Saturday, July 28, 2012

Adoption Fund Raiser Ideas

This is not an exhaustive list by any means. These are the adoption fund raisers that I have held in the last six months. I will continue to add to this list as I continue my journey. I will also try to add a section for successful fund raisers that I have seen others do. I thought it could a list would be a nice resource for new families who need a good place to start.

Fund Raisers I've Done:
1. Give Away. I held a Give Away with various items that friends and family donated. This was very successful! There are some legalities you should know so check into those before you start (or ask me if you are interested). Just make sure you specify the rules and regulations very clearly.

2. Just Love Coffee. This is a very easy fundraiser. You enroll with them and then get a percentage of the profits. It wasn't hugely successful for me but I did get a small check every month. It requires no work on your part so it doesn't really hurt to set up an account.

3. You can find a friend or another adoptive mom who has a direct sales business. I had a friend host a 31 party for me. Another adoptive mom held an Avon Fundraiser. I am currently holding a Pampered Chef Party and another friend is holding a Scentsy Party. These parties have mixed success. It depends on the product itself, the percentage of sales you get, if the seller is willing to donate their commission, etc. I like them, though, because you are giving people a good product for their donation.

4. Yard Sale. I was pretty skeptical about this one. The woman in my small group held a Yard Sale for Sara. It was a HUGE success. They made it clear that it was for an international adoption and some people were very generous. Definitely something worth looking in to.

5. Puzzle Piece Fundraiser. I stole this idea from other Reece's Rainbow families. I've seen mixed success with these.

6. On-Line Auction. I auctioned off items that had been donated by friends and family. I also included things I had made and things that I had at home. I used a facebook page to do this. My auction was hugely successful but did require a lot of work on my part.

7. Change Drive. I've seen this done many ways but I kept mine very simple. I also scheduled it around her birthday to make it more significant.

8. Adoption T-Shirts. I am selling t-shirts through Adoption Bug. There are other organizations that also host these sales. You get a check each month for a percentage of the sales. I like these because they raise money and awareness at the same time.

9. Find a Skill or Craft. I've been selling scarves that I knit. I've seen other people sell hair bows, sock dolls, and many other things. This can be done with an esty shop, a facebook page or a blog post.

Fund Raisers Others Have Done:
1. Amazon Associate. This program is also very simple and requires little effort on your part. You put a link on your blog and encourage your friends and family to go to Amazon through that link. You get a check each month for a percentage of all the sales that come through your link. This program isn't allowed in IL so I can't do it. I do, however, make sure I use another adoptive family's link every time I go to Amazon.

2.  Karaoke:  Here's an idea I saw in a Colombia group:  "My family just had a karaoke fundraiser at our local Mexican restaurant. We raised $894 in 3 hours!  We borrowed a friends karaoke machine. We posted at church, our work, & on fb. We charged money to make people sing ($2), money not to have to sing($3) , & money to buy an "exemption bracelet" ($10) which we bought in bulk from oriental trading."

Other Tips:
1. Update your Adoption Blog Regularly. People want to experience this with you . Keep your blog updated--even when you feel like there aren't any updates to make. You never know who is reading and who is donating. I made a list of donations and where they came from. I also made a list of where my readers come from. I don't know a lot of these people!

2. Get your family profile listed. I have a profile on Reece's Rainbow and AdoptTogether. Both of these organizations give people the opportunity to make tax-deductible donations to my adoption. They also make Sara's story public! Reece's Rainbow only lists children with special needs but AdoptTogether lists all kinds of adopting families.

3. Free Ways To Help. Remind your friends and family that there are many ways they can help without spending any money.

4. Keep Your Blog Info Current. I have a blog post that contains all the current fundraisers. I keep this updated so everyone knows exactly what is going on. I also have a link to this post on the layout of my blog so that it can easily be found.

5. Apply for Grants. You need a completed home study for most grant applications but it doesn't hurt to research them early and have them ready to go. Lifesong has one of the best lists I've seen. You can also find them by googling things like Adoption Grants, International Adoption Grants, Special Needs Adoption Grants. Try searching by your country, by your child's specific need, etc.

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