You spoke and we listened!

A few months ago, over 2,400 Improving Birth supporters completed an online survey as the first step in our inaugural strategic planning process. The response was phenomenal and the feedback shaped every aspect of our planning.

 

Improving Birth has been growing by leaps and bounds since it was founded just over two years ago.

We started out as a little local group of San Diego women, and now include thousands of supporters all over the U.S. and in other countries, alliances with many national and international organizations, and a media/social reach of millions.  We’ve supported hundreds of mothers in advocating for themselves to access more respectful, evidence-based care.  And we’ve done all this on a shoestring budget, with the dedication of volunteers.

 

Now it’s time to step up our game.

It’s time to move beyond volunteer-run, grassroots organization and into a sustainable force to be reckoned with in the landscape of American maternity care.

Our strategic plan, below, reflects the intention to put down deeper roots at the community level and serve a more diverse population, while partnering with some of the many outstanding organizations out there who are doing great work.  At this point, our Priority #1 is the establishment of the Community Advocacy Program, which will leverage many of the people and resources we already have, to identify, train, and bolster leaders in 15 pilot cities.  These community leaders will collaborate with their peers, colleagues, communities, and local hospitals to bring real change to their areas. Such a thing is already taking place in several places where IB representatives are most active, and we are incredibly excited to bring that momentum and knowledge to many more areas.

Another big piece of the plan is growing the organization of Improving Birth itself–raising money and hiring staff who can give their full attention to the needs and opportunities of a bursting-at-the-seams non-profit.  We have committed to a 100% participation rate for fundraising, meaning that every member of the Board of Directors, every volunteer task force member, and every local IB representative/rally coordinator will invest in Improving Birth financially at the level they see fit.  It’s why we are rolling out a peer-to-peer Crowdrise online fundraising campaign, in addition to asking our supporters to consider a monthly contributionThis investment is critical.  We are investing in each other.

 

It is our honor to share with you the very first Improving Birth Strategic Plan,

the result of a comprehensive, five-month-long planning process undertaken by a team of dedicated task force members. We will focus our resources on four ambitious goals to achieve our mission (in no particular order).

#1 – Expand public awareness activities, reaching the general public about the the principles of and need for evidence-based maternity care.

#2 – Increase capacity and depth of direct support to mothers with a comprehensive, online clearinghouse on evidence-based maternity care and a hotline to connect consumers with timely, geographically relevant resources.

#3 – Develop a community organizing academy that will provide ongoing training and technical assistance to local organizers who are working to affect transformational change in their own communities.

#4 – Increase participation by women of color in ImprovingBirth’s activities and programs, while raising awareness about and combating the enormous racial and class disparities in maternity care.

For a more detailed explanation of our strategic plan, please see the executive summary here.

 

But we need your help to move forward.

In order to begin work on our plan and achieve our goals, we need to raise $145,000. The sooner we raise these funds, the sooner our work will impact maternity care for thousands of women and babies all across the U.S.

Just as important as the amount of your gift is that you make a donation at all. Not only do many small donations add up to real change, there is real power in the personal statement that is made when someone cares enough about a cause to open their wallet.  As we prepare to approach large foundations and major donors, we need to show them that those of us closest to this cause believe in it enough to invest in our work.

Each and every member of the Executive Board has committed to a financial contribution of $100 or more.

 

Please contribute right now.

You are a critical piece in this movement.  Consider a monthly amount to continuously support us in supporting you (check off the “Make this recurring monthly” box next to “Donation amount”) or contribute directly to the 2014 Rally to Improve Birth Crowdrise fundraising campaign here. Fuel the uprising that is demanding respect for women and their decisions in childbirth, including how, where, and with whom they give birth; and the right to be treated with dignity and compassion.

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