The TimeBank has been nominated for the Volunteer Center’s Be The Difference Award along with 50 other local individuals, nonprofits and businesses. The celebration includes a luncheon at the Cocoanut Grove on October 27. They tell us that ‘our story is powerful, inspirational and vital to the health of our community.’ We hope so; we’re just doing our bit.

Timebanking is all about collaboration. We love reciprocity. Collaborating with trusted community partners is the smart way to go: it’s essentially a best use of resources.

So why is it so hard for groups to work together? You’d think our common goals would make collaboration a no-brainer. Maybe it’s because we’re still in the survival mode of the hunter-gatherers. Local nonprofits compete rather than collaborate. We compete for funding, press, prestige, volunteers. It makes you weary how much we compete. Isn’t there a better way?

Timebanking is an outlier in the nonprofit community. Oh, it’s not new, not really that innovative. What sets it apart is that no-one makes a profit. Careers don’t get jump-started by timebanking. The work of creating new sustainable economic institutions is not a bit glamorous. Maybe that’s why social entrepreneurs aren’t drawn to it. Any why it’s not funded. And why no-one has figured out a good governance model for it.

Powerful, inspirational, vital? I wonder what they see.

October 5, 2017