10 Fundraising Ideas for Adoption


The sheer bulk of papers to be completed, countless questions to be answered, or even the tough decisions that have to be made aren’t usually what discourage people when inquiring about adoption. Instead, one of the most worrisome facets of a private domestic or international adoption for most people happens to be the intimidation of hearing a number in the tens of thousands required to complete the process of bringing home an adopted child.

While this number could deter some families, our experience has been that even through the breakdown of the numbers, we have been surrounded by love and support to reach our goal. Below are some adoption fundraising ideas, many of which our family has used while we prepare to meet a child through adoption.

1. T-shirts

Our family has designed two different t-shirts to sell as part of our adoption fundraisers. We chose things to put on our shirts that were personal to us and would remind people of our story. Who can refuse a good t-shirt with a beautiful meaning behind it? Our t-shirts have been my favorite fundraiser because of the encouragement we receive when we see numerous people wearing one of our shirts in public or on social media.

2. Rummage Sale

At the end of a season or during spring cleaning, plan a rummage sale, garage sale, yard sale (some kind of sale) where your friends and family can donate unneeded items. We organized a rummage sale one Saturday during the summer and utilized space at our church to sell everything from clothes to furniture to baby items, holiday décor, and even a silent auction. We advertised around town, on social media, and in our local newspaper and were fortunate to have a great turnout and generous people show up to shop. This fundraiser required a lot of time coordinating the pickup or drop-off of donated items and then pricing and setting up for the day of the sale, but the return was substantial.

3. Raffle

My husband and I sold raffle tickets for an item that was donated by a friend and highly sought-after in our community. This fundraiser took little effort besides selling and distributing tickets. Many of our friends took tickets to their places of work and sold to their colleagues and friends.

4. Puzzle

My husband found the idea of buying a puzzle with a special message or image on it that represents your adoption. You then take the puzzle to your family and friends and sell pieces of the puzzle for a certain price, and each person gets to write a message to the child on the back of their piece of the puzzle. We have not participated in this fundraiser yet, but our puzzle has been purchased, and we hope to be able to do it once we have been matched.

5. Golf Scramble

This event was one of our biggest successes in terms of raising funds for our adoption as well as making so many people aware of our story while having a good time. We made arrangements with a local golf course and started advertising for our adoption golf scramble a few months before the set date. Each team that played would pay the registration fee. Then, we had family cooking lunch for the players that would generate some revenue while on the course. Before the date of the scramble, we also advertised for hole sponsors, where a business or individual could sponsor a hole on the golf course and receive a sign with their logo on it while the players made their rounds.

6. Chicken Sale

Any kind of food sale that would be a hit in your community could work to create revenue for your adoption. Selling BBQ chickens, gallons of special recipe chili, burgers and hot dogs, or a well-planned pancake breakfast can be a solid fundraiser, especially if you are blessed with amazing friends and family who would help volunteer to cook!

7. Movie night

Setting up a good family movie and providing popcorn and drinks could be a simple yet fun event where any donations from families attending would go towards your adoption. The planning and implementation would be an easy task.

8. Sports tournament

Much like a golf scramble, many people enjoy getting into the competitive spirit, and even more so if the competition if to support a good cause. I have seen successful softball tournaments to raise funds for other causes, so why not your adoption?

9. Parents’ Night Out

What parents don’t love a date night or just some good adult fun (like going to the grocery sans grabby kiddos)? Hosting a parents’ night out where you, along with some willing friends or teenagers who would like to donate a Friday night, provide a safe, fun atmosphere for a couple hours for children could be a promising way to attract donations for your adoption. You could either set an amount per child or accept donations for your night of service.

10. Entertainment

We all know someone with a hidden talent or entertaining gift. My husband works with a friend who also does stand-up comedy routines on the side. We had been to one of his shows in the past, and his material was hilarious and family-friendly. He offered to do a comedy show to help us raise money for our adoption, and we could keep all the proceeds. His donation of his time and talent was fruitful and entertaining.

While it’s true that adoption can be expensive, don’t let the costs deter you if you know that your family is meant to adopt. With a few creative fundraiser ideas, you can make adoption a more affordable possibility for your family.

What other adoption fundraising ideas have you tried? Let us know in the comments!


Jill is a 31-year-old wife and mom. She has been married to her husband, Brannon, for eight years and has 4-year-old and 3-month-old daughters. Jill and her husband are currently in the adoption process to bring another baby into their home. Jill lives in a small community in Kentucky. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish and obtained her Master’s degree in Christian Ministries. Jill’s passions are her faith, her family, writing, playing sports, and eating good food. 

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