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Sebastopol Area Time Bank

Handbook (member guidelines)


Building community one hour at a time



Each member's hours are of equal value.

Hours are accumulated by providing services.

Hours are spent to receive help from other members.

The Timebank software keeps track of transactions.



We will create and sustain a supportive, reciprocal network where all members are respected and valued equally for their time and talents with the purpose of building community.



Everyone is an asset. Everyone has something to contribute.

Everyone merits respect. 

All work is equally valued.

We promote both giving AND receiving.

Networks are stronger than individuals and build local resilience.



A network of local Sebastopol residents who help each other by sharing skills and talents on an hour-for-hour basis.  No money changes hands for services provided. It uses software to connect people in real time to meet real needs.



SATB is not a barter system, nor does it deal in commodities or capital.  It is not a marketing platform for businesses.  It is not appropriate to offer services with the intention of getting paid for the interaction.


The SATB honors the rich diversity of our members' backgrounds, understandings, skills and services.

All members must:

  • attend an orientation
  • be 18 years of age or older
  • call Sebastopol home (zip code of 95472, 95473 or 95444)
  • complete necessary enrollment forms and show photo ID
  • electronically agree to the SATB terms of service


All members must attend an SATB orientation which includes an introduction to the SATB, an overview of member guidelines, a tutorial of the software program, time for questions and an opportunity to get to know some other time bankers.


The SATB does not do background checks or check driving records on any of its members. Members are responsible for screening exchange partners.  


SATB will communicate with all members via gatherings, orientations, emails and a monthly electronic newsletter.

See also

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Gatherings and other events for SATB members will be held at least quarterly.  With the approval of the Admin Team, members can host a special event in their home or other community location and earn hours.  The SATB will help to promote these events.  These gatherings are great opportunities to meet other members in the SATB in person and discuss potential service exchanges.  


As respect is a core value of SATB, members' personal information may be shared only with other SATB members, as appropriate.  Please do not share any personal or contact information of members without their permission. 


Member contact information may not be used for any type of solicitation.  Member information should not be shared outside of the SATB, and members' email addresses may not be added to mailing lists without their express permission. It is not appropriate to offer services with the intention of securing paid employment from the interaction.  

Failure to observe any of these principles and policies will result in a conversation with an Admin Coordinator and may result in canceled SATB membership.  



  • To be treated with dignity, care and respect without discrimination
  • To choose with whom they will enter into an exchange
  • To request references of a service provider
  • To reconsider providing or receiving a service, with adequate warning to the Exchange Partner
  • To donate earned hours to other members or to the Community Fund
  • To have privacy and confidentiality maintained
  • To receive support from SATB Admin Team


  • To respect diversity and treat all members considerately
  • To communicate clearly and have fair expectations of other members
  • To be prompt and keep scheduled commitment and to provide adequate notice in the event of cancellation.
  • To discuss administrative problems and concerns with an Admin Coordinator in a timely manner so that we may facilitate a solution
  • To maintain the privacy and confidentiality of other members
  • To keep your SATB account current (request and service offers, contact information)
  • To have car insurance and wear seatbelts





Appreciation of another's best efforts is part of what makes the SATB work.  No service is guaranteed and there may be situations when the service provided does not meet the expectations of the receiver.  In these cases please attempt to be flexible and understanding. If a misunderstanding is significant and not possible to just let go of, you may contact a member of the Admin Team to discuss it and seek a solution. 


  • Agree on an estimated maximum amount of time that the transaction will take beforehand. If it will take longer, reconnect and re-estimate in a timely manner.
  • Contact the other member in advance if you must cancel
  • Be courteous in other members' homes
  • Respect others' religions, beliefs, and political viewpoints
  • Make sure the other person understands exactly what you going to do
  • Try to be patient and open rather than critical
  • If you are requesting a service, pay for any necessary ingredients or materials
  • Dial 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency


  • Smoke in a member's home without permission
  • Use alcohol or illegal drugs while performing services
  • Over-commit yourself
  • Misrepresent your abilities
  • Make inappropriate advances on any member
  • Participate in illegal activities with any member


Material goods and equipment may be needed during a service exchange (eg. Wood for a deck, ingredients for baking, supplies for an art project.) Members should negotiate such arrangements prior to the exchange.  In general, the receiver is responsible for supplying the materials needed or equipment to be used during the transaction.  There are times when it makes sense for the provider to furnish his/her own materials or equipment, in which case the receiver should pay for the materials used.  


Hours should be recorded promptly by the exchange receiver (unless otherwise agreed in advance.) Only one exchange partner should record an individual exchange.  Services may be recorded in 1/4 hour increments.  Please round to the nearest quarter hour.  For example, a service of 1 hour and 5 minutes would be recorded as 1 hour and a service of 1 hour and 10 minutes would be recorded as 1 1/4 hours.  


Membership in the SATB is voluntary. Members can resign at any time. In consideration of the needs of other members and the Admin Team, we ask that a member give the SATB Admin Coordinator(s) at least one-week notice before ending membership. 

SATB reserves the right to refuse membership to anyone. Members may be removed from the SATB at the discretion of the Admin Team. Reasons for dismissal include but are not limited to:

1. Not responding to communications.  If you do not get a response from another member, contact an Admin Coordinator.  After two complaints of non-responsiveness, the member will be contacted and may be deactivated.

2. Maintaining negative account balance in excess of 20 hours.

3. Theft, fraud, misuse or abuse. These behaviors will not be tolerated and the member will be removed.

4. Posting inappropriate offers or requests.  The Admin Team shall deem what is inappropriate.

5. Violence, harassment or other disrespectful interactions.  We rely on all members to report any inappropriate behavior, be it directed at you or observed by you. Any infraction may result in de-activation.

6. Lack of participation. If a member has had zero transactions within six months and/or is unreachable by phone or email, the account MAY be de-activated.


Routine problems with a time bank service should be handled as you would any other service, by discussing the issue reasonably and attempting to come to an agreement. If you cannot resolve the issue, please contact an Admin Coordinatior. Disrespectful behaviors listed as grounds for termination of membership should be reported to an Admin Coordinator immediately. 


The content of this handbook will change over time as members make suggestions for improvement. Your ideas and comments are important in helping SATB become a creative, meaningful and rewarding program. Thank you for helping to build a caring community. 



Admin Team: SATB committee that assists the SATB coordinators with development and operation of the program. The Admin Team meets to discuss program issues, marketing, publicity plans and other activities related to the SATB.  Admin Team members earn hours for their work as committee members.

Admin Coordinator: Those SATB Admin Team members responsible for overseeing SATB membership, operations, and marketing. The Admin Coordinators earn hours for their work as a coordinator. 

Community Fund: A pool of donated SATB hours (earned and designated by members) to be used by those members who are unable to earn hours due to illness or disability. Use of Community Fund hours is based on need and determined by the SATB Admin Team.

Community Fund Receiver: A member who is determined by the STB Admin Team to be unable to provide service due to illness or disability.  The account of a Community Fund Receiver is credited with donated hours from the Community Fund.

Donor: A member who donates hours to another member or to the Community Fund.

Guardian Angel: An SATB member who has internet access and skill with the time banking software who helps another member with their online account. ( e.g. Listing and tracking Timebank requests and offers.)

Exchange Partners: Two SATB members entering into a service exchange together. 

Timebank Hours: One Timebank Hour is earned for each hour of service provided to other SATB members or the Community Fund.  Services can be posted in 1/4 hour increments. Timebank Hours are not redeemable for cash.

Negative Account Balance: It is expected that from time to time members may temporarily go into debt.  However, this should not discourage any member with a need from using the SATB.  Feel free to contact one of the Admin Coordinators for assistance.

Reciprocity: Time banks work only if members give AND receive services. Time bankers tend to be "givers." Remember to give others opportunities to give their time and talents.

Transaction: The process of crediting or debiting Timebank Hours from/to members' accounts after a service exchange or donation.

Community Weaver: The software program used to keep track of member bank accounts, service offers, service requests, contact information and communication between members.