Real Talk.

               U.S Conference on Poverty and Basic Needs


Where: Virtual


Sign up for the conference here.

View the full printable schedule of the conference here.

Since its first national gathering held in Washington, DC in 2012, the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) has brought together community leaders from the nation’s basic needs banks for an annual multi-day, in-person conference focused on ending diaper need and period poverty in the U.S.  

Due to ongoing health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, NDBN’s ninth national conference is shifting to an online platform, and going virtual, under the new name U.S. Conference on Poverty and Basic Needs. The conference is scheduled for October 21 – 23, 2020


“NDBN began work to restructure the two annual gatherings in order to unify our network of diaper bank and period supply programs following the 2019 Diaper Banks in America Conference and National Summit on Period Poverty held last fall in Cincinnati,” said Susan Van Ness, chief of programs. “The new name reflects the successful progress of our movement and the expanded involvement of stakeholders outside the basic needs bank membership, including local, state and national advocates and supporters.” 


The focus on poverty and basic needs offers the opportunity for leaders of diaper banks and period supply programs to meet together and share academic research, participate in educational workshops, and gain inspiration from nationally recognized keynote speakers in a format applicable to both nonprofit models.  The new format builds upon the professionalism and offers the benefits that attendees have come to expect from NDBN-led programs.  


The conference will have distinct, yet complementary tracks:


  • Day 1 – Wednesday, October 21, 2020, will focus on issues related to ending period poverty in the US, including new research, policy and advocacy efforts, and program development for new and ongoing period distribution programs.
  • Day 2 – Thursday, October 22, 2020, will focus on anti-poverty work and the role that basic needs banks play in ensuring that individuals, children and families have access to the basic necessities they require to thrive and reach their full potential. Workshops will address governance and leadership, operations and logistics for basic needs banks, as well as fundraising and financial matters, and advocacy and outreach. 
  • Day 3 – Friday, October 23, 2020, will examine issues related to ending diaper need, with discussion ranging from diaper need assessment and establish a new program, to measuring the impact of diaper banks on the communities they and how to leverage greater support for addressing unmet diaper need. 


The goal of the conference is to provide a collaborative, interactive educational space for attendees to learn from and engage with other professionals. Individual sessions will feature a Q&A to allow attendees to ask questions in real-time and small group video rooms for networking happy hours to allow face-to-face screen time with one another. NDBN plans to provide all paid attendees with access to streaming all recorded sessions of the educational content following the event.


2020 Presentations.

Get a sneak peek on must-attend workshops and sessions.


Sponsorship Opportunities.

Learn about the various ways of becoming a 2020 conference partner.


Previous Conferences.

Seize the networking potential of NDBN’s largest and most diverse conference.

Who Should Attend?


Aspiring advocates and rising leaders:
  • Network with national leaders, learn from expert advocates, and receive one-on-one advising. You’ll return to your community feeling newly inspired, ready to implement new actions and able to lead with renewed passion and commitment.
New Opportunities for Returning Leaders:
  • NDBN’s Annual Conference will provide a unique leadership development experience designed to equip you with new perspectives, practical tools and key takeaways.
Who Else Should Attend:
  • Community-based organizations serving low income families, policy advocates, government representatives, maternal and child care providers, health and social service workers, early childhood education professionals, and concerned community members.



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