Adoption Fundraising Ideas

**I don't mind if you pin this post on Pinterest or tweet about it, etc, but please do not post or pin images of my family. Please choose the image below with the blog link.** 

One of the big questions most families have when it comes to adoption is "how will we pay for it?" We've already blogged about our story about affording the first half of our adoption (read here) but I know every family's story is different! Our church hosted an Orphan Care Meeting in 2010 and the President of the Abba Fund came and spoke about possible ideas to raise/make/save money for an adoption process. And he worded it correctly: there is NO price on saving a child's life and bringing a child into a home where the gospel can be taught. Amen! So start saving your pennies (literally, one family asked their social circles to save their pennies for a few months in jars, and made a good bit of money that way!) and here are some ideas:

1. Host Online Auction. Have people and local businesses donate goods and services and have an online auction through Ebay or on your blog with a deadline. In the blogs people can leave their bids in the comment section and have a limited number of days until the auction closes. (Families who have done this are here and here.) Another friend recently started doing a group auction for her items each month, combining new items into a basket and people could enter the giveaway for $5 per entry (see here). My friend Lauren recommended that after you ask around for donors, you should invest about $200-400 in the auction, including a big ticket item like an Ipad or Kindle or gift cards. The higher the investment, the more traffic you will get in the giveaway and people will be more likely to invest into that giveaway.

2. FFM. If traveling internationally ask people to donate Frequent Flyer Miles. Check with your travel agent before committing to them.

3. Fund raising Events. Host a ticketed event with a theme and a meal (Valentines, Crazy 80s night, Mexican Fiesta, 3 on 3 basketball tournament, poker night, concert, spaghetti dinner, etc.) Consider hosting this at a community center, church or restaurant, etc. You can also give people options for their ticket prices and hold a silent/live auction as part of the evening (get local businesses to donate gift certificates, gift baskets, products or services and local artists to donate photography and artwork).

4. Online Networking. Set up a blog, website, or Facebook Group to journal about your adoption journey and include a DONATE link through paypal for people wanting to give to your adoption fund.

5. Fundraising Sales. Do a fundraiser similar to what youth groups or schools do to raise funds for a mission trip, band trip, senior trips (ie. car wash, bake sale, etc).

6. Yard sales. Have friends and church family donate items and have a huge yard sale with all the proceeds going to your adoption ( we did 3 and raised over $5K! for tips check here).

7. Donate your old cell phones and print cartridges. Every print cartridge is worth $1 and cell phones can be redeemed for a few dollars all the way up to a couple hundred dollars each.(Check it here or here or just a google search will show you several local options for companies who buy cells and cartridges, and while you're at it read this article).

8. Baby Bottle Campaign. Buy bottles in bulk and design a paper flyer to go in each bottle telling about your adoption. Then distribute them to friends, family, businesses, churches, schools, daycares- whoever is willing to put their spare change in the baby bottle. Give them one month to see if they can fill the bottle and then collect them. One crisis pregnancy center that does this averages $20-25 per bottle so this idea can really add up. It's also a great way to get kids involved.

9. Support Letters. Mail letters to friends and family telling them to about your plans to adopt. Send it out like a birth announcement. Share with them the estimated costs and ask them to consider helping.

10. Get Crafty. Use a skill or hobby and sell items online or through your community network. Examples are paintings, crafts, photography, music, greeting cards, etc. Make crafts specific to the country you are adopting from. Lots of families do ornaments, handmade t-shirts or bags. - (Adoption families that set up craft sites look here and here)

11. Independent Consulting/Sales. Sign up with a cosmetics, tupperware, or other company where all sales you make through hosting parties, etc will go toward your adoption. Get the whole family involved! I have seen this a few times with Tastefully Simple, Thirty One, Pampered Chef, Usborne Books, or other consultant type shops. Ask around in your community to see who is a rep that can help you with this. If you don't want to be a consultant, ask a consultant friend to throw you a party and let your "host" perks be donations to your adoption fund.

12. Puzzle piece donations. Buy a puzzle and let people donate a certain amount for each  piece and they can write their name on the back of the puzzle. (To see families who have done this click here, here, or here).

13. Just Love Coffee. This website is AMAZING! Not only was it started by an adoptive family, but it is fair-trade coffee and it is delicious AND! every bag of coffee that is sold $5 goes to the adoptive family. We love this website! It is super easy to set up. Check out our page!

14. Personal Savings. This one may seem obvious, but if you are in the situation where you don't yet qualify for adoption for some reason, start saving NOW! Cut back on spending, go on a cash-only budget, get rid of cable and extra frills, don't eat out, get creative with free date nights, have fun seeing what you can cut out and remember that every dollar saved is a dollar for a baby to have a home and learn about Jesus. It is worth it!

15. T-shirts. Sometimes you can get these for discounted if you know somebody! Or have a designer friend make up a design! Most adoptive families charge around $20-25 for t-shirts so they can make good profit on tshirt sales. You can see a list of t-shirts here. Be creative and don't copy someone else's design! There are several options for creating t-shirts, from doing it yourself to partnering with an organization such as adoption tees.

16. Partner with Lifesong for Orphans for the Both Hands Project! This is an incredible, unique opportunity where you can work with your church or community to serve a local widow, as you fundraise for your adoption.

17. Interest Free Loans or Grants. Check out companies like Abba Fund, Lifesong for Orphans, Show Hope, Southern Baptist Convention (has grants for SBC pastors).

18. Tukula sales. Tukula is a special organization from Uganda in which artisans sew beautiful items. You can partner with Tukula by purchasing a fundraising kit (price ranges $80 or $150) and sell the items at whatever price you can for your adoption. We did this, several families I know did this and let me tell you, those items sold FAST!

19. Rebekah Blocher Jewelry. This small business partners with adoptive families to sell unique jewelry. Check out their website here for more details. With a very small investment (just a few dollars for shipping), she will send adoptive families jewelry to sell- and you only pay her for what you do sell (half of what you make). 

20. Become an Amazon Affiliate. This may be the easiest fundraiser ever! Just put a link on your blog or other social media outlet, and people shop Amazon through it for you to receive 10% of their purchase cost! EASY EASY! Click here to sign up.

21. Partner with Olive Tree Promise. This is an online business started by adoptive families, for adoptive families! If you are an adoptive family OR a vendor looking to support adoptive families, check out the website here.

22. Parner with Chrome Buffalo. This is a 10-day partnership where you choose one of their t-shirt designs to promote, and for every shirt that is bought under your link, you get $11. It seems really easy! Website here.

So don't get discouraged, there are MANY MANY MANY ways to make/save some money and even though you may not start out the process with $30K in the bank, you will be surprised at how faithful God is when he calls you to adopt.

Remember this:
"God will generously provide all you need." 2 Corinthians 9:8
"This same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus." Phillipians 4:19
"He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" Romans 8:32.

And as always, if you have ANY questions or if there is any way we can encourage you, please don't hesitate to email! Yestoadoption (at) gmail (dot) com. We are so blessed to journey beside adoptive families and celebrate God's faithfulness together. I don't have the answer to everything but I can pray for you. :)

Also, check out (and contribute to) the comments section- there may be helpful information there too!


  1. Thank you so much for posting this! :) We were bummed we had other plans that night, so it is good to see what was said. Some great ideas too!!

  2. Great ideas!! I am going to email this link to a friend who was just asking me about fundraising ideas the other day...thanks for sharing!!

  3. Hello! Thanks for the ideas! Is the link for the flyer miles broken or am I clicking wrong? :) Also what kind of success have you had with the coffee site? I've set one up but am having a hard time getting people to order it.
    adopting from Honduras

    1. The coffee site has been a slow, but consistent fundraiser for us. We have had it set up for almost two years, and have made about $1,000 from it. I think what has worked best for us is getting some people addicted to it, so they become coffee snobs over it! Haha :). Some months we may make $40, $100, or nothing.

  4. Oh, I am so excited that I found your blog. I know you posted this back in December 2010 (when our daughter was born) but it is still very relevant for us now as we are exploring (domestic) adoption. I'll keep reading your blog but had to comment here quickly. Thank you so much for sharing these brilliant ideas!

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  6. Any other good grant places besides life song. We have exhausted almost everything on your list and are going to be traveling in a few short months and are still very far away from being funded.

    1. Show Hope, Abba Fund are other options.

  7. The Abba Fund

    A Child Waits Foundation
866-999-2445 (866-999-CHILD).

    Christian Advocates For Adoption

    Gift of Adoption Fund

    FamilyBuilder Fund Grants

    Shaohannah’s Hope

    Our Creator's Hope

    LifeSong For Orphans

    Tomorrow Is A Gift

    National Endowment for Financial Education

    The National Adoption Foundation
. Tel: 203-791-3811.

    China Care

    1. Thanks so much for posting this list!

  8. My friend is fundraising their adoption through an organization called Adoption Tees - they are passionate about adoption and understand first-hand the challenges and costs involved. Here is the link to the website:

  9. My friend is fundraising their adoption through an organization called Adoption Tees - they are passionate about adoption and understand first-hand the challenges and costs involved. Here is the link to the website:

  10. This has been very helpful! We are in the beginning stages of adopting siblings and are struggling to get the fundraising going. We are hopeful that we can apply for a lot of grants but there were a few ideas here that I might try! What kind of luck have people had with online auctions?? Feel free to follow along with our story at

  11. This was way awesome. My husband and I have been trying to find different fundraising ideas and websites. We just started the adoption process and feel at a loss sometimes. Thank you very much for sharing!

  12. Why is fundraising even necessary? There are tens of thousands of children in U.S. foster care who need homes and loving families...and adopting one (or more) of them is virtually free.

    I'm not anti-adoption; I'm anti-purchasing-a-human-being.

    1. Hi Aloha Girl! Thanks for stopping by our blog. I think you're really asking two questions:
      1. Why are families choosing to adopt outside of US, when kids in US need adoption? -I have already answered that here: I would also encourage you, that if you feel God calling you to either adopt or support foster/adoptive families in the US, please do something with that! There is a great need here!

      2. Why is adoption expensive/ why is there a cost? What you may not realize, is that while YES if you adopt from the foster system, many adoptions are "virtually free"- adoptions in the US still can cost up to $25,000 or more. Many families support the birth mother through the process, and every family has to pay attorney fees (some pay agency fees as well).

      As far as international adoption goes, the cost NEVER goes to pay for a child. If you are ever in the international adoption process, then you will quickly see each line item to see exactly where all of the money goes. Translation fees, fingerprints, mailing costs, the salaries of all of the wonderful people who are advocating and caring for vulnerable children.... the list could really go on and on. So while it is overwhelming to look at a very hefty number that comes along with international adoption, we all know it is worth it and that's why so many families are in the international adoption process. The types of living situations orphans outside of the US live in is absolutely sickening in many places; such conditions most Americans would never dream of. For our family, we decided to adoption internationally first (and we may adopt domestically in the future).

      Just as a biological mother in the US has to pay for medical costs at the hospital, adoptive parents have the fees of bringing a child home.

      Hope this helps! If you have any other questions, I'll be happy to answer them.

    2. Here is an American Foster Care System story. We tried for over a year to take the classes to adopt from the foster care system. We live in a rural area and the closest they offered the class was an hour and fifteen minutes from us and it was in a different time zone. There was no way we could go for 7 weeks to this location. There is a lady in our town who is qualified to do the in-home Deciding Together course but the agency she works with requires two couples to take the course. We tried for over a year to find someone to take the course with us. When I called the agency they said they would not make an exception to that rule. We were even willing to adopt a child with special needs. So we finally realized that if we wanted to adopt we would have to adopt International. I believe it was all part of God's plan because we are in the process of adopting a beautiful little girl with Down Syndrome. We are not buying a child, we are paying agency fees, court costs, laywer fees, travel expenses, etc. We see it as a small amount of money that will make a HUGE difference in the life of this child. When someone asks us "Why International?" I just tell them, "because that is where my daughter is."

    3. I am currently in the process of adopting through foster care and its still going to cost around 6,000 dollars so most of the time funding is still very necessary.

  13. Because of the decline in charity fundraising, many nonprofit organizations have been forced to stop many of their operations, and some have even been forced to shut down. It is important more than ever that charities pursue successful fundraising ideas to save them from more financial hardships.

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  14. These are great ideas. Some that I've mentioned in my book "Adopt Without Debt" - but some new ones too that I'm going to check out and pass on to my readers. Thanks for taking time to share your successes with other families!

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  16. Because of the decline in charity fundraising, many nonprofit organizations have been forced to stop many of their operations, and some have even been forced to shut down. It is important more than ever that charities pursue successful fundraising ideas to save them from more financial hardships.
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  17. Hi! I didn't know about Olive Tree or Chrome Buffalo until I found your post. Thank you. I compiled as many ideas as I possibly could here -- The Ultimate List of Adoption Fundraisers :)

    Hope that helps someone! :)

  18. Happy to have found your blog! We are in the home-study portion of domestic adoption and trying to find encouragement in the fundraising that lies ahead. Excited that you are a believer and I will have to read more about your story :) Thanks!

  19. I couldn't get the links in this post to work :( I realize this is an old post but I'd love the ideas if it's possible! Some took me to a closed blog, though.

  20. Great post Rebekah! Thank you so much for all the ideas!

  21. I had no idea that you could have fund raising to get money to adopt a child, I thought this was money you had to have on your own. I know it is a lot of money. This is wonderful to know, I just didn't realize you could do this. Thanks

  22. The aforementioned are incredible plans. Some that I've said in my book "Adopt Without Debt" -however some new ones too that I'm heading off to look at and pass onto my followers. Much obliged concerning requiring some serious energy to offer your victories to different families crowdfunding platform .

  23. I tried to click on the "saving pennies" fundraiser and it said I had to be invited to follow the blog.... I also tried to click on "Can We Afford This" and it said the page wasn't available.

    We are thinking about doing a pancake breakfast as our first fundraiser, if anyone has any tips for that...

    1. Thanks Heather! I'll get those links updated.

  24. Hi Rebekah. I actually just became a rep for Lilla Rose just to fundraise for a little guy in Eastern Europe via Reece's Rainbow. I have a blog for him.

    However, I am willing to help adoptive families by donating up to a quarter of my profit. I am just starting out, and may be able to donate more as I grow. I will not post my links unless it's ok with you first. Thanks! Val

  25. Goodness, I am excited to the point that I discovered your website. I know you posted this back in December 2010 (when our girl was conceived) yet it is still exceptionally important for us now as we are investigating (domesticated) appropriation. I'll continue perusing your online journal however needed to remark here rapidly. Much thanks to you such a great amount of for offering these splendid plans! Top crowdsourcing sites

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  28. This is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing. The idea of the cost is so overwhelming (Especially for the Hubs ;-) ).

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  33. You've included some great ideas on how to fundraise - thanks for sharing! I've recently discovered the great work Tony Charalambides and the Listen Fundraising team are doing. They aim to raise £20,000 for the Damilola Taylor trust - if they manage to meet this target they will match every penny and donate it to the charity. I really hope they manage to do it, it will really help make a big difference!

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  35. Thanks so much for these great ideas!!!! :-D

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  40. This ideas sounds good & definitely it's a very good work to adopt orphan children. From my experience I think adoption fundraising would be more effective & would take more less time to raise funds online.


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