The following slightly edited text is taken from the website of TimeBanks USA: http://timebanks.org/about/
TimeBanks USA, a registered 501c3 headquartered in Washington D.C., was formed in 1995 by Dr. Edgar S. Cahn, a law professor and longterm civil rights activist, to expand the knowledge and field of timebanking and its impact on individuals, youth, families, communities, the environment, and the world.
TimeBanks USA is committed to supporting timebanks and its partners to advance timebanking by offering ongoing onsite training opportunities in locations across the country; individualized consultation; ongoing group topical webinars and teleconference calls; an annual conference; and access to numerous resources and research in the field of timebanking. The organization also offers tailored software for running local time banks called Community Weaver.
Edgar Cahn explains the origins of TimeBanking (which he first called service credits) as a medium of exchange that would act as a way to encourage and reward the work needed to build strong, resilient communities:
Ronald Reagan was withdrawing funding for social programs. They were closing down. I thought that if there was going to be no more of the old money to support communities, we should create a new one.
The service credits were later named Time Dollars, and later still they took on other names as well, such as time credits and timebank hours. In 1981, Grace Hill Settlement House in St. Louis, MO became the first organization to use TimeBanking when it brought the new medium of exchange into its Member Organization Resource Exchange (MORE) program.
The Mission of TimeBanks USA:
The mission of TimeBanks USA is to promote equality and build caring community economies through inclusive exchanges of time and talents.
TimeBanking is used by organizations and communities to advance a host of social- and justice-related missions. 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.The TimeBanking movement is spreading across the United States and internationally. It now includes a network of 200+ independent TimeBanks in the United States. 32+ countries have active TimeBanks.