Q. When did Vision for Life begin?
A. Exploratory meetings started in the Fall of 2009. Chris Humphrey was involved with a local pro-life group, Pittsburgh Pro-Life (pittsburghprolife.com), and wanted to find a way to reach a large audience with an effective message. Marie Vaina, a North Hills native was lookng for the same thing, and was shown Virtue Media materials by a friend who encouraged her to start a campaign in Pittsburgh. Chris and Marie met through Bryce McMinn, a local pro-life organizer, and the two of them met with Jeff Steigerwalt, who had experience in the advertising business, and others, to discuss pro-life media campaigns. The meetings led to the incorporation of the non-profit Vision for Life - Pittsburgh (E.I.N. 01-0945375) in February 2010.
Q. How do we know that this advertising campaign will work?
A. We know that advertising increases the number of phone calls and e-mails to pregnancy medical centers by 20%. When women make and keep their appointments and see their unborn children on the sonogram or ultrasound machine, a large proportion choose life. (Estimates vary between 60 and 85%.) When our ads stopped running, as they did briefly in the summer of 2013, center staff ask one another why the phone has stopped ringing, and one commented that it is as though someone had turned a switch. Vision for Life is effectively the advertising department for these centers.
Q. Where does the money go?
A. Our first campaign in the fall of 2010 raised over $100,000. Expenses were less than $4,000. $90,000 was given to the non-profit ministry Virtue Media to spend on 1,396 TV ads in the Pittsburgh area (see "Media Campaigns" for details) at an average cost of less than $64.50. Since then we have continued to spend very, very little on non-program expenses like printing. (The graphic and Web design services for this Web site were donated, for example.) No money goes for salaries, rent or utilities.
Internet advertising is very cost-effective, but with more money we could expand to more television advertising, which makes alternatives to abortion more widely known in the community.