Sometimes even when we try our hardest, things don’t work out like we think they are going to.
This is so very true for adoption fundraising. I have been around the adoption community for a while now and have seen so many wonderful fundraisers bring in tons of money for a family, and then I have seen some very well-planned and fantastic fundraisers bring in a fraction of what they could have.
What do you do when you have planned and worked countless hours on an event or online fundraiser and then it seems to crash and burn?
Pray that God will give you the heart to go on, knowing that He is going to provide.
2. Try something different.
Online auction a flop? T shirt sales fizzle? Try something different. Go old school and prepare a letter. Laure wrote a wonderful post here that outlines how to prepare a fundraising letter.
Send it to everyone! Don’t discount people who aren’t on Facebook or Instagram. There may be a older couple down the street or at your church whose children are grown and they are just waiting to be given the opportunity to bless a young family. Give people the opportunity!
3. Cut back and get rid of stuff.
Cut back to bare necessities, sell a car you may not need right now, cut back on cable, eating out, new clothes, really whatever you can think of to save a few dollars. I know a family that had a yard sale every few weeks their entire adoption process, they didn’t stop at one, they kept on and people rallied around them and began bringing them their stuff to sell as well! It all can add up! I promise!
4. Pick up a part time job.
Now I know not everyone can do this. But I know a few mamas who took on part time jobs just during their adoption process to help offset the cost. Their paycheck went right into their adoption fund. Maybe you’re good at cleaning? Start a little house cleaning business. Good at baking? Bake up some cookies and cupcakes and get your kids involved to help spread the word.
5. Get your church involved.
We are seeing more and more churches step up and get involved in some sort of orphan care ministry. If your church hasn’t done this, this may be a perfect opportunity for you to speak to your pastor and church leaders about tangible and specific ways to care for the orphan. Number one – helping adopting and foster families in their community. Maybe they will let you have a bake sale or yard sale one Saturday on the church campus. You never know until you ask! Some churches have grants they give adopting families so if your church doesn’t have this set up, ask around. There may be another church near by that does.
You may not receive assistance this time around from your home church, but you could be laying the ground work for future adopting families who come after you.
6. Don’t discount grants.
There are grants out there for adopting families. Tap into that! They can be a lot of paperwork, you may not think you qualify but apply anyway! Here is a great post from Laure on grants and how to tackle them.
7. Get creative and gather a team.
Sometimes we just need people to come along side us during this journey. Step out of your comfort zone and ask! Be honest and transparent and let some of your close friends and family members know that you need help brainstorming ideas. Someone may just have the idea for the perfect fundraiser for you!
Trust in the process. Some fundraisers may be flops, some may bring in more! Just keep on the path. Hard work pays off – but more than that – people will see and notice that you are working hard towards you goal and often respond to that. Trust that the Lord has this.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. – Proverbs 3:5
9. Stay positive.
This one is hard, I know! Vent to your close friends then put on that happy face and get back out there. Do not let anyone discourage you from doing what you know the Lord has called you to do. I know the comments and the criticism we open ourselves up to when taking the leap of faith to fundraise. Remember you’re already a poster child for adoption in your circle, whether you like it or not – people respond to a positive spirit. During the tough times, work hard to think on the things that the Lord has done, and post scripture on your mirror to encourage you when you’re down.. it’s important for your well-being.
10. Remember that HIS ways are not always OUR ways.
God’s call to adoption is a wonderful journey of faith. It’s unique and specific to our walk. Some are provided the funds before they even start an adoption and some are not fully funded until just days before they travel! I know! We were not fully funded until three weeks before travel. But oh, I wouldn’t change it for the world now. The Lord taught me so much about what it means to truly rely on Him. I can’t tell you of the countless families out there who kept on and trusted, knowing the Lord would come through and He always does! It may not be in our timing but it’s the path He has us on and there is reason we have to wait sometimes. A good friend continuously reminded me when we were in process that God knows where all the money is coming from; our job is to be obedient and do what He called us to do.
11. Don’t give up, mama.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. – Isaiah 26:3
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known. – Philippians 4:6