If you have ever been involved in any part of the adoption process, I don’t need to tell you that adoption is expensive. Sometimes very, very expensive. Starting with that initial consultation with an attorney or agency, then their fees for their services, and then birth mom expenses and medical bills, and then court costs and filing fees; and lord help us all if you have a birth father that decides to contest the adoption. It’s enough to make your head spin and your wallet weep. And on top of all of that, you have another tiny human to feed, clothe, and let’s be honest, spoil rotten. It’s a lot of money invested in the process from that first meeting to the last hearing when the Judge hits his gavel and orders that tiny human is finally, legally yours. And it is worth every single penny.
Even though adoption is undoubtedly worth the financial commitment, the funds might not come easy or be readily available. And for those of you who aren’t quite comfortable using a GoFundMe page to ask friends, family and the word wide web to contribute to your adoption adventure, have no fear, Jess is here!
I have scoured the ends of the earth (at least the beginning to the end of every Pinterest page and Instagram post I could find) to compile a list of my favorite fundraisers people have done to help them fund their adoption journey. I now present to you My Ten Most Fun Fundraising Ideas to help you fundraise for your adoption. Some of these ideas will make you more money that others, some are more creative than others and some take more time than others. But at the end of the day, these are all just fun and creative ideas to ask your friends, family and community to help you make your family complete.
In no particular order, here are my 10 Most Fun Fundraising Ideas:
1. Have a yard sale
Maybe this is partially due to my childhood nostalgia kicking in but I LOVE a good yard sale! My MeeMaw and I used to go yard sale-ing every Saturday during the summer when I was growing up and I still have the Little Mermaid jewelry box I found at a yard sale when I was 10. And when you happen to stumble across a yard sale for a cause – I probably have no use for another set of glass baking dishes or that puzzle that’s probably missing a piece, but I’m going to buy it now that I know it’s for a good cause! Don’t think you have enough stuff for a yard sale on your own? Ask your friends and family, and even your neighbors! Chances are they have some stuff they’ve been meaning to take to Goodwill for months know (I know I do!) Really want to step up your yard sale game? Set up a table and sell some lemonade and bottled water, bake some cookies and rice krispie treats and brownies and you have a weekend goldmine!
2. Host a fundraiser at a restaurant
This is one of my favorites, and so easy to facilitate. There are lots of corporate restaurants that do fundraiser nights in their locations, where you sign up for a night and they give you a flier to hand out to everyone you possibly can. On your set fundraiser night, 15-20% (depends on the restaurant) of the profits from EVERYONE WHO BRINGS THE FLIER goes back to you! That’s the catch, you only get money from the tables that bring in your flier, so you want to make sure to get it into as many hands as possible and remind, remind, remind everyone when your fundraiser is! It’s a great way to get all of your friends, family and neighbors together and helps y’all out in the process!
Here are some restaurants offering fundraiser nights!
Buffalo Wild Wings, California Pizza Kitchen, Jason’s Deli, Newks, Pita Pit, Chipolte, just to name a few!
3. Karaoke Night
If any of y’all do a karaoke night, sign me up! This is another great way to bring your friends, family and neighbors together, especially if you have a great backyard! Set up a karaoke machine on your patio or in your backyard or inside somewhere and everyone pays to sing, or not to sing! Yep, that’s right, for the right price you can buy your way OUT of having to sing! $1 per song you want to sing, $5 to reserve your favorite song, $10 to make someone else sing a song or $20 and you don’t have to sing any songs, all night long – you just get to sit back and enjoy the show!
4. Host a block party cook off
Live in a subdivision or neighborhood or have access to a community space at church? Time to put those friends that always say their chili or jambalaya recipe is the best, to the test! Ask a few of your friends to rise to the challenge and participate in a cook off! Winner gets neighborhood bragging rights! Ask everyone to cook small ‘tasting’ portions for however many people you aim to invite and sell tickets for $10! Another great way to bring people together to raise money for your adoption journey, without just asking for it!
5. Sports Brackets
These ones are a great way to get your husband and his friends involved! And it’s so easy that they can manage it! Create a fantasy football league or a March Madness bracket for your adoption journey and have a reasonable fee to join. Set aside some of the entry fees for prizes for 1st and 2nd place and the rest of the money goes towards your new addition!
6. Be the Easter Bunny
Take a load off of other busy families by offering Easter Bunny services on Easter weekend. Charge a set amount based on the number of eggs you are going to offer and the cost of the eggs and candy/goodies to fill them and ‘egg’ people’s yards the night before Easter! Kids are going to love waking up to a yard full of colorful Easter eggs and Mom and Dad are going to love not having to do the egg-work! Check out our own Regira family filling Easter eggs for their own Finding Baby Regira fundraiser!
7. Tag the Bag
I love, love this one, especially if you are traveling to pick up your new addition or are adopting an older child. Buy a suitcase and let your friends and family pay $5 to ‘tag the bag!’ Everyone pays $5 and they get to sign their name and write a short note on the suitcase. It’s one of the simplest ways to fundraise, but it’s something special your child is going to be able to keep forever.
8. “Envelopes for Ella”
This one can be done lots of different ways, but the gist is simple. Number envelopes from 1-100, or 200 if you have a big circle of friends, family or a big church community and ask people to commit to an envelope. Just make sure to explain the rules of the game – that the number on the envelope they pick is the amount of money that goes in it! The number of the envelope is the amount of money they donate! This is a great one for work as well, because people can go in on the larger envelopes! Someone did this around Christmas time with ornaments as well! They made some simple Christmas ornaments and numbered them from 1-100 and asked everyone to pick an ornament!
9. Build a Quit/Quilt Squares
This one is even easier if you know someone who quilts, or even sews! Buy some fabric scraps from your local Hobby Lobby or fabric store and get some fabric pens and sell your squares! For $5 or $10, everyone gets to sign their own square and write a little note to your new addition! After you sell all your squares, sew them together! Or take them to a sewing shop, lots of places will assemble your quilt for you for a flat fee. You’ll now have a beautiful gift your family can cherish forever and your little one will have a reminder of how much they were loved, even before they joined your family!
10. Graduation Cards
Another great one to have for years to come…literally! Sell graduation cards! You can buy inexpensive ones from online or the dollar store and sell them to your friends and family to sign and leave well wishes for your new family members high school graduation! At their graduation party or open house, they’ll have lots of well wishes to open and it’ll be just as much fun for mom and dad to open all the cards from so long ago!
What are some of your favorite ways to fundraise? We would love to hear from you in the comments below!