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If you are looking for alternative ways other than t-shirt fundraising to raise money for your adoption, then make sure to read this article to come up with some other ideas.

Adoption Fundraising Ideas

TStacker loves helping couples raise money for an upcoming adoption. Our adoption fundraising ideas can provide new parents with the money they need to grow their family.

How a Adoption T-Shirt Fundraiser Can Help You Raise Money

If you’re looking for easy fundraising ideas for your adoption, t-shirt fundraising is a great idea. It’s low-cost, requires minimal effort, and it can be a great way to raise awareness of what you’re doing.
Adoption T-Shirt
A branded fundraising shirt can generate nearly 4,000 impressions. If 25 people wear your adoption fundraising t-shirt — that’s a whopping 100,000 impressions total – meaning 100,000 people have seen that shirt, read what it says and learned about your efforts to make a child’s life better.

People tend to actually remember what they saw on a t-shirt, too. According to statistics, recall from t-shirts is more than 80 percent in all areas of the United States.

In order to take advantage of this powerful adoption fundraising medium, you first have to design a great shirt. Something your friends, coworkers, neighbors and family actually want to wear, as well as something easy to see and read from a distance.
You can use TStacker to design and sell your shirts, because this cuts out a lot of cost and hassle from the process. You aren’t required to pay any up-front fees, and your friends, family and others can easily purchase your adoption fundraising shirts online at their convenience--no matter where they are in the U.S. The best part is that you don’t even need to worry about shipping! We handle it all for you. You just sit back, and wait for that check to come to your mailbox and help you add a new member to your family.

Easy Fundraising Ideas For Adoption

The Child Welfare Information Gateway, a U.S. government-funded adoption information service, estimates that the average infant/toddler adoption costs anywhere from $8,000 to $40,000. When adopting a child overseas, the cost of flights, hotels, and other travel expenses can increase that cost by thousands.

If you want to bring in as many donations as possible, you can supplement your t-shirt fundraising with other adoption fundraising efforts as well.

Before you start a fundraising event, you might want to develop an adoption expenses fundraising plan. Focus on the efforts that you feel will make the most money. The people in your life will want to help you with your adoption fundraising process, but you don’t want to have multiple fundraisers where you keep asking the same people over and over again for money. Remember to thank these people for their contribution as well. A thank you email is great, but you can add a more personal touch by sending handwritten thank you cards or postcards.

Here are some creative ideas for adoption fundraisers:

Parent’s Night Out
If you don’t have kids, this adoption fundraiser is a great way to practice your parenting skills, and if you already have children, they are sure to love this idea as well, since they will get to have fun with other kids at their house.


The two of you are probably staying in more to save money, right? You might as well invite a group of kids over and let their parents pay you. This adoption fundraiser is a win-win for everyone, you make some money and other parents get a night off. To make things easier, develop a theme--movie night, board game night, craft night. Serve inexpensive and kid friendly snacks like popcorn, trail mix or string cheese. Make sure you don’t host more children than you feel comfortable with--five to eight is usually a good number. You could even make it a monthly or every other month occurrence during your adoption process to raise money.
Donate Cell Phones & Printer Cartridges
This is a great adoption fundraiser because you not only raise much-needed funds for your adoption but you do something good for the environment. A lot of people get a new cell phone once or twice a year, and printer cartridges always seem to need replaced. Instead of throwing them away to end up in a landfill, encourage your friends, family and co-workers to give them to you.

Several websites offer to buy back your empty cartridges, and most also pay for the shipping costs. Do a simple search and you should find several to choose from. These sites should have a list of their buy-back prices. Empty inkjet printer cartridges can range anywhere from 25 cents to $4. Some laser printer cartridges can net you as much as $20! Each site lists all of its buy-back prices. If you like what you see, fill out a simple form describing what you have and they’ll send you a prepaid postage label. After they receive your shipment, they’ll issue you a check or deposit funds into a PayPal account to help fund your adoption.

Depending on the age and type of your phone, they can be redeemed for a few dollars all the way up to a few hundred. A search on the web will show you several local brick and mortar stores that buy cell phones as well as online options.
Puzzle Piece Fundraiser
This idea is a cute and simple adoption fundraiser, and it doesn’t require too much effort on your part. It also makes a great keepsake for your child.

You’ll need:
  • A puzzle that goes with your nursery decor
  • A double-sided glass frame
  • Puzzle glue
  • Permanent marker

Sell the puzzle pieces for a set amount--$5 to $20 each.
When someone buys a piece add his or her name on the back of it. If they live close to you, have them autograph it. If they don’t live nearby, write their name on the back of the puzzle piece and send them a picture of the piece with your cell phone. Once every piece has been sold, assemble the puzzle and hang it in a double-sided glass frame in your child’s room.

Imagine sitting down with your child when he or she is older and showing him or her all the names of the people that helped bring them home! This adoption fundraiser not only creates something for you to treasure, but an item that your child will want to keep for their lifetime as well.
Heritage Potluck
If you are adopting your child from another country, you can host a Heritage Potluck adoption fundraiser using foods from your adoptive child’s home country. Get cookbooks from the library or find recipes online. Don’t forget to look for recipes of all kinds including side dishes, beverages and desserts. Print or photocopy the recipes and distribute them to the people you invite to participate in the potluck. If someone doesn’t feel comfortable cooking, let them know that they can bring plates, drinks or silverware, or even buy already prepared food from a local ethnic deli or restaurant. If you are having a larger gathering you may want to check places that you can use for free or low cost--community centers, city parks or a local church. Many of these facilities already have tables and chairs that you can use. Charge for admission and/or leave a donation jar out at the potluck where people can drop their spare change.
Designer Auction
Vera Bradley, DKNY, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Lilly Pulitzer and Kate Spade are some of the recognizable brands you may have lurking in your closet. Grab those shoes, purses, blouses, accessories, etc. that are still in good shape but are a few seasons old--or maybe those you just don’t wear or use any more and have a silent auction to raise money for your adoption fundraiser!

You’ll need:
  • Designer and popular label shoes, wallets, purses, clothing, etc.
  • Labels
  • Silent auction sheets and pens

A silent auction is an auction in which bids are written on a sheet of paper. At the predetermined end of the auction, the highest listed bidder wins the item. This auction is often used in charity events, with many items auctioned at the same time and then close at a common finish time.

  • Set a date for your adoption fundraising event, and get the word out to friends, neighbors and loved ones by using printed flyers and/or social media like Twitter or Facebook. Be sure to include the time, date and purpose of the event, as well as where the event is being held. See if a local church or community center will let you use one of their rooms for free or at a discount. Come up with a fun and catchy name for your event.
  • See what these used bags, clothing and shoes usually go for by searching online auction sites. Make sure you check to see what these items actually sold for, not just the asking price--check auctions that have recently ended. Once you’ve done this set your opening bid for half or even a fourth of this price. Lower opening bids will cause more interest and more participation. Some items may go for less than their value. But if all they were doing was taking up space in your closet instead of being used and enjoyed, it shouldn’t really matter--you’re raising money to give a child their forever home!
  • An important step is to label or have a description for each item. You’ll want to include as much information as possible--the designer, shoe or clothing size, year made, etc.
  • Although it may be time consuming to do, the more information people have about an item, the more likely they are to bid on it. For a good template, go to an online auction site and see what information sellers include. Don’t copy from those with one blurry picture or a two-line description!
  • If you are able to, you may want to recruit a couple of volunteers to help set up as well as walk around the auction site answering questions that anyone may have about the items. This will also discourage any items from getting “borrowed” or going missing.
  • Don’t have time to do a silent auction? Take the clothes, shoes and purses to a nearby consignment shop and see what the shop will give you for them. The amount probably won’t be as much as you would get from an auction, but you should still make money for your adoption none-the-less.
Bag “Tag”
You’ll Need:
  • Suitcase or backpack
  • Permanent markers
Whether or not you have to travel for your adoption, the suitcase or backpack used for this adoption fundraiser can be used by your child as a special keepsake bag.


For every donation someone makes, “tag” your suitcase or backpack with the donor’s name. If they don’t live close by, take a picture with your cell phone of their name on the bag and send a copy to them through email or text message. People that live nearby can come over to your house and personally “autograph” the suitcase or backpack if they would like to.

You could name a specific amount if you want, but you might get more donations if you leave the dollar amount open, especially if other children can participate in this adoption fundraiser.
Children want to give too, but may not always be able to afford to. Knowing that they have helped another child sets a great example and encourages them to give their time or money in the future. Set a time limit for this adoption fundraiser--maybe two weeks or a month--this will get more people to donate at one time.

Some other items you could use:
  • Tag the crib
  • Tag the car seat
  • Tag the diaper bag
  • Tag the high chair/booster seat
  • Tag the stroller
Online Auctions
A lot of people have had very successful adoption fundraisers using this method. After all, your items can get exposure from all over the country, which means more buyers than your average yard or tag sale. Go through your garage, shed, attic and house for unused items that you have forgotten about or no longer use. Don’t forget clothing or shoes still in good shape. Ask friends, neighbors and co-workers for donations of items they don’t want any more. Selling these items online through auctions can help you raise a good amount of money for your adoption. Use a popular and secure service like eBay (www.ebay.com). Setting up an account for an adoption fundraiser is easy. Take one of their tutorials or ask a knowledgeable friend that has sold online to help you. If you aren’t sure what price you should charge or the lowest amount you will accept for an item, check and see what similar used items have sold for on line. Remember to take lots of pictures of the item you are selling and provide detailed descriptions. If you don’t want to bother with packaging items and shipping them, you may want to use a local site like Craigslist and arrange to have the items picked up directly.
Birthday or Holiday Pledge

You or your family members probably have a birthday coming up, or maybe there is a popular holiday just around the corner. Instead of gifts or gift cards, ask them to use the money they would normally spend to help fund your adoption. Don’t forget to write thank you notes to those who gave!

Check Your Benefits!

While it isn’t an adoption fundraiser, you and/or your partner’s employer’s adoption benefit can be helpful and is often overlooked by adopting couples. Even many small and medium size companies are starting to offer adoption benefits for couples. Check with your Human Resource Department for more details.

No benefits available? The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption offers a free Adoption Friendly Workplace Kit that shows your company how to implement financial reimbursement and paid leave for employees who adopt. The kit also contains a CD with forms and sample benefit plans, making it easy for your employers to establish workplace adoption benefits. This way you not only help yourself, but will benefit other employees who choose to adopt in the future.

With planning and foresight you can bring home a new family member before you know it. There are so many children out there who need a chance to live in a secure and loving home. We hope that you find these adoption fundraising ideas helpful.

Good Luck!

Adoption Fundraising Letter Template

When writing your adoption fundraising letter for friends and family, remember that those you are speaking are people you care about and who care about you. Make sure your personality comes through when you're writing your letter. One letter won’t work for everyone, but you can use this as template to ask people to help with your adoption fundraising.

Dear [Name],

As you may know, we have been working for [time period] to adopt a child from [agency or country]. It’s a long process, but we think it is well worth the wait.

The number of children worldwide without families is astounding. We feel very lucky to have the opportunity to give one of these children medical attention, nutritious food and, most importantly, the chance to be a child raised in a warm, safe and caring home. We are truly excited and joyful as we anticipate the blessing of him/her joining our family.

This [letter/email] is to invite you to become part of our adoption process. Unfortunately, the financial burden of adoption is great. We estimate the total cost of [adoption fees, airfare, legal fees, document preparation, etc.] to be $

We can’t do it alone. We are planning a [fundraising event] at [address] on [date and time] and would love for you to participate. If you have any services, [type of] items or monetary contribution we would feel both appreciative and blessed. Your contribution is an investment in the future of a child. Can we count on you as we move forward with this adoption?

Please contact us if you have any questions or would just like to learn more. We would absolutely love to hear from you!

Thank you for your taking the time to let us share our story with you.

[Your names]
[Your contact details]

You can also download this letter here and save it to your computer for a template to work from.

Don’t forget to customize your adoption letter to explain your fundraising efforts and send or email it to any potential donors--this can include co-workers, friends, neighbors, relatives and other loved ones, and more.

Looking for even more adoption fundraiser ideas? Head over to our general fundraising ideas page to help you out and give you some more great ideas to help you fund your adoption.