Donald Trump's presidency is already proving to be a serious threat to both affordable health care and women's reproductive rights. But perhaps no health care organization is as threatened by the Trump administration as Planned Parenthood. Since taking office Trump has been working steadily to follow through on his campaign promise to defund one of American's leading providers of affordable health care, meaning it's more important than ever to find ways to raise money for Planned Parenthood.
In the 126 days Trump has been president, he's already made a number of attempts to undercut government funding to Planned Parenthood. In March, Trump supported House Republicans' American Health Care Act, which calls for a partial defunding of Planned Parenthood by temporarily blocking the health care organization from receiving Medicaid reimbursements for services (excluding abortion) provided to low-income patients. In early April, Trump signed a bill overturning Obama-era protections and thus enabling states to block abortion providers like Planned Parenthood from receiving Title X funds, which cover the cost of family planning and contraception services but not abortions. Most recently, Trump's 2018 budget proposal includes plans to bar Planned Parenthood - along with other abortion providers - from receiving "any funding in the Labor-HHS appropriations bill."
Each year Planned Parenthood provides sexual and reproductive health care services to an estimated 2.5 million women and men in the United States. The organization estimates that one out of every five U.S. women have visited a Planned Parenthood health center at least once, with many of them receiving contraceptive services they might not otherwise be able to afford. But Planned Parenthood also provides much-needed preventative care services, like breast exams, Pap smears, and HIV and STI tests, which make it a vital health care resource for many women.
Here are 7 ways you can help raise money for Planned Parenthood:
1. Give Directly & Give Regularly
Before encouraging others to give to Planned Parenthood, consider donating directly to Planned Parenthood health centers or the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which serves as the nonpartisan political and advocacy arm of the health care organization, yourself. And if it's at all possible, consider donating regularly. A monthly $25 donation, for example, would amount to $300 over the course of a year.
2. Become A Planned Parenthood Fearless Fundraiser
Get others in on the action. Start your own personal online fundraiser through Planned Parenthood's Fearless Fundraisers campaign and reach out to your family and friends about why the health care organization is important to you. Ask them to join you in standing by Planned Parenthood.
3. Treat Yourself
Through AmazonSmile you can support Planned Parenthood every time you make an eligible purchase. Amazon will donate 0.5 percent of your eligible AmazonSmile purchase price to Planned Parenthood. Simply select Planned Parenthood as your charity of choice and get to shopping.
4. Reach Out To Your Employer
Consider reaching out to your employer to see if they have a matching gift policy and will match your donation to Planned Parenthood. Every dollar counts so it's worth a shot to see if you can double your dollar through corporate matching.
5. Use Your Skills To Raise Money
Perhaps you're an artist, a musician, a comedian, a baker, a chef, a tattoo artist, a body piecer, or a writer. Perhaps you throw pottery, make buttons, knit scarves, read tarot cards, or write badass haikus. Why not turn your skills into a fundraising opportunity? Own your own tattoo shop? Take inspiration from Magic Cobra Tattoo Society and host your own Planned Parenthood tattoo fundraiser. In a band? Get a few more musicians on board and host a concert with ticket proceeds going toward Planned Parenthood. With a little creativity and (I'm going to be real honest here) a lot of organizing power, the fundraising opportunities are endless. For example, actress Emma Watson raised funds for Planned Parenthood by offering life advice to strangers in New York City's Grand Central Station at the steep price of $2.
6. Walk, Run, Swim, Or Bike To Get Those Dollars
If you're willing to put forth the time and effort to organize a fundraiser but are really at a loss for what you could do, consider going old school. Walk or run (or swim, or bike) to raise money as Alison Mariella Désir of Harlem Run did in January when she raised more than $100,000 for Planned Parenthood after organizing Run For All women, a run from New York City to Washington, D.C. You can do it alone, asking supporters to make either a flat donation or a per-mile pledge, or get others in on the action by organizing a group event. For example, Flywheel Sports, a nationwide chain of indoor cycling studios, will help interested parties host a private 45-minute charity ride where 100 percent of the proceeds goes to the charity of the host's choice.
7. Attend & Support Planned Parenthood Fundraisers In Your Area
If organizing your own large-scale fundraiser is something that just simply falls beyond what you have the time or resources for, consider lending your support & voice to Planned Parenthood fundraisers that have already been organized. Use social media to find Planned Parenthood fundraisers happening in your area and help spread the word about them. Perhaps by attending you'll connect with a network of folks that might be able to help you throw your own fundraiser when the timing is right.