We admire your desire to co-create an Hour Exchange / Mutual Aid Network in your community! Each
new exchange is a cause for celebration as we circumvent our scarcity based cash economy to
participate in a community currency based on giving and receiving out of our abundance. We will
help you, happily sharing all the steps, stories and models that are known to us.
Where to begin? Below are suggested first steps for organizing a new Time Bank / Mutual Aid Network.
Filling out our contact form
with the link above will get you some on screen and an email copy of some startup help, and request
the info we need to create the framework for your new community.
We provide FREE access to Time and Talents, the software that supports hOurworld®.
There are no annual fees or hidden charges, period. Think Facebook. Your account is your community
and your friends are your members. Check out the software demos with the links above. If you have
questions about Time and Talents, please contact Stephen(at)hourworld.org. We'll provide ongoing
support for your new community!
RECRUIT YOUR KITCHEN CABINET / LEADERSHIP TEAM:
As you begin get ten to twelve committed people together to talk about growing your exchange.
Be thoughtful about the skills of your group. The magic recipe includes: happy networkers, someone
who loves computers, people who like to do events and fundraisers, someone with social service or
nonprofit experience, a bookkeeper, someone with good marketing ideas, maybe someone who likes to
write grants, and a couple of folks who are very personable on the phone.
!!! See #3, 4 , 5 and 9 in Startup Materials !!!
ESTABLISH A GROUP VISION:
Put on the coffee or pull out the wine and dedicate a few hours to Dreaming and Visioning how your
Exchange would stimulate the sharing of ideas, cultivate friendships and respond to your community's
needs. What is the greatest concern in your community now? Is it unemployment? Transportation?
Medical care? Food security? What population comes immediately to mind for membership? Would that
be elders? Young families? Everyone? It's what works best for your neighbors. Why not ask them?
!!! See #1, 6 and 11 in Startup Materials !!!
LOCATE AN OFFICE SPACE:
Eventually you will want to find a site to donate (accountants call this "in-kind") an
office and meeting space, a phone and computer. Having a workplace gives you a foundation from
which to build your network. It can be a place of worship, a social service agency, an empty
storefront, or the back of a business. It's important to be conscious in this decision. Be sure
wherever you land represents inclusivity, somewhere welcoming, without bias, and given willingly
because the donor believes in this good work. Where you are meeting is a statement of the values
of your program.
RAISING STARTUP FUNDS
Now or later: Many exchanges ask their members for a small annual donation like $25. The software
supports multiple customizable membership levels and annual billing and collection of hours and
or dollars for same. This accomplishes two things:
- a personal investment by the group which will deepen the bond between everyone and,
- funds for a public marketing for the program to stimulate interest within your community and
Time banks with at least a part time paid coordinator have the best survival rates and longevity.
This movement is about complementary currencies. We believe that real wealth is found in the
currency of community. While the cash economy has its role, it will never replace the power that
members of a community have when they join their voices and spirits together to solve our common
We look forward to continuing a dialogue with you, supporting your good work and helping your
world connect to hOurworld®.
The hOurworld® team.