Learn about mission of TimeBanks, core values, or send a message to our Board of Directors, staff and network support team members.
TimeBanks USA was formed in 1995 to promote TimeBanking — then known as Time Dollars. Its central office is located in Washington D.C. Our mission is to nurture and expand a TimeBanking movement that promotes equality and builds caring community economies through inclusive exchanges of time and talents.
What is TimeBanking?
TimeBanking is a medium of exchange — like money, but having its own qualities. It was designed in 1980 by TimeBanking founder Edgar Cahn to reward “decency, caring, and a passion for justice.”
With TimeBanking, an hour of help earns one credit. Unlike standard money, there is no price placed on different kinds of service. Regardless of the type of help given, an hour is an hour. The purpose of TimeBanking is to reweave communities by valuing the contributions of all, joining unused resources to unmet needs.
Who can be involved in TimeBanking?
Anyone can earn time credits by contributing to others. Anyone who has earned can spend — or they can donate their Time credits earned to others. Organizations and government agencies and even businesses can also become members of the TimeBank. As the TimeBank members contribute their time, energies and skills, they create an ever-growing community “bank” of skills that members can draw on. TimeBanking builds community one hour at a time by individual acts of helping.
A Brief History of TimeBanks USA
As the home of TimeBanking, TimeBanks USA laid the foundations for an expanding network of independent TimeBanks. Some TimeBanks are focused on addressing a specific need, like helping frail elderly remain in their homes, or overcoming a racial divide, or reducing social isolation within a community. Others aim to build a sense of community within a geographic area. Still others are “hybrids” pursuing different goals that combine into the larger mission of rebuilding community. (When you have finished touring our website, we hope you will b e inspired to go visit some indiviidual TimeBank websites. You will be inspired, guaranteed!)
The TimeBankng movement is spreading across the US and internationally.
In the last few years, TimeBanks USA’s role has changed. Increasingly, local TimeBanks in the US cluster and support each other at the regional level. So the need for a TimeBanking hub has gone. Instead, we collaborate with TimeBanks and TimeBank regions, and with organizations and communities seeking out new ways for TimeBanking to contribute to a more inclusive, more just, and more sustainable world.
With every new collaboration, we learn of new possibilities. That is the fun and joy of TimeBanking. It is something that has never changed.
In all of our work, we aspire to the five core principles/values of TimeBanking as spelled out in Edgar Cahn’s book No More Throw-Away People:
We all have something to give.
Work has to be redefined to value whatever it takes to raise healthy children, build strong families, revitalize neighborhoods, make democracy work, advance social justice, make the planet sustainable. That kind of work needs to be honored, recorded and rewarded.
The question: “How can I help you?” needs to change so we ask: “How can we help each other build the world we both will live in?”
Networks are stronger than individuals. People helping each other reweave communities of support, strength & trust. Community is built upon sinking roots, building trust, creating networks. Special relationships are built on commitment.
Respect underlies freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and everything we value. Respect supplies the heart and soul of democracy. When respect is denied to anyone, we all are injured. We must respect where people are in the moment, not where we hope they will be at some future point.
We hope you will consider donating to the work of TimeBanks USA.
TimeBanking as a complementary currency that inspires and generates generosity in the way that people give AND in the way that people receive. It stands alongside the money world. It cannot replace it.
TimeBanks USA is small — much smaller than many can believe given the impact that it has had. Your donations to the work of TimeBanking will support our efforts to bring more kindness, fairness, generosity and justice into our world.
Please click at any time on the red DONATE button that is located at the very top of our website.
And thank you so much. You cannot know how meaningful your gift will be to us.