TimeBank Funding Strategies

Started by Tony Budak, February 15, 2013, 06:10:43 am

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Marie Nelson

What about raising funds for the time banking movement as a w hole by putting a link on ALL of our websites and on both network sites to a crowd-funding proposal.


A UK perspective on funding/templates  - every bit of funding we apply for here in the UK is context specific as no two area or community is the same, or has same needs or infrastructure, and most time banks have their own approach/aims to met the identified local need.  A time Bank's work and funding request then has to fit with the agendas and priorities of local or national government as well as the chosen priorities of the funders  (they can also change every couple years).  It would be difficult to formulate generic funding templates here as also, increasingly, funding is applied for online, on the funders own templates. Other forms of funding consist of submitting a proposal/bid that responds to a specific call to bidders from an agency. This often starts with a pre-application or expression of interest leading to a 2nd and sometimes 3rd stage process.

We are increasingly challenged to prove that time banking interventions  'save money' for the state, especially health services. It's not easy to do this, and short of the evidence we tend to rely on anecdotal stories and testimonies. It is crucial we continue to work on ensuring that 1) the powers that be are converted to time banking, understand how it works and the impact it makes in people's lives  - so that they are more readily prepared to fund; 2) time banks learn how to gather and use the appropriate socio-economic data and demographics to demonstrate that there is an unmet priority need in their area/community; 3) articulate a convincing time banking solution to meet the need and thus validate the funding required; 4) each time bank is able to demonstrate there is a plan to make it sustainable so that it is not continuously funding- hungry unless it provides a 'service' that is deemed needed ad infinitum and/or could be part of a larger organisation or consortium providing a service(s).

Some funders here now require that groups requesting funding show how they will continue their work once that funding source will end. I am currently suggesting that funders consider ring-fencing part of the monies given to time banks towards some sustainability activity and succession planning. However, they can't assume broker/coordinators (s) have business acumen, nor will have the time to set up, say, a social enterprise. Therefore part of the budget indeed needs to include something for capacity building to equip the management and members to come up with income generating ideas, skills to apply for other funding, how to develop the time banks perhaps as cooperatives.

The UK is also going towards 'payments by results', which is another challenge and would mean target driven time banks becoming contracted service providers. This is not quite your friendly informal local neighourhood group!

What is out of consideration here  - as far as external funding is concerned  - is fun groups that are social clubs/communities of interest that are deemed not a priority by funders and ought to be self-sustainable through membership fees, raising their own income, or integrated in something bigger.

From what I read on Facebook and the US press reporting on time banking, there seems to be almost a different purpose of time banking in the US (ditto Greece, Spain and Holland) where focus is using time banking to  'save money' for those participating through free service exchange. Here in the UK, funded time banks are mostly about social cohesion, older people, adult social care, reducing isolation and improving mental health - using time banking as a tool to connect people, raise self-esteem and engage them to coproduce their health and wellbeing. Whatever form of exchange model and purpose, it's all equally valid of course (especially in hard economic times) but the former model of 'saving money' for participants probably needs less funding especially if the exchanges can be coordinated via a digital platform, unless we are dealing with vulnerable people and there usually needs to be a coordinator to manage people and safeguarding. Depending on the aims of the time bank, we need both, digital/social media,  and staff,  particularly in communities where life is really tough and there needs to be a pool of dedicated resources to run an infrastructure designed and maintained to consistently support the more vulnerable people, manage relationships etc.

Hope this helps towards identifying some of the differences and/or similarities across the pond!


Tony Budak

February 15, 2013, 06:10:43 am #1 Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 06:13:04 am by Tony Budak
All interested time bankers are invited to a Knit A Network (KAN) project. This started as a part of Edgar Cahn's 90 Day challenge initiated last August 2012 to gather any and all funding ideas and interested time bank individuals. See https://tbswork.wikispaces.com/home.

Please contact Tony Budak <TonyBudak@tbmw.org> if you wish to participate as a site page or proposal content co-writer,  editor at   "Funding Strategies"?  Also please do send your funded and unfunded proposals, research, resources, and links etc. to Marie Nelson <MNelson@nl.edu> or Tony Budak <TonyBudak@tbmw.org> or Linda Clary <linda.clary@mcsi.net>. We will catalog information and make available at https://tbswork.wikispaces.com/home.

Please post your comments and suggestions in this general subject thread or start another specific subject thread of your choice?

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

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