A nonprofit organization headquartered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Real Alternatives provides free supportive services to assist new and expectant mothers. Striving to help women find life-affirming alternatives to abortion, Real Alternatives has received statewide recognition for its innovative approach to social services.
In 2004, the Central Pennsylvania Business Journal recognized Real Alternatives as a finalist in its annual Nonprofit Innovation Award program. Featured in the Operations/Technology category of the yearly recognition program, the nonprofit earned recognition for its proprietary Automated Program Outcomes Measure tool. This process allows the organization to track the results of its counseling services, ensuring that each woman who accesses these services benefits from the organization’s approach to crisis pregnancy support.
Using its Automated Program Outcome Measure tool, Real Alternatives is able to assess how its counseling services impact the parenting skills, adoption education, reproductive health, support network, and child birth decisions of expectant mothers. In this way, it can more easily hold its partner service providers accountable and implement data-based program improvements.
At the time of its status as a Nonprofit Innovation Award finalists, the organization was monitoring the outcomes of more than 16,000 women receiving services at some 125 centers. Since then, it has expanded its offerings to both Indiana and Michigan.
Launched in 1996 through a state-sponsored initiative to lower abortion rates, Real Alternatives originally served women through 72 centers across Pennsylvania.