FAQs

You have discovered the gold mine of information, our Frequently Asked Questions.  If what you need is not covered here, then go to your neighborhood timebank web site (see links on the right) and use the Contact Us page.

Your neighborhood timebank is a member of Timebanks of Puget Sound, and you have access to the talents and requests of people across Puget Sound.  These answers apply to all members, so that is why you are on a Timebanks of Puget Sound page.  If you want to go back to your neighborhood timebank website, just click on that link on the right sidebar.

Now, let’s learn about timebanks. Click on a question.

How does it work?
What are Time Credits?
Does a Time Credit have a monetary value?
Are Time Credits taxable?
Are there units smaller than one Time Credit/one hour?
What kind of services are typically offered by TimeBank members?
What if I want to offer driving or running errands as a service?

What are the benefits of joining?
How do I join?
Can a business or organization join?
What does it cost to join?
Do I have to live in the Puget Sound region to join?
What about safety?
What if I don’t have computer access, or don’t want to use a computer?
What are the member policies?



How does it work?
Timebanks of Puget Sound has a website for each neighborhood and community.  At those sites, members can find out about upcoming activities and also connect to the TimebanksUSA database for Timebanks of Puget Sound.  There, members login and may create service offerings that they would like to perform for other members and requests for what services they would like to receive. Through the software provided by TimebanksUSA they may look up service offerings and requests posted by other timebank members, and arrange with another member to provide or receive a service. If they are not having success in coordinating to receive a service, they can call a community coordinator to help. Members earn Time Credits after each service performed, and then can spend the Time Credits on whatever they want from the listed service offerings.  In general, each member gives and receives in equal measure. There are also opportunities to donate hours earned to local charities. See the membership policies for more information on our processes, fees, and policies.
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What are Time Credits?
When you spend an hour providing service to another TimeBank member, you (as the service provider) record the exchange using the drop-down menu “Give & Receive”.  In this case you would record one Time Credit to be added to your account and subtracted from the account of the member who received the service. (Quarter- and half-hours can also be recorded.) Time Credits can be exchanged at the rate of one per hour for anything offered by another member of the TimeBank, provided the person is willing and available.
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Does a Time Credit have a monetary value?
No. Time Credits operate outside of the market economy, and only track services people provide for each other.
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Are Time Credits taxable?
Time Credits have been ruled tax-exempt by the IRS because an hour is always valued at one hour regardless of service, because there is no legal responsibility on anyone’s part to redeem a Time Credit, and because the purpose of Time Credits is charitable. Business Members participating in the TimeBank should check with your tax consultant.
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Are there units smaller than one Time Credit/one hour?
Timebanks of Puget Sound uses units as small as 1/4 Time Credit, or 1/4 hour. And we always round up.
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What kind of services are typically offered by TimeBank members?
Timebank services encompass many forms of services, skills, and assistance: animal care, life coaching, tutoring, teachings crafts and hobbies (knitting, fishing, etc.), running errands, cooking, reading aloud, housecleaning, sewing, taxi service, hair cutting, computer help, gardening, yard work, and more.  Services can be as simple as a comforting calling to someone needing a human contact to medical services.
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What if I want to offer driving or running errands as a service?
Driving is a popular service, and it can be very beneficial to those needing someone to run errands or take them to where they need to go. Those that want to drive need to have a timebank vehicle inspection, a driving record check, and agree to abide by timebank policies. If you want to use your car to perform timebank exchanges please read the Driving Policy and Inspection Checklist then contact your timebank coordinator to set up an inspection.  If you don’t know who that is, go to the Contact Us page on your timebank’s website.
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What are the benefits of joining?
Joining the timebank gives you access to the talents, time, and skills of your neighbors, while giving you an opportunity to help others in meaningful ways. It’s a great way to get connected with others in your community one hour at a time.
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How do I join?
See the How to Join page for more information.
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Can a business or organization join?
Yes. A business, organization, or agency can join as an organizational member. This creates one account for the organization, which the organization’s representative can use to give and receive services for the organization. Organizations can earn Time Credits by providing meeting rooms, offering classes to other timebank members, or providing volunteers to fill a service request. Organizations can spend Time Credits by have others help them fill occasional needs such as yard work, inventory, moving, website design, graphic design, extra staffing for special events, etc. See the Member Policies for more information on our organizational processes, fees, and policies.
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What does it cost to join?
Households and Individuals (annual cost):
$75 for household
$40 for individuals
$15 for college students and people with income under $25,000
$5 for high school students

Organizations (annual cost):
$300 for annual revenue above $1,000,000
$150 for annual revenue $500,001 – $1,000,000
$100 for annual revenue $250,001 – $500,000
$75 for annual revenue $100,001 – $250,000
$50 for annual revenue $50,001 – $100,000
$30 for annual revenue $10,001 – $50,000
$5 for annual revenue $10,000 or less

Membership fees are used to pay for the operation of the timebank and TimeBanks of Puget Sound.

For more information about joining,  see How to Join.
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Do I have to live in the Puget Sound region to join?
We are focused on the Puget Sound. If you live outside the area, you are welcome to join, however the distance may limit your exchanges. We hope to expand over time.
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What about safety?
All timebank applicants undergo a basic level of screening. A Washington State criminal background check is conducted through Washington State Patrol, and personal reference may be contacted as well.

Each timebank member is responsible for determining whether they are comfortable interacting with another member prior to arranging an exchange. We encourage members to personally meet other members in a public location (such as at one of our potlucks) prior to meeting privately.

Individuals with criminal records are generally excluded from the timebank, with potential exceptions for minor offenses. There is a screening review committee established specifically to address questionable background information.  This committee reports directly to the Board of Directors.

See the Screening Guidelines.
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What if I don’t have computer access, or don’t want to use a computer?
If you don’t have access to a computer, check with your local library for locations where public access computers are available.

If you don’t want to use a computer, contact your timebank coordinator to help connect with someone than can assist you with arranging exchanges or setting up a computer mentor to work with you.
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What are the member policies?
See the MemberPolicies page.
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