, and how it might be accomplished.

Finally, I see that software is part of what can make this all work and I see that at least some of it is open source so can be used and modified to fit specific needs and I think even the non-open source software can have features added.  I'm wondering any experiences anyone has with different software packages, modifying it and so forth.  I've seen the term Drupal in various news articles, but, never really knew what it was.  I see that it is an open source social web development software framework that would be well suited to this sort of thing.  I found a Swiss group that had some sort of timebanking system that uses drupal.  They didn't have much informaiton on their site and what the information that was there was in French.

So, I'm just trying to pick some brains and get some sort of conversation going about this.


Also, for reference I'm in the USA so any tax/legal issues I encounter will be based on US law.

Nicole Willson

Based on the conversations we've been having and my own brainstorming about the topic, I wanted to share my ideas for ways that timebankers and businesses/non-profits could work together. Any feedback or additions to this list would be much appreciated.

Ideas for ways timebankers and businesses/non-profits could work together

  • Recent grads who need to get work experience on their resumes could do business tasks related to fields/roles they want to work in.

  • Time credits as a perk for interns. I interned for non-profits in college and did not get paid. Time dollars would have been a nice perk and maybe I could have used them for tasks that were difficult to do as a student due to budget/lack of time/lack of access to a car etc.

  • Time banking as a means to facilitate career change. People who want to change careers or job seekers could use timebanking to build a portfolio and gain experience they could put on their resume. Examples: grants, technical writing, marketing.

  • Time banking as a way to meet certification hours. People awaiting certification could use timebanking toward the number of hours they need for their licensing. In the time banks, I see this being done with tai chi instructors and art therapists, but it would be good to explore the ways in which this model could be applied to business-related disciplines such as law or accountancy. I don't know anyone who is doing this, so if you know of examples, please share.

  • Equipment lending/repair. One of our members needed to go to the tool library to get things to open a new restaurant. Not all neighborhoods have tool libraries or kitchen shares, so lending tools through the timebank might be a good way to help a business reduce costs.

  • Software sharing. Not sure of the legality of this, but maybe a business needs an expensive software like PhotoShop for an isolated task and doesn't want to buy the software

  • Time dollars for co-working space -- sharing an office or desk that isn't in use with a startup or someone who runs their own business. Working from home is hard, and some people may prefer to get space through the timebank rather than renting office space from Regis.

  • Reception work at yoga/fitness studios -- I used to do data and reception work at a yoga studio in exchange for free classes. In Kripalu yoga, they call this the "seva" program.

  • Partnerships with residential care organizations. Timebanks could partner with caretaking organizations that have residents. Examples: assisted living, mental health, rehab centers

  • Arts organizations could provide free event admission if their are extra seats. Theaters routinely give out free tickets to avoid having an empty house, so I got this perk a lot when I volunteered for my PBS affiliate. Other types of non-profits can't afford to offer tickets or admission as a perk though. If their volunteers for a non-arts organization could get arts/entertainment perks like museum admission or event tickets through the time bank as a perk, it could help boost morale. And an arts organization like a theater or symphony could probably use time bank help in areas such as ushering, data entry, and fundraising phone drives.

  • Potluck Space. Businesses or non-profits could use their offices/meeting rooms for potlucks during their off hours.

Tony Budak

March 08, 2015, 09:53:58 pm #3 Last Edit: March 08, 2015, 10:02:06 pm by Tony Budak
Let's Talk Business - Business TimeBank
With Respect and Cheers,
Tony Budak, Site Owner and Webmaster

Please do not email or PM me for Forum/Board technical support. Instead Post Questions and Concerns Here

Tony Budak

March 06, 2015, 04:06:21 pm #2 Last Edit: March 06, 2015, 06:56:39 pm by Tony Budak
Audio recording of 2nd Discussion, Businesses and Time Banks, on March 5, 2015Subjects discussed are cited below
Mark your calendar, Next Conference call,
March 19, 2015, 4 pm - 5 pm, EST
Topic: How to engage members - Get Their Feet Wet
Join the conference call:

Dial: (805) 399-1200
Access Code: 160029#

Please hit REPLY above to add resources or to add
your comments to this topic thread.

With Respect and Cheers,
Tony Budak, Site Owner and Webmaster

Please do not email or PM me for Forum/Board technical support. Instead Post Questions and Concerns Here

Tony Budak

February 27, 2015, 07:02:35 pm #1 Last Edit: March 06, 2015, 03:58:01 pm by Tony Budak
Join the 2nd Discussion, Businesses & Time Banks

Thursday, March 5th from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm EST

Please mark you calendar. At about 3:50 pm
call in to Join the Teleconference call:

Dial: (805) 399-1200
Access Code: 160029#

Marie Nelson says watch Mutual Credit
, it's about one minute long.
With Respect and Cheers,
Tony Budak, Site Owner and Webmaster

Please do not email or PM me for Forum/Board technical support. Instead Post Questions and Concerns Here