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!