Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fundraising.... GOD-SIZED.

First, if you are going to fundraise for your adoption.... STOP.  Yes, Stop.  Stop putting limits on God, Stop guessing or predicting what you will be able to gain.  God will continue to pop the top, raise the ceiling, blow your don't limit Him from jump.  When we first started selling ornaments, we said... "Let's be reasonable.  If we sell 150 ornaments at $5 each, we can pay our first home study fee."  We set a limit on God.  We thought if we did not reach it that we would be failures....and worse, we would not get our child.  God blew us away....we sold 650 ornaments and raised greater than $8000 through sales and donations.  So, me saying all this comes from experience...  Now, moving on... fundraising ideas from a family that tried a bit of everything.

1) Holiday-Tailored Items:  As I just said, we sold Christmas ornaments (see Nov 2009 for pictures) last year and found that people loved these...and it greatly funded our adoption.
Christmas: ornaments, wrapping people's Christmas presents and asking for only donations (like a carwash principle), cookie sales, making gifts that are great for giving
Valentine's Day: offer "Date Night" childcare to friends and church family and enlist youth group kids to help..charge and small fee
Memorial/Labor Day: Fundraising Cookout....great time to invite all of your friends and family for a cookout, charge $5 per adult to eat and $2 for kids (have cheap food....hotdogs, chips, cookies, lemonade), have raffles throughout the cookout, cornhole tournament...

2) T-Shirts:  We and many many other families sell T-Shirts....a fabulous idea.  People love them.  My advice, for what it is worth, as a seller and buyer...make them different, have flattering colors, and make them afordable. Check out pics below of some of my favorites....  And trust me, there are SOOO many more out there. (these are ones I could access quickly)

3) Other Ideas:  There are tons and tons of ideas out there...I will just share a few great ideas that I have heard and experienced myself. 
      A)  Yard Sales:  Personally, we did not have any yard sales because of the way that our adoption timing 
                               fell .  However, we have had several friends who have had yard sales, one to many, and
                               raised anywhere from $1000 to $9000.  They got donations from friends and families
                               and advertised everywhere.  These are great April-October events
     B)  Parties:        Do you have friends who sell Thirty-One, Mary-Kay, Avon, Southern Living, Pampered
                              Chef....?  I bet you do.  Well, another adoptive mother had a friend host a party where
                              several sales people set up shop.  You could come and go as you liked and buy from
                              multiple sellers...  A large percentage of the funds of from the sales were donated
                              towards their adoption.

     C)  Talents:       Use your talents..if you are crafty, make stuff.  If you are connected, use your
                             connections to help you fundraise. 

4) Grants: God has placed it in the hearts of many of his servants to give funds to families desiring to grow their families through adoption.  Many companies exist for this purpose.  We were blessed by three places who "granted" us money to help bring our son home.  My goal, once I begin practicing and pay off my student loans, is to do this very thing.  Do not think that because of your circumstance you are out of reach of grants and loans from such companies.  Pray over these companies for if you do not receive help, God has another plan for you. 

If you are reading this and in the process, I hope this helps.  I am by NO MEANS AN EXPERT.  I just want to throw out ideas for anyone to email is nataliehenderson21@yahoo if you have questions..

Happy Adoption Awareness!

***Today I am thankful for having a job I love even if it means I have to sleep there tomorrow.

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