Bowl-a-Thon FAQs!

NYAAF Bowl-a-Thon

Frequently Asked Questions

Hello beautiful bowlers and prospective bowlers! The NYAAF Bowl-a-Thon is back, and this year it’s bigger and better than ever before. This year we’re offering two time slots in New York City and our first-ever event in Buffalo, so we have even more opportunities for bowlers to raise funds to protect abortion access!

The Bowl-a-Thon allows NYAAF to continue our critical work. As our main annual fundraising event, the Bowl-a-Thon keeps NYAAF’s services available to those who need it most. This year, we’re aiming to raise a record-breaking $200,000, and we need your help!

Check out our event sites for New York City and Buffalo if you want to sign up and show off your own bowling skills, or if you’d like to support a great cause by pledging toward an existing team or bowler!  

We’ve compiled this handy list of Frequently Asked Questions, but reach out to us anytime at if we can help in any way to get you and your teams set up to be the best and happiest NYAAF bowlers and fundraisers ever!

When and where are the Bowl-a-Thons?
The New York City Bowl-a-Thon will take place on Sunday, April 23 from 11:00am – 4:00pm at Bowlmor Chelsea Piers.

The Buffalo Bowl-a-Thon will take place on Saturday, April 29th, from 2:00pm – 4:00pm. Once you register, we’ll send you location details.

So… why exactly are we bowling for abortion access?
Every April, abortion funds across the country that are part of the National Network of Abortion Funds hold Bowl-a-Thons — this year marks NYAAF’s 8th Bowl-a-Thon! These events allow us to have fun connecting with our reproductive justice community while raising funds so we can continue to serve our clients in need. Now more than ever it is crucial that we come together, support each other, and fight to ensure that abortion access remains a reality for all individuals. Bowl; fund abortion; build power. It’s that simple.

I’m sold! How do I sign up?
You can sign up for the NYC event at or the Buffalo event at Once you sign up, you can personalize your individual fundraising page — we encourage lots of GIFs! You can also start a team, or join an existing one.

Is there a fee to sign up?
There is a registration fee ($20 in NYC; $15 in Buffalo) that you can pay as a donation to your own fundraising page after signing up online. However, we encourage bowlers to donate more if they are able! As a volunteer-run grassroots organization, NYAAF ensures that donations are maximized to help cover the costs of abortion care for those who reach out to us for assistance.    

Is there a deadline for registration?
We ask that all teams and individuals register by Sunday, April 16 for NYC and by Saturday, April 22 for Buffalo — one week before the event.

There are two time slots this year for the NYC event! When are they, and when will NYAAF let bowlers know their designated bowling time?
Teams bowling in NYC  assigned to the first time slot will be able to bowl between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM; those assigned to the second slot can bowl between 1:30 and 3:30 PM. When team captains first register their team, they can indicate which time slot they prefer, and we’ll do our best to accommodate that preference! We’ll let teams know by Monday, April 17 which time slot they can bowl. But you can also come and hang out during the entire event, even if it’s not your bowling time!

How do I update/personalize my page?
While logged into the fundraising site, select the “Manage” button on the top left of the screen on your individual fundraising page. Select the “Story” tab. You can edit the text, or add new text images in the page field. For more details, visit the Classy Help page on this topic.

How do I join a team or add people to my team?
On the team’s page, have the person who wants to join select the “Join” button underneath the team’s image on the left hand side. Or select “Become a Fundraiser” on the event home page, then “Join a Team” and search for the team name. The system will walk you through a step-by-step process to set up a new individual fundraising page as part of this team. Note that this year, unlike in the past, even team captains must join their own team after creating the team page.

How do I thank my donors?
Select the “Manage” button on the top left of the screen on your page when you’re logged into the fundraising site. Select the “Donations” tab. You’ll see a list of all donations to your page, and a button that says “Thank” next to each. This allows you to write a comment in response to their donation that will be sent to them, and will show up on your page. All donors who choose to be non-anonymous also get an automated “Thank You” email when their donation is processed. However, we recommend you also thank people personally, via email, social media, letter, or with a big hug!

What happens if my friends on other teams bowling in NYC were assigned to the other time slot?
We’ve reserved the entire main area at Bowlmor Chelsea Piers, so registered non-bowlers and those arriving before/after their team’s designated bowling time can feel free to hang out and enjoy good times and abortion funding community building throughout the event!

How many people can be on a bowling team?
In NYC, each bowling lane can accommodate 8 people, so we encourage teams to not have more than 8 people per lane who plan to bowl, if they want their score recorded. If you happen to have an extra large team (preferably closer to 12-16 people), we can assign your team two adjacent lanes so you can keep your team spirit extra strong and concentrated!

In Buffalo, each bowling lane holds 4 people, but we’ll assign lanes in a way that keeps larger teams together!

What happens if I’m a bad bowler?
We embrace ALL our bowlers, regardless of bowling skill! Neither your fundraising nor your importance in building power through abortion funding is connected to your bowling score. Bring on all the gutter balls you’ve got — we’ll still be cheering you on!

I have someone who wants to donate to me but through cash or a check, instead of online. How do I add this to my fundraising totals?
Checks can be made out to “New York Abortion Access Fund” and sent to:

New York Abortion Access Fund
FDR Station, Box 7569
New York, NY 10150

*Please do not write checks to “NYAAF”. The bank will not accept them.

Please write in the memo line “BAT,” along with the name of the bowler to whom the gift should be attributed. When we receive checks from your supporters, we’ll add them to your online fundraising page so they contribute toward your goal.

If you have cash, please bring it with you to the event and we can collect it and add it to your totals onsite. You can also email Sara at with questions about offline gifts, or to let us know that we should look for a check in the mail.

I can’t attend the Bowl-a-Thon event, but still want to fundraise for NYAAF! Can I still participate?
YES PLEASE! We’d love those who want to support NYAAF and its mission to create their own fundraising page, even if you can’t join us in person! Whether you live somewhere without a bowling event, or your dance card is full on April 23rd, we welcome people ANYWHERE to bowl with us virtually! Creating a fundraising page through our Bowl-a-Thon website will make it easy for you to ask for donations (think: example language and automated emails you can send to your networks), and for your supporters to donate securely online!

Some of our registered team members can’t make it to the Bowl-a-Thon, or are coming but don’t plan to bowl. Should we let NYAAF know how many of our team members are actually attending and bowling?
YES PLEASE! Send us an email at and let us know the names of team members who will not be bowling with you. This will help us better allocate our lanes and make the registration process faster for all our bowlers. We’ll also reach out to team captains to confirm this information closer to the event.

How will single bowlers be assigned to teams? What is the process for bowlers without a team to sign up?
All you have to do to start is register as an individual and we’ll match you up with other folks to bowl with at the event! We also have some teams that have notified us they have space for individuals, so feel free to email us if you’d like to get linked up with them in advance!

Will there be bathroom access for gender non-conforming and trans folks?
At the NYC event at Bowlmor Chelsea Piers, there are two gender-neutral bathrooms available for use.

Check back here soon for information on the Buffalo event.

How is NYAAF addressing any potential threats to security on the Bowl-a-Thon fundraising site?
The National Network of Abortion Funds, who hosts the Classy website we’re using for registration and fundraising, specifically chose this vendor with a mind to creating a supremely secure online fundraising process. All online registrations and transactions will continue to be monitored, even following the event.

Still, if you see or receive any strange or suspicious messages that seem to be related to the Bowl-a-Thon, please email us at and we’ll look into it as soon as possible.

Please share these FAQs with your teammates, friends, and anyone interested in the Bowl-a-Thon. And as always, reach out to us at if you have any questions or suggestions for how to make this event an even bigger success!  

Look out for more helpful emails from us, and keep spreading the word about NYAAF and #bowl17!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! 7th Annual Bowl-aThon was a huge success!

WE DID IT! Over the last few months, 310 stupendous bowlers surpassed all our expectations and raised more than $137,000 — which sets a new record for NYAAF and the National Network of Abortion Funds! We’d like to extend our most heartfelt THANKS to all of you who fundraised your hearts out these past weeks and brought all that awesome reproductive justice spirit to the NYAAF Bowl-a-thon on Sunday. We had a great time, and hope you did too!

In particular, we’d like to honor the RU 4-86ing Abortion Restrictions or What? for bringing the most impressive costume flair – what’s not to love about those Ruth Bader Ginsburg likenesses?

We’d also like to congratulate The Pills for being the top fundraising team, having brought in more than $17,000 in donations! Some lovely NYAAF canvas tote bags await them. Finally, we want to extend our warmest thanks to bowler and longtime NYAAF supporter Barbara Kass, who was the top individual fundraiser and who had the most unique donations for the 2016 Bowl-a-thon. We’re thrilled to award Barbara with 4 Super Vouchers to the American Museum of Natural History here in NYC.

We look amazing! Despite lighting challenges!

We look amazing! Despite lighting challenges!

Final Notes for Bowlers: 

  • Don’t forget to thank your donors!  We’d love their support in years to come, so send those thank you notes and emails!
  • The Bowl-a-thon site stays live through the end of April, so follow up with those stragglers who promised donations but didn’t get to it yet!
  • Treat yourself to something amazing for doing such great work for abortion access!
  • PIX! Do you have awesome photos of you and your team? We’d love to see your best Bowl-a-thon pictures — feel free to tag us on Instagram (@nyaafund),Twitter (@NYAAF), or Facebook (New York Abortion Access Fund), and use the hashtags #NYAAFbowl16 and #bowl16.
  • If you won a raffle prize but did not claim it on Sunday, please email so we can get your prize to you!

We can’t thank you enough for being such FIERCE, FUN, and PHENOMENAL advocates for safe abortion access. We’re already looking forward to bowling with you again next year!

SPECIAL THANKS go to the volunteers on our Planning Committee: DoryJessicaJuliaMaureenSoniaNicoleMichelle, and Sara. Your hard work on this event was INDISPENSABLE. Thank you so much. 

Madly-Truly-Deeply Yours,

The NYAAF Board Of Directors

OMG, the Bowl-a-Thon is tomorrow! Here are the logistics for BOWLERS:

Hey hey, bowlers!! You might have noticed that we’re just $5,518 shy of our new fundraising goal of $130,000. We are floored at what you and your communities have been able to do to help NYAAF continue to serve those needing abortion services in New York. If each bowler raises just $20 more before tomorrow, we will reach our goal! Let’s do it, and then celebrate BIG on Sunday!

A few details for the event:


WHEN AND WHERE TO FIND US. As a reminder, the event is from 11 AM – 1:30 PM this SUNDAY, APRIL 10 at Bowlmor Chelsea Piers, at Pier 60/23rd & W.Side Hwy, New York, NY 10011. This PDF map can help orient you to parking/pickup/dropoff areas nearby. The venue opens right at 11 AM, and we’ll be ready to check you in as soon as you arrive!


CANCELLATIONS OR NON-BOWLERS ON YOUR TEAM? So we can optimize your team’s lane assignment, please email us *ASAP*at if you know that you or one of your registered teammates will not be attending the bowl-a-thon, or will not actually be bowling.


OFFLINE DONATIONS? WE’LL TAKE ’EM! Please bring any cash and checks you’ve received as part of your fundraising and we’ll get them processed — we’ll happily accept credit card donations onsite as well!


BRING BOWLING-READY SHOES. Since we are close to hitting capacity at Bowlmor Chelsea Piers (way to go!), there’s a chance they may run a little short on bowling shoes. Just in case, we’d love it if you’re able to bring or wear shoes with light-colored rubber soles — especially if you know you’ll be arriving on the later side.


PRIZES PRIZES PRIZES!!! We’ve got lots of great raffle prizes waiting for you! You’ll get your raffle tickets when you check in, and you’ll then have until 12:30 PM to put your tickets in for drawing. The winner of each prize will be drawn separately, so you can allocate your tickets however you like for the items you really want. Be sure to check back at the raffle table after 1 PM to find out if you won!


NEED SOME MORE PRO-CHOICE SWAG IN YOUR LIFE? We’ll have some snazzy tees and tanks made especially for the 2016 Bowl-a-thon up for sale!


HASHTAG LIKE IT’S GOING OUT OF STYLE. Your amazing team names are serious indication that there’s going to be some incredible spirit coming at us on Sunday — we even have prizes for the team with the best costumes. We’ll be posting photos of all your awesome bowling flair, but we’d love to see your great shots, too! Hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, and feel free to use that #NYAAFbowl16 hashtag liberally.


QUESTIONS? As ever, feel free to email us at, and check our Facebook event page for any essential day-of updates. Can’t wait to see you Sunday!



The NYAAF 2016 Bowl-a-thon Committee


Get Ready to BOWL!

Join us for NYAAF’s 7th Annual Bowl-a-thon!


Sunday, April 10, 2016
11AM – 1:30 PM
Bowlmor Chelsea Piers (Pier 60)
23rd Street & West Side Highway, NY, NY

It’s time for the New York Abortion Access Fund’s annual Bowl-a-thon! Every April, abortion funds all over the country host bowling extravaganzas to raise money to protect abortion access for all who need it. Can we count on you to put on some bowling shoes and come out for abortion access?

Last year, NYAAF broke the state and national record and raised more than $125,000! That’s right — thanks to the stellar energy and fundraising efforts of our bowlers, and the generous support from donors near and far, we were once again the #1 abortion access Bowl-a-thon in the country!

We need your help to make the 2016 Bowl-a-thon even better!! This year’s Bowl-a-thon is on Sunday, April 10, 2016, at Bowlmor Chelsea Piers (Pier 60 // 234d Street and West Side Highway, New York, NY). In addition to bowling, there will be a raffle, prizes, food and drinks, and a spirit of collective action as we gather as a community committed to reproductive justice.

Get your friends, families, colleagues, or community groups together, form a team, and register to bowl with us! Got some extra team spirit? Register as a team captain! No team? No problem! Register as an individual and we’ll match you up with other awesome bowlers.


We can’t wait to fundraise and bowl with you! Support NYAAF and meet other reproductive rights and bowling enthusiasts as we strike down barriers to abortion access!

Many thanks,
The NYAAF Bowl-a-thon Planning Committee

Today is the day to bowl your heart out!

It’s the day we’ve been waiting for!

It’s finally here!

The NYAAF Bowl-a-thon is today, and we can’t wait to welcome you to Chelsea Piers!

This has been an amazing year, and with your incredible fundraising efforts, NYAAF has broken the New York and National Abortion Fund records!We have now exceeded our goal by over $15,000! After all this hard work, we can’t wait to celebrate with you and strike down barriers to abortion access!

Don’t forget:

  • Chelsea Piers, Pier 60 (near West 23rd Street and the West Side Highway)
  • Doors open at 1:15pm, and bowling begins at 1:30pm!
  • When you arrive, we’ll check you in, and give you a lane assignment and shoes. Be sure to know your team name in order to check in!
  • If you have any offline donations (i.e cash or checks) turn them in at check-in. (Remember, all checks must be made out to the New York Abortion Access Fund, not NYAAF!)

Have any last-minute questions? Check out the Bowl-a-thon page to find out everything you need to know!

We want to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for your efforts along the way. The Bowl-a-thon is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and the opportunity to make an incredible difference in the lives of people who, without this help, would not have access to critical medical services.

You’ve helped us make this year’s Bowl-a-thon the best one yet. We can’t wait to see you this afternoon!


Heather and the Bowl-a-thon Team

Everything you need to know to bowl on Sunday!


As we make one last fundraising push, we’re also getting ready to celebrate the amazing work you’ve all done on Sunday. Here are all of the logistical details:

  • The Bowl-a-thon is at Bowlmor Lanes at Chelsea Piers. It’s at Pier 60, near West 23rd Street and the West Side Highway. It may be a little tricky to find, so we’ll have volunteers out front.
  • Doors will open at 1:15, and bowling will begin at 1:30.
  • When you arrive, you’ll check in with volunteers, get your lane assignment and shoes. If you have any offline donations (i.e cash or checks) this is where you’ll turn those in. Remember, all checks must be made out to the New York Abortion Access Fund, not NYAAF.
  • Drink tickets will be available for $5. They’ll be sold at the registration table, and we’ll have volunteers circulating with them, as well.

Most importantly, we may have exceeded our $100K goal BUT every single dollar raised is still so important! Don’t miss this last chance to raise a few more dollars and make this year’s Bowl-a-thon our BEST ONE YET!

Can’t wait to see you Sunday!
Amanda and the Bowl-a-thon Team

P.S. Are you or someone on your team unable to join us on Sunday? No problem! Just send an email to and let us know, so we can make lane assignments.

Pro-tip: YOU are the secret to Bowl-a-thon success!



Hi, Bowl-a-Thoners!

Want to know something weird about charitable giving? People are actually more likely to give money to a single individual, rather than an abstract group. Luckily, your donors aren’t only giving to an awesome cause. They’re also giving to an awesome individual: YOU. What’s a fun and easy way to remind them of this? Personalize your Bowl-a-Thon page! (It’s sort of like decorating your locker in junior high school, if you went to a junior high school where your locker unleashed magical powers to fund abortion in New York.)

Here are some starters to help inspire your page’s amazingness:

▪  Step 1: Get some inspiration from NNAF’s “Bowl-a-thon Page of the Week” blog series (last week’s winner here!) or by simply clicking around the Bowl-a-thon homepage and perusing the pages of other teams/bowlers.

▪  Step 2: Find some imagery and text to use on your page! Some examples:

▪  A selfie of you with a sign saying why you support abortion funds (check out Lauren Rankin’s “I Fund Abortions” Tumblr for examples!)
▪  A series of animated GIFs telling a compelling AND hilarious story (may we suggest as a good GIF search engine?)
▪  Custom memes via
▪  Photos of you and your teammates making funny faces
▪  Personal stories about why you support NYAAF, abortion funding, or bowling.

▪  Step 3: Put it all together! Simply log in to the Bowl-a-thon site, select Edit Your Page from the menu on the left, and then select Customize Your Page. Here, you can post your memes and GIFs, manage your photos, change your fundraising goals, and edit your mission statement.

▪  If you need more help, you can contact the NNAF here, or just send us an e-mail directly. We’re happy to answer your questions, provide inspiration, and help you make your page the best ever!

▪  Step 4: Collaborate! Once you have your page ready to go, you can do other cool stuff, like…..

▪  Nominate your page (or your friend’s page, or your mom’s page) for NNAF’s Page of the Week
▪  Encourage others by commenting on the pages that you love
▪  Re-post your page on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the community board at your coffee shop, your dog’s forehead, etc.

Again, the most important thing is to make your page a reflection of YOU. Many of the pledges that you’ll receive will be from those who already know and love you, but who may not know why you care so deeply about this work. Let your page be your opportunity to tell them.

As always, please reach out to us if you have any questions. Happy funding!

Many thanks,
Julia Jones and the NYAAF Team


Our Top 3 Bowl-a-thon Fundraising Tips!

Hey There, Bowlers! We know what you’re thinking – you’ve set up your team, you’ve got a fun team name, and you’re raising money – but you’re wondering what else you can do to surpass your goal. Well, we’ve got you covered with some great fundraising tips, and our Top Three Ways to Raise!

First things first, make sure you’ve snazzed up your page! Your donors aren’t only giving to an awesome cause. They’re also giving to an awesome individual: YOU. What’s a fun and easy way to remind them of this? Personalize your Bowl-a-Thon page with touching stories, selfies, memes, GIFs and more!

You’ll also want to make sure that you take a look at our list of great fundraising tips! From your first point of contact right down to the thank yous for all those donations, our guide has everything from the best way to reach out to getting into a fundraising rhythm. Check out our step-by-step on ‘How to be an Awesome Bowl-a-thon Fundraiser’!

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

Top Three Ways to Raise!

  1. Organize an event! The possibilities are endless! Have a bar night, throw a house party, have a bake sale, or even host a stoop sale (weather permitting!). Think you have what it takes to organize a successful fundraising event, but need a little help connecting with the right folks to make it happen? Great! Send us an email to info[at]nyaaf[dot]org (subject line: “Events”) with your idea, and we’ll get in touch to help.
  2. Offer perks/rewards for donations! No time to throw an event? Consider offering perks à la Kickstarter for donations! Have a large social media following? Consider posting a tweet or blog publicizing your donors’ project! Have stellar cooking or baking skills? Make a meal or treat for select donors! The possibilities are endless and everyone has something awesome to offer.
  3. Use your talents! Are you a musician or an artist? Do you have amazing cooking/writing/social media/organizing/styling skills? Consider using your particular talents to offer your donors a free song, piece of art, consultation, or workshop. It’s a way to show your passion while incentivizing potential donors, all while having fun!

NOTE: Don’t forget to log your cash donations on your Bowl-a-thon page! Make sure that any checks are made out to ‘New York Abortion Access Fund’, instead of NYAAF. We want you and your team to get credit for all your hard work!

As we get ever-closer to the best Bowl-a-thon EVER, we want to thank you for being awesome Bowl-a-thoners! As always, please reach out to us if you have any questions.

Happy funding!

Heather and Julia
NYAAF Bowl-a-thon Planning Committee

Let’s BOWL!


Hello amazing supporters! The NYAAF Bowl-a-Thon Fundraiser is back and better than ever!

Whether you want to help a great cause, support an existing team, or you’re eager to show off those bowling skills, find out more about the Bowl-a-thon here.

The Bowl-a-thon is what allows NYAAF to continue our vital work. It’s the event that keeps NYAAF’s services available to those who need it most. That’s why we need your help!

This year, we’re aiming to break Bowl-a-thon records & raise an amazing $100,000! Will you help us achieve that goal?

We’ve compiled this handy list of FAQs, but if you have additional questions feel free to reach out to us, so we can get you bowling! Click the jump to read more.

Continue reading

Join us for NYAAF’s 6th Annual Bowl-a-thon!

Sunday, April 26, 2015
1:30 – 4:00 PM
Bowlmor Chelsea Piers (Pier 60)
23rd Street & West Side Highway, NY, NY

unnamed-2At last year’s Bowl-a-thon, we raised more than $80,000. Thanks to the support of more than 240 New Yorkers, we were the #1 abortion access Bowl-a-thon in the country!

We need your help in making the 2015 Bowl-a-thon an even bigger success! This year’s Bowl-a-thon is on Sunday, April 26, 2015 at Bowlmor Chelsea Piers, Pier 60/23rd & West Side Hwy, New York, NY.

We’ve set the bar high this year, and our goal for the 2015 bowl-a-thon is $100,000! We need you, your best friend, your great-Aunt, and the person next to you at the office to join in! This year, each individual bowler will need to raise a minimum of $100. We promise: you can do it! We will provide tons of support, tips, fundraising ideas, and motivating emails to help you get there. We can do this together!

Interested in bowling but don’t have a full team? We welcome individual bowlers and small teams. Contact Sarah Rosenthal at to get connected or partnered with other bowlers.

We can’t wait to fundraise and bowl with you! Support NYAAF and meet other reproductive rights and bowling enthusiasts as we strike down barriers to abortion access!

Help us make NYAAF’s 2015 Bowl-a-thon a success:

  • Register your team on the NYAAF Bowl-a-thon page. Can’t attend? Then consider donating to support an existing team or individual.
  • Tweet to let your friends know that you’re excited for this year’s Bowl-a-thon by clicking here or using #NYAAFbowl15!
  • Spread the word! Share the link to NYAAF’s Bowl-a-thon page (!

Many thanks,
The NYAAF Bowl-a-thon Planning Committee