Planned Parenthood banks from anti-Palin peeps

Remember the viral email campaign supporting Planned Parenthood by donating in Sarah Palin’s name that community blogger ease_e covered not too long ago? Well, it looks like it was quite a success:

The message, which began circulating widely on the Internet last week, had one more instruction: request that the personalized thank-you card from Planned Parenthood be sent to Ms. Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee and a vocal opponent of abortion, at the McCain-Palin campaign headquarters in Virginia.
So far, the scheme seems to be getting a strong response. As of Friday, Planned Parenthood had taken in $802,678 in donations from 31,313 people, said a spokesman for the organization, Tait Sye. More than two-thirds of the individuals are first-time donors to Planned Parenthood, Mr. Sye said, and money came in from all 50 states.

Some thought this was actually counter-productive. What are your thoughts? I find it really interesting that more than two-thirds of the donors had never donated to Planned Parenthood before. And while this wasn’t a campaign of Planned Parenthood’s and despite your possibly adverse feelings about it, the concept itself has the kind of clever wit that mobilized people to act. We should learn from this.
Planned Parenthood is sending out the thank you cards this week. In the meantime, they have a take action component to send Palin a letter telling her that she’s not your candidate.

Join the Conversation

  • Brianna G

    I liked this idea. I don’t think it actually took money from Obama’s campaign; after all, most people were probably donating small figures like $25 and had enough to donate to both. Besides, Obama’s campaign has received so much in funding that I think he’s okay for now; Planned Parenthood could always use more funding.

  • Jane_Awl

    Right on!
    I think this has worked because instead of badgering people to pay out of guilt, this campaign let them buy a little naughty-witty-snarkiness for themselves with the added externality of do-gooding.
    Granted, $802,678 is no $700billion, but its, well, *it’s a whole lot*. Especially if 2/3 of it is coming from a new donors. There *is* a lot to learn from this. People often don’t like to fork out $ that they could spend on themselves because somebody brought some (well-deserving of awareness and funds) atrocity to their attention. I mean, when was the last time you went out on a nice fall day looking for someone to depress you about the woes of the world?
    Anyway, it made me happy. Three cheers for viral marketing for a cause!

  • caffeinatedqueer

    I think it depends on what side of the fence you look at this from.
    Yes, I am terrified of the election, and I know that in order to be competitive, the Obama/Biden campaign needs funding.
    But, I also know how much organizations like Planned Parenthood need money to fund actual services provided to real women. Speaking personally, I would rather give my donation dollar to a clinic and know that it is being used to keep health, education, and prevention services affordable to women who need them, rather than having it fund an attack ad. I know it is critically important to speak the truth about all the candidates, especially on reproductive health issues – but I just don’t have much faith that advertisements change any hearts and minds – especially in a media environment where we are bombarded with spin in every medium. Call me disillusioned, or cranky, or a bad feminist/progressive… but I am just so weary of the American political machine. The amount of money it takes to run for political office in this country is obscene, and I know that there are folks right here in my backyard (like my local Planned Parenthood affiliate) where my donation dollars can fund something that seems a little more concrete to me.
    Perhaps the ideal approach would have been a matching donation system – for every $5 you donate to Planned Parenthood in Palin’s name, donate $5 to the Obama campaign… but Palin is at least getting the message that indeed, she’s not our gal.

  • alibb

    I thought this campaign was a great idea! I have major issues with the two party system so donating in this way really highlights for both the Republican and Democratic parties the number of supports the Pro-Choice movement has. I feel much more confident supporting a cause than a party, no matter how much I hope that party’s candidate kicks ass in November.

  • hotpinko

    I have to respond to the critics of this plan (i.e.- the jezebel post linked to above). How exactly is supporting PPFA in any way a bad thing?! So, we should give money instead (and only) to the obama campaign, and hope that a) it will make him president, and b) when he is president, the desperately needed money will trickle down to planned parenthood. that’s dumb. funding PPFA is not going to lose the election. it *is* going to provide needed services to women all over the country. shame on them for trying to dissuade people from donating. that’s f*cked up.

  • Outta Jo

    I’m so glad they got all those donations! Perhaps some of those people may have given that money to Obama, but I bet most wouldn’t have. And why do opponents of the effort believe that it must be an either/or for everyone? You can give $20 to PP and another $20 to Obama. And if you can’t spare more than one donation, I’m not going to fret over whichever you choose. It’s not like giving money to Planned Parenthood is ever a bad thing. Yeah, it’s an election year, but low income folks still need health care and PP doesn’t stop needing donations just because there are other things going on.

  • Hilary

    This is a fantastic idea that apparently was incredibly successful. The critique at Jezebel was frankly ridiculous. Obama has always raised more money than McCain. Fund raising for Planned Parenthood is a good thing, and fund raising for other causes are not mutually exclusive with fund raising for Democratic candidates.
    Infighting is bad. Liberal causes don’t need to be made to feel guilty about raising money.

  • bifemmefatale

    Why not donate to PPFA’s PAC and kill 2 birds with one stone? You support choice, *and* allow them to run anti-McCain/Palin ads.

  • Judith Jewcakes

    This is FANTASTIC. It also goes to show how many people are pissed off enough at Palin’s policies to put money against them.
    Now if they sent cards to the GOP campaign headquarters whenever someone volunteered….boy, we’d be set.

  • Rachel

    The critique at Jezebel was frankly ridiculous. Obama has always raised more money than McCain.
    Not so ridiculous, I think. Sure, Obama has raised more money then McCain, but the Republican party has raised a lot more than Obama and the Democratic party. And McCain, as one of the authors of a campaign reform bill, knows exactly how to skirt campaign reform laws. There are no limits on how much the party itself can raise or spend on candidates of their choice. In fact, the Republican party bankrolled much of McCain’s expensive TV ads last month.
    Still, I don’t think this will detract all that much from Obama’s coffers. And even if Obama is elected president, we still need Planned Parenthood to protect women at the state and local levels.

  • bluesweatshirt

    I totally *get* why PPFA is jumping on this and making this a fundraiser however, I wish that more people would donate money to organizations where the money will go directly to women in need of support. Instead, the money that is getting donated to PPFA will probably fund nicer office chairs for Cecile Richards to sit on. Why not give money to the National Network of Abortion Funds which directly funds abortions for women who cannot pay for them?

  • AnatomyFightSong

    One option on their website is to give locally. Not sure quite how that works, but that would be my preference — get that money to states where PP may be the only game in town and it will be much more likely to go to services.

  • adminassistant

    I’m sorry, can someone explain to me (really) how giving to PP is EVER a bad thing? C’mon now….

  • saira

    @ bluesweatshirt: the fundraiser wasn’t PPFA’s initiative – it was a grassroots effort. PPFA was not directly affiliated, it just benefited.
    And I do think that PPFA is worthwhile, at least from the reviews I’ve heard, although I agree that the NNAF is also a great organization.