PB can: support affordable homes improve streets & transportation strengthen climate resilience deepen equity & inclusion address issues that matter most to your community
PB is a democratic process in which community members decide how to spend part of a public budget.
A typical PB process follows these steps, usually over the course of a year:
- Design the process—a steering committee that represents the community creates the rules and engagement plan
- Brainstorm ideas—residents share and discuss ideas for projects
- Develop proposals—volunteer “budget delegates” develop the ideas into feasible proposals
- Vote—residents vote on the proposals that most serve the community’s needs
- Fund winning projects—the government or institution funds and implements winning ideas
PB is an innovative, proven, and widespread model that has many positive impacts, including:
- Increased civic engagement
- Stronger relationships between residents, government, and community organizations
- Broader political participation, especially from historically marginalized communities
- More equitable and effective spending
Participatory budgeting (PB) has been applied to thousands of budgets in the U.S. and around the globe, including:
- City, county, state, and federal budgets
- Non-governmental sources, like foundation or nonprofit budgets
- Discretionary funds of elected officials
- School, school district, and university budgets
- Housing authority and other public agency budgets
- Community Benefit Funds from private developments
PB doesn’t require new revenue streams—it works with the budget you already have, making spending more effective and equitable at the same time.
“One of the great things about PB is it really is just shifting how decisions are made about the same pot of money.”
Explore how PB can help:
Support Affordable Homes
Improve Streets & Transportation
Strengthen Climate Resilience
Deepen Equity & Inclusion
Participatory budgeting—a.k.a. “PB”—is a way to involve communities in solving their most urgent issues, while deepening equity and civic engagement at the same time.
This site is designed to give potential implementers of PB—like elected and appointed officials and their staff—information and inspiration. It’s also intended for community members and advocates who would like to see PB implemented in their communities.