Although there can be some affordable adoption options out there like adopting older children or going through the foster care system, most adoptions are quite expensive and we need to have a game plan of how we are going to afford it. OWAS has a great list of grant options on this website. Take time to look at those and also do an internet search of your own to see what else is being offered out there. Also, check with your employers, churches, or other organizations with whom you are affiliated. You never know who is catching the vision and starting Adoption Financial Assistance funds.
Now outside of grants, we can also do fundraising. Ironic that the word fun is in fundraising, isn’t it? My husband and I did a few things like a yard sale. Some friends of ours, Jason and Michele, went a step further and asked others, such as friends and family, to donate items toward their yard sale. I wish we would have thought of that!
Other fundraising ideas are below:
- Bake Sale
- Fundraising Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner. Have a guest speaker talk about adoption.
- Raffle. See if department stores will donate sample items or coupons.
- Yard Sale / Garage Sale (ask friends & family if they have anything to contribute)
- Make items to sell at craft shows or consignment shops.
- Sell items on eBay
- Through selling products such as coffee, coupons books, candy bars, magazines, etc… Holiday shopping has
If you choose number 7 above, here is a link to about.com that can be helpful with regarding how to pick the right
products to sell for your fundraising needs. They even have a pdf for you to use as “A Tool for Evaluating Fund
Raising Companies:” http://nonprofit.about.com/od/fundraising/a/fundproduct.htm.
This is another link with some additional product ideas, blogs and other resources: http://www.fundraisers.com/
If you are not internet savvy, let me give you a tip. Once you decide on fundraising ideas or events; then search on different ways people did that particular event. The more creative the better.
Now how to get the word out. A good option is to send out a family newsletter letting everyone know of your plans to adopt. Include all the fundraising ideas and invite them to the events. You can make a section of “how you can be a part of this special time in our lives,” and let them know you could use any help with set up or busy work that goes into each fundraiser. Take the time to stress that any additional ideas they have are welcome! A section of prayer requests is a good idea too. We were missionaries at the time of our adoption so we had a newsletter list of approximately 400 people at the time. This made it easy to ask for help, donations, prayers, and ideas. For people who do not have an already established mailing list, one suggestion is to use your wedding invitation list as a starting point, and then add on new friends, co-workers, church acquaintances, etc… from your current address book. Yes, some people get annoyed with newsletters, but remember to use proper etiquette. Avoid being pushy, or venting frustrations that can be misconstrued as guilt tactics. Just let your excitement, joy, and love for your child come through in the letter. Even if you get just a few that can join you in helping with ideas, or the busy work of your fundraisers, it will be worth the stamps. Also, think of this: What if you have a great motivational, ambitious friend in the bunch whose gift is communication and helps? Where you may be shy, this friend has a much easier time trying to raise funds for you. There may be another friend or family member in that list who could have connections with corporations who love to donate toward adoption. You just never know who could rise up to help you out. From the experience we had raising funds for our ministry over the years, it almost always came from the people we least expected!
I found this link, http://www.theadoptionguide.com/cost/articles/how-we-afforded-adoption. It’s full of ideas and testimonies of what other adoptive families have done. They also have several different links on this page leading to other ideas such as low-interest loans, secondary part-time employment, ways to cut back, and more.
I cannot imagine going through the adoption process years ago before the internet was created. Thank God for technology!