Careers at the Budget Center

Who We Are

At the California Budget & Policy Center (Budget Center), we are dedicated to a vision of a more equitable California. As a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization specializing in research and analysis, our mission is to advance public policies that tangibly improve the lives of Californians, especially those who have been historically denied the opportunity to share in the state's prosperity. Our focus is on illuminating inequities in budget choices and public policies that disproportionately affect low and middle-income households, women, immigrants, American Indians, Asian, Black, Latinx, Pacific Islander Californians, and other communities of color, as well as individuals with disabilities and the LGBTQ+ community. By identifying policy pathways that expand economic opportunities, we strive to promote well-being and dignity for all Californians.

At the heart of our daily operations is the pursuit of a more inclusive California, where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. This vision requires smart policy choices and robust public investments. Through rigorous analysis, we make complex budget and policy issues accessible and understandable, aiming to broaden participation in state policy debates and foster outcomes that benefit all Californians, particularly those who have yet to share in the state's economic prosperity.

Our Culture and Values

The Budget Center is deeply committed to advancing equity and inclusion in the policies we advocate for and within our organizational culture. We value our staff's lived experiences and diverse perspectives, recognizing that these insights are crucial to achieving our goals. Our work is grounded in values of community engagement, integrity, equity, inclusion, and justice. We endeavor to shift power and resources towards Californians who have been systemically marginalized, ensuring that our policies are not only equitable but also anti-racist.

In joining our team, you'll be part of an environment that embraces differences, values intellectual honesty, and is driven by a passion for achieving systemic change. Together, we work towards a California where every individual has access to quality education, well-paying jobs, comprehensive health care, and a future filled with opportunities.

Compensation Philosophy

The Budget Center leadership team aims to provide all staff with a compensation package that respects the economic dignity of The Budget Center staff by paying living wages, providing paid leave and health benefits, and ensuring staff have tools they need to do work. 

Staff time, expertise, and lived experiences are The Budget Center's most important assets. We aim to have a culture in which employees feel valued, appreciated, and motivated to stay with our organization – and we recognize that compensation is an important component of ensuring people feel valued.

Living Wage

We strive to pay a living wage for all staff positions. The Budget Center’s salary structure was developed with input and information on comparable labor market data, compensation equity across salary grades and within salary grades, and regional (Sacramento) cost of living factors. 

Internal Equity

We prioritize internal pay equity for employees in similar roles at similar levels and commit to working to identify and correct any instances where staff — especially staff of color or female or gender diverse staff —  are paid less for similar work done by white or male staff. 


We seek to recognize through compensation employees who have outstanding work performance and consistently meet goals and performance standards and whose efforts are especially significant for advancing the Budget Center's mission and annual organizational and team goals, including anti-racism work and alignment with staff guiding values. 

Valuing Professional and Lived Experience

We pay increased compensation in recognition of years of employment at the Budget Center specifically and related work. We also pay increased compensation in recognition of lived experience and other shared knowledge and insights that are not quantifiable in job descriptions but that add significant value to our culture and our work toward becoming an anti-racist and intersectional organization.

Recognition for Increased Responsibilities

We provide higher compensation for those positions with more significant responsibilities, including leading teams, supervising employees, managing large scopes of work, and taking on key leadership responsibilities. 

External Competitiveness

We seek to attract and retain staff by ensuring base compensation reflects pay rates for comparable jobs — within policy, communications, development, and operations — within the relevant labor market of nonprofit, social justice, government, and research and policy organizations in California. We proudly strive to be on the leading edge of a competitive salary in a manner that moves us, our peers, and our industry.


The Budget Center provides a robust benefits package which includes the following:
  • Excellent health insurance and dental and vision coverage (100% coverage of premiums for the employee; 90% coverage of premiums for dependents); 
  • Retirement benefits include a 403b plan and an annual SEP-IRA retirement contribution of at least 5% of salary (most recently set at 10% of salary); participation in the 403b plan is not required to receive an employer retirement contribution.
  • Basic Life Insurance
  • Annual paid leave benefits include:
    • 12 vacation days to start,
    • 12 sick days,
    • 10 holidays,
    • 4 personal days,
  • Yearly evaluation of additional time off benefits during summer (half-day Fridays) and winter (late December office closure).
  • Flexible work arrangements that support alternative schedules and both in-person and remote work.
  • 16 weeks of family leave for parents or caregivers.
  • 8 weeks of sabbatical leave after 7 years of service
  • FSAs for health, childcare, and transportation costs; 
  • Annual stipends to cover home office, transportation, and well-being expenses; and,
  • Annual allocations for professional development. 

Professional Development

We invest in our people’s professional development and promote regular conversations about career goals and growth opportunities, providing each employee an annual professional development stipend of $1,000 in addition to other staff development opportunities, such as training and coaching.

Work-Life Balance

The Budget Center believes in the importance of balancing work and personal life. We support flexible work arrangements, including remote and hybrid options, to accommodate different needs, and actively support people taking time away from work by offering 12 vacation days to start, 12 sick days, 10 holidays, and four personal days. We strive to provide additional flexibility — like Summer Fridays and a winter closure —  which are evaluated annually to ensure they meet the needs of our team and organization. Additionally, we provide 16 weeks of parental or family leave and an 8-week sabbatical after seven years of service, affirming our commitment to our team's well-being and long-term growth.

Staff Testimonials

Current Opportunities