The MCFL Rose Drive is an annual memorial and fundraising outreach that is easy, attractive, and adaptable. Our chapters and our members have been offering roses outside churches or during fairs or community events almost since our inception.
What, then, is a rose drive?
Rose Drives serve a dual purpose: as memorials for preborn people, and as fundraisers. Roses purchased to remember the children and their mothers victimized by legal abortion directly support MCFL’s educational programs, community outreach, lobbying, and more.
Many drives are held on Mother’s Day, or during October, Respect Life Month. Many members get permission from their pastor to offer roses after services -- this has been a highly successful, as well as easy, strategy.
As you plan your own Rose Drive for the upcoming year, the following steps may be helpful:
Choose where (3-6 months ahead)
Is there a pro-life church nearby? Is it yours, or one you know by reputation? (Some churches are not supporters of the rights of preborn humans.) Check if this church has young adult programs, Respect Life committees, or a Sunday school. If so, reach out to these ministries for volunteers.
Is there a non-profit or community outreach fair coming up? Is there a synagogue or other place of worship that you know is pro-life?
Determine where your drive will be held after your research, check with the appropriate contact person (ex: pastor, director of organization, outreach chair), and then start drumming up volunteers.
Decide when (3-6 months ahead)
Mother’s Day is a great day to hold a Rose Drive. But many other days are appropriate. Sometimes, Valentine’s Day works well. Choose a few dates or weekends before speaking with the location, so that you have options to offer if there is a conflicting event.
When you speak with the location director or pastor, know the details of what you’re pitching. Be able to tell him or her the purpose of the Rose Drive: to raise funds for pro-life outreach and education, to memorialize children killed and women victimized by abortion, and to raise awareness of ways we can change our laws and culture to protect life. Stress that MCFL is an educational organization. None of the funds will be used for political campaigning or purposes. Make clear that our drive will not cost the location any money (especially if this is a church or fellow non-profit). Inform them that you provide the roses, tables, any miscellaneous goods; and that the suggested donation for a rose is $3.
Ask for permission to educate
This is a great opportunity to educate -- your donors will be pro-life. But many pro-lifers don’t know the details of why they’re pro-life, or how deeply ingrained abortion is in our state. Ask if you can display MCFL educational handouts along with flyers describing the meaning of the rose, and purpose of the drive. Ask if the pastor or location director will make an announcement to the community -- especially if this is a church! An announcement to the congregation at the end of a service can make a tremendous difference in the number of willing donors.
Who? Recruit, recruit, recruit (1 month+ ahead)
Either MCFL Chapters or members-at-large organize Rose Drives. This means you need volunteers. Your group or chapter may be 5 or it may be 25, but if you’re spending a full day or a full weekend holding a Rose Drive, you need plenty of hands. You need hands to help when roses are delivered (pre-event). You need hands -- or wheels possibly -- to pick up roses or move and set up tables. You need hands and bodies to offer roses and explain what you’re asking for. Volunteers may help promote or create flyers. They may make the rounds to events and speak to like-minded groups about participating in your drive. Finally, volunteers will hand out cards describing why the red rose, its link to memorializing abortion victims, and summarizing how proceeds from sales benefit pro-life outreach work through MCFL during the drive.
Ask. Ask. Ask. Create a sign-up sheet, and an online form if you can. Ask for specifics. Let people know why their help matters. Let people know that their gift of a full day or just one hour make a huge difference. This is also a great opportunity to build your community of active pro-lifers.
Order the roses (1-2 weeks ahead)
Order roses from MCFL, giving at minimum 1 week for processing and delivery. When you place your order, be sure to specify how many roses you need, which colors (if not only red), and the name and address of the individual to whom they should be sent.
Roses must be ordered in increments of 144 per color.
Plan how you’ll set up (1 week ahead)
Roses in baskets? Everyone at a single table at the community fair? Stations at multiple church doors? Map it out, and make sure everyone knows where they fit.
Make sure your roses are visible and that you have a secure place at each station for donations. Some groups use a snap-top pencil or pen-case
Go out and do it (the day of the Rose Drive)
On the day you hold your Rose Drive, get excited, be friendly, be open to conversations and questions.
But also keep your eye on the purely practical: Designate someone to collect donations at regular intervals or after each service. Make sure roses remain visible (and aren’t lost in a basket or shoved behind the table). Have good signage. Bring change.
You may also want to designate one person as “contact” -- direct volunteers to that phone number during the whole drive, and let everyone know ahead that that individual is aware that they’ve committed to being available to take calls, texts, or emails throughout the day or weekend and answer questions.
You did it! After the drive…
Total your donations, and either a) deposit them in your MCFL Chapter account or, if you’re members-at-large or otherwise organized, deposit to main organizer’s account. Write a check for 90% of the proceeds to the State Office of MCFL, and send the funds ASAP. (We encourage you to reserve 10% for your continued pro-life activities or expenses during the drive). Just as important, send a short account of how your drive went: what was the best part? Who participated? What kind of response did you get? You can send this to the office by mail or to email@example.com.
Finally, and so importantly, write thank-you’s to whatever church or organization hosted you. You might also mention that you would love to hold the same event with them next year. You may also want to note how donations will be used -- by your group, and by MCFL.
- Have a handout on your chapter or group, what you do, when, and where
- Attach a card to each rose with a short list of upcoming pro-life events -- or your chapter’s meeting times -- so that those who donate can stay in touch
- Remember to ask a church or organization to get the announcement in their newsletter weeks ahead; printing deadlines are strict, and you don’t want to miss out on getting your drive in
- If you ever have questions, ideas, or additional needs, do not hesitate to reach out to the main office either through email, phone, or mail.
529 Main Street, Suite 1M9
Boston, MA 02129
Phone #: 617-242-4199 ext 221
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org )
However you choose to hold your own drive, know that each rose you sell witnesses to the intrinsic beauty and value of a preborn human life, and each dollar you raise goes right back into work to save new lives from the same fate.