8 Best Adoption Fundraising Ideas That Work

One of the challenging aspects of pursuing adoption is the high adoption costs. On average, adopting a child can range between $20,000 and $45,000, with both international and domestic adoptions falling in that range. While it can be expensive, many people find the resources they need through crowdfunding, social media, and fundraising events. Ideally, you’ll not only raise the funds you need, but you’ll also help family and friends become part of your story. You’ll need their support, not only financial, but also emotional since this process can take months to several years.

Start by setting up your adoption fundraiser

One of the best ways to raise funds for adoption is through a fundraising event. Events are also a powerful and fun way to create community and bring your adoption process and story to life. Whether your adoption is domestic or international, the crowdfunding process is essentially the same. You’ll start by setting up a GoFundMe adoption fundraiser, where you post your story with images and video. Our blog has even more fundraising tips for successful adoption fundraising ideas.

  • Nearly 400,000 children in the US do not have permanent families, according to the U.S. Department of Health.
  • UNICEF reports that around the world, approximately 140 million orphans are on the streets or in orphanages.
  • Child Trends found that approximately 2% of the total child population in the world is adopted.

1. Host an adoption party or picnic

Start the adoption process with a party or picnic that doubles as a fundraiser. It’s an excellent way for you to share your fundraising efforts with attendees and also raise money for your GoFundMe adoption fund.

  • Share your heartwarming story with attendees and thank them for coming.
  • Attendees can donate using their own mobile devices or with cash.
  • At some point in the festivities, ask if anyone wants to volunteer to be on your fundraising team (one of our first recommendations to anyone running a fundraiser of any kind is to gather a team, with each member focusing on different areas of the fundraiser, from posting updates to writing thank-you notes).
  • Ask friends, family, and guests to share your fundraiser link on their social media.

2. Hold a benefit concert or performance

Know a musician? Or two or three? Invite them to perform live at your home or any other venue where you have affordable access. You’ll enjoy live music and socialize while you spread the word about your adoption fundraiser and let others know you want to adopt a child. It is also a fun way for your friends and family to be able to donate.

  • Invite friends and family plus, advertise the event in your neighborhood or community center.
  • Charge an entry fee in the form of a donation to your fundraiser. You can take donations in cash, or people can donate to your fundraiser on their phone.
  • Consider creating a hashtag and a Facebook page beforehand so people can stay connected to your fundraiser in ways that will help sustain it.

3. Use your skills to raise money for your adoption

Everyone has some skills they can teach to others. Are you a talented cook? Hold a themed culinary class (in people’s homes or a kitchen that works for this purpose). Participants can pay by donating to your fundraiser. Gifted artist? Offer a drawing or painting class. Know a foreign language? Raise money by teaching classes or tutoring privately.

Use your skills to your advantage. Successfully adopting fundraising ideas comes from passion, and using your skills to your advantage will help your friends and family understand how passionate you are about becoming a parent.

4. Hold a yard sale

Another adoption fundraising idea? Host a yard sale! Spring clean your home and set up outside over a few weekends. Plus, you get face time with neighbors, community members, and friends to help promote your adoption fundraiser.

  • Gather old clothes, furniture, and anything else that’s gathering dust in your attic and host a yard sale. Ask neighbors, friends and family to donate their own items.
  • Consider asking a local faith community or other gathering places if you can leave a box for people to donate items for the sale.
  • Advertise your adoption fundraiser yard sale throughout your neighborhood and on your fundraiser.
  • On the day of the event, offer lemonade and other goodies.
  • Promote your fundraising efforts with a sign saying “We’re Adopting a Child” and further information about your online fundraiser.
  • Set up a donation station with a laptop for anyone who wants to contribute more to your fundraiser.

5. Check with your employer’s adoption assistance benefit

Employers may financially help employees who adopt a child as part of their benefits. The type of financial support provided varies by employer. Some offer a one-time payment ranging from $1,000 to $15,000. Others assist with specific adoption-related expenses, while some reimburse a portion of certain expenses. Contact your HR department if you plan to adopt and want to know if your employer has adoption benefits. Also, consider asking your coworkers for some good adoption party ideas and organize a fundraiser to cover expenses not included in your employer’s adoption assistance program.

6. Apply for an adoption grant

Adoption grants can help families cover adoption expenses, making it more accessible. Grants are available from different sources like non-profit organizations, foundations, and government agencies, and some are specific to certain types of adoption, like foster care. Eligibility criteria usually include completing a home study, working with a licensed agency, and meeting income requirements. For example, children with special needs often have higher adoption costs, but adoption grants can help families afford to adopt these children.

The Gift of Adoption, for instance, is the biggest provider of adoption assistance grants. These grants are awarded without discrimination based on race, religion, age, marital status, or sexual orientation. Monthly grants of up to $15,000 are given to eligible applicants with flexible application deadlines.

7. U.S. government adoption tax credit

Don’t forget about the government’s adoption tax credit as well. Families in the process of adoption during 2022 can claim the adoption tax credit. This adoption tax credit allows them to claim up to $14,890 in eligible adoption expenses for each eligible child. The credit can be applied to international, domestic, private and public foster care adoptions.

8. Ask for donations to your GoFundMe fundraiser in lieu of gifts

Instead of traditional gifts for your birthday or wedding, ask for donations toward your GoFundMe adoption fundraiser. Let everyone know that every big or small donation will bring your family one step closer to making your family whole. A fun adoption party idea that can double as a birthday party is one of the best fundraising ideas—host a summer potluck. Everyone can help celebrate another year of life and eat some good food!

Make your adoption a reality with crowdfunding

While the expenses associated with adoption can be steep, crowdfunding gives you a way to make it happen—and when you combine crowdfunding with events and other financial assistance, it can bring people together and create positive momentum. Like so many others who’ve used our platform for this purpose, you can use these successful adoption fundraising ideas to raise money for your adoption. If you haven’t already started your fundraiser, launch your adoption GoFundMe fundraiser today.