How Time Bank of the Rockies Works

Share Your Skills. Enrich Your Life.

We believe that all people have skills and talents that can be shared to improve everyone’s life. Sharing such abilities is a wonderful way of interacting with people and getting involved with your community.

Through shared experiences and the sense of being useful to your community, people feel empowered and more engaged. They become part of a vibrant and caring group and gain friends. At the same time, they also earn time credits, which they can spend to improve their lives and have fun experiences.

Time Banks are not charities: all members share their unique skills and earn the same time credits, no matter what. We believe that all talents are equal and all time should be equal.


What are the Core Values of Time Bank of the Rockies?

Assets. We are all assets and have something to give to the community.

Reciprocity. Individuals, families, and communities are empowered when everyone gives and everyone receives. We all need each other.

Redefining Work. Work needs to be redefined to include all the efforts and skills that contribute to a society, including such services as care giving and volunteer work of all kinds that do not show up when calculating gross domestic product. Time Banks recognize and reward that work.

Social Networks. Individuals and families who are actively engaged in networks of caring and support build communities of strength and trust.

Respect. Every human being matters. We respect people where they are in the moment and recognize that everyone has value.

Can students join the Time Bank?

Yes! The Time Bank is an amazing opportunity for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, high school students, and other volunteer organizations and individuals to give back to their communities while building powerful networks of goodwill.

By joining the Time Bank of the Rockies, you will enjoy engaging with your local community. Members are empowered by sharing their talents and skills with other people and earning time credits, which they can use whenever and however they want to.

Above all, our members get to experience the trust and reciprocity of social networks and to meet new people. Being part of the Time Bank of the Rockies gives you the potential of opening new doors, building your community, networking, and making new friends.

How do I access my membership benefits?

When you become a Time Bank member, you are given access to the Time Bank website and hOurworld software. You can post the skills and talents you are willing to share as well as those you would like to receive. If you don’t have a computer, you can get help from a Time Bank computer buddy or use a public-access computer at the library or other establishment offering such services.

Who pays for materials in a time bank trade?

If materials such as paint or office supplies are required, it is generally expected that these will be paid for by the person receiving the service. The person offering the service should discuss any such costs and payment with the recipient prior to performing the service.

How do I calculate my time?

Time may be banked in whole hours or quarter hours. If you work a partial hour, please round up or down to the nearest quarter hour.

Is time exchanging the same as bartering?

No. Bartering is based on the cash economy in a one-to-one relationship. For example, a plumber and carpenter agree to each provide $1000 worth of work on each other’s homes — that’s the cash world. In the exchange economy, the services are based on time, not cash. Each service hour is valued the same, and they are exchanged within a network, not one-to-one.

Why did the IRS rule Time Bank exchanges as tax-exempt?

The IRS views exchanges in Time Banks as “friendly favors” based on the currency of time. The IRS cannot tax time. This is another reason why Time Banking is different than bartering: it is not taxable. In normal bartering, you have to declare to the IRS the value of the goods and services you receive.

Is it possible to bank parts of hours?

YES. You may bank whole hours or partial hours. If you work a partial hour, please round up or down to the nearest quarter hour.

What does it cost to join?

We ask for the donation amounts below to help maintain a part-time facilitator to keep our time bank running smoothly. We do not want to prohibit anyone from joining our time bank due to financial hardship. Therefore, in the spirit of time exchanges, if the annual membership donation is a hardship for you, please contact TBR staff to discuss other options.

Individuals and households

  • $30 for individuals
  • $25 for seniors 60 and over
  • $35 for senior household (all members 60 and over)
  • $50 for household
  • $15 for students

Businesses and organizations

  • $1000+ Platinum Membership
  • $500 Gold Membership
  • $250 Silver Membership
  • $100 Bronze Membership
What if I don’t have computer access, or don’t want to use a computer?

You can use one at the public library, borrow one from a neighbor, or use a Time Bank computer buddy (who earns time credits for recording and finding your services). All transactions must be tracked via the online hOurworld software. If none of these options appeal to you, please contact the Time Bank to discuss your particular needs.

How can I trust the other members?

How can you trust anyone? As you give or receive a service, you will get to know members just as you would in any relationship. People are people whether they are members of the Time Bank or not.

Do your run background checks on members?

As part of the application process, Time Bank of the Rockies screens all applicants using the Department of Justice’s National Sex Offender Registry database.

What if the service I want isn’t listed?

The best way to handle this is to find someone who provides the service and recruit them to join the Time Bank of the Rockies. The more skilled providers join our community, the richer our services will be for everyone.

What if I’m not satisfied with the service offered?

For example, what if a Time Bank member gives you a haircut and you’re not happy with it? Well, what would you do if you had paid cash for that haircut? Talk to the provider, express your opinion, and work out a solution. You should treat the situation the same way as you would in the cash economy.

Can professionals use the Time Bank?

Of course. There is room for everyone to feel equal, give equally, and receive equally. Exchanging is wonderful because it goes against the hierarchy of classist thinking. The beautiful garden I planted for a doctor is of equal value to the doctor’s examination of my skin disorder. We are each offering something of value to the other person, thus we are all valued equally.

Does the time economy hurt the cash economy?

Time Banking works as a complementary currency. Many businesses see the value in becoming Time Bank members because they get unique marketing benefits, loyal customers, and cash savings in starting or supporting their operation.

Can businesses and non-profit organizations join, too?

Absolutely! We’re not competing, we’re cooperating. All businesses and non-profit organizations have services to offer and can benefit from using their banked time for other services. So, it’s basically the same rule as for every other member. Everyone fits this model: everyone!

Can Time Bank accounts go into debt?

Yes. We recommend capping member debt and credit at 25 hours. If one is only earning time and not spending time (or vice versa), then there is no flow, no current, and no exchange. That is why it is so important to earn and spend the time that you bank. Don’t forget that you can also donate your time credits to another member or an organization of your choice.

What protections are in place to help cover the Time Bank from liability claims?

All members are required to attend an orientation. At that time, they sign a Release of Liability and Membership Agreements form. This includes a waiver stating that you agree to hold the Time Bank of the Rockies harmless of any and all injury to property or person, as well as dissatisfaction with work performed. The only way that everyone can participate as equals in our community is by signing and agreeing to the same rules and waivers.

“The two weeks that I spent as a member of Time Bank of the Rockies in Montrose were eye-opening and inspiring. Not only did I have access to services I normally wouldn’t be able to afford, like a yoga class and health consultations, but I got to know a community, and even to feel a part of it, much more quickly than would ordinarily be the case. Rather than the major investment of time and effort that is usually part of settling and getting connected in a new place, I found myself—within a few days—with a full social calendar, meaningful work, and a place to put my abilities to immediate use.”

—Julie E.

Do you have other questions?

Contact us today!