By: Jeremy Resmer at Fund Your Adoption
I love adoption. I love it even more when families find creative ways to fundraise successfully and adopt debt-free. However, if you’re not adopting through foster care, then you already know there will likely be significant financial costs to pay before you finalize your adoption. In fact, the high cost is one of the primary reasons that less than 2% of Americans ever adopt. Fundraising for adoption can be frustrating and, at times, overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Have you ever tried to lose weight or save money without setting a goal, making a plan, or having someone there to hold you accountable? I have … and every time I failed to make any real progress. The same principles apply to adoption fundraising. Unfortunately, most families dive into fundraising without setting goals or creating a plan that will help them get across the finish line with their sanity in check. Adoption is more personal than losing a few pounds or saving a couple extra bucks. We’re talking about a child. And not just any child. This is the child that will become part of your family forever!
Before trying to accomplish anything, always start with WHY. Everyone’s “adoption why” is different, but more than likely yours includes providing a loving family and home for a child. Your goal is to find a way to come up with the funds necessary to pay for all the expenses that will enable you to adopt. Once you have a clear vision of your “adoption why,” it’s time to make a plan. Your plan specifies all the activities that will help you reach your goal. It could include activities like applying for grants, crowd funding, selling products, etc. You need to determine what fits best with your personality, skill set, and lifestyle and commit to doing those things. If you don’t know where to start, download our free Adoption Funding Kit and Grant Resources to get started and create a plan. If you follow these steps, it will save you time and frustration. I promise.
Don’t forget to talk with other adoptive families that have successfully fundraised. They are great sources of information, accountability, and encouragement. You can easily find and connect with these families at church, on social media, through adoption blogs, and at adoption and orphan care conferences. Learning from the experiences of others is invaluable. It can give you confidence that you, too, can overcome the enormous financial obstacle of adoption, help create realistic expectations, give you tips to successfully fundraise and apply for grants, and identify fundraisers that are right for your family. To minimize frustration with fundraising, make sure to have at least two or three families that know what you’re going through whom you can contact for support and encouragement.
If you’re ready to fundraise successfully, focus on these 4 crucial steps:
Remember Your Why – Write down your why, and put it in a place where you’ll see it everyday.
Fundraising can be difficult; on those days when it becomes too much, remind yourself and your spouse that your child is worth it.
Set Your Goal – Aim high and make adopting debt-free a priority; review all of your known expenses and add 10% for unknowns that are sure to pop up.
Develop Your Plan – Prepare for success; identify all the grants and fundraisers that you plan to do, set dates and funding goals for each activity. Don’t burn yourself out trying to do everything at once.
Form Your Support Group – Community is crucial; surround yourself with people who can pray for you, encourage you, and rally around you long after your adoption is complete.