Diaper Bank Resources

Attention: NDBN’s online resources are undergoing BIG changes. As of January 2018, much of the subject matter discussed here will move.

As part of our effort to develop rigorous standards for our national network of diaper banks and pantries, NDBN member organizations will soon have access to a new platform of resources and customized assistance through a NDBN member portal.

This area of our website will remain a public resource for individuals and community-based organizations looking for assistance with starting a diaper bank, pantry or programs as well as for raising awareness about diaper need in their communities. If you’re new to diaper banking, check out NDBN’s comprehensive diaper bank manual, “So You Want to Start a Diaper Program?” 

If you are interested in learning how you or your organization can help alleviate diaper need in your community, please take what you need to support your work. Let us know how about your plans or if you have questions. info@diaperbanknetwork.org. We are here to help!
Click on headlines below to show or hide information about each section.

New & Getting Started

Talking about Diaper Need and Raising Awareness

Hosting a Diaper DriveIM_15_QA googlegroup



Administration & Operations

Budgets, Fundraising, & Grant Writing

IRS Filing Requirements and Guides


Grants & Grant Writing Support

HR, Volunteer & Staff Management

Using volunteers effectively and successfully:IM_15_QA googlegroup

Pro Bono and Volunteer Programs & Matching Websites

Staffing and Human Resources

Safety and Risk Management

Every diaper bank, from the smallest to the largest, can take steps to avoid surprises when it comes to providing the best possible experience for volunteers.

Research Articles

NDBN engages in research that quantifies the extent and manifestations of the diaper gap, identifies the most effective interventions and demonstrates the costs imposed on society by the existence of this problem. Research findings are incorporated into the NDBN technical assistance program to help develop a community of practice within the diaper bank movement.

Highlighted Articles


NDBN webinars support diaper bank formation and growth. We work with existing diaper banks and other organizations to identify best practices that can be used by organizations combating diaper need throughout the country.

Board Governance & Nonprofit Success

Advocacy, Community Leadership & Organizing

Advocate, Lobby, Raise Awareness!

Lobbying And Advocacy—501(c)(3)s can do both (with limits)

Some diaper banks think that they cannot participate in policy activity because they are 501(c)(3). Fear not! Non-profit organizations recognized as tax-exempt charitable organizations under the Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) can both advocate and lobby.

What’s the difference? Advocacy is education—telling law makers abut diaper need, about what you do as a diaper bank, and sharing the stories of the people served by the diaper bank, are all examples of advocacy. Lobbying refers to expressing an opinion in communication with law makers about specific legislation. For example, asking a member of Congress to vote for or against a particular bill, asking a member of your state legislature to introduce a bill to exempt diapers from sales tax are instances of lobbying.

501(c)(3)s can lobby as long as lobbying is not an “substantial portion of their activity.” The word “substantial” and its opposite, “insubstantial” are not defined, so the IRS has created an option for organizations to measure their lobbying activity according to set monetary limits, which are easy to track. In order to take advantage of this, an organization must file what is known as a 501(h) election. It is highly recommended that diaper banks file a 501(h) election. To learn more about 501(h) elections, see what the National Council of Nonprofits says here. https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/taking-the-501h-election Not convinced? Here’s what Independent Sector has to say: https://www.independentsector.org/501h

If you’d like some briefing charts to use when discussing advocacy and lobbying with your board, feel free to use Rock Your Cause Advocacy for Diaper Banks from the 2015 Diaper Banks In America Conference.

Diaper Issues

Sales Tax: Only 8 states currently exempt diapers from sales tax. Is your state one? See our Pending Legislation tracker. Want to encourage your state legislator to exempt diapers from sales tax? Use this Sample letter to state legislator for diaper sales tax exemption to write a letter to your state legislator. In the 2015-2016 legislative session, legislation was passed to add the District of Columbia and Connecticut to the list of states where you can buy diapers tax free. For more details about states taxing diapers, check out the Diaper Sales Tax Survey.


Diapers as a line item: Diapers are often incorporated into educational programs, home visiting programs, and well-baby appointment incentives. Often the diapers and the important role they play in providing service are not acknowledged. Read about the Importance of Budget Line Item for Diapers.

Diapers and TANF: Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) is a federal and state assistance program for families. Diapers can play a role in state TANF Plans. TANF is the only federal program that provides funds that can be used for diapers, but often there are many competing needs for those funds, such as clothing, electric bills, heat, and other basic needs. Legislation introduced in Congress, HR 4055, the Hygiene Assistance for Families of Infants and Toddlers Act, if passed would would make available Federal grant funds for States to create, administer and evaluate innovative programs that provide access to one of the most basic needs of every infant and toddler, clean diapers. Send a letter to your congressional representative asking for their support. Or write an Op Ed for HR 4055 to your local paper

States can incorporated diapers into their state TANF programs without any change to federal law. See this letter to the Connecticut TANF administrator for some ideas of how. NDBN Comments to the CT TANF Plan, 2014. Or perhaps if your city or state has extra TANF funds, they could create a diaper distribution program for TANF recipients, as San Francisco did.

Diapers and Child Care: Most child care programs require parents to bring their own diapers. The Child Care Development Block Grant program provides subsidies to states to fund child care and improvements to child care quality and access. The program allows states flexibility on how to spend the money to improve quality and access. They could, for example, spend the money to provide diapers. For more information, read ACF Response to Blumenthal Letter.

Contact Your Elected Representatives

You can write, call, or visit your congressional representative.  Members of Congress have offices both in Washington and at least one location in their district.  Both offices have staff members who are often the subject matter experts in the office.  So if you can’t meet with the member directly, you can often reach the member through the staff.

NDBN will hold our second annual Lobby Day on May 10 – 11, 2017 in Washington, D.C.  Plan on joining us or schedule a meeting with the local office! More details will be announced in early 2017.

Not sure how to contact your U.S. Representative? http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
Your U.S. Senators? http://www.senate.gov/

State Policy Actions

State laws and regulations can also affect how people access diapers and other basic needs. These are the state legislative actions we are tracking: Pending Legislation.



Work with your local anti-poverty community.
Host a diaper drive.

Volunteer at your local diaper bank.

Connect with Us:

Contact us at info@diaperbanknetwork.org.

Communications & Public Relations

NDBN Photo Release Form for Diaper Banks

Organizations of Interest


When diaper banks provide one of a baby’s basic needs, we help moms succeed.