Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fundraising 101!!!!!

I'm certainly NOT the pro on fundraising, but my outing last night gave me the INSPIRATION for this post!! Last night I attended a "bunko" adoption fundraising night for my friend and adoption buddy, Amy!! I have seen SO many creative ideas on "fundraising" that I've decided to make a post of them all in the hopes that it will give some of you out there in adoption/blog Land some ideas............

(above, me on left with Amy and Sarah at the Bunko Fundraising night last night )

**Ok, so here goes....THE MONEY is the "not so fun" part of adoption...I know VERY FEW people that have 20 something thousand dollars sitting around NOT being used....BUT with that said, I know MANY people that still adopt anyways...SO, HOW DO THEY DO IT??? Well, let me share some things I have witnessed over the past two years!!

**First, people are praying about the "funds" for adoption!! You must pray that the Lord will provide AND HE ALWAYS WILL!!

**People are also WORKING HARD to come up with the money!! Someone can't expect to sit back and have it fall from the sky (even though I swear i've seen that happen)....It will take work, creativity, and determination!! Here are some ideas:

1. I love my friends Sallee's idea of Poppy Dip dresses!! She is using her talents of sewing and putting it to good use!! She got a blog set up for her adorable "children's dresses" and the rest is history
(my girls showing off their poppy dip dresses this past summer)

***Another great blog showing off her talents in sewing is the Check her out too for some GREAT ideas in this department too!!

#2. Baking Cakes: I know someone who sold cakes over the holidays to raise money..This person had a Momma that could bake and she agreed to bake and my friend sold the cakes to go toward their adoption...(I bought a couple and they were delicious :)

#3. Gold Parties: I had big success by hosting a gold party at my home..This is where you have all your friends and all your friend's friends bring ALL their old gold over to your home and they get MONEY on the spot for their gold AND you get a percentage off the night's total!! We had HUGE success with our Gold Party. We used She was wonderful to work with and really ONLY works in our area....but I've known several people that emailed her and she set them up with a consultant in their area!! #4 Art for sale: I watched a local adoption friend raise her money for adoption by using her talents in the ART/Creativity department...She made my tshirt I wore on the plane to Ethiopia:

You can find her at She has great stuff STILL even though she's home and happy with her little Ethiopian Love!!

#5. Flip Flops and Bows: My friend Betsy blew my mind when she came to me ON HER OWN saying she wanted to help raise money for Lucy Lane's orphanage. We knew we wanted to take LOTS of donations with us as we traveled and Betsy sat at home making and selling her flip flops and bow holders giving us ALL THE PROFITS for donations!! It was a huge success and I'll forever be grateful to Betsy for allowing us to take so many donations with us!! You can still find her raising money for other's adoptions at

#6. Flowers for Valentine's Day: I love how my friend Vanessa was blessed by her friends when they offered to use their talents of "making flower arrangements" and sell them for Valentine's Day...Their goal was to sell 30 and they sold 50!! You can check out the story at
#7. Silent Auctions: I bid on something and got it last night at the Fundraiser Bunko Night I attended...So, they can be incorporated INTO a night OR a Silent Auction CAN BE the entire event!!

#8. Musical Concerts: My friend Gwen had Point of Grace do a benefit concert for them AND it was a huge success!! I attended and it was so much fun!! See WHO YOU KNOW and WHO can pull some strings for you...Don't be afraid to ask!! They might just say YES!! :)
#9. Selling Cookbooks: I've never put one of these together BUT i've bought a couple and really enjoy them. I have no idea HOW successful they are...but they may be worth looking into!!

#10. Stamping Your Own Tshirts: I have local friends that designed and Hand Stamped the following fabulous tshirt....I'm guessing this saved in "printing" cost..but I can imagine it was also time consuming!! Either way...they had huge success with this great tshirt:
You can find it at And, maybe even Sarah will let you in on HOW they were able to stamp SO MANY SHIRTS!! I know they worked hard for their success!!

#11 My FAVORITE: Adoption/Orphan T-shirts!!!!! Ok, so yes, I LOVE all my tshirts..I think they are so great!! I love all the families that pour so much energy into them!! They truly make up my entire wardrobe now!! One person with LOTS of tshirt success is Kari from Her shirt design was brilliant for Valentine's day and I've seen it all over town: I've personally never designed or sold a tshirt, but find someone that has AND ASK QUESTIONS!! Email people and ask them WHAT worked and WHAT didn't!! I'm sure they'd be happy to share!!

#12. That leads me into These are two friends that are actually giving YOU their merchandise to sell for YOUR OWN adoptions!! They have the best stuff and are pretty much famous now!!! :) I turned on my local news this week and THERE THEY WERE!! Below we have LL sporting one of their tshirts:
And, they sell much more than just tshirst...check out their site to see it all!! I love these two women!!

#13. Yard Sales: These can be a HUGE success!! We pretty much sold everything we had in our house that we weren't currently using :) Our yard sale was freezing cold and WE STILL MADE LOTS OF CASH!! We just really went through the entire house and got rid of LOTS of stuff. Many people involve the entire community and have people donate their old stuff to the sale...It can really add up in the end. Also, i've seen much success when people sell bottle waters and baked goods and such at their yard sale...that can bring in the cash too!!!

#14. Ok, so then there are the obvious ideas: Grants, loans, tax credit (yall do know there is a GREAT tax credit right now for when you adopt...You can get back almost HALF of what you spent....I know they are considering lowering the amount of money you get back..but right now it is awesome)...Work places give money all the time..just ASK and CHECK INTO IT; Churches sometimes have grants set up for adoptions; some people put it on credit cards (i know..maybe not the greatest idea, but it works )!!

#15. Sell, Sell, Sell on EBAY: Yes, you can sell just about anything...just give it a shot..I personally have never sold anything on any site, but I hear lots of people doing just that and making cash!! Other ideas to sell: You can sell your house and down size (i've known people to do it), sell your car and get a cheaper one, etc. What are you willing to give up to make this adoption happen???
#16. Change your lifestyle (during the adoption) and save the money !! For example: I gave up my Starbucks during our adoption, I didn't get my hair cut or trimmed or anything like it for 18 months, no nails or toes or anything pampering, no Target runs and extra clothes AT ALL!! We ate out less, shopped at Walmart for groceries more, I never ordered fast food for myself..just ate the kid's leftovers (ok, so this is just a habit..I still do this :), no YMCA membership (no membership anywhere), no hired help PERIOD (ok, so this is just the way my hubby it yourself to save a buck :), no babysitters, no mother's day out programs, no vacations (you get a big vacation when you travel to Africa for your child :), etc. I could go on and on, but yall get the picture...What are you willing to give up to make this happen??
**Oh, one of my travel buddies is a nurse and she picked up extra night shifts for a year to pay for their adoption...She might have been a little extra tired, but I can promise it is worth it as she holds her twins now :)

#17. Start a blog and MAKE YOURSELF KNOWN by visiting and leaving comments for other people in Adoption/blog land!!! My sister simply did a "20 to Travel" idea on her blog...She had nothing to give anyone..she just simply asked for 20bucks from everyone AND the money poured in!!
**I watched raise all their money in a RECORD time!! She put fliers in all the mailboxes in her neighborhood and WHAM the money came in...People were coming out to help everywhere!!
**I've seen several successful raffles on blogs too...Get stuff donated to you and THEN have people donate money to get their name in a hat for the item!!
** Or how about the mass email or letter that goes out letting people know WHAT you are doing and that you will be fundraising!!!
#18. Photography sessions!! Ask a photographer friend to donate their time and talents to your adoption!! has been successful in the photography world!! :)
#19. Coffee!!!!! There are many sites selling coffee to help people's adoptions right now!! I've seen it all over the place. A friend of mine is using to sell their coffee for their adoption!!

#20. Christmas Ornaments: I love Amy's idea of having her father make Christmas Ornaments to sell...You can find them on her blog:

***Ok, so you are getting the point here...the ideas are endless!! I've witnessed the poorest of poor adopt and the richest of rich!!! It IS POSSIBLE to come up with the money!! You just have to have FAITH, PRAY and WORK HARD!!! Ok, so that's all I've got for now...I'm tired after this LONG post!!! :) Hope this helped someone out there know that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE WHEN YOU DO GOD'S WORK!!

Happy Wednesday to you all, kj


  1. Great ideas!
    Personally I gave up; housekeeper, nails, salon, blackberry and ZUMBA. My house is dirty and I dont look/feel as groomed as usual but I am keeping my eye on the prize and know that its all worth it!!!

  2. thanks for all the ideas Kristi! our tshirt sales havent been what I expected and it's great to hear all these ideas!!!!!
    Immediately-watch out ebay!
    Future-Yard sale! photograpy! cow chip bingo! (have you heard of this one? you are gonna have to make the trip to ky for this one! it's going to be HUGE we hope!)

    Much Love,
    Kristin in Kentucky

  3. Thanks friend! I had such fun the other night and I am so glad you were able to come. It was weird seeing you without a baby on your hip! Ha!

    Great ideas. God will provide if you take that leap of faith and are willing to do anything to bring your baby home.

  4. I do not think I have commented here before but if I have it has not been for awhile! I love your ideas!! Thank you for sharing!! I particularly love the baking cakes idea since I love to bake and am always baking!!

    I have signed up to go on the missions trip that Kari is promoting and these ideas will help me to raise the money!!! I cannot believe I am even thinking about going... I have never been on one before and have always been afraid to leave my 4 kids!! BTW, we adopted a little girl from China, the same time as you adopted from ET!!! Last June!!! I have been so afraid to leave her but I am trusting the Lord!! And to just make this huge step even more crazy.... we are moving back to the States after planting a church here in my homeland (England) and beginning a whole new life doing something so different!! I am on the edge of my seat with expectation from God and what He will do!!

    I love your blog and little Lucy is just the cutest little girl I have ever seen!! We hope to start the process to adopt from ET when we move back and get settled!!!

    Blessings to you,


  5. Kristi,

    Thank you for all of your ideas! We love helping people raise $ for their adoptions. My husband runs a screenprinting business and helps people come up with their own designs and print them for as inexpensive as possible so people maximize their profits! I love reading your blog and am thankful for your ever giving heart.


  6. great post! this came at the perfect time as we are finishing our first fundraiser which was candles and now I am thinking of doing a raffle on my blog of some sort (my friend who has a few baby items with tags still on said she would donate them and we could do a baby basket) and/or I decorate cakes so I was thinking of raffling off a cake or doing something with my cakes!

  7. Kristi - thank you so much for sharing all these fabulous ideas! One more that we did - I quilt and a few of my friends make gorgeous notecards and other nice crafts. We had a craft sale 2 weeks before Christmas at our church. I made Christmas stockings - ornaments, coasters, table clothes and all sorts of things and 2 other girls made a ton of cards and such ... we raised almost $1,000 in ONE DAY!! I was blown away!

  8. Such a great post! Thank you for taking the time to put it all in one post.

  9. Hi! I so appreciate your blog! We are in the process of adopting a little girl from Nepal & I love your friend Kari's t-shirt fundraiser. I'm having trouble access her website....would you have an email for her so that I could contact her directly? My email is Thanks!

  10. That was a fabulous post! Thank you so much for taking the time to write all of your ideas down. We are just in the praying stage of a possible future adoption. Being able to read all of the testimonies, stories, ideas, etc on everyone's blogs is so helpful! I feel like a blog stalker at times, but I'm just trying to read as much as I can about it! :)

  11. Awesome ideas! I'm going to send a link to this post to some friends who are thinking about adopting but worried about the money aspect!

  12. Your heart and life continue to be an inspiration Kristi!!! Sweet blessings!

  13. Great post Kristi! Another idea is to send out letters to friends and family telling your story and inviting them into the process. I was timid to do this at first, but God blew us away with the response! The money trickled in for over 10 months. Little by little. Every single bit down to the last penny that we needed came in! It still makes me tear up just thinking about it. Those people who gave are forever a part of my daughter's story. They made it possible for her to come home.
    One truth I hung on to through the process was that God ALWAYS funds his callings...and we should never let money stand in the way of pursuing the things God has called us to. Money is not an obstacle for Him! The other Truth I clung to was that we are ALL called to care for "the orphan"...while most will not choose to adopt, many will and can join the process and GIVE. Making yourself vulnerable and asking for help gives others the chance leverage their finances and be a part of the amazing story unfolding in your family.

    It's a beautiful thing! Sorry to babble! I just get really passionate about this! :)

    Emily V.

  14. Thanks for posting all these wonderful ideas!! I'm not in the adoption process anymore but I am trying to fundraise to give back to the country that gave me my daughter!! These ideas will be a great resource for me!! THANKS

  15. Kristi,

    Thanks for the great ideas! It's nice to hear from a "veteran". I will soon be selling t-shirts from our blog to help with adoption expenses for our little girl from Peru.


  16. Great great ideas! Guess what we are doing? Selling our house, (which is too small for another baby anyway)pulling out the equity and renting a larger house for a few years. We have just been so worried about trying to finance another house, fund our Korean adoption, buy a different car to fit a third carseat, and bam - we had the idea. Or should I say, God provided the plan. Our house is going on the market in a week an a half and we have already found our dream home to rent. Our Leah will come home to a room of her own, and we will have all the fund sitting in an account ready for her at referral. God is good. All the time.
    blessing, Elisabeth

  17. This was great! It's been great learning from so many people.

    Do you all think it's best to wait until AFTER your homestudy is completed and you have the green light to move forward with fundraisers?


  18. this is the #1 question i get. and although i've done a few posts on it, would it be okay to link to you about this post?!

    bring those kiddos home, right?! =)

  19. You are so right. We worked hard for our adoption and here I sat lately, disappointed that we will not be able to adopt again now that I have chosen to be a stay at home mom and we are now on one income. Your post has given me some hope. If I put my mind to it...we could adopt again. Thank you. It even helps those who once knew that it could happen but lost that sight.


  20. The Yard Sales worked GREAT for us. If you put the word out many friends (who don't have the funds to give) will donate things they have around their house. We had more than we could sell at even two parking lot sales. It's a great way for people to give that don't have the funds to do so!

  21. way to go compiling all these great ideas...i linked to this post. it seems like such a big leap of faith, but it's truly amazing to see how God always provides...we're living proof, right? hope to see ya soon...if we can ever make it to another fellowship!

  22. GREAT post and I have to add one... my husband and I have been collecting aluminum cans (along with 400 + of our closest friends & strangers) and we've raised almost $850 in less than 3 months!!

  23. WOW! Thank you thank you. We are towards the end of our first adoption and we are already feeling the financial weight of our second adoption that we hope to start right after this one. I think it's especially a financial burden to those who are not able to conceive (like my husband and I) and adoption is the means that we are choosing to have any children at all. I know God knows my desire for a large family and he will provide the hundred thousand it may take to build that large of a family.
    Thanks again!

  24. Great ideas! Thank you for sharing them! We have done alot of fund raising in the past, and if I can get God to speak to my hubby we will be doing it again soon! :o)

  25. Thank you for posting these! We have done the garage sale and loan avenue. I think this year...if I can get God to speak to my husband I will use some of these great ideas! LOVE the flip flops!

  26. Thank you so much for all the ideas. We are just beginning our journey of adoption and the raising of funds can be overwhelming! Thank you for your creativity!! There are some great ideas on here!

  27. In your opinion (and others too if you'd like to answer) when should you start fundraising?

  28. I know this is an old post. I don't even know if you'll receive this comment, but this was a AWESOME post filled with great ideas. We have been having a hard time just raising enough to start our application process. I'm not the best person to get things started, and don't really want to go the route of loans and credit cards. We have been praying a lot for God's provision, and just waiting, and we know that He wouldn't have asked us to do this to go into any debt further. HE IS OUR PROVIDER! We trust in Him and not man. So anyway, this was encouraging. We need to get our names out there and be more active and stop waiting when we know we are suppose to do this :)

  29. Thank you so much for this post. We are trying our hardest to come up with the funds we need for our next step. My heart breaks daily as I am not being able to move forward closer to our son. We are adopting from Rwanda. I am already doing one of the things on your list:) Kari Gibson is letting us use her design and sell her Simply Love shirts with the Rwanda shape underneath. Thanks so much for the wonderful ideas. I am certainly going to try them out!


Thank you for your kind words!!