Friday, June 10, 2011

Fundraising 101

Let me first begin by saying, I am NO pro at fundraising for adoptions... however, I do know a thing or two about it.  My reason for this post is to inform and encourage.  We receive more emails on fundraising for adoptions than we do anything else.  So, I thought this post might help to answer any questions you may have.  :)

List of some great fundraising ideas!  I'm sure you've heard of many of these... and some you may not see listed.  If you know of something that worked for you (or even a friend)... leave a comment so others can see it!  The more, the merrier!

1) YARD SALE! We did a HUGE yard sale and planned in 3 months in advance!  The farther in advance you start the planning, I feel the more successful it will be.  We raised over $2,500 doing ours... everything we sold was purely donation based!

2) Online Auction!  You can start an auction right off your blog.  Have friends, family and local business' donate items you can auction off!  We raised $400 or so on ours.  (every little bit helps!)

3) T-Shirt Fundraiser!  Have shirts made that say whatever you want and sell them for a profit.  The more you buy in bulk, the lower the prices get for you.  If you're afraid you're going to be left with a lot of shirts... try pre-selling them ahead of time to get an idea of how many to buy.  (we learned that the hard way)  :)

4) Bake Sale or Craft Sale!  Many of our adoption friends have done this.  We never did... but I've heard some great results!

5) Ornament Fundraiser!  Awesome idea in my opinion and we helped bring in a lot of our final expense money this way.  We made ornaments (ahhhh.... took forever!), but sold them for $10 each.  Its hard work depending on how you make them, but they make for great gifts, or just for yourself... plus Christmas is just around the corner!!!  Everyone loves ornaments!

6) PayPal Account!  We created a PayPal button to receive donations for our adoption!  We raised some money this way.  It wasn't our best "fundraiser" so to speak... but like I said... EVERY penny HELPS in a HUGE way!  You have to remember that going through this process!  

7) Local Business Deals!  Ask around and see if some business' will sponsor you, or host a special on your behalf.  We had several friends who tried this and did really well.  For example, a restaurant may give you a certain night and offer 40% of proceeds for your adoption.  Or a gift shop may do the same.  Possibilities are endless here... just be creative and don't give up!

That's all I have up my sleeve right now... I'm sure I left some out... but I will leave them in the comment section if I think of more later on.

Now... my last part to this post is my encouragement to you.  Adoption is a beautiful thing.  Adoption fundraising is a new thing to most people.  A lot of people will look down on you for it, leave you with some sly remarks, or even question why you're adopting if you can't afford it.  Trust me... even some friends will do this.  Its hard... its not always easy.  Some people will let you down, but you gotta remain strong.  One thing I learned more than anything is that the more informative you are about things... the better.  The reality is, in the past, people just weren't so open talking about adoption.  These days, more and more are open to it and open talking about it!  (PRAISE GOD for that!)

The average person, however, just isn't familiar with the process, the costs or even the reason.  So, just share with those people your hearts and explain why you're doing this.  They'll either take it and help you out, or they'll be rude and do nothing.  Either way, brush it off and just smile.  You will meet enough generous, and caring people throughout your journey, that you'll start to not even notice those other people.  Its so beautiful and so rewarding to see how God can use you!  So... TRUST HIM and allow Him to take control!  You are NOTHING without Him!

Hope this helps!  Until then... Brantley


AdoptaMixon said...

Hi Brantley,
I just started following your blog and my husband and I are beginning our adoption journey with Bethany. I saw your suggestion to create a Paypal account and I started this, but am not sure what to answer for half the questions!! Did you set it up just as an individual business account?

Brantley and Richard said...

Hey there... honestly, I cannot remember what we set it up as. I know we didn't set it up as a business account, because its donation based.. you're not selling product or actually becoming a business. I'll have to go back and look. Anyone else who has done this... feel free to chime in. :)

Hannah & Ryan said...

Hi Brantley,
I love your blog and your daughter is beautiful! I love this fundraising page - we have been trying to think of more ideas! We are adopting from South Africa. I have been doing photography as a fundraiser and we'll be doing a garage sale in a few weeks as well. A question for you - at your garage sale did you price things or have people pay by donation? We're trying to decide what a better option is! Thanks! Hannah

Brantley and Richard said...

Hey Hannah... we started pricing things and then decided to put things into categories. For example: all furniture items at one end, clothing separate, household, etc. Clothing - everything was $1. Everything else, we asked them to make us an offer. If we felt something was worth a certain amount or was a higher ticketed item... we would start the price then allow them to negotiate.

Towards the end of the sale... we had plastic grocery bags and said anything you can fit into this bag is $5! Those went like wildfire! :) Hope this helps!