While working on a story regarding the salaries of Planned Parenthood execs and the whopping differences between “them and us,” that sinking feeling came over me.
None of us got into this calling with the idea that working in a pregnancy help organization (PHO) was some kind of road to incredible wealth, but it is an eye-opener when we see that the average Planned Parenthood affiliate CEO (the abortion leader has 62 affiliates and more than 600 clinics) makes $186,701 a year.
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While it is not a direct contrast, the latest Pregnancy Help Salary Survey shows that a CEO for a PHO is paid $43,144. And for even our largest centers with budgets of $500,000 or more, the average salary is $64,265. That’s roughly a third of what a CEO makes with a Planned Parenthood affiliate.
Just sayin’, there’s a difference.
This isn’t news to any of us in the pregnancy help community. Planned Parenthood gets the bucks, $528 million from the U.S. federal trough and millions more from A-list celebrities and the pressure it places on corporations, while any company not giving to Planned Parenthood is quickly decried as being “anti-woman.”
But here is an interesting tidbit; of Planned Parenthood’s $1.1 billion budget, $305 million is generated through services revenue (abortion, etc.), $528 million came from the feds, and only $257.4 million came from private and corporate gifts.
Folks, this tells us only 22% of Planned Parenthood’s budget is realized via individuals, organizations and companies which supposedly believe in the “cause.” And, many of those dollars come from corporations who are saying in essence, “Here’s our money; now don’t say anything bad about us.” It’s hush money; that’s what it is.
What about us? Here are a few takeaways from my brief research:
1. We can raise more money than they can
The recent Heartbeat/CareNet salary survey provided reporting from 532 PHOs, and the average budget was somewhere in the $250,000 range. Add that up and these 500+ centers raised about $135 million. This number alone is more than half of Planned Parenthood’s total private gifts, and this represents only a portion of our more than 2,000 pregnancy help centers.
We need stronger reporting; if we had this, our numbers would dwarf the abortion giant. Keep in mind too, those corporate donations. If this money ceased flowing to Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards wouldn’t be raking in $590,928 a year.
Fact is, our individual and family giving is powerful. Those $30, $50 and $100 monthly gifts pile up.
2. We need more development professionals
Of the 532 centers reporting to the salary survey, only 180 (33.2 percent) have directors of development on staff. Interestingly, of centers with budgets of $500,000 or more, 79 percent have this staff member in place. Of centers with budgets of $250,000 to $500,000, more than half (52 percent) utilize a director of development.
Some will tell me, “Well, these larger centers are more likely to be able to afford a director of development,” and they would be right.
It’s a “which comes first?” argument, certainly. But I wonder what would happen if more of our centers took a leap of faith with a person whose sole purpose is to build the financial foundation of the organization? We might be amazed at the results.
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3. We’re not poor
Those who support us will give; we simply need to ask more—and more effectively. Much of the Christian giving public understands that our organizations must provide the best in services, need to compete for the best and the brightest when it comes to compensation, and need to do our work in facilities that are both comfortable and inviting.
The days when we needed to survive off of hand-me downs, pay only “well, it’s ministry” wages and hope for a freebie place to operate are fading more and more. We’re not where we need to be—yet. But that day is closer than ever.
As we approach those who can give, we need to do so with confidence and with vision. The funding is there for us to outdistance those with whom we compete, such as Planned Parenthood. We’re not “poor pitiful us” anymore.
Our time is now; let’s seize the moment and go head to head with ‘em. If we do, we can win a culture that is yearning for a message of truth and hope.