The decision has been made. You are plunging into adoption. Along with great excitement and anticipation of a new child, the financial commitment creates concern and even anxiety. I have good news for you! There is funding available. It will take time, effort, and planning, but those are the requirements for any life-altering achievement. Here are four fundraising tips to get you started:
APPLY– Grants, grants, grants. If your family qualifies for it, APPLY. Initially, filling out applications will take a large amount of time; however, most grants are similar, so each one gets easier. Make a list of all foundations whose criteria you fit. Then choose in what order to apply. The ones which allow for second considerations should go at the top of your list. Do not let one denial discourage you. Several rejections are worth one acceptance. Proofread your application (several times) and make it as professional as possible. Use heavy-weight paper and never handwrite. Always add a family photo.
BOLD– Be bold. The beneficiary of your fundraising efforts is NOT your family; it is the child in need of a forever, loving home. Use your funding efforts as opportunities to educate others about the plight of orphans around the world. According to UNICEF, there are 153 million orphans in the world. If they were gathered together to create their own country, they would rank 9th in largest population. Truth is powerful, so be bold in telling it.
CREATIVE – Be creative. What strengths and talents characterize your family? What activities energize your family? What do you love to do together? Allow your family’s unique skills to propel fundraising activities. Runners, plan a marathon. Photographers, schedule a photo-shoot in the park. Crafters, sell your products at a pancake breakfast or spaghetti dinner. Athletes, gather old shoes for a shoe drive. Swimmers, host a pool party. Musicians, sell singing telegrams. Game lovers, whatever the game, host a tournament. You get the idea. Do what you love with a fun, financial twist!
DONATIONS – Accept them graciously! When others see the need as you do and how diligently you are working to fundraise, they will be compelled to join your efforts. Let your supporters know how and where to join you in the journey. Online funding platforms can be an easy way for family and friends to donate and receive a tax benefit at the same time. Choose one with no extra fees and create a family profile to get started. Spread the word through social media or snail-mail adoption newsletter updates.
EXCITEMENT – The excitement of growing your family will become a reality as the funding starts accumulating!
Camie Schuiteman is the Financial Resource Specialist for Nightlight Christian Adoptions and an affiliate trainer of Back2Back’s Trauma Free World. She uses her personal experience in fundraising for three international adoptions to assist other families in their adoption journeys. It gives her great joy to see one less orphan in the world. She is available to answer questions or speak at your adoption event. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.