The Kola Nut Collaborative (KNC) is a mutual support network of people engaged in reciprocal exchange of services, skills, and goods through a timebank where the currency is an hour of time for everyone.
A timebank is a member operated reciprocal exchange service in which members offer their time, skills and service to other members in return for time dollars or kola. A time dollar is equal to one hour of service. Those who receive time dollars can spend them with other members in the timebank for whatever service they might require.  More information can be found at Timebanks USA.
Members are able to offer a variety of different services within the timebank whether creative, professional, educational or social in nature.  If a member does not see a service in the directory that they wish to access, they can also post an entry in the “Requests” section and notify other members who might be able to fulfill the need.  Members are presently offering translation, proofreading, photography and home repair services.  An external version of our service directory can be viewed by clicking here.
No. Timebanking is a form of indirect service exchange which does not require a dual coincidence of needs and wants as is the case with bartering. Each person in a barter transaction must have something the other person wants when a trade occurs. With timebanking, services are exchanged for time dollars so that members can find someone else in the network who has the service that they want in the time that they decide.

Bartering is also governed by specific IRS tax regulations which consider it a taxable activity.  Timebanking does not use market value and has been classified by the IRS as a non-contractual communal exchange between members.  Therefore it is not considered a taxable activity.

Membership in the timebank is open to any individual, business or organization located in the Chicagoland area.  Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.  The application process includes an in-person or virtual orientation and initial member interview.  An application form can be found on our Hourworld site by clicking here.

The goal of these screening procedures to impart some basic knowledge about the history and practice of timebanking, understand the motivations of new members for joining the timebank and help new members to fully understand their role in developing a diverse marketplace of skills which will allow everyone in the timebank to meet many of their needs within a reasonable radius from their home.

Yes.  There is a modest annual membership contribution requested to cover the administrative expense incurred in operating the timebank.  In addition to the dollar contribution, there is a time contribution that is automatically deducted from the timebank account each year which is added to the Community Time Fund.

This fund is used to help the timebank facilitate requests for service that build the timebank or support organizational members in the timebank who may be hosting activities which are unable to fully support those activities using the existing hours in their account.  Further details on membership can be located here.


It is common when encountering timebanking to think that you do not have a skill to offer that will be of value to another member. This question is thoroughly addressed during the orientation and member interview process. We take for granted the abilities that move us through the day, but there are others who cannot take those abilities for granted. Things that appear easy in our own lives may be of great value to others. They need only know that there is someone in their community whom they can ask for this assistance.
Every job within a community as as valuable as any other because every job attempts to make the community more functional, beautiful, healthy and livable.

By engaging in the practice of time equity through timebanking, we communicate our gratitude to other members of the community for their contribution to the social fabric and stability of our communities.

Without those contributions, we recognize that we might be less able to do the work which supports our family and household.

All of these families and households together create the social infrastructure of communities and neighborhoods.