PB2: Donors Decide

PBP practices what we preach. Each year, we hold our own PB process we call “PB Squared.” We invite all of our individual donors to decide how a portion of their donations is spent.

We begin by collecting ideas for how to improve and expand PB. Then, we work with our PBP community to develop these ideas into proposals. Finally, our donors vote for their top projects, and we implement those with the most votes. PB2 has funded many important initiatives and tools - see the list of funded projects and more info about the process below.

Funded projects:


Training and Public Talks Fund

Create a fund to sponsor PB talks, briefings, and trainings for local advocates. PBP staff will manage the fund and use it to bring out PB experts to engage local groups and officials, and give them the start up inspiration and skills needed to win approval for a PB process.

PB Awareness Campaign

Launch a PB awareness campaign focused on Google AdWords, using an existing $10,000 in-kind grant from Google for free advertising. Focus this campaign on communities currently operating or advocating for PB processes, to raise the public awareness and support necessary to grow PB.


Build an initial pilot of a searchable online map to document proposed and funded PB projects by location, vote year, and category across cities in North America.This visualization tool shows residents what their participation has accomplished, give ideas for projects they could consider, and help them hold agencies more accountable.

PB for Homeless Services Toolkit

Develop materials that cities and service providers can use to engage homeless people in deciding how public funds are spent on homeless services and programs. The toolkit will identify potential funding streams, implementation strategies, and engagement approaches for using PB to make homeless services more empowering, educational, and effective.

Video: PB Advocacy for Elected Officials

Create powerful video interviews of elected officials who champion PB to highlight the benefits from their point of view. Capture practical, inspiring testimony aimed at their peers to address fears of local elected officials who have not yet implemented PB, such as where the money will come from, how to implement PB, and what voting looks like.


As a civic health innovator in the Healthy Public Project at Civic Hall Labs, we’ve partnered to curate a list of open data resources that will help you obtain the information you need to evaluate community needs and the impact that projects might have on particular communities.

We produced a 3-5 minute PB in Schools video, documenting a PB process in which students decide how to spend part of their school budget. The video complements the PB in Schools curriculum and help advocates win more school PB processes.

The Outreach Toolkit comprises resources and guidance on organizing and engaging traditionally underrepresented communities in PB processes. It builds on outreach materials developed in local PB processes, and includes sample rap sheets and talking points, publicity materials, instructions for phone-banking and door-knocking.


Successful campaigns to start PB require support from elected officials who control budgets. And the best way to get them on your side is to speak with them directly. Try to set up a meeting with your representative through our Ask Your Official tool, and contact us if you need support!


Conference Scholarships for Youth and Low-Income Participants

We were able to provide travel and lodging for several young people to attend the 3rd International Conference on PB in North America which resulted in the panel Youth Power Through PB featuring panelists from across the country including Vallejo, NYC, and Boston.

PBP Computer Upgrade

In addition to several new computers, we have also upgraded our software and services to improve billing by tracking hours more effectively and increase our capacity to produce materials in-house.


We have worked with Californians for Justice to launch the biggest school PB process in the US in San Jose, CA and are continuing to build partnerships that will bring more young people into PB. We have developed an info sheet, a webinar, and are exploring partnerships with schools and funders interested in PB to amplify and empower student voices. Read more about our youth and schools work here!

The first iteration of the Organizing toolkit was launched at the 2014 International Conference on Participatory Budgeting in North America. It has been downloaded more than 1,400 times by organizers around the world.


Hire a part-time Development Associate

The initial $4,000 from PB2 enabled us to raise $60,000 more to provide support for local PB processes.

With your $5,000 investment, the video went on to win a $15,000 award from the MacArthur Foundation. These additional funds covered additional video documentation of PBNYC.

How PB2 Works

Goals for PB2

  • Build more engagement between PBP and our supporters
  • Build deeper understanding of what PBP does and how PB works
  • Generate new ideas for PBP’s work
  • Identify top priorities for PBP’s work
  • Generate more funding to move forward top priorities

Who Can Participate

  • Who can propose ideas? Anyone!
  • Who will develop proposals? PBP Staff and PB Amplifiers.
  • Who can vote? Anyone who contributes to the funding pot, by making a donation to PBP in the year since the last PB2 vote.

Project Eligibility

  • Projects have to meet the following criteria to be eligible for funding:
  • Be of benefit to local PB processes or campaigns in multiple locations, not just one city
  • Be specific, measurable, and require funds to be implemented
  • Be feasible for PBP to implement in the next year
  • Cost no more than $10,000

How to Propose Projects

  • Anyone can submit ideas online
  • In person at events
  • We will also directly ask PB organizers across North America

How to Vote

  • Voting takes place online and at PBP celebration events
  • Each person may vote once, for up to three projects
  • Everyone gets the same number of votes, no matter how much or how many times you give
  • Once you donate, you will receive a link with information on how to vote