Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

Pro-Faith. Pro-Family. Pro-Choice.

aka RCRC   |   Washington, DC   |  http://www.rcrc.org/

Mission

RCRC is a broad-based, national, interfaith movement that brings the moral force of religion and spirituality to protect and advance reproductive health, rights, and justice through education, prophetic witness, pastoral presence, and advocacy. For 47 years, RCRC has been a leader in bringing interfaith and multiracial voices to these issues. RCRC values and promotes religious liberty that upholds the human and constitutional rights of all people to exercise their conscience and make their own reproductive health decisions without shame or stigma. RCRC challenges systems of oppression and seeks to remove remove the multiple barriers that impede individuals (especially people in marginalized communities) from accessing comprehensive reproductive health care with respect and dignity.

Ruling year info

1980

Chief Executive Officer

Rev. Katey Zeh

Main address

1413 K Street NW 14th Floor

Washington, DC 20005 USA

Show more addresses

Formerly known as

Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice Educational Fund

EIN

52-1213972

NTEE code info

Reproductive Rights (R61)

Civil Liberties Advocacy (R60)

Women's Rights (R24)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

As people of faith committed to justice, we are deeply concerned about the bigotry, hatred, and violence that are being unleashed upon marginalized people in the United States and around the world. In this time of unprecedented legislative and regulatory attacks on contraception, abortion, and all reproductive health care, women, people of color, poor people, LGBTQ+ individuals, people with disabilities, and immigrants are targets every day. It is overwhelming to try to manage the stress and anxiety caused by relentless mass shootings, immigrant detentions, restrictions on reproductive care – and fears about what the future may bring. There has rarely been a more important time for progressive people of faith to speak up and act out to protect our democracy and our rights. RCRC strongly promotes, and collaborates with, interfaith voices of prophetic justice in efforts to reverse the tide of hatred that threatens our country.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Support for Abortion Care

In 2016, RCRC made a large investment in designing Clinic Blessings as a signature offering of our organization. During the first two years, RCRC piloted one Blessing each year to evaluate the impact of the Blessings and assess ways to strengthen them. These events have a three-fold purpose: (1) To affirm and support the staff, patients, and physical space as sacred; (2) To build networks among local religious leaders and clinic staff; and (3) To promote media stories that help shift the public narrative around abortion by showcasing religious leaders who affirm and support reproductive dignity. These Blessings have garnered significant media coverage from outlets including Vice, Colorlines, and The Washington Post.

Now, after seeing tremendous success with the piloted Blessings, we are engaging bold, out-of-the-box thinking and planning about how and where we will offer these important Blessings, as well as finding other ways to support those who provide care and those who seek their services. The decisions are made in collaboration with potential local communities to ascertain suitability of a particular clinic location based on (1) support of sufficient numbers of local religious and community leaders; (2) relationships with vetted journalists; and (3) sustainable security procedures.

Population(s) Served
Adults

RCRC began offering “All Options Counseling” training workshops for clergy in 1984. In the 1990s, the program was updated to include seminary students and the focus expanded to “Pastoral Care for Reproductive Decisions and Loss.” In 2017, the training was updated again to expand participation beyond religious leaders and incorporate strategies for addressing systemic changes.

From 2017-2018, RCRC piloted an expanded curriculum, called “Compassionate Care,” to engage and train a wide range of helping professionals including social workers, physicians, clinic workers, doulas, clinic escorts, religious/ spiritual leaders, and others. Using what we learned in the pilot year, we made significant revisions to the program materials, which are enabling RCRC to gain a broader reach for in-person workshops and online training options. In addition to providing knowledge and skills needed for 1-1 conversations, the workshop now includes tools for addressing systemic reproductive oppression. RCRC is now able to not only offer more in-depth workshops but also adapt our trainings to suit the specific needs of a broader array of participants.

Population(s) Served
Adults

At its founding, RCRC focused on a theory of change rooted in working with the heads of religious denominations to help them lift up reproductive issues among their membership. The religious landscape has changed significantly since RCRC’s founding; we have subsequently reassessed the viability and effectiveness of that change strategy. Instead of the top-down strategy that was the norm 40-50 years ago, RCRC is now employing a theory of change that is truly rooted in grassroots organizing.

RCRC’s revised theory of change, illustrated by the activities described above, is intentionally focused on collaboration with state and local communities. Through that lens, we are identifying multiple targeted strategies that are applicable in different state contexts. RCRC currently has 12 state affiliates and is actively working to strengthen those relationships. At the same time, we are in discussion with potential partners in states that lack an RCRC affiliate, to identify how we can assist in building power on the ground. For example, stakeholders in Nebraska are interested in collaborating with RCRC and may move ahead with establishing an affiliate; South Carolina is another potential affiliate state. RCRC has created a checklist of steps for those interested in forming an affiliate, to help them understand their capacity and the overall process. RCRC is now offering technical assistance to help individuals assess the potential for forming an affiliate and move forward.

In assessing the readiness of a particular city, state, or region, we have developed a list of key factors, based on decades of organizing experience, to gauge local capacity and interest that will signals the long-term sustainability of an advocacy initiative there. The following considerations will help guide our state-focused expansion:
1) The presence of a reproductive dignity and freedom organization in the state, with which RCRC can partner;
2) A critical mass of faith-based reproductive dignity and freedom advocates, who can support and collaborate with an affiliate;
3) A small number of abortion clinics in the state, indicating the reproductive rights are in jeopardy; and
4) Demonstrated support for reproductive health policies on the part of the state legislature, indicating that there is the potential for successful advocacy.

Population(s) Served
Adults

RCRC is continuing its efforts to advance our intentional strategy to engage stakeholders in a meaningful way on the state and regional levels. Based on in-depth evaluative efforts with community partners, we determined that RCRC needs to undertake deeper, more collaborative, on-the-ground efforts in key reproductive battleground states, and to replicate strategic efforts across states. Both efforts are necessary in order for RCRC to make significant impact. But, achieving these goals required disrupting historical patterns and practices in how national RCRC has worked with affiliates.

Based on this focused and intentional shift, RCRC is now more specifically interacting with a wide array of supporters on the ground, including our affiliates, other state partner organizations, and grassroots groups. We are particularly focusing on the “Central and Southeast Regions”—which includes GA, IN, KY, LA, MO, MS, OH, TN, TX, and SC—in order to build local partnership in areas most affected by restrictive legislation.

In addition to examining the patterns of legislative bills being introduced in states where only a few abortion clinics remain, we have also looked at the impact of circuit court rulings in states within the same circuits. With that information, we have identified and developed collaborations with key organizations in those battleground states and have supported them in expanding their local networks within the reproductive dignity movement and other justice movements. We recognize that many of the attacks against reproductive dignity are also being made against public education, healthcare broadly, environment, gun reform, separation of religion and state, etc.

With our affiliates, RCRC is developing and finalizing collaborative agreements, work plans, and budgets. We are inviting affiliates to envision specific collaborative efforts to conduct with national RCRC, which will enable and/or augment state-specific goals and objectives (see below).

In states without an RCRC affiliate, we are building partnerships in which identified organizations commit to a relationship with RCRC and to collaborating on specific efforts and programs. This is an effort to engage faith communities as a whole, rather than focusing either broadly on denominations or specifically on individuals, as RCRC has done in the past.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of participants attending course/session/workshop

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Religious groups, Ethnic and racial groups

Related Program

Providing Compassionate Care

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of groups brought together in a coalition/alliance/partnership

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Religious groups, Health, Ethnic and racial groups

Related Program

Field Strategy

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of advocate or trained spokesperson citations in the media

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Social and economic status, Sexual identity, Religious groups

Related Program

Field Strategy

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of people attending abortion clinic blessings.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Family relationships

Related Program

Support for Abortion Care

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In response to COVID, we moved clinic blessings from in-person to virtual, enabling to expand our reach.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

As a leading national multi-faith organization working with the reproductive health, rights and justice movements we know that developing faith leaders at the state and national level—and amplifying their moral voices across the country—is the focal point of our work. As political attacks on reproductive health and rights continue to escalate, the role of progressive faith leaders and communities in bringing the moral force of religion to protect and advance reproductive dignity is critical.

Our goals are:
1. Disrupt and correct the public narrative that religion is monolithic and diametrically opposed to reproductive freedom and dignity
2. Equip those who care for people making reproductive decisions or experiencing losses with the language, tools, and support they need to provide care that is nonjudgmental, compassionate, and spiritually grounded
3. Collaborate with grassroots partners and affiliates to build, increase, and amplify local networks of faith leaders, people of faith, and their communities in reclaiming the moral high ground on issues of reproductive freedom and dignity

1. Support for Abortion Care

In 2016, RCRC made an investment in designing Clinic Blessings as a signature offering of our organization. These events have a three-fold purpose: (1) To affirm and support the staff, patients, and physical space as sacred; (2) To build networks among local religious leaders and clinic staff; and (3) To promote media stories that help shift the public narrative around abortion by showcasing religious leaders who affirm and support reproductive dignity. These Blessings have garnered significant media coverage.

Now, after seeing tremendous success with the piloted Blessings, we are engaging bold, out-of-the-box thinking and planning about how and where we will offer these important Blessings, as well as finding other ways to support those who provide care and those who seek their services. The decisions are made in collaboration with potential local communities to ascertain suitability of a particular clinic location based on (1) support of sufficient numbers of local religious and community leaders; (2) relationships with vetted journalists; and (3) sustainable security procedures

2. Compassionate Care Workshops

RCRC began offering “All Options Counseling” training workshops for clergy in 1984. In the 1990s, the program was updated to include seminary students and the focus expanded to “Pastoral Care for Reproductive Decisions and Loss.” In 2017, the training was updated again to expand participation beyond religious leaders and incorporate strategies for addressing systemic changes.

From 2017-2018, RCRC piloted an expanded curriculum, called “Compassionate Care,” to engage and train a wide range of helping professionals including social workers, physicians, clinic workers, doulas, clinic escorts, religious/ spiritual leaders, and others. Using what we learned in the pilot year, we made significant revisions to the program materials, which are enabling RCRC to gain a broader reach for in-person workshops and online training options. In addition to providing knowledge and skills needed for 1-1 conversations, the workshop now includes tools for addressing systemic reproductive oppression. RCRC is now able to not only offer more in-depth workshops but also adapt our trainings to suit the specific needs of a broader array of participants.

This year, we will replicate the pilot and — for the first time — offer workshops in which none of the participants are religious leaders. Participants will be people of faith who primarily work in secular settings.

3. Regional Initiatives

RCRC is specifically interacting with a wide array of supporters on the ground, including our affiliates, other state partner organizations, and grassroots groups. We are particularly focusing on the “Central and Southeast Regions,” which includes MS, MO, TX, IN, OH, TN, LA, SC and KY, in order to build local partnership in areas most affected by restrictive legislation.

RCRC has a staff of 4 people, a dedicated cohort of consultants, a committed Board of Directors, and a network of local partners and affiliates in states across the country.

Former Board chair and long-time RCRC supporter Reverend Katey Zeh was named the Interim ED in March 2019. RCRC’s Board has already seen great organizational benefits from Rev. Zeh’s extraordinary scholarship and leadership in the broader reproductive health, choice, rights, and justice movement. Rev. Zeh recently published an article on why clergy should discuss abortion issues in the pulpit, and described how to do so. She was quoted in an article in the Washington Post about clergy activism supporting reproductive freedom. Zeh’s new book, Women Rise Up: Sacred Stories of Resistance for Today’s Revolution (published May 2019), offers an alternative for people of faith who are dissatisfied by our culture’s misuse of faith to shame and divide people.

The past two years have been a time of intense growth and change for RCRC. We have made significant shifts in our organizational leadership and short-term plans, which are starting to bear fruit. As political attacks on reproductive health and rights escalate in the political and social spheres, emboldened by the U.S. President’s support for extremists and white nationalists, the role of progressive faith leaders and communities is even more important to affirm and uplift reproductive dignity and human dignity for all. We must bring faith’s moral force to reproductive rights in order to reverse this shameful trend and actualize the voices of the pro-choice, progressive majority in this country. This work is not only on behalf of individual decision-making but also vital to helping us be a better society

Financials

Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

Board of directors
as of 3/18/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr. Sue Ellen Braunlin

Deborah Tanno

John Selders

Elizabeth Kaeton

Joan Lamunyon Sanford

Gillian Frank

Sue Ellen Braunlin

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/18/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/18/2021

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.