Mission Focus: Reproductive Rights Issues
For its direct-mail programs, PPFA also tells compelling stories about the challenges that real women and teens face.
“We have a particular segment of donors who love to be called so they can talk with like-minded individuals and then make their gifts,” Meredith says. “In our major-gifts program, our job as fundraisers is to share the stories of the work that we do, tap into the donors’ interests and passion about our issues, and convert their gifts into transformational gifts.”
Schorr also has found that sharing real stories with WRRAP donors is an effective tool in fundraising efforts.
“I sent out an e-mail request to help an incest victim get out of the state to a facility for her procedure. We raised $6,000 in one day,” she says, adding that WRRAP’s most successful campaigns are ones that “hit donors in their emotional gut.”
Bilodeau says the National Women’s Law Center finds success in hosting small cocktail receptions around the country to thank major donors. WRRAP has great success with larger events such as its “Rock ’n’ Roe” benefit concert. Its supporters enjoy the chance to have a good time, support a cause they believe in, and learn more about their rights.
PPFA says its supporter base mirrors the larger demographic picture of the country and skews in favor of baby boomers. Bilodeau says her organization has many men and younger women who have become advocates for reproductive rights. WRRAP finds its supporters are not only women who support abortion rights, but also family foundations and even some religious groups.
“People can relate to the stories we tell,” Meredith says, “and that makes it easier to talk to our supporters. The values we promote are consistent with majority, mainstream values in the U.S.
“When we advocate for comprehensive, reality-based, medically accurate sex education for young people,” she says, “our donors understand and agree, because they want to protect their children from unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.”