Monday, May 13, 2013

Let the Fundraising Begin!

Phew! What a couple of weeks!  Sorry there haven't been any new blog posts lately.  We have just been busy with life.  Work, planning, work, Mother's Day, work, research, etc.  I felt like it was time for an update.  Please read on for awesome ways YOU can help!

Will and I have been hard at work trying to come up with some fundraising ideas for our adoption fund.  We have been gearing up for a huge garage/ yard/ rummage sale.  We have 1/2 our garage full of amazing donations from friends who have gotten donations from their friends.  It has been yet again, an amazing outpouring of support.  We are so appreciative of the support we are getting and the amazing love people are showing for this cause.  It seems to have affected everyone in some way.  It is great to have all of these donations, but we are struggling to find a place to host it.  We would love to host this event in a large public place with good traffic flow.  There are some neighborhood garage sales we may be involved with, but it is amazing that there is no place that will let us borrow a parking lot or unused / vacant lot for our sale... without wanting a deposit and proof of liability insurance.  Who would have thought! So anyway, we were hoping to be able to post a date and location for our great sale to all of our wonderful blog readers, friends, and family - so stay tuned it will happen, but we're still working on the logistics.  We are also planning some other avenues to sell items through CafePress, as a direct "gift" for assisting with our costs.  I hope to incorporate some of my photographic work as art for sale for this cause as well.  What are some of your favorite fundraisers either to participate in or to purchase from?  How did you guys raise funds for your adoption or other cause?  Keep in mind, Will and I are not a 501c3 non-profit corporation, donations to us are not tax deductible and therefore most common fundraisers don't apply - large companies or organizations aren't going to allow us to participate in their standard fundraisers because it is just like giving money directly to a person's bank account - not their school/ church/ business / charity etc.  That kind of muddies the water and a lot of places don't know how to deal with that request.  You can't even legally do a basic raffle without a gambling license.  It's really hard to raise money now-a-days.  Not to mention - Have you seen the economy lately?  (Sorry, that's all probably a little too pessimistic)  We have been very blessed with the assistance we have gotten so far.  It is wonderful, appreciated, and amazing!  Even if we get nothing else, it will be more than we had when we started :). 

Make no mistake - we are also tightening our belt around here - no summer vacations, no major home projects, less eating out.  We have been working really hard to pay down all of our debts for the last year and we are getting really close.  Dave Ramsey has some good insights on setting up a budget and systematically getting rid of your debt in a manageable way.  If you're looking for some advice in that area, we highly recommend his books.  It helped us see things a little differently.  We're not always the best pupils, but we know we can make a dent in our finances.  You can also search for a ton of topics on his website or radio show- even for adoption savings advice.

While on the topic of resources, I've also come across and like the advice and perspective given by the podcast and website :  This is a site that deals with all aspects of "creating a family".  They discuss fertility, adoption, and all of the tough decisions and situations that may arise in between.  There is also the book / website for Adopting Without Debt.  I plan on applying for as many grants as I can find that we qualify for.  Of course, there is still our GoFundMe site as well.  So many options :)

Finally we have added a banner add over here in the sidebar
If you are looking to purchase items from Amazon, please use the link here to access all of Amazon's items and we will get a portion of the proceeds for "advertising for them".  Just another great tip we've learned from the Adopting Without Debt website.  

Anyway, we're still here plugging along toward our ultimate goal of adopting our son or daughter - hopefully in the near future :). 


  1. Adrienne and Will, this is my first time reading your blog and OMG how amazing you both are. I haven't read any other previous advices/comments but one thing that popped in my mind would a church allow you the use of their lot or maybe sport facility? I know a lot have mini gymnasium now for upward basketball, etc... I'm thinking for example Lakeview Christian Church isn't that considered Avon? Or in your municipal council buildings, etc. Boys& Girls Clubs etc. I wish for you the blessings of being parents very soon :)

    1. Thanks Brigitte, we are looking high and low. We will find the right thing. Again, most churches and other charitable organizations can't provide their locations for personal "gain". If an adoption agency wanted to have a garage sale it would probably be no problem. Thank you for the ideas and we will keep looking for the right fit! Thanks also for reading our blog. We hope to keep the updates coming.

  2. So I listen to your husband on the radio, and think its really cool that you have shared this information. I follow a blog written by a wonderful woman who adopted from China and she had several fundraisers online via her blog, raffles, t-shirt sales, etc. Her blog is She is super sweet, and she follows a bunch of adoption blogs and a lot of them did fundraising. I am sure you have been inundated with information, but following in the footsteps of people who did it before you might help you out.

    Best of luck!

  3. We adopted from Ethiopia in 2011 and raised almost $9,000 from fundraisers (we didn't apply for any grants). We did a HUGE garage sale and made over $4,000 from it. We were lucky that our church allowed us to use their big outdoor pavilion to have it. Maybe there is less liability risk that way, vs. inside? One tip I have for garage sales is to solicit item donations on craigslist. For weeks I would e-mail people having sales nearby and ask if I could have their leftover items if they were just planning to donate them anyway. We had several sales give us tons of stuff (I had the best luck with fellow fundraiser sales) and that beefed up our item quantity tremendously. Also, if you get any big-ticket items/furniture, consider listing it on craigslist versus the sale-we made way more money from those items that way.
    Other fundraiser ideas-we did a family dance and dessert buffet with a silent auction with another adopting family. Again, our church let us hold it there. We each raised $1,600 from that (mostly from the auction). And finally, my husband ran the mini-marathon and we sent sponsorship letters to our out of town family and friends. We raised $3,200 from that. The key for us was to hit up different groups for each thing we did-strangers came to our sale, local friends and family came to our dance, and distant friends and family sponsored the Mini. That way no one person was asked over and over again.
    Other ideas I can offer are sheet sales-tons of adoptive families sell these nice sheet sets and make a huge profit on them. I can get you more info if you'd like. And you can't call it a raffle, but lots of families offer chances at an iPad, etc. for a donation. A family I know just sold 100 chances at an iPad for $25 each, and did it in one day via facebook. I've also heard of people doing facebook-a-thons when they were desperate to get an amount by a certain time (like they needed it to travel or accept a referral), and people came through in huge ways. A family I know raised $4,800 in 48 hours. I hope all these ideas help!