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ESC Guide to Inclusive Nonprofit Budgets

Executive Service Corps'

Guide to Inclusive Nonprofit Budgets

By Rachelle Jervis | Updated Aug 2022

As nonprofits work to create budgets there are several ways to bake in equity. Think of an organization's budget as a set of financial goals. Your goals should include your values at every level.  Here are some ways that the Executive Service Corps includes our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our budget-making process. 


Flatten the Pyramid

When developing a budget, seek out input from organization stakeholders in committees and departments at all levels of the organization. 



Seek out voices from throughout the organization and community. In addition to surveying stakeholders who donate to support your mission, reach out to those who receive your services to determine how best to meet their needs. Then include resources to fulfill those requests. 



Plan to pay for ADA accommodations and translation services. Then invite applicants, attendees, and other stakeholders to easily request them. When requested, provide them promptly and consistently. 


Ensure that staff members are paid fairly and have access to high-quality health benefits. If you are unsure if your organization's compensation is equitable, budget for an analysis. 



Create and plan for the use of vendors that are local, community-based, and owned by women, disabled, and/or minorities. 



Banking costs aren’t just fees. Choose to bank with credit unions, local community banks, and/or minority-owned banks. Strong community ties are essential for nonprofits in good and bad times. 


DEI Training

Take a serious inventory of your diversity, equity, and inclusion training needs. Then budget for the training and/or consultants to meet your DEI needs.



If you anticipate recruiting new team members, plan to budget for either a search firm that targets a diverse applicant pool or plan to run your own advertisements on platforms that target diverse candidates, such as related associations. 



As you budget for your mission fulfillment activities, plan for providing services in proportion to community needs. Typically those with the most resources are the best at utilizing community resources to meet their needs. Think about the resources you need to seek out underserved community input and meet those needs. Put that in your budget too. 

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