Frequently Asked Questions

Is time banking like bartering?  No.  Barter involves assignment of monetary value to services that are exchanged between two parties.  Time banks value every hour equally and those hours are exchanged within the network.  

Are time exchanges taxable?  The friendly exchange of favors is not taxable.  

Can I trust the other time bank members?  It is expected that members will use their judgment about service providers through the time bank as they would any other service. We have found that timebanking builds trust.  

What if I am unhappy with a service?  We suggest you do what you would do if you had paid for a service in cash: express your opinion and work out a solution.   It helps to clarify and agree upon all the details before a service is performed, such as transportation time (if any), the approximate amount of time required, who provides what materials.   

Who can participate in the time bank? Residents within the Sebastopol area who are 18 years or older.  

Can businesses and non-profit organizations join? Our study was limited to individuals.  However, non-profit organizations and their volunteers contribute value to our community and we are analyzing the results of a pilot study to determine whether to offer membership to nonprofit organizations.  Check back for results in January 2019!

What protections are in place to protect the time bank and its members from liability claims? Members sign a waiver to hold the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center, the City of Sebastopol and other time bank study participants harmless.   

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