Timebanking includes several shared core values: Assets, Redefining Work, Reciprocity, Respect, and Community/Social Networks. While these may be expressed in several different ways, the essence of these values are the same.
Assets: We are all assets. We all have something of value to contribute. In consideration of this, we honor the currency that we give and receive to each other, and work to restore dignity in asking for help. “Honoring” the currency means that one agrees to accept and record time credits earned and used in the TimeBank, and to monitor one’s account regularly.
Redefining Work: Some work is beyond price. We honor all work that has been undervalued or not valued in the market economy. Timebanking addresses inequality within the market economy by the removal of price. Every hour of work, no matter the nature of the work, is valued with one Time Credit, Hour, Share, or Time Dollar. Other terms are also used to describe the currency, yet all follow this principle of equality. The basic premise of this removal of price is that until we say that our time given for each other and our community has value, society as a whole will not value it either.
Reciprocity: Giving works better as a two-way street. It is natural for us to want to “pay back” when someone does us a favor, but in time banking, we pay it forward. In every exchange, givers and receivers are on equal ground. Reciprocity is defined in a higher form than barter, and also recognizes the imperative to honor receivers of charity by allowing them to share their strengths as well.
Respect: Everyone deserves a listen. We all matter, and we are accountable to each other. We make our requests and offers clearly, communicate honestly and in a timely manner, and treat other members with utmost respect at all times. If we have a conflict we cannot resolve peacefully, we avoid arguments and speak to our coordinator about the situation. We respect the leadership of the TimeBank to guide our actions and abide by their decisions. When unable to monitor our messages for more than a week, we will contact a coordinator to be placed “inactive” (i.e., vacations, job change, etc.).
Community: We need each other. Together, we can do much more than we can alone. We are building social capital, a network of local, reliable support, so that what we give to others will be available to us or our loved ones when we need it. We rely on each other, and work to bring others into the TimeBank that will make our network stronger and more diverse. All are welcome, but persuasion on economical, political or religious grounds is not.