Sustaining donors: The charms that make DCAF sparkle

Monthly donors get a coat hanger charm to show they are #charmedbyDCAF.

Monthly donors get a coat hanger charm to show they are #charmedbyDCAF.

In 2014 alone, the DC Abortion Fund pledged $198,889 on behalf of 950 pregnant patients. The average pledge was $231 per patient.

So where does this money come from? Well, a lot comes from grants and our fundraising events. It also comes from our wonderful sustaining donors, whose contributions make up about a quarter of our 2015 budget.

Our sustaining donors are those who have committed to giving a set amount to DCAF each month. It doesn’t have to be a large chunk of your paycheck — even $10 a month is enough to make you part of the program.

I became a sustaining donor after my first week as a case manager trainee. After speaking with a just a handful of the scared, stressed, and strapped-for-cash patients that we work with, and seeing just how expensive some abortion procedures can be, I realized that even a small amount of money could make a difference. I probably didn’t need as many Starbucks runs as I took anyway—and when I see the money taken out of my account every month, I do feel the warm and fuzzies of helping someone else.

In addition to that happy feeling of helping out someone who needs it, you will receive a pretty badass coat hanger charm as a gift for becoming a sustaining donor. As you may have heard, some conservative pundits misunderstood the meaning of this charm, and went on the offensive in 2014. They missed the point completely: The coat hanger symbolizes what can happen when women do not have access to abortion care. Unfortunately for them and very fortunately for us, we got a ton of new donors as a result of their misplaced anger. Sorry, Sarah Palin.

“Our monthly donors are responsible for so much of our success,” said DCAF Treasurer Emily C. “They allow us to plan on our budget and subsequently serve our patients more effectively.”

If you’re interested in becoming a sustaining donor, or to just donate a little when you can, learn more here.

By volunteer Carrie E., photo by Lindsey W.