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Community Skill Exchange

Frequently Asked Questions

Community Skill Exchange~Sacramento

“Our vision is to create community wellbeing by encouraging generosity, trust and support among Sacramento neighbors.”


A Friends and Neighbors Time Bank

Community Skill Exchange~Sacramento is a Time Credit program serving our local community by connecting people who share their talents and skills to help each other. One hour helping another member earns One Time Bank Credit. The time banking transaction is based on a shared value system among members. When a member provides a service they earn One Time Credit for each hour ofservice provided, they can then exchange their Time Credit for services provided by other time bank members. The earned or spent time credits are posted and tracked on the time bank software. The available services are based on the skills, talents, abilities and availability of the time bank members. 


How exactly does it work?

When you spend an hour sharing a skill with an individual or group, you earn a Time Credit. Then you can use that Time Credit to buy an hour of a neighbor’s time or engage in a group activity offered by a neighbor.


Why is everyone's time given the same value?

At first glance, it seems a little crazy that someone is paid the same for web design as for pulling weeds, but this turns out to be the core of what makes Time Credits really valuable. In the “caring economy” everyone’s time is valued equally.  Putting a price on people's time separates us by making some people more valuable than others. Time Credits excel in building relationships because they place an equal value on everyone’s time.
Time Credits aren’t meant to replace standard dollars. They are designed to counterbalance the market economy. We are building a parallel economy where people take care of each without exchanging money.


Isn't Time Banking like bartering?

It is, but the big difference is that you don’t have to pay back the person who gives the service. It is a “pay-it-forward” system. That’s one of the reasons why people find it so much easier to do things for others in a Time Banking system. You don’t have to figure out what or how much to give back to the person who helped you. One hour equals one time credit and you can choose how and when you want to pay it forward.


Are Time Dollar exchanges tax-exempt?

Yes, and this is another reason why Time Banking is different than bartering: it is not taxable. In normal bartering, you have to declare the value of the good and services you receive to the IRS. We have an IRS ruling that Time Credit exchanges are tax-exempt. There is no tax on time.


What can Time Banking do for me?

Time Banking does 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:

  • Neighborhood 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

Interested in Building a network of support within your neighborhood or community?  Time Banking can help you do exactly that. Instead of paying professionals to look after your children, care for your aging parents, and do the work that family and neighbors used to do for one another, the members of your Time Bank can do those things for each other. Time Banking creates connections through sharing skills.


Why should I care and what is so special about Time Banking?

Many folks are looking up from their busy lives and wondering if something essential is missing. Some of us can remember a time when family members lived close by each other and we knew most of the people living in our neighborhoods. Some of us have only heard about it.
Helping each other out was a given, something we did for each other every day. From watching someone’s kids for a few hours, dropping off meals for a sickly neighbor to potluck suppers and barn raisings, communities were full of exchanges and mutually supportive networks of family and friends.

Most people would not disagree that times have changed, that these networks are gradually disappearing and some of us don’t have members nearby or neighbors we know well enough to turn to for support.


What kinds of people join a Time Bank?

Everyone can join a Time Bank and all kinds of people do.


Time Banking builds on the magic of “pay it forward,” one good turn leading to another and another.


Interested in joining us? Click here: Join Us