Some people have different opinions when it comes to fundraising for adoption. If you are someone who has decided to go the fundraising route it can be daunting, but never fear, we are here to help! Start by going over all the fees with your attorney or your social worker from your agency so you can gain a better understanding of how much the cost of all the services will be. Consider opening a special savings account for all of your adoption expenses to help keep yourself organized during an especially hectic time. Take some time to go over the areas of your budget where you can cut spending. You might have to stop going out to eat as often, skip the expensive summer vacation, or go on monthly shopping sprees, but in the end saving where you can is the ultimate goal.
Adoption Fundraising Etiquette
Before you start your fundraising efforts, it is important to take some time to develop an adoption expenses fundraising plan. You obviously aren’t a mind reader, and you might not know how much you’ll be able to make from fundraising, but take a stab at it! Focus on the greatest money making potential options first when creating your plan, this way you aren’t asking your social circle multiply times for donations. Finally, be aware of fundraising fatigue. Chances are that the people in your life will be more than willing to help support your adoption journey, but you don’t want to set up multiple fundraisers that ask for funds from the same group of people.
Starting simple by adding a PayPal button to your blog if you have one, or setting up a small yard sale can really jump start your fundraising efforts. GoFundMe is another awesome way to crowd fund for your adoption and you can sign up for free, share your page with friends and family and even on social media. Here a couple other fun and creative fundraising ideas that take a little more planning:
• “Tag the Bag”
Grab the suitcase that you’re going to use for all the travel related to your adoption and some Sharpie markers. For every donation someone makes towards your adoption, they can “tag” your bag with their name. It is totally up to you if you choose to specify an amount for donations, or if you choose to keep the donation amount open. After your adoption is finalized, you can turn the suitcase into a home for your child’s keepsakes or even feel free to tag a different item if your adoption doesn’t require travel.
• The Envelope Adoption Fundraiser
Select a number of envelopes to offer (100, 150, 200, etc.) and number those envelopes one to whatever number you’ve decided on. You can get super creative with the envelopes and include instructions on the fundraiser and maybe even a little note about your family’s adoption journey. Display the envelopes on a large bulletin board in a church lobby or anywhere else in your community. (If you don’t have a public wall to display you can do an online version and display the envelopes on a wall in your house, take a photo and post to your blog/Facebook, and just be sure to keep it updated). A person selects an envelope and puts the corresponding dollar amount inside to go towards your adoption. A holiday twist can be successful too! You can check Pinterest for some DIY ornament ideas and number them (instead of envelopes) and then people can “buy” the ornaments.
• Adoption Auction
Consider setting up a dinner and auction at your home. Invite everyone and anyone! Draft and send a letter to friends and family, post about your event on Facebook, at your church, even have friends invite their friends, the more the merrier! Try reaching out to local restaurants or franchises for donations because that will be so much less stressful than making all the food yourself. If securing donations ends up being unsuccessful, think about making the dinner a potluck! You can set a suggested donation amount at $15 and leave a basket of some type near the food and dessert tables.
In another area, set up the auction! To prepare for this, put some items together yourselves and ask for donations prior to the event. If you send a support letter to places in your community, you might be surprised by the items and services that get donated. Place a silent auction sheet by each item (include: item name, the value, the starting bid, amount bids must increase by) so your guests can bid on your donated items.
You will most likely be busy with hosting duties and saying hello to everyone that you may think about delegating some of the responsibilities. Someone can oversee the auction and the exchange at the end of the night, the food table, trash, taking pictures, and let your DJ or wannabe DJ friends play music all night. If your family and friends are movie junkies, think about making the auction a movie night! Borrow a projector from church or your local library and use a large sheet as the screen!
If you don’t have a natural talent for fundraising, that doesn’t mean you are alone when it comes to financing your adoption. Tax credits and grants are available to prospective adoptive parents; visit our website for more information about those options: http://www.afth.org/pdfs/education/help_with_adoption_expenses.pdf. Have you found success in any of the fundraisers that you’ve had? We would love to hear your stories and share them with our families!