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First Steps to Becoming a Timebank

This page helps you with information about setting up a timebank. The main things you’ll need to do are outlined here, especially when it comes to tools and technology. For a more broad and detailed guide to starting up a timebank, check out Margaret Jeffries and Lyttelton’s “How to Build a Timebank” which has more on the basics of timebanking and building your team and community.

Create a Core Group

This includes finding your board, getting volunteers, setting governance (how you make decisions), roles and responsibilities.

If you have some funds to be able to hire someone (a big help!) you may be wondering how to advertise. These samples for job descriptions and advertisements at Mid-Canterbury Timebank can be a guide.

Secure Funding

Find a fiscal sponsor, or support from an “umbrella organisation,” or become an organisation.

Open Collective NZ is an example “umbrella organisation” you could consider using; it helps you to operate like a company or charity, without having to get your own legal entity (or manage one). has more information about the umbrella organisations.

Charities Services explains the difference between an incorporated society and a charity in New Zealand.

Build Community

Promotion and raising awareness about Timebanks, maybe by using social media, and getting people involved are key steps for any timebank. Having a clear description of your organisation, your aims, and your purposes is a good way to begin. Creating an information sheet is also a good way to clarify these things.

These documents can be as simple as a plain-print information sheet or as lush, and well designed as this handbook for the Mid-Canterbury Timebank.

Again, these sorts of steps are described in more detail in How to Build a Timebank.

Choosing your platform

Your “platform” is the application people access on their computers and phones in order to record exchanges after they connect to give/receive time and support. There are several platforms that can be used; your size and your intentions will influence your choice. Read the discussion of:

The majority of timebanks in New Zealand / Aoteroa are using Community Weaver 3. We’ve got a guide to best practices for setting up Community Weaver here.

Also of note: some communities still use Community Forge, and there may soon be opportunities or software available through Seeds or other socially-minded “web3” or “blockchain” initiatives (read the “current options” for details).

Running activities

Keeping your community engaged means keeping in touch in one form or another. Create lots of different events and activities throughout the year as a way to bring people together.

Here’s an example calendar.


It is often a good idea to have a Timebank website of your own - for when people search your timebank on google. This might have some info about your Timebank, what is a Timebank, and might direct new members to your sign up form, and members to the Timebanking platform that is being used.

It’s easy to create websites if you use services like the following:

Check out some of the websites of other big timebanks around the country to see what they’ve done (for example, MCT or Wellington), or check out newer ones like Timebank Auckland.