So, what's all this excitement about timebanking really about? The more I thought about the resources available to women, I kept coming back to finances. In business, female entrepreneurs or professionals looking to make a leap often face a deficit in resources. They either lack the know-how, the time, the funding or community support. They’re often on their own, left to just figure it out. At any stage in a woman’s life - not just in their career - women find themselves in a situation that requires support. In transition. At a cross-roads. It’s just a part of life.
Money is usually the barrier for women to take that valuable next step. And most often, money is used to buy time and talent. So what if we answered the call for financial capital with an action system built around human capital? Enter timebanking.
"Timebanking is a kind of money. Give one hour of service to another, and receive one time credit.
For one person to earn a time credit, however, someone else has to agree to give it. Timebanking happens when a network or circle of members have agreed that they will give and receive credits for services that other members provide. Those networks are called “timebanks.” That’s almost it.
To be successful, timebanks need leadership – or perhaps the better word is “governance.” They need agreements around what’s OK and what’s not OK in relation to earning and spending. To guide those, one additional and most important aspect of timebanking is the core values.
Edgar Cahn is the founder of modern timebanking. He noticed that successful timebanks almost always work with some specific core values in place:
Asset Every one of us has something of value to share with someone else.
Redefining Work There are some forms of work that money will not easily pay for, like building strong families, revitalizing neighborhoods, making democracy work, advancing social justice. Time credits were designed to reward, recognize and honor that work.
Reciprocity Helping that works as a two-way street empowers everyone involved – the receiver as well as the giver.The question: “How can I help you?” needs to change so we ask: “Will you help someone too?” Paying it forward ensures that, together, we help each other build the world we all will live in.
Social Networks Helping each other, we reweave communities of support, strength & trust. Community is built by sinking roots, building trust, creating networks. By using timebanking, we can strengthen and support these activities.
Respect Respect underlies freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and everything we value. Respect supplies the heart and soul of democracy. We strive to respect where people are in the moment, not where we hope they will be at some future point."
To find out more about the core philosophies of timebanking and what it can accomplish, visit TimeBanks.org.