On August 7th, 2019, after many conversations with abortion funds, callers, clinics, and you, our donors, NNAF launched a new direct abortion funding strategy: the Collective Power Fund (CPF). Through the CPF, we make grants to abortion funds that significantly boost cash-on-hand for abortions and practical support.
We committed to moving $1 million through the Collective Power Fund this year, and with your help, we met our goal.
What we knew going into the year:
Our membership encouraged us to prioritize abortion funds near clinics that border restrictive states, in states with no Medicaid coverage for abortion, or funds that support callers facing the most barriers, including those seeking a later abortion. They asked for a streamlined system for distributing abortion funding dollars, something that wouldn’t add administrative burdens to their already full plates.
With that feedback in mind, we focused on the South and Midwest (where it’s often hardest to get an abortion). We made the reporting requirements straightforward and the application process clear. Most CPF recipients received grants of $30,000 – $40,000. The average direct abortion funding budget is $36,000; data from our annual Membership Enrollment survey shows that allows for only 35% of requests to be funded. These grants had an immediate and significant impact.
What we’ve learned after one year of the Collective Power Fund:
1. The grants allowed funds to dramatically increase the amount of money they could pledge to callers.
“In 2019 we funded twice as much as we ever have and it is because of programs like this that have allowed us to expand our reach, re-open our helpline, and help everyone who calls. “ — Stephanie Craddock Sherwood, Women Have Options, Ohio
2. The trust built into the granting process allowed funds to spend money in the way that made the most sense for their callers and region.
“This money allows us to fund abortions with ease. It removes the kind of restrictions that leave so many callers behind.” — Meg Sasse Stern, Kentucky Health Justice Network
3. The investment in funds’ leadership allowed them to think expansively and generously.
“We are so grateful to have this grant, it represents almost double of our normal yearly budget, which has gone down significantly in the last decade. We are going to double our grant amounts next quarter to see if that is sustainable.” — Rosa Valderrama, Broward Women’s Emergency Fund
Our North Star: Investment in Abortion Funds
All of our granting models – the Collective Power Fund, the temporary Abortion Funds Crisis Relief Campaign, and our new Operation Scale Up – are rooted in the wisdom and expertise of local abortion funds. Abortion funds know what callers in their communities need; it’s up to us to make sure that funds have the resources they need to provide that support.