Thursday, February 28, 2013

Want to Get Paid for Full-Time Pro-Life Work After Graduation? [SK]

If so, join us at the annual Friends for Life Boot Camp in Fort Wayne June 26-27. You'll get one-day of support raising training and one day of pro-life apologetics training. Great combo!

We've added the one-day support-raising seminar to equip graduating college students (and other qualified pro-life advocates) to raise financial support so they can work full-time saving lives. Attending the seminar does not guarantee you a job. But it will position you to approach pro-life organizations who can't pay you from their general budgets (they're broke), but may employ you if you take personal responsibility for raising your own salary. Mike Spencer and Scott Klusendorf--both of whom have raised financial support--will teach the seminar.

Here's the problem we're trying to fix: What do we do with pro-life students after they graduate college? Currently, there is no lack of pro-life activity for students at the collegiate level. Pro-life student groups are represented at over 850 campuses nationwide. But once these students graduate, get married, and begin earning a living, their pro-life activity drops to minimal. Meanwhile, pro-abortion college grads can take jobs with Planned Parenthood and other liberal institutions where they get paid to work full-time promoting the killing of unborn humans.

Generally speaking, pro-life advocates at the community level are extremely dedicated and hard working, but they tend to be part-time volunteers. Their time and resources are limited. Pro-abortion leaders, meanwhile, are almost always highly paid professionals from medicine, law, politics, and academia. These professional elite’s have the time and resources to work full-time advancing the culture of death. Meanwhile, pro-life views are under attack from all sides as outdated, irrational, and intolerant, and millions of young people have absorbed that viewpoint.  And we think we can win this fight with part-time volunteers?

There’s a better way. It’s called support raising. That is, pro-life groups that previously could not afford to hire new staff can put new troops in the field at no extra cost if they train them to raise their own salaries just as Scott Klusendorf, Stephanie Gray, David Lee, Troy Newman, and other pro-life leaders have done for years using proven funding strategies originally developed by mission organizations like Campus Crusade, the Navigators, and Frontiers. The support-raising model is a critical strategy shift that could change the face of pro-life advocacy in the 21st century, transforming our movement from part-time volunteers to full-time professionals serving the cause of life.

With that in mind, our annual Friends for Life Boot Camp will begin offering support-raising training for qualified applicants at our July 26-27 camp. The support seminar is an ad-on (pre-camp) and will not replace our current pro-life apologetics content aimed at high school and college students who have yet to graduate. Rather, it gives those students a chance to consider full-time pro-life work after graduation. To use a baseball analogy, think of our current Friends for Life Camp as a farm system where aspiring pro-life advocates are equipped with the skills needed to play in the major leagues. With the new support-raising seminar, our students are positioned to actually get in the game.

In short, the Friends for Life Boot Camp will equip students to defend their beliefs before graduation and train them for a lifetime of service after. The support-raising training is completely voluntary. Students attending Friends for Life camps are not required to take support-raising training. But for those who want full-time involvement after college graduation, the support seminar will uniquely position them to do just that. Students will learn to:

1. Avoid common support raising mistakes
2. Execute three proven support-raising strategies
3. Develop a proper Biblical and ethical attitude toward raising money—one that communicates a winning and exciting vision rather than a desperate cry for funds
4. Keep their givers excited about pro-life work over the long haul

Support-Raising Seminar Outline

I. The Bad News:

A. There are more people working full time to kill babies then there are working full time to save them.
B. Pro-Life leadership versus pro-abortion leadership (amateur vs. professional)
C. Funding issues: pro-life groups are broke; they cannot afford to pay new staff.
D. Cultural mindset: The public does not agree with us that abortion is a serious moral wrong.
E. Cultural mindset among pro-lifers: “You should work for free or get church funding.”

II. The Solution: Self-supporting Pro-Life Staff

A. Evidence it can work (Campus Crusade, Navigators, Inter-varsity, and various pro-life leaders and advocates, etc.)
B. Pro-Life staff in U.S., Canada, and Britain
III. Pitfalls to Support-Raising and Their Solutions

A. Bad attitudes toward raising money

1. Common (erroneous) view of support raising: “It’s a dirty adjunct to genuine pro-life work. You mean I got to go out and beg for money?”
2. “Get by” mentality
3. Laziness, poor work ethic—In short, a lack of desire
4. No strategy
5. Refusal to grow as a person
6. Unhealthy fear of rejection: Are any of my fears worth the price of babies dying (whose lives could have been saved if I were fully funded)?
7. “Poor-talk”—hinting about money rather than directly asking

B. Biblical model for support-raising: Ask rather than demand. Communicate your great vision not your great need.

1. Jesus raised support (Luke 8: 1-3; 10:7, Matthew 10: 9-10)
2. Paul raised support (1 Cor. 9)
3. Example of Levites (Numbers 18:6, 20-24, 2 Chronicles 31:4)

C. Other common mistakes:

1. Mail appeals (OK for cash projects, not personal support)
2. Assuming money follows ministry
3. Failure to specifically ask for support
4. Hinting about money
5. To slow a pace—play at support raising
6. Do it “crisis to crisis”
7. Neglect support raising for the adrenal rush of ministry
8. Refuse to write support raising into your job description

IV. Successful strategies:

A. Eyeball to eyeball

1. Brainstorm contacts
2. Phone for appointment: PUT YOUR AGENDA UP FRONT
3. Make eyeball to eyeball presentation

B. Small and large group presentations

1. Changing feeling as a predicate to changing behavior (role of abortion pictures)
2. Using the PIE card effectively
3. Communicate urgency

C. Phone strategies

1. Letter/phone
2. Calling pro-life mailing lists

V. Donor Ministry:

1. Writing effective monthly donor update letters
2. Communicating your vision more than your need
3. Use of pictures to illustrate your pro-life work
4. Use of social media and email to stay in touch

Commonly Asked Questions About the Support Raising Seminar

1. Who is the primary (but not exclusive) target audience? The training is aimed at college students within a year of graduation or who recently graduated. Our purpose is to train pro-life speakers with a focus on pro-life apologetics. We may allow others to attend on a limited case by case basis.

2. What are the requirements for attending the support-raising seminar? Applicants within a year of college graduation must complete Pro-life 101 and Pro-Life 201 either by attending Friends for Life Camps or via the DVD training Scott Klusendorf provides at no charge. All attendees will read Scott’s book The Case for Life and answer the chapter questions prior to, or immediately after, the support raising seminar.

3. What about high school seniors and undergraduates who are not within a year of college graduation? Admission will be on a case-by-case basis, with priority given to those closer to graduation.

4. How much does the support seminar cost? TBD, but under $100, which includes lodging, seminar materials, and meals. Travel to and from Fort Wayne is the responsibility of the registrant.

5. Does attendance at the support-raising seminar guarantee a job? Absolutely not. We provide only the training needed to raise funding should an existing pro-life group hire the applicant. We do, however, make every effort to link seminar registrants to pro-life groups willing to interview them for full-time positions as pro-life apologists.

6. Do you accept applicants of all religious persuasions? Yes. We accept Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and those of no religious persuasion. However, the support-raising training is based on biblical principles and applicants must not insist on changing that.

7. How long is the seminar? One day—Friday, June 26.


  1. When it comes to pro-life workers, there are good ones and there are bad ones. I hate to say this, but there our pro-life organizations that do a little more than take people's money. We recently found out that a director of a supposedly non-profit pro-life organization that we donated a lot of money to took almost an 90k salary. And to boot, he didn't do any think to really help the cause. This was especially frustrating as we watched a group of high school students in our town with a budget of about $10000 lobby against the destruction of a few 100-year old trees. These high school kids in their part time were able to organize multiple protests, take out ads in the newspaper, get on tv, and organize a 5k. And eventually they won.

  2. Well, Paul, the answer to giving to bad pro-life organizations is to give to great ones, like LTI. I'm sorry your donations were misused.

  3. I'm from the UK. I understand that you speak at the Clarkson Academy? Should it go ahead this year I hope it does as I was unable to make it last year, will you cover the support raising course like in the states or do I have to come to the US to do the course?

  4. Any advice/ideas for implementing these strategies when the bulk of one's would-be supporters are long-distance and friends online only?

    I'm in a unique situation as a pro-life atheist of not having a church community of friends and acquaintances with whom to do eyeball to eyeball. Most local pro-lifers I know (most pro-lifers in general) are skeptical of a non-Christian organization, and most atheists are very pro-choice.

    Since traditional pro-life organizations like yours and CBR will not hire non-theists, I'm left trying to build my own organization in order to do full-time pro-life work. But my target market for support raising are a small handful of pro-life atheists, most of whom I've never met in person.



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