Here’s all you need to reach your Bowl-a-thon goal!

Fundraising for the Bowl-a-thon is simpler than you think…

Fundraising may seem complicated, but simply asking is really the best way to reach your goal.

Sending individual personal messages to friends, family, colleagues, etc. has been found to be the most effective way to encourage giving. Asking them three times is even more successful.

Adding sincere personal touches goes a long way and it helps show your potential supporters that you are truly committed and passionate about this cause.

To help you out, we’ve included a couple example emails that you can feel free to customize and use!

Good luck and look out for more handy fundraising emails coming to you weekly!

Hello Friend,

I know it may be hard to do, but can you imagine what it would be like if you were unemployed, had only $100 to your name, and a $600 bill for your upcoming abortion. Think of how it hard it can be to feel like you have to choose between food and making your appointment. Sadly, many people in New York are facing choices like these despite their legal right to abortion care.

This year, I have committed to raising $[x] for NYAAF, an organization that works to provide funding for every person who needs financial assistance to abortion care in New York through their annual Bowl-a-thon. In 2013, they pledged nearly $100,000 and this year is slated to be even bigger. Without a successful Bowl-a-thon, NYAAF cannot do this work.
Help me strike down barriers to abortion access and guarantee that one’s right to health care isn’t determined by how much money they have. Donations of $15, $10 or even $5 really make a difference! [link to your personal page]
Thank you,
[Your name here]
The below letter is courtesy of Jill Greenberg, who sent it to 22 family members!

Hi _____!

As you may or may not know, I [volunteer for/support/am friends with X board member of] the New York Abortion Access Fund (NYAAF). It’s an all volunteer run organization that runs completely on donations from individuals (they don’t receive any grants and the donations go straight to those in need.) I am participating in their annual Bowlathon, where they raise the majority of their funds for the year! Last year, NYAAF pledged $96,716 to help 364 people access the abortion services they desperately needed. Please support me in NYAAF’s biggest year ever by donating to my Bowlathon page here: [link here]

Did you know?:

  • In 2013, the average cost of a procedure NYAAF sponsored was $906, and the most common was $500. The average grant size was $303. Could you afford that out of pocket?
  • “Back-alley” abortions cause 68,000 maternal deaths each year in the 33 countries where abortion is not legal or available, according to the World Health Organization in Oct. 2006.
  • 87% of US counties do not provide abortion services. In 2008, 39% of New York counties had no abortion provider.
  • Abortion is a common experience: At current rates, about one in three American women will have had an abortion by the time she reaches age 45.
“The decision to become a parent is one of the most important decisions people make in their life. As a mother and an obstetrician-gynecologist, I don’t believe pregnancy or parenthood should be forced on anyone.” -Lisa Bayer, MD, Physicians for Reproductive Health

What NYAAF Does:

  • Provides funds to those in financial need who are seeking an abortion
  • Makes sure that the health centers/clinics for those who seek abortions are safe, non-judgemental spaces
  • Provides one-on-one support for those who call NYAAF seeking abortion services
  • Works to eliminate the stigma around abortions to eradicate shame and judgement around ones’ personal healthcare choices
  • Strikes down barriers to reproductive health choices because everyone has their right to live a self-determined life!

Please support me by donating to my Bowlathon page here: [link here]

Thank you!

P.S. We’re Behind! In anticipation of our biggest year ever, NYAAF has set a Bowl-a-thon fundraising goal of $100,000. So far, we’ve raised $17,720. At this time last year, we had raised $30,000.

That means we need to pick up the pace to meet the demand for our biggest year yet! We’re so glad to have you on board to help us & we’re positive the Bowl-a-thon is gonna be amazing!

P.P.S. NYAAF is looking for three amazing people to join our Board of Directors. Find out more info here & let us know if you’re interested!

Your #NYAAFbowl14 page is AWESOME!

(and if it’s not yet, it WILL be!)

As the Bowl-a-thon season comes into full swing, we wanted to talk to you a little bit about personalizing your fundraiser page. The more engaging your page is, the more people will be enticed to support. And luckily, it’s VERY easy to customize your page!

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

  • Start by checking out the landing page where you log in. Simply log in to the Bowl-a-thon site and check out the menu on the left & theCustomize Your Page options in front of you. You can edit your page message, change your goal, add photos, and more!
    • If you need more help, there’s also this handy guide created by the National Network of Abortion Funds that goes over the basics of embedding images, animated GIFs, videos, etc. onto your page.
  • Get some inspiration from NNAF’s “Bowl-a-thon Page of the Week” blog series or by simply clicking around the Bowl-a-thon homepage and perusing the pages of other teams/bowlers.
  • Find some imagery to use on your page! Some examples:
    • 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 (examples above created by Katie of the High Roellers!)

More than anything, make your page a reflection of yourself. People that may pledge to you are interested in knowing WHY this work is so important to you. Get creative in the ways you express this! Your page is your canvas!

As always, please reach out to us if you have any questions and happy funding!

Many thanks,
NYAAF Bowl-a-thon Coordinator

P.S. You can find our Bowl-a-thon FAQ here.

P.P.S. NYAAF is looking for three amazing people to join our Board of Directors. Find out more info here & let us know if you’re interested!

Call for NYAAF Board Members


New Yorkers!  Are you itching to get more involved with your local abortion fund? Do you have great event organizing skills? Or perhaps experience writing and securing grants? Maybe you’ve got amazing fundrasing skills that you’re looking to put to a good cause.  We want YOU to join the NYAAF board! We currently have three board positions open and would love for you to join us!

Institutional Fundraiser
Responsibilities include:

  • Developing and implementing institutional fundraising strategy
  • Drafting and submitting Letters of Inquiry and Proposal
  • Researching prospective foundation supporters
  • Tracking foundation donor response, reporting requirements, and deadlines
  • Preparing narrative and financial reports
  • Participating on other committees and completing projects as needed


  • Experience with writing grants and proposals
  • Ability to conceptualize and create an institutional fundraising strategy
  • Familiarity with New York foundation funding landscape
  • Self-motivated and detail-oriented


Events Coordinator: Community Organizing and Grassroots Events

  • Develop community fundraising involvement, specifically college-based, local, and upstate fundraising development.
  • Organize volunteer-hosted events, including the development and implementation of home-hosting kits for individuals interested in hosting a NYAAF fundraiser.
  • Generate ideas for new events targeting the growth of the volunteer base and work with
    volunteers to implement those ideas.
  • Promptly report on events to the rest of the board (costs, funds raised, new donor lists, etc.).
  • Assist the Events Coordinator: Major Donors and Institutional Events with annual major donor events (e.g. Bowlathon and Celebrate Access Awards) as needed.
  • Participate on the Fundraising Committee.
  • Plan yearly events calendar in conjunction with Fundraising Committee and the Events Coordinator: Major Donors and Institutional Events

External event coordination

  • Work with anyone who approaches NYAAF offering to host an event (e.g. a play, book signing, concert, etc.)
  • Determine whether the event is an appropriate fit for NYAAF
  • Ensure NYAAF board representation at events as appropriate
  • Coordinate/delegate to-do lists and duties with volunteer or host (venue, invites, staffing, etc.)


Development Coordinator:

  • Coordinate the pick up of the organizations mail and distribute mail to other board members
  • Draft and distribute acknowledgement letters in a timely manner
  • Make thank you calls
  • Work with event planner(s) to discuss and plan opportunities/events to establish and cultivate donor relationships
  • Assist in annual report assembly and production
  • Manage and update donor database (NGP VAN)
  • Work with co-chairs to cultivate major donors and develop individual giving campaigns
  • Generate contribution reports as needed
  • Maintain online giving account (NY Charities)
  • Set up online donation pages for events
  • Provide support for all mailings

General board responsibilities include attendance at monthly meetings on the third Monday of every month, and an intake shift on our hotline once every three months.

NYAAF is committed to seeking a diverse group of candidates, including young people, people of color, and gender non-conforming and queer folks. We are an all-volunteer, board-run grassroots organization.

Interested? Have questions? Email info[at]nyaaf[dot]org for a board application! Applications are due April 1st, 2014.

Let’s BOWL!

Past NYAAF Bowl a Thon participants

Come bowl with us!

Hello New Yorkers! We wanted to remind that our annual Bowl-a-thon fundraiser is happening RIGHT NOW & there’s still time to register! 

Whether you want to bowl with us, support an existing team, or simply find out more about the Bowl-a-thoncheck out:

Most importantly, the Bowl-a-thon is what allows NYAAF to do the work we do. Without a successful Bowl-a-thon, we’d have to scale back our services & refuse help to those who need it most.

This year, we’re aiming to break Bowl-a-thon records & raise an amazing$100,000! 

Will you help us achieve that goal?

To motivate you to join us, we’ve compiled a handy list of FAQ, which can be found below. We’ve shared this info with our already-registered bowlers, but we know it’s useful for everyone!

More after the jump…

Continue reading

SAVE THE DATE! NYAAF’s 2014 Bowl-a-thon is April 27th!

NYAAF bowl-a-thon logo

 Join us for NYAAF’s 5th Annual Bowl-a-thon!

Sunday, April 27, 2014
1:30 – 4:30 PM
Bowlmor Chelsea Piers (Pier 60)
23rd & West Side Highway, NY, NY

NYAAF Bowl A Thon 2013 Attendees

We promise a BIGGER, BETTER, & more AMAZING Bowl-a-thon this year!

At our 2013 Bowl-a-thon, we raised a grand total of $84,000. Thanks to over 250 pro-choice New Yorkers, we were the #1 abortion access Bowl-a-thon in the country!

We are reaching out to you now to ask for your help in making the 2014 Bowl-a-thon an even bigger success. This year’s Bowl-a-thon is on Sunday, April 27, 2014 at Bowlmor Chelsea Piers, Pier 60/23rd & West Side Hwy, New York, NY.

If you want to take the lead on starting an awesome team, just visit NYAAF’s Bowl-a-thon page ( and click ‘Register’. Next, recruit a few friends and form your 8-person dream team!

Here’s what you can do to make NYAAF’s 2014 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.
  • RSVP to our Facebook events for the Bowl-a-thon AND for our Kickoff Party on Feb. 25th!
  • Tweet to let your friends know that you are excited for this year’s Bowl-a-thon by clicking here or using #NYAAFbowl14!
  • Spread the word! Share the link to NYAAF’s Bowl-a-thon page or share this post to friends, family, and colleagues.

Together, we’ll strike down barriers to abortion access!

Many thanks,
NYAAF Board of Directors

Register Now!

Your Last-Minute Gift Will Change Lives!

Will you join us in making 2014 NYAAF’s biggest year ever?

In 2013, we pledged $96,716 to help 364 people access the abortion services they desperately needed. As this year comes to a close, we’ve found ourselves overwhelmed by the generous support we’ve received from people like you.

We originally set an end-of-year fundraising goal of $25,000, but we’ve come to realize that together, we are capable of so much more.

To celebrate Roe v. Wade’s 40th anniversary in 2013, we have increased our fundraising goal to $40,000! And the good news is that we’re already well on our way there. You have helped us raise an amazing $32,145 so far!

As the 40th year since Roe v. Wade comes to a close, we consider how far the remaining $7,855 will go to help people access the abortion services they need.

Will you help make these next two days more impactful than we ever imagined?

As we honor 40 years of legalized abortion in the United States, consider making a gift that will hold up the rulings of Roe v. Wade by ensuring that abortion services are accessible to whoever requires them.

Thank you and cheers to 2014!

Facing Challenges


“Staffing the hotline this week reminds me that the importance of abortion access doesn’t go away around the holidays. No matter what’s happening, NYAAF is there to ensure people are able to access the abortion care they need.” - Alison Turkos, NYAAF Board of Directors

Since Sunday, NYAAF has pledged $4,556 to help people who have abortion appointments this week. We are currently facing one of the most demanding weeks we’ve had all year.

But as we come closer and closer to our fundraising goal, we at NYAAF find ourselves immensely grateful for the support we’ve received thus far. The more money we’re able to raise, the more people we can help afford the cost of their abortion. Please consider donating today.

Unsure of how much to donate? Some ideas:

  • $25 for the number of new cases we’ve worked on this week
  • $87 for the percentage of US counties with no abortion providers
  • $350 for NYAAF’s average individual pledge this week
  • $450 for the number of new anti-abortion restrictions passed in 2013
  • $1241 for the amount left until we reach our goal!

Everyone deserves the right to access abortion

Dear friends, allies and supporters,

2013 was an amazing year for the New York Abortion Access Fund and we are so thankful that you were part of it!

This year, we pledged $96,716 to help 364 people coming to New York from 15 states access the abortion services they desperately needed. To support the growing need for our services, we held outstanding fundraisers such as a screening of the award-winning documentary After Tiller, our second annual Celebrate Access Awards, and the most successful Abortion Access Bowl-a-thon to date.

Help us meet our goal today!

We’re over halfway to our 2013 End of Year Giving Campaign goal of $25,000! Our average pledge is $250 so meeting this goal will help many of our clients. Please consider donating today!

Despite our achievements in the past twelve months, 2013 proved to be another challenging year for abortion rights in the U.S. During the 2013 state legislative sessions, more than 450 abortion restrictions were introduced and nearly 70 enacted by lawmakers across the country– including some of the most extreme we’ve ever seen.

Abortion funding organizations like NYAAF were tasked with stepping in to help people impacted by increasingly restrictive laws and ever greater hurdles to access.

In fact, NYAAF served more people in 2013 than we ever have before – but it was a responsibility we took up proudly, due in large part to our many dedicated and unwavering supporters.

We have an enthusiastic set of board members and volunteers, but the ability to do this work depends on people like you. By supporting access to abortion, you are supporting those who are most in need of help.

This year, we ask that you continue to support NYAAF – and that you stand up for the belief that everyone, no matter their income, deserves to access the health care services they want and need.

With our most sincere thanks,

Maureen Stutzman and Alison Turkos
Board Chairs, NYAAF Board of Directors

7 Reasons to Give to NYAAF

A guest post by Chanel Dubofsky

1. In 2008, 39% of New York counties had no abortion provider. This means more people needing abortions must travel further to have the procedure done, and makes the work of NYAAF even more urgent and crucial.

2. New York State is a haven for people who need abortions. The state does not have any of the major types of abortion restrictions—such as waiting periods, mandated parental involvement or limitations on publicly funded abortions—often found in other states.

3. More donations = more abortions fundedThe amount of funds NYAAF has pledged as well as the number of grantees served continues to grow with each passing fiscal year.

4. The average cost of procedure NYAAF sponsored was $906, and the most common was $500. The average grant size was $303. Could you afford that out of pocket?

5. In NYAAF’s  first ever email “Emergency Appeal,” 41 people donated $1,719 towards care for Sophia, a New York state resident undergoing chemotherapy, whose pregnancy and fetal anomalies were discovered at an advanced stage after doctors told her she could not get pregnant. The abortion itself cost over $12,000 (before travel costs and accommodations). Despite Sophia’s personal contribution and significant assistance from the National Abortion Federation, there remained a $1,750 balance. This pledge size was ten times NYAAF’s average grant amount.

6. When you give to NYAAF, you’re supporting a truly collaborative funding process. Resources are coordinated among  grantees, clinics, and partner abortion funds. More than three-quarters of grantees contributed money toward their abortion. One grantee contributed $4,900, while another was able to contribute just $30. The average grantee contribution was $355 and the most common grantee contribution was $200.

7. Abortion is a common experience: At current rates, about one in three American women will have had an abortion by the time she reaches age 45.

Why I Donate to NYAAF

A guest post by NYAAF volunteer Jill Haber.

How often does the average person think about abortion? I work in an abortion clinic, and for me, it is all day, everyday. I find it fascinating how many different perspectives from which the abortion discussion can be framed. Abortion intersects public life in areas as disparate as politics, public health, medicine, religion, economics, culture, and philosophy. These intersections are almost never mutually exclusive either. Regardless of how it’s framed, abortion ignites passion in activists on all sides of the issue.

It is difficult to view it in so many different lights when you are working with individuals. My job is to help people seeking abortion. Much like anyone else, I tend to get wrapped up in the politics of what I do, but while working with someone going through something so deeply personal, politics couldn’t be further from my mind. At that moment, what is important is that we do everything to make a potentially complicated situation easier for this person. That’s how NYAAF helps. They focus every dollar on the individuals: the people I work with. The people who make up the statistics that end up in a research paper or in a debate.

The reasons for abortion are endless—wanting to finish school, supporting a family you already have, homelessness, rape, or perhaps that it’s not the right time to bring a child into the world. The truth of the matter is that abortion is not part of anyone’s grand plan. What a politician feels about a person’s reason for abortion seems like the most inconsequential opinion in the world at the moment when I am sitting with a person seeking an abortion.

When you donate to NYAAF, you’re giving money in order to enable a person to have an abortion without needing to forgo their rent. Even in a state like New York known for abortion access, there is still a huge need for financial assistance. When you do not have insurance or not qualify for Medicaid, you’re expected to come up with a large sum of money, often hundreds or thousands of dollars, which is a hardship for many families. NYAAF helps people seeking abortion services in New York and traveling to New York. Since New York has fewer legal barriers than many other states, that adds up to helping a lot of folks from out of state—in fact, about 25% of the people they funded last year traveled to New York for an abortion. When you donate to NYAAF, you’re making a huge difference to someone. You’re helping them move forward in a situation where they otherwise would have been stuck.

I support NYAAF because its volunteers and donors make a difference for the individuals seeking abortion care. The story behind every abortion is as unique as the person asking NYAAF for help. It is the people who are behind the statistics that matter, and that is why I donate.