My Two Cents on Raising Thousands of Dollars

Last week I started a series of sorts from the resources available up there in the navigation bar. (Let’s be real, I’m buying myself time to research and write the pages that say “Resources coming soon!”)

I started with International Adoption and am super excited to say it found its way to a group of folks who are in the process of publishing a book this fall on adoption and they’ve asked me to expand on that post and include it as a chapter in the book! Didn’t see that coming! If you missed it you can check it out here.

Today I’m sharing the Adoption Fundraising page. My prayer is that this is helpful + hopeful for your adoption journey!


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Before we talk fundraising, let’s look at what the bible has to say regarding provision. We are fooled in the west into thinking we provide for ourselves. We. Do. Not.

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. – Matthew 6:31-32

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! – Matthew 7:11

Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. – Luke 12:7

He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. – John 21:6

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:19

My two cents on raising thousands of dollars:

First, look at your budget. If you don’t have a budget create one. Keep track of everything you spend for one month and then sacrifice. Evaluate your needs and your wants. Do you need a data package? A latte every morning? Cable? Set up a savings account and automatically transfer the funds from the sacrificed wants into savings for your adoption. Remember, this is only for a season. What can you do without?

This is my best advice to you: Choose fundraisers based on what is unique to you and your family and the things you enjoy. If you are going to put your blood, sweat, and tears into it, you might as well enjoy it.

I’m going to share what we have done and how it worked for us. I suggest you also check out The Ultimate List of Adoption Fundraisers.

Beard for Glory – Example #1 of a fundraiser unique to our family. Basically we invited our friends, family, and total strangers to help us out with a little marital wager. For $5, they could vote for one day of William growing his beard OR one day of keeping the beard trim. This was a lot of fun and we raised about $4,700. Here’s the Beard for Glory Kickoff Post and the Beard for Glory site where folks could cast their vote for Beard or No Beard.

Online Auction – Our online auction, (hand)made for Glory, was a great success and we raised just under $2,000. It was a LOT of work but still well worth it. I love all things handmade so this was also a lot of fun for me. Here’s a post I wrote with some tips for running an online auction and here is our (hand)made for Glory site.

Yard Sales – The old standby. Everyone has junk that someone else wants. Some folks have lots of success with yard sales. We are not those folks. I’ve heard of people raising 3k or more. We’ve had three and raised between $300 – $400 at the first couple and $1,400 at the third. What was different? Nothing.

Selling Jewelry – We were super blessed early on in our fundraising by a friend who purchased hundreds of pieces of rolled paper bead jewelry on a trip to Sudan. His intent was to use it to fund raise for his non-profit but that didn’t pan out so he GAVE it to us. Since then we have purchased jewelry wholesale from Outreach Uganda and Light Gives Heat to keep our inventory up.

We have raised over $6,000 from the jewelry. It FAR exceeded our expectations. I think it’s been successful for a few reasons: timing, affordability, and parties. We started having jewelry parties in October and November when people were starting to purchase Christmas gifts. We priced our jewelry affordably so people could… afford it. We still made a big profit because most of it was donated to us. (Early on. The profit is still worthwhile even now when we purchase wholesale.) The parties were big in scope for us because they allowed us to reach an audience outside our inner circle. We realized pretty early on that we would tap them out pretty quickly and this allowed our friends and family to continue to support our adoption in a non-financial way.

Now, three years into selling jewelry, I mainly sell it in our online shop and at art shows around town. It continues to be our main fundraiser.

T-Shirts – This is not a new or unique idea. There are lots of organizations offering pre-designed t-shirts you can sell to support your adoption. BUT they are getting a cut of your money. We preferred to do the work ourselves, have a personal shirt and get all the profit.



Christmas Ornaments – These are a great fundraiser because people buy Christmas ornaments anyway so why not give them an opportunity to support your adoption. Obviously these are time sensitive but I still sell about a half dozen of ours each month. We’ve sold over 500 of these puppies:


Parents Day Out – Some friends of ours did this for us and it was a great idea. They offered to watch our kids one Saturday afternoon for 3 hours so the parents could have a “day” out. The parents donated money for childcare that went into our adoption fund. This contributed close to $200 to bringing our little one home!

Self Defense Seminar – This is just one example of how your friends and family can contribute without actually giving you money. Just like the parents day out idea, people who want to support you can use their talents to multiply what they could give or do on their own. My dad teaches karate and woman’s self-defense. It was his idea to host a woman’s self-defense seminar that he will teach for a suggested donation of $25. The great thing about other people utilizing their talents and ideas is that it usually requires very little of your time and mental energy. This is good.

Lifesong for Orphans Both Hands Project – Check out our Both Hands video and their website.


Give1Save1 – Check out our video and their website.

The Wallace Family – Adoption Story from William H. Wallace II on Vimeo.

These are just some things that worked for us! Praying you trust in Jehovah Jireh – the Lord will provide!


1 Comment

  1. Jenny Marrs July 2, 2013

    GREAT post, Lindsy!! This is an awesome resource for fundraising families!!! And, oh my goodness, I’m so excited for you that your writing will be published in a book! That’s awesome news!!!!:-)


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