ndbn annual report 2023

Voices for Change


A single bird overhead escapes your notice. A flock beating its wings in unison, however, makes you look up. Their sound is called a murmuration. We’ve got a murmuration going on at the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN). We started out as a handful of advocates determined to educate the public about diaper need while getting diapers into communities. There are now more than 300 NDBN-member basic needs banks around the country working to end diaper need, and an increasing number of members focused on ending period poverty.

In legislatures across the nation, advocates are fighting for basic needs — and our members and national staff are giving them the data and the stories that they need to win those battles. We are partnering with powerful voices, like the Harvard Public Health Magazine and Sinclair Broadcasting, to spread the message about basic material necessities and to garner support for the essential work of providing them. We are strengthening that message with timely research, like The NDBN Diaper Check 2023.

This year’s annual report has audio and video features — a hat tip to the importance of voices. Our staff grew by 40% this year as we adapt to serve our growing portfolio. Our impact will always be much bigger than our size would lead you to expect. NDBN is a powerful voice for change. But our greatest power lies in inspiring and amplifying many, many more voices. We are a murmuration and people are noticing.

Joanne Samuel Goldblum
CEO and Founder

Diaper need increases sharply

Since the first research on the topic in 2010, studies and reports consistently showed that diaper need affected one in three U.S. families with young children. The NDBN Diaper Check 2023, released in June, revealed that now 1 in 2 families (47%) cannot afford the diapers they need to keep their children clean, dry and healthy.

“This disturbing increase is consistent with what we know about the growing gap between wages and the cost of basic necessities,” said NDBN CEO Joanne Samuel Goldblum. “The report illustrates what impossible choices families are making, with 35% of those in need cutting back on food to afford diapers and 28% of the adults skipping their own meals to stretch the diaper budget.”

NDBN commissioned the market research and data analytics firm YouGov to conduct the national survey, the first of its kind since 2017. By establishing the new benchmark in 2023,  NDBN will repeat the study annually to better understand the prevalence of this public health issue and its negative impact on the lives of children and families.

The NDBN Diaper Check revealed that diaper need takes a toll on mental health, with 70% of those reporting diaper need saying that they were stressed or anxious about their responsibilities as a parent or caregiver. The economic harm done by diaper need was also clearly illustrated, as 1 in 4 (25%) of parents and caregivers with diaper need reported having to miss work or school because they did not have enough diapers to drop their child off at childcare, and reported missing, on average, 5.1 workdays in the past 30 days. This represents a loss of $296 per month for a parent earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

Public awareness, a catalyst for change in diaper need

NDBN’s logo is an asterisk, a mark that stands for “omitted matter.” We attack problems that have historically not gotten the attention that they deserve. Diaper need and period poverty fall solidly under this heading. Public education is a big part of our strategy to make sure that everyone has the material basic necessities that they need to diaper their child and/or manage their period.

In 2023, we provided information and connections to NDBN leaders to journalist Hoda Emam to help her research and develop her excellent, in-depth feature article on diaper need that appeared in the Harvard Public Health Magazine.

“NDBN interacts with journalists from all over the United States because their mission and ours are the same. We want to elevate awareness of issues that the public needs to know about,” said NDBN Chief of External Affairs Troy Moore. “Sometimes we will come to a reporter with a story idea — or sometimes they find their way to us in the course of their research. Either way, we are dedicated to making sure that accurate facts and moving stories inform public discourse about diaper need and period poverty.”

Truckloads of change hit the road

Earlier this year, more than 200,000 Huggies® diapers rolled into Shawnee, Okla., and the Legacy Parenting Center received its first truckload of donated diapers from NDBN. “That’s the largest amount of diapers we’ve ever gotten,” said Executive Director Lacey Holt. The big donation was a milestone for the organization, which expects to roughly double the number of diapers it distributes this year over last. Though Legacy does not have its own warehouse space, it was able to secure donated warehouse space from nearby business Newton Wall Company. Today the company is making even more room available so that Legacy Parenting Center can begin buying diapers in bulk.

NDBN donates truckloads of diapers and period supplies to members through the generosity of founding sponsor Huggies® and U by Kotex®, founding sponsor of the Alliance for Period Supplies. Additional major product donations were made possible by the generosity of Thinx®, Depend® and Penguin Random House.

In 2023, NDBN has supported the Network with direct donations of more than:

  • 20 million Huggies diapers
  • 3 million Huggies wipes
  • 8 million U by Kotex period products
  • 100,000 Thinx period underwear
  • 844,000 Depend adult incontinence underwear
  • 25,000 Penguin Random House children’s books

NDBN members tackle tax barriers

Most states exempt necessities, such as food and medicine from state sales tax. But only 18 states exempt diapers, which are every bit as essential. Likewise, 21 states impose state sales tax on period products. These taxes disproportionately impact low-wage workers and individuals and families living in poverty, who struggle with diaper need and/or period poverty. These irrational taxes boost prices, and thus increase diaper need and period poverty. NDBN’s state coalitions of member basic needs banks meet with elected officials and advocate to end sale taxes on diapers and period supplies, as well as adult incontinence products. The NDBN supports the Network with a professional team dedicated to getting smart policy adopted into law.

“Successfully passing legislation to end  state sales tax usually takes years of activism,” said NDBN Director of Government Relations Lacey Gero. “But our members really have a vision of a world without diaper need and period poverty — and that keeps them going until they achieve their goal.”

In 2023, Texas and Florida both did away with the diaper tax. In each case, the campaign to end the tax began in 2015. The Texas reform also nixes the sales tax on period products, maternal care items and adult incontinence aids.

Low admin rate = high impact

Donors want the vast majority of their giving going to help people — as it should be. Of course, nonprofit organizations do need to budget for the very real costs of administration, fundraising, accounting, and the like. Most experts come down in the neighborhood 20% as an ideal proportion of the budget to put toward administration. NDBN’s administrative rate is less than 5%, even though the organization does extensive work to provide workshops and create tools to help our nonprofit members build sustainability. Plus we gave out more than $1 million in funding to Network members in 2023.

Yet our administrative rate remains low because NDBN leverages large in-kind donations (diapers, period supplies, adult incontinence products and other items). The very existence of this organization inspires manufacturers to give more product, because they know they can count on us to effectively direct donations to high-need communities throughout the country.

NDBN accepted the Angels of 2023 Award in November from South Carolina Secretary of State Martin Hammond. The award is presented to nonprofits that have a significant presence in South Carolina, a state with 5 NDBN member organizations, and that follow a number of good stewardship practices, including having an administrative rate below 20%.

Joanne Goldblum receives an award from South Carolina Secretary of State Martin Hammond

Lights, cameras, NDBN!

Sinclair, Inc.  partnered with NDBN to develop a campaign to increase national and local awareness of diaper need and our member diaper banks. Sinclair is the second largest television station operator in the U.S. and reaches into 40% of homes. The Sinclair Cares: Summer Diaper Drive campaign ran from July 10 to August 6 and raised more than $60,000 for NDBN and the 57 member diaper banks in eligible markets. The campaign was supported by public service announcements running throughout the month-long campaign. In addition, Sinclair stations aired 230 stories about diaper need, most featuring the work of local diaper banks! Sinclair even produced and distributed a half-hour town hall on diaper need, which was broadcast 113 times on their stations. Also, an hour-long version of the town hall is available on Sinclair’s news websites and its YouTube channel. “Many organizations work for years to get media on this scale,” said NDBN Chief of External Affairs Troy Moore. “What Sinclair did for this movement in just one month is phenomenal.”

The foundations of change

In recognition of NDBN’s leadership in combating diaper need, Seedlings Foundation has awarded NDBN a five-year grant totaling $2.3 million. This grant will aid in the development of an impact and innovation team at NDBN, who will consolidate and expand our research capacity and help strengthen advocacy work.  Seedlings Foundation has supported NDBN since our founding in 2011.

“Stay tuned for more about the impact and innovation team,” said NDBN CEO Joanne Samuel Goldblum. “Research has always been fundamental to our mission. Through Seedings’ generous gift, we can scale up this vital work.”

Also in 2023, the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation, once again, honored Mother’s Day by partnering with NDBN to get diapers to families in need. Their $100,000 grant funded diaper purchases for 20 NDBN members through our bulk buying program, which is administered exclusively for NDBN member basic needs banks.

“We’re grateful for every donation of every size that comes to NDBN,” said NDBN Chief of Development Tamara Killian. “We’re especially pleased that so many of our supporters come back time and again because they can see that their gifts are having a life-changing effect in communities and households across the country.”

Funds that drive change

When Miami Diaper Bank took a good look at neighborhoods bordering its service area, the nonprofit learned that diaper need worsened in places with poor transportation and a lack of shopping options. “People were paying $15 to $18 at their corner mercado for a small package of diapers that could be purchased for $12 at a chain store,” said Executive Director Gabriela Rojas. For Miami Diaper Bank, the solution arrived with the purchase of a van retrofitted to serve as a mobile diaper pantry. Collaborating with affordable housing operators and city commissioners, Miami Diaper Bank is using the bright pink van to directly reach families living in these areas.

The mobile diaper pantry was made possible by a Funds for Change grant from NDBN and a match by a local funder, The Children’s Trust.

Funds for Change grants are available to NDBN member organizations for projects that will build their capacity and sustainability. This year, seven Funds for Change grants supported mobile pantries, two helped state coalitions form and 15 microgrants funded board development, warehouse expansion, marketing and more.  Since launching in 2015, Funds for Change grants have generated more than $1.6 million in support for community-based basic needs banks.

Board of Directors, 2023–2024

Kevin Faulkner (Chair)
Corporate Attorney and Software Executive
Pebble Beach, California

Toni Harp (Treasurer)
Former Mayor of New Haven
New Haven, Connecticut

Amy Daly Donovan (Immediate Past Chair)
Principal and Owner
Daly-Donovan Consulting
Seattle, Washington

Eric Adelson
University of Central Florida
Orlando, Florida

Bill Andoe
Executive Director
Emergency Infant Services
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Jessica Bartholow
Chief of Staff
Office of Senator Nancy Skinner
(California State Majority Whip)
Sacramento, California

Vesta Godwin Clark
Executive Director
St. James Social Service Corp.
Newark, New Jersey

Vicki Clark
Building the Capacity of Organizations
Memphis, Tennessee

Theresa Cowing
Executive Director
Product Management and User Experience
New York, New York

Fran Held
Executive Director
Mitzvah Circle
Landsdale, Pennsylvania

Chelesa Presley
Executive Director
Diaper Bank of the Delta
Clarksdale, Mississippi

Ellen Raim
Chief People Officer, Interim/Fractional CPO and Consultant
People Matter
Portland, Oregon

Jacqueline Smith
President and Owner
JLS Medical Products Group
Dallas, Texas

Laura Welsh
CSR & Community Impact Manager
Kimberly-Clark North America
Appleton, Wisconsin

Joanne Goldblum
Chief Executive Officer
National Diaper Bank Network
New Haven, Connecticut

Financial Data

July 2022 to June 2023

Contributions and Grants $ 2,024,892
In-Kind Support $ 5,320,103
Program Service Revenue $ 5,544,392

Other Income


$ 63,376

$ 3,820

Program Services $ 11,747,256
Management $ 293,138
Fundraising $ 323,660
Total Support and Income $ 12,956,583
Total Expenses $ 12,364,054
Change in Net Assets $ 592,529