Timebanking was created in the 1980s by American Civil Rights lawyer and political activist, Edgar Cahn, to address social issues arising from inequality and alleviate social exclusion. He saw it as a new way to link untapped social capacity to unmet social needs and, in that way, for communities to come together to express their strengths within their boundaries.
Originally termed Time Dollars, timebanking gained traction in 1987 after the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation invested in its development in a pioneering effort to build the informal care systems needed by seniors to remain in their homes. In 1995 Edgar founded The Time Dollar Institute – renamed for many years as TimeBanks USA, and again in January 2021 as TimeBanks.Org – to function as the hub of a network of local timebanks formed by grass-roots community groups, social entrepreneurs, and non-profits to address critical social problems.
More details about Edgar Cahn’s career of service in the furtherance of social justice can be found on Wikipedia here