Starting a path for a time-bank (time-raising) process

[posted this on the slack channel “OFN-g-affiliates”, a couple of days ago, but maybe here it is more appropriate]

Dear everyone, In our last meeting (Global Coord.), I raised a need (related to global communications) and was promptly asked if I would like to take the lead developing a solution for this. I accepted.

However, developing our Global comms is not our only need, there are other circles needed to be resourced and other coordinators to be found.Which brings me to an idea I have been thinking for a while now: in similar terms to developing our fundraising efforts, we should also develop our time-raising efforts. If the founders of OFN had been waiting to have funds before the work started, we would probably still be waiting. Meaning that: time donated (or time-raised) came before funds were raised (or please correct me if I am wrong).

What do I mean by time-raising?
Develop a process in which we can define and communicate specific work need to be done that is non-tech. With skill needs associated to specific time required for each task (or group of tasks).
It seems to me that such a process already exists for tech development, but our community is rich in other skills too. We should harvest these skills better. Not only because a variety of skills is needed but also because, the people currently involved in the network need to be supported.

Known barriers:

  • At the mentioned coordination meeting, it was highlighted that the most difficult aspect of trying to widen the request for other people to join and take on tasks, is to know who will be on-boarding them when time is already so stretched for most of us. Basically there is a need for coordinators to be onboard before.
  • Money is always tight.What do I propose:
    [1] to use the re-starting of the Global Communications team as a pilot test for launching other “non-tech” circles;
    [2] to create the bones of this “non-tech” circle and see how it could be replicated in other needed areas (Global Admin, Global Governance, etc…)
    [3] to integrate as much as possible a replication of other existing onboarding processes (eg.: tech dev.; and to highlight how different affiliates should be donating 40% of their time to build the network)
    [4] to define what are the basic requirements for coordinating such circles, how it could be defined in a role and see if we can find people willing to donate their time to lead these circles for a minimum period (I would say we are probably looking at min. half day per week during a year).
    [5] the role of coordinator would be on a volunteer basis at the start (1st 6months to a year), but with a view to have it funded afterwards. This is not ideal, but it would support the launch of the initiative in a time were resources are tight, as well as making sure we are supporting people that can give before they receive.
    [6] to define what priority circles we can supply coordinators for. (note: there is no point in defining 6 circles if we can only find people to coordinate 3).
    [7] to onboard coordinators to the platform and present the objectives of the priority circles, making sure the coordinators use aspects of step [2] but feel autonomous enough to build and adapt the circles as they see fit.
    [8] to start scouting for other skills specific to each circle.Note: once our needs are better defined we can also understand what costs are associated to these and provide specific requests to funders.

In my perspective steps 1 to 4 will need 2-3months and the remaining an additional 1-3 months to start showing results.I understand the proposal will not be easily fulfilled. However I believe OFN exists because of many people understanding what is at stake and donated their time.

There are more of us out there. We need to make sure they see and hear us.

I do not know if something like this has been tried before… In any case, could you please let me know what you think?