Early on in the adoption journey, families considering building their family through adoption see the amount that adoption can cost and ask, “How will we pay for this?” For many, the answer is fundraising to pay for part or all of their adoption process. So what does adoption fundraising look like? We asked some of our adoptive families how they raised money to pay for these expenses. This is what they shared.
It was a beautiful thing to see how many people came alongside our family.
We have adopted twice now and a huge majority of our adoption expenses have been covered by fundraising efforts. We’ve done a variety of fundraising ventures. So many different ones that it’s hard to recall them all, but all of them involved community effort. It was a beautiful thing to see how many people came alongside our family.
That hard work has only solidified in my mind the reason why we are doing it – to build our family.
Fundraising to build our “baby fund” has evolved over the years for us. The biggest tip I have is this: be open and willing to try anything. The most rewarding opportunities for us have required a lot of hard work. That hard work has only solidified in my mind the reason why we are doing it – to build our family. Another benefit to these fundraising activities is that they provide a great distraction in the waiting process. When waiting seems especially hard, I feel like we’re doing something to help bring us closer to our child.
What They Have Done
We’ve had so many adoption fundraising garage sales that I have lost count! They have, by far, been the best way for our family to help fundraise for our adoptions. So many people from our church family were involved in donating goods, helping sort items, and helping with the sale day. It also benefits the greater community with all of the wonderful goods for sale. Many relationships have been formed and strengthened in both our church and neighborhood because of all of the garage sales we have had over the years. They are a lot of work, for sure, but very rewarding and very helpful financially for adoption expenses.
Our house was a wreck for a few weeks, but it was totally worth it!
We began preparing about 2 months in advance for our sale and asked our family and friends through Facebook to let us sell their unused/to be donated items. It was the first time we really “went public” about our infertility issues and the response was so supportive. People came in droves to deliver their items for us to sell. Our house was a wreck for a few weeks, but it was totally worth it!
We advertised our garage sale by sharing that it was to support our adoption and posted it on local garage sale sites. We kept our prices low, and we offered complimentary coffee and donuts. We also gave away Fruit Loop necklaces to the kiddos to keep them busy while moms shopped. This allowed people to hang out for a really long time which led to more reward/profit. We found that when people heard our story, they were willing to let us “keep the change” and then some. Along with the garage sale, we had a mini bake sale as well. The garage sale helped us raise $3,500.
In addition to our mini bake sale at our garage sale, we did a big bake sale. We sold everything from cookies, to cakes, to dog treats! We made freezer friendly recipes. Don’t be afraid to ask if you can borrow freezer space from family and friends. Enlist them to help bake and package items. Many people may be willing to help out.
Even if you’re not a big baker, you’d be surprised how fast a $5 bag of puppy chow can sell.
I posted a few advertisements for the bake sale on our local Facebook bulletin board, which sparked the interest of our city newspaper. We met with a reporter and she wrote an article about our adoption journey and we got a free advertisement in the paper! On the day of the sale, we sold out in about 2 hours. Because of the article in the paper, WCCO came out and did a brief story as well which was pretty awesome!
Even if you’re not a big baker, you’d be surprised how fast a $5 bag of puppy chow can sell. We raised about $5,500 from the bake sale because people were extremely generous!
Other Fundraising Ideas
When fundraising for your adoption, feel free to get creative. Here are some other fundraising ideas that families have done:
- Some of the things we did were staff a 5k race and host a jewelry party.
- We also did a T-shirt fundraiser, and we raised about $250. This process required very little effort and very easy to do!
- We’ve raised money by selling children’s aprons and burp cloths. We opened an Etsy shop and sold a few aprons at a children’s store. For me personally, Etsy was intimidating. I just never got the hang of it, but if you’re savvier than I am – I can really see the potential.
- I can also see doing a car wash in our future.
What other fundraising ideas do you have? Look for another blog post soon on how to host an adoption fundraiser!