Priests for Life is engaged in the most important work on earth, and it takes money to do the work. Because our Lord said, "Ask, and you shall receive," we are not ashamed to ask. After all, we're not asking for ourselves; we're asking for the children whose lives we save.
Our fundraising more than pays for itself; otherwise, of course, we would not do it. We have a professional team who have decades of experience in the not for profit world, and know what they are doing in terms of the nature and frequency of our fundraising.
I'm sure I don't need to tell you that, unlike some groups in America who receive all kinds of grants from the government for the work they do, we don't have the luxury of receiving such gifts and grants. On the contrary, we end up having to fight the government! Remember, we're dealing with the hot-button issue of abortion!
Fr. Frank Pavone
Priests for Life spends most of its funds on education, outreach, and on our branch ministries like Rachel’s’ Vineyard, Silent No More, and Stand True Youth Outreach. Priests for Life is dedicated to working through the Catholic Church and with every pro-life organization to end the holocaust of abortion. See our special brochure outlining how your support is utilized, including a pie chart of expenses.
Also see here last year's reports on the activities of Priests for Life and the various branches of our ministry:
2020 End of Year reports
2. What is the financial health and accountability of Priests for Life?
Priests for Life has had consistently positive audits for two decades. Our audit committee reports the audit to our board of directors each year after reviewing it thoroughly.
The members of our audit committee include executives of JP Morgan Chase and various Wall Street financial companies. Their financial expertise has given us renewed confidence in our operations. You may view the audit at www.priestsforlife.org/audit.
Regarding our finances, the report issued by the Vatican's Congregation for Clergy after its Visitation was completed in 2013 -- a report about which the same Congregation recently updated the United States bishops, stated,
"The financial administration of PFL has been publicly called into question. Despite various accounts to the contrary, it is the opinion of the Apostolic Visitator that the Association has been relatively well administered financially… There has been an annual Audit of the Association every year…[T]he work and finances of PFL are in order… [T]he administrative costs of PFL are in keeping with other groups receiving similar funding in the United States."
It is our hope that this will satisfy any remaining doubts on the same topic that seem to occasionally surface in various dioceses.
3. What percentage of the Priests for Life budget is spent on fundraising?
Priests for Life generates support for its life-saving work primarily through direct communications with its supporters via postal mail, email, and online forms. Our staff works hard to keep fundraising expenses at a minimum and are continually looking to improve our methods of communication while reducing costs. Priests for Life has kept its fundraising costs to around 15% annually which is consistent with other organizations that rely on direct communication with its supporters. See our special brochure outlining how your support is utilized, including a pie chart of expenses.
4. Does Priests for Life receive any government grants or large endowments?
Priests for Life does not receive any government grants or subsidies nor does Priests for Life receive any major support from private foundations. Almost all of our financial support comes from tens of thousands of pro-life individuals from around the country. Therefore, we have to reach out to those individuals, and that takes money. Priests for Life does receive some grants from smaller pro-life and religious foundations but the total is less than 5% of our budget.
5. Why doesn’t Priests for Life seek the financial support of large foundations or the government?
Because Priests for Life is speaking out for the least of our fellow citizens, we are often at odds with established bureaucracies especially the same government that makes it possible for abortion to occur some 3300 times each day. Our goal has always been to encourage the participation of hundreds of thousands, even millions of individuals all seeking the protection of innocent life rather than to be beholden to a handful of leaders or government officials who may have a different agenda.
6. Why does Priests for Life send numerous emails and appeal letters, can’t the funds be better spent elsewhere?
It is necessary to spend some funds to continue to ask for support of our life-saving projects and Priests for Life has consistently kept its fundraising expenses to 15% annually. But our requests for support are not simply begging for funds. Those letters and emails educate and inform our supporters about the ongoing projects that are having such positive impact. This information is simply not available anywhere else. See our special brochure outlining how your support is utilized, including a pie chart of expenses.
7. Can I make a pledge to Priests for Life?
Yes, you can specify the amount, method of payment and frequency of your support, and we can charge your account automatically. Every pledge reduces our fundraising expenses and allows Priests for Life to make prudent decisions for the coming year.
8. Do mailings sent from Priests for Life cover their costs?
Priests for Life sends mailings primarily to people who are interested and/or support our life-saving work. These mailings typically generate at least 5 to 10 times their cost in donation revenue. This is why Priests for Life can keep its fundraising costs to around 15% of its budget. In addition, some topics are urgent and time-sensitive and require our sending letters via First Class. PFL has tested this many times and have found that when we send letters First Class for urgent projects, donations can actually increase because people recognize the urgency.
In addition, sending letters is still one of the most efficient methods of providing information and generating the ongoing funding for Priests for Life. While postage and mailing costs have increased over the years, the average donation from our supporters have also kept pace with these expenses which continues to make this one of the most cost-effective way to raise funds.
See our special brochure outlining how your support is utilized, including a pie chart of expenses.
9. Why doesn’t Priests for Life simply save money and use the internet to generate support?
Priests for Life uses all methods available to generate support including email, social media and the internet. In fact, we see an increase in online donations every time Priests for Life sends a letter to its supporters suggesting that more and more people are using the internet. However, as of today, support through the internet still only constitutes 10% of our total income. We are always looking for more efficient methods to communicate with our supporters and will continue to use the mail and the internet as effectively as possible.
10. Why does Priests for Life send so many letters, emails and updates?
It’s easy to take for granted that everyone is up-to-speed on all the crucial issues of our work, but the reality is that many of our supporters only focus on the issue when something crosses their desk. Since the work of Priests for Life involves so many different aspects of the pro-life movement, there are constant updates which many of our supporters are interested in and want to support. Priests for Life cannot take it for granted that our supporters will know about our work without our sending them updates. Obviously, the secular media is not interested in keeping the populace informed about the pro-life issues which is why we must remain in constant communication with our supporters and others.
11. I have always wondered why charities are so willing to share their lists of contributors with other charities. If I decided to donate to one charity I do not appreciate being inundated with requests for funds from other similar charities. For this very reason I find myself denying almost all requests because I do not want my name being shared with other charities. I do not find my concern addressed anywhere on you web site.
A. Priests for Life is committed to supporting the entire pro-life movement since we need everyone working to save babies across America. Many pro-life groups struggle with raising enough funds for their pro-life work and are always looking for more supporters. The most cost-effective way to find new pro-life supporters is to ask other pro-life organizations to assist in sharing their supporter list. Thus all pro-life groups are assisting each other.