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NRL News
Page 10
January 2010
Volume 37
Issue 1

Four Steps on the Path to Pro-Life Success

By Marjorie Higgins, Holly Smith, and Luis Zaffirini

The ongoing fight to Stop the Obama Abortion Agenda relies on pro-life grassroots efforts. Four major steps should be a large part of every chapter’s battle plan.

Circulate Petitions

A petition drive can begin at any point in the year. The financial cost of running a petition drive is minimal, the time spent behind the table doubles as outreach, and the benefits of meeting your local supporters makes it the most cost-effective project a chapter can undertake.

Coordinate with officials at local churches, fairs, festivals, and other community groups to set up a display table with educational materials and petitions. Ask if businesses such as Christian bookstores will place the forms at checkout, or bring them to your workplace to share with colleagues.

Check your city or county for scheduled events and contact the coordinators to see if you may participate with a petition drive.

Ask your pro-life family, friends, and colleagues to take a petition form to their own social circles and fill them out. College students can run the project while on campus, or when they are home.

Once you have collected the signatures, convert them to an electronic format so that you can most easily communicate with the people who have just signed.

Make two hard copies, one for your chapter’s possession and use, and the second for your state right-to-life office. The original is sent to National Right to Life for additional computer processing at no charge to the chapter.

Petition files are the chapters’ first resource for major events and legislative alerts. The more petition names in your computer, the more pro-lifers to call when the need arises.

You can download or sign the “Stop Obama’s Abortion Agenda” petition at www.nrlc.org or www.stoptheabortionagenda.com, or see pages 14–15 of this issue.

Distribute Church Inserts

National Right to Life provides church bulletin inserts that can be used throughout the year. A well-informed pro-lifer who is a member in a church has tremendous potential to spread important information to a wider, open audience.

Different religious communities face different obstacles to fully making use of NRL’s church bulletin inserts. Part of being actively pro-life is letting it be known to your community and that includes in your church. If you think it’s important, and you know your pastor cares about the life issues, then let him, or the church office, know that NRL’s inserts are available and how to get them.

What if your pastor is not particularly enthusiastic about the pro-life cause? In that instance it may take a group of concerned congregants to impress upon him your own church’s stance on the issue and how important so many members of the church find it. He may have a change of heart.

Worst case scenario: your pastor is pro-abortion. If so, then you know you are facing an uphill battle. But there is no reason to give up hope. Continue to pray that he and all pro-abortion individuals will understand the importance of restoring rights to unborn human children.

In light of this, is there an alternative to having the bulletins inserted by the church? Consider purchasing some inserts at your own expense and pass them out to fellow churchgoers.

At $5 per pack of 50 inserts, it is an economical way to inform any congregation.

Grow E-mail Trees

The beauty of an “e-mail tree” is its speed and simplicity. By developing an up-to-date e-mail list now, you can forward hundreds of people critical information with the click of a button. Don’t wait until there is an urgent situation to start pulling together the e-mail addresses currently stored in a dozen different physical and digital locations.

Register for NRLC’s “Hot List” online at www.nrlc.org and inquire with your state affiliate about getting on its alert list, too. When you receive an Action Alert, you can forward it along to your list with complete confidence.

Do not overuse your list. Don’t send jokes or forwards, or you lose your audience. If they sense your e-mails might not be a good use of their time, they will never give you the opportunity to involve them in actual activity.

Be sure the e-mail addresses are entered in the “BCC” field to prevent people from replying to everyone.

For legislative alerts, it is best to simply forward the NRLC alert to your list. Include a request that recipients in turn forward the alert to their own e-mail lists, when appropriate.

After sending the e-mail, update your e-mail list as “bounce backs” appear in your inbox.

When the vote takes place, redeploy the e-mail list to let people know the outcome of the legislation and how your representative voted. This follow-through is extremely important, whether or not the recipient did anything about the original action alert.

Once the e-mail tree is developed, maintenance is easy and you can reach every pro-life contact you have in an instant. Don’t rely on it to the exclusion of traditional methods of reaching out. But if you incorporate it into your efforts, it will ensure a well-rounded routine when alerts arise.

Visit NRLChapters.org

All the tools a chapter needs to be successful can be found at NRLChapters.org, a web site exclusively for National Right to Life chapters.

These include past issues of NRL Contact, our bimonthly newsletter for chapters, as well as petitions to download and church bulletin inserts to order.

NRLChapters.org enhances the effectiveness and efficiency of our grassroots chapters while making our dedicated volunteers’ work easier as well. Come see for yourself!