We recently had the pleasure of hosting some of our sister funds on the east coast for a fabulous little abortion fund summit. It was a weekend of learning and even some entertainment. Board members and volunteers from the New York Abortion Access Fund (NYAAF), Blue Ridge Abortion Assistance Fund (BRAAF), Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund (EMA Fund), The Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project (RRFP), the Women’s Medical Fund (WMF) and the Carolina Abortion Fund joined us for two days of information and resource sharing, education and networking. We also had representatives from the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF), the National Abortion Federation (NAF), the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) and few other amazing people join us who clearly didn’t mind missing out on a weekend of DC’s finest weather (seriously, it was in the 70s both days). Let us just say that these people are hardcore reproductive justice aficionados. We love all of them.
We were also fortunate to have a volunteer offer up some of the District’s best rooftop space for a pre-summit happy hour on Friday. From there it was a deep dive into best practices for funding abortions. Sessions included a legislative summary from CRR, fundraising tips from a former DCAF board member, breakouts on bookkeeping and nonprofit compliance, data management, communications tips and much, much more. With such a diversity of funds represented, we were able to bring a lot of perspectives to the table and share some best practices. Perhaps most importantly though, we all got to see each other. As anyone who does abortion funding work knows, it is largely done by phone and online, not to mention at home alone and in our spare time. We rarely get time in person with our fellow funders. While it was great to share our knowledge with each other, and help one another grow as organizations, it was also valuable to get so many of us in one room. IRL* face time can be a wonderful thing. Big thanks and virtual hugs to everyone who was able to participate!
*IRL: In real life, no Internet connection required