Discover how adoptive families can use adoption fundraising to bring a child into their home.

Nonprofit Basics: Adoption Fundraising for Families

Thousands of children are adopted into loving families each year. Adoption provides numerous benefits for the child and the parent adopting. It gives children a sense of family, provides opportunities they may not have had otherwise, and offers parents the chance to experience raising a child.

Unfortunately, adoption isn’t always accessible to every family due to the high costs associated with the adoption process. Private adoption, for example, can cost between $30,000 and $60,000. So, how can adopting parents offset these expenses? One way families can afford this costly process is by organizing adoption fundraisers.

Let’s get started by discussing what adoption fundraising is.

What is adoption fundraising?

Adoption fundraisers are special fundraisers that help families that adopt a child cover the costs and fees associated with the adoption process.

Concerns about adoption fees are one of the main reasons prospective adoptive parents shy away from adopting. Raising some or all of the funds they need to pay for home inspections, court and legal fees, counseling for the child and their birth parents, social work services, and medical needs help families feel like adopting is attainable.

How can parents organize an adoption fundraising event?

There are a few different ways that adoptive parents can raise the money they need to adopt a child into their family. Parents can either start an adoption fundraiser or work with a nonprofit organization. Here’s how the process will look depending on which route they take:

  • Individual. By working individually, parents have more agency during the fundraiser. They are guaranteed all the profits of the fundraiser and can complete it according to their timeline. One downside, however, is that parents will need to cover all the upfront costs of the fundraiser themselves. Fundraising individually can be stressful and requires parents to determine how to make progress on their own.
  • Partnering with a nonprofit. Another popular option for adoption fundraising is working with a nonprofit dedicated to helping prospective adoptive parents fundraise. Nonprofits can help parents cover more costs, have a built-in network of supporters interested in supporting prospective adoptive parents, and have much more fundraising experience and expertise. On the flip side, they may also need to keep a percentage of the proceeds and could have a predetermined set of fundraising ideas they use, limiting which fundraising approach parents use.

Both fundraising approaches have their advantages, so choose the option that makes the most sense for your situation. Remember that while fundraising can be difficult, it can also have a significant impact by allowing you to complete the adoption process.

What are some adoption fundraising ideas?

The high upfront costs associated with adoption can be a barrier to entry for many families interested in adopting. But, a strong fundraising event can help families offset these expenses, making adoption more accessible. Fundraising ideas like these can provide parents with a path to adoption:

Here are three simple adoption fundraising ideas.

  • Item donation drive. For this unique and easy fundraising idea, parents can ask community members to donate used clothing, shoes, and other items. Then, they can partner with a company that will send them a check in return for these donated items. It’s a convenient and direct method of fundraising that can be an ongoing project.
  • Yard sale. This is a classic and for good reason! Consider asking friends and family to bring their unused items to your home so you can bolster sales and have some helping hands. Be sure to choose a sunny weekend, and advertise your yard sale to the neighborhood.
  • Auction or raffle. These fundraisers can draw a lot of attention because people enjoy participating. To avoid high costs at the fundraiser’s start, look for ways to get your auction or raffle items at a low cost. If you can obtain the items for free, that’s even better. Because this limits how much parents spend, their overall return on investment will increase.

Parents should choose fundraising ideas they have the budget and capacity to complete. Since the goal is to raise money, it’s essential to carefully select practical and profitable ideas to avoid wasting precious time and energy. This idea holds true, especially when parents are fundraising individually.

While adopting can come with hefty upfront costs, adoption fundraisers can help offset those costs and provide prospective parents with a path forward. Parents can choose to fundraise on their own or with a nonprofit organization, depending on their preferences. Nonprofits often have more tried-and-true frameworks in place but may also require a percentage of the proceeds.

Fundraising individually allows prospective adoptive parents freedom but can require a lot of energy. Thankfully, there are plenty of effective fundraisers parents can undertake from item donation drives to auctions. At the end of the day, remember to express thanks to volunteers, donors, and anyone else who supported your journey.

Other Resources to Explore

Nonprofit Basics – Read more essentials about nonprofit management by exploring these resources.

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Nonprofit Newsletter Template for Nonprofit Marketers – Learn more about the basics of nonprofit newsletters and how to make them shine.