Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fundraising: Sharing Others' Idea

I believe in the power of fundraising.  I know it works and it is one of the many ways God will step in and blow your adoption away.  I was very concerned about fundraising (ie..."asking people for money") in the beginning of our adoption...then we sold ornaments, then tshirts and then a cookout fundraiser....several thousand dollars and many blessings later, our son is home cuddled up with me on the couch.  The most true and yet the most difficult concept to accept in relation to adoption funding is that WE CAN NOT SET LIMITS ON GOD.  If we fully trust Him and are truly called to the journey of adoption, He will step along side you and provide (granted, in His timing, not ours).  Below, I am going to highlight some families who are fundraising currently while also interjecting some additional ideas. I hope this helps!  (Please feel free to email me with any questions or if you would like your fundraisers posted...

Working with other agencies/grant giving organizations:
Lifesong for Orphans: Not only do they do adoption grants and loans but they have another awesome program called Both Hands.  Our friends, The Uchereks, who we met last year at Adopted for Life, shared with us their experience with Both Hands...Here is what she said:  "We planned for a Both Hands project and got our friends, family, and small group involved - God provided $20,000 through that project!!!!! AND changed many hearts to see how we, the Church, are called to serve the orphan AND the widow. Because of that project, our small group ended up serving a couple other single moms in our church and several of the guys that are handy are realizing that God wants them to use their 'trade' to serve others... been really eye opening for some new believers in our church and small group!!" Another family, The Sweeneys, also did a Both Hands project...serving to both fund their adoption while serving widows here in Louisville. 
ShowHope: Similarly to Lifesong, they give grants for adoption.  However, they also partner with families to sell their gear in order to fundraise.
147 Million Orphans and Ordinary Hero both do similiar programs....helping families raise money by selling the respective companies' gear rather than designing your own.  Both organizations I love!

I am always a fan of a good adoption tshirt.  They are great fundraisers, not just for your friends and family, but many other adoptive families and adoption supporters like to rock these! Tips from someone who has bought and sold adoption tshirts:
Pricing and your shipping.  For our family of three, if we find a shirt we like but it cost $25 each plus $5 to ship, we are looking at $80.  That is a lot of money when we have multiple adoptive families and causes to support.  Consider your audience.  This may also help you pick your designer and supplier.

Design: Find a good person to help you design shirts....most of us think we know something about design, but if we are honest, we don't.  Try to find something both stylish and that makes a point.  Good colors, good material
Advertise: Put them on facebook, twitter, your blog, your friends' blogs..... You do not have to beg but just put it out there.  It amazing who will be willing to step up and support you!

awesome shirts for their Congolese adoption 

I like arts but I am not good at crafts.  Ask my Bible Study friends....not that I don't try, but I really can't craft.  But the beauty is, some people can.... really well!!!  I have a friend making coasters, another doing keyfobs, another doing flip flops....There all kinds of options.  Ornaments were the closest to crafting that I got.  Try to think of practical ideas that do not require more effort and time than financial reward....adoption is busy and stressful and costly so you need to make the most of your family's time and money! Check out my friends' ideas below:

Sarah Elliot is now selling coasters, set of four for $15 a set.  This is just one of the coasters.
 The Jochims have several craft ideas, such as the onesie below:

Summer is coming and yardsales seem to have been one of the biggest money makers for our friends last year.  One family we know raised close to $9000 with three different yard sales.  I highly recommend this option.  Ask friends to donate items.  Choose different locations in different neighborhoods.  Advertise!  We had a cookout with a $5 charge to eat and had raffles and such.  Another family in our circle did a chili supper and silent of the auction items was being the first person to hold the child (outside of the family).  The Jochims, a family making multiple crafts, also did a photography fundraiser.  Their friend, a photographer, charged a reduced fee for mini sessions and gave all of the profits towards the adoption!  How awesome!  Another family did a date night at church.  They, along with a few friends, babysat children in the church so that the parents could go on Valentines Day dates.  They accepted donations and made $1000 in one night!  These are just a few ideas to think about!

Support Others:
The biggest way to gain the support of others, in the adoption world specifically, is to support them.  You may be thinking "I am trying to save $25,000 here.  I can't afford to help someone else."  Yes, you can.  Pay it forward and trust me you will be blessed....others will begin stepping up and supporting you.  It also connects you to others and provides a network of support during tough adoption times. 
I hope a little bit of this helps.  Again, if you want your fundraiser posted here, please drop me an email or comment.  I will do it for sure.

1 comment:

  1. Can not agree more. There is a verse somewhere, in this well known book that says...