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The Ultimate List of Adoption Fundraisers

The Ultimate Guide to Adoption Fundraisers

When I started looking for fundraising ideas last spring, I dreamed of bumping into a list like this. Now that I've baked hundreds of giant cookies, sold fair trade jewelry from around the globe, had the largest garage sale in the history of the world (that may or may not be a slight exaggeration), and spent hours scouring Google for good ideas, I feel qualified to make this ultimate list of adoption fundraisers. 

Food, Food, Food

  • Cake Pops
    This mom sold cake pops and she gave classes on how to make cake pops. Two ways to earn money for adoption!
  • Chicken and Noodle Dinner
  • Cookie Dough!  My sweet friend, Jen, did this for our family to raise funds for our adoption. 
  • Equal Exchange ~ Fair Trade Chocolate, Coffee, Cocoa, and Tea; they do work with adoptive families–just send them an email!
  • Restaurant Fundraisers 
    Check your local restaurants to see if they will let you work the clean-up crew for one evening and collect a percentage of the sales. 
    The Matthews Family had fundraisers at The Pizza Ranch. 
    This family, who adopted two children from Congo, had fundraisers at Chick-fil-A
    This family had a fundraiser at Orange Leaf.

Garage Sale

Giveaways and Auctions

  • Ask your boss if you can "auction" off a prime parking spot at work
  • Auction a picnic lunch for local friends  (Facebook is a great place to do this!)
  • Auction homemade dinners for local friends (again, auction them off on Facebook)
  • Host a dessert auction; ask friends and family to donate their best home baked goods (You could compile the recipes and sell a cookbook at the auction!)
    Dessert Auction Ideas
  • Online Auction
    A HUGE auction put together by friends of the adopting family. You will probably be surprised at how many of your crafty family and friends will be willing to donate items to your raffle or auction. Just ask and see!



    Another example: Handmade Auction

Homemade and Handmade 

Adoptive families are creative and they make and sell just about anything and everything. There is something special about handmade items, so if you are crafty ———-> go for it! 

  • Digitally Designed Valentine Cards (You can only see these if you have a Pinterest account as the original blog post has been removed.)
  • Soap by The Burgess Family 

Note: Sometimes it can be expensive (too expensive) to set-up at a craft fair. Consider starting your own holiday market or summer fair. Secure a location that will donate their building and then find 15-30 vendors (however many will fit) to pay $25 each to be at the market. If you find 30, that's $750 for your fund PLUS whatever you make from your own booth. Make sure you advertise really well to make the event a grand success for all. Use social media to your advantage! 

Note: A quick search on Pinterest will give you a bazillion more ideas for things you can make and sell for your adoption.

Jewelry and Pre-purchased Stuff

  • Delicate Fortress ~ jewelry, accessories, bags, bath & body products; learn more about fundraising here; up to 25% profit
  • MudLOVE ~ clay jewelry and magnets; learn more about fundraising here
  • Once Was Lost ~ fair trade jewelry, toys, and accessories; 50% commission
  • Zoe Clothing Company ~ friends and family order clothes from this online company and you make 25% profit for your adoption fund; learn more about fundraising here

Marathons and Sporting Events

  • Cut-A-Thon (hair cuts!)
    Find some stylists that want to help you out, plan a date, and go for it. Read about how the Hogeland's used "Hope Cuts" to help fund their adoption ($2,600!).
  • Scrap-A-Thon (Crop 'Til You Drop)
    Host a scrapbooking party that lasts all day! Charge a set amount for each attendee. Invite a Stampin' Up consultant or a Creative Memories consultant to demostrate new techniques. Solicit door prizes from friends; have plenty of snacks or ask each attendee to bring one. 
  • Skate-A-Thon
    Organize an event at your local roller rink. This would be a good event for kids who want to have a part in helping your adoption. They need to get sponsors and then skate, skate, skate!


    As a twist on this, you could ask your local rink to donate a day. Then have a skating party and charge admission to raise funds for your adoption.

  • Family Fun Day or Family Fun Night
    Ask a local bowling alley or mini-golf course to donate a day to your cause. You could also create your own family fun time at a church (popcorn and a family friend movie; board games to play; lots of fun snacks). 


    If you are really ambitious and if you have the support of lots of local friends, hold a carnival with a duck pond, dunk tank, cake walk, and other fun games with prizes. Be sure to have a concession stand at the carnival, too!

    Here is the Hogeland family's blurb about their Memorial Day Weekend Family Fun Day.

    One family even chose to do a Barn Dance! Another idea is Karoke Night.

Other creative ideas: Dance-A-Thon, Dribble-A-Thon, Shoot-A-Thon, Swim-A-Thon, Hula-hoop-A-Thon . . . any A-Thon you can think of!

Services To Provide

  • Both Hands Fundraiser
    This is an awesome opportunity to serve widows and advocate for orphans at the same time!

  • Gift Wrapping
    Ask permission to set up a booth at a mall during the holiday season, enlist some friends to help,  and take donations for gift wrapping.


  • Chrome Buffalo ~ choose a shirt design, sign-up for a ten day drive, and make $11 from each shirt you sell. 
  • Design Your Own! 
    One way to offset the cost and make more money is to ask businesses to sponsor a spot on the back of the shirt. 
  • Zoe Clothing Company ~ friends and family order clothes from this online company and you make 25% profit for your adoption fund; learn more about fundraising here
  • You could also choose to sell totes instead of tees! 

Other Creative Ideas

  • Beard for Glory
    So unique; be inspired! What creative idea can you concoct?
  • Cha-ching for Ting
    This family made banks out of glass jars. Inside the jars they tucked a note of explanation and some chocolate hugs & kisses. Families who took the jars threw all their spare change inside.
  • Cook Books
    The Curtis Family is selling a Coming Home Cook Book filled with adoption stories and favorite ethnic recipes!  

No Risk Opportunities

Sometimes you don't have a lot of money to invest to get a fundraiser going. This list is for you! The following fundraisers are NO RISK.

  • Both Hands (see video in Services to Provide section)
  • Give One, Save One ~ each week they feature different families adopting, asking their readers to give $1 to the family. You can contact them if you would like to be a featured family.
  • Hope Suds
    Hope Suds features one adoptive family per month and gives them 50% of the proceeds from each bag of soap sold! Apply to become a Hope Suds Family.
  • Shoot My Kids! ~ every time you refer a mom who attends a Shoot My Kids! workshop, you receive $25 for your adoption; you do not have to be local as she offers online web-based workshops. Fundraising information here.
  • See Restaurant Fundraisers (in the Food, Food, Food section)
  • Zoe Clothing Company ~ friends and family order clothes from this online company and you make 25% profit for your adoption fund; learn more about fundraising here

Fundraisers that help TWO causes at one time

Lots of our fundraisers (Apparent Project, Kwagala Project, and Threads of Hope) were win-win fundraisers. They are the best. People love to support a good cause (I sure do), and people doubly love to support two good causes. Most of these are already mentioned throughout the post, but I wanted to compile them in one place for those of you who love the win-win fundraisers!

  • The Apparent Project (paper bead bracelets from Haiti); read my blog post about this fundraiser
    cause you are helping: Haitan artisans ~ education, housing, help taking care of their children
  • Both Hands (see video in Services to Provide section)
    cause you are helping:
    widows and orphans
  • Delicate Fortress ~ jewelry, accessories, bags, bath & body products from around the world; learn more about fundraising here
    cause you are helping: survivors of human trafficking, modern day slavery, extreme poverty, and exploitation
  • Forget Us Not ~ keyfobs, camera strap covers; fundraising information here
    cause you are helping: 50% of the profit goes to establishing sewing centers in Kenya & Uganda
  • KHMERkrafts ~ purses from Cambodia; learn more about fundraising here
    cause you are helping
    : at-risk young women in Cambodia
  • MudLOVE ~ (clay jewelry and magnets) learn more about fundraising here 
    cause you are helping: Africans get clean drinking water
  • Threads of Hope  ~ learn more about fundraising here
    cause you are helping: Filipino artisans provide for their families

Direct Sales

  • Locate a friend who sells Usborne, Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple, etc. and ask them if they would support your adoption by donating commission from a party (one that you host!) to your fund.
  • Anne is a Thirty-One consultant, and she is willing to give 100% of her commission to your adoption fund.
  • Michelle with Usborne Books will give you 100% of her commission for your adoption fund if you host a party with her.
  • Look how the Walser Family took this idea to the next level with their Vendor Blender!

Have you done or are you doing a fundraiser that isn't on the list?
I'd love to add it! Please leave a comment.

48 Responses to The Ultimate List of Adoption Fundraisers

  • Julie says:

    Wow! This is so amazing!! Thank you for putting together such a huge list! Imagine my shock when I went through the list and saw our fundraiser (Cha-Ching for Ting) linked! Thanks! It has been a wonderful fundraiser – banks are still coming in and with wonderful stories of how families have gotten involved – even offices (some were taken to work!). Won’t know our total for a bit while the banks are still coming in. Some people are keeping the banks to fill again for us!! So far we have 2 and a half large pretzel jars (the big ones) full – and that doesn’t include the other jar full of the bills that have come in or the checks that people lovingly added to their banks! This was such an easy fundraiser and could have even been done on a grander scale. We gave these out as people left another of our fundraisers – a holiday market! We are one month away from travel to our little Ting in China!

  • Megan says:

    Thank you for including my quilts : )


    This is a very impressive list!

  • Bridgett says:

    I, too, was shocked to find our little blog on the list! I’m a TOTAL newbie in the blogosphere Thank you for including us, and thank you for posting such a great resource!

  • Sara says:

    Thanks for including me in your list, Amy! This really is an Ultimate list!!!
    Sara recently posted..100 Household Items for Fine Motor SkillsMy Profile

  • Leslie says:

    Wow! What a fabulous list! I’ve saved it … just in case. :-)

  • Thank you for including us on the list. What a WONDERFUL resource for adopting families!
    Jennifer Taylor recently posted..In BloomMy Profile

  • Thank you for including Scarlet Threads in your list! :)

  • Angela says:

    Thank you thank you thank you!!!!! We are in the baby steps of our journey. Sooooo excited about this awesome list!!!! :) :) :)

  • Chantel says:

    This is a fantastic list! So many I had never heard of before! Though the food section made me really hungry. :)

    My husband and I started Once Was Lost last year -it’s an affiliate based program, and our affiliates get 50% commission. Just one more idea. :) http://waslost.org/
    Chantel recently posted..just asking for some prayerMy Profile

  • This is such an incredible list! Thank you so much for taking the time to compile this to benefit other families, and for including MercyFound’s resource page as well. We pray it will be a blessing to many!
    Melissa @ MercyFound Ministries recently posted..Share Your Story: Jindoyan Family – The Lord is My ShepherdMy Profile

  • Kelly Brown says:

    What a wonderful list! Thank you so much for putting this together, I wanted to let you know about our Fundraiser/Grants program called “Rescue One” http://www.rescueoneproject.org

    We are new but have had many successful families utilize our program and are trying to get the word out. Thank you!

  • Found you through MercyFounds repost and saw my blog on your list! How fun! I didn’t see the puzzle idea, or like the youngs did a virtual cupcake sale. When you’re down to te wire, an out of time to sell things, this can be a quick fun way to see God provide!

    Also, I do custom tees if you need a resource for that. http://Www.facebook.com/proclaimpromo

    Thanks for putting together this awesome resource for families!

  • Julie Gumm says:

    This is AMAZING! So many that even I hadn’t heard of. Thank you for taking time to compile this for families. What a blessing!
    Julie Gumm recently posted..How one family “stamped” a child home (Guest Post)My Profile

  • Marcy Bizelli says:

    Wish there would have been this list available to us at our time of Adoption. Very sweet of you to do this. We sold pizza’s from our local pizza parlor, we made up flyers with our information and contact information of the website we had and posted them anywhere they would be allowed – community involvement. We also spread the word that we would haul off anything folks needed hauled away, or items they no longer wanted…spring, fall cleaning many said and then we would scrap the items that were available for scrap or sell the items through resale that were available for that. It became successful too and it also helped those clean around their home as they seen fit. A local tattoo studio did an Adoption benefit for us, it was their first and it was very successful. We offered our time over and over again. Finally were successful with the Adoption of a baby girl in August 2011. Our heartache and hard work had turned to the most precious feeling in the world. We pray for those seeking Adoption have their dreams come true for we finally relaized they really do.

  • I offer direct sales fundraising for my store! I also offer free items when available for online auctions!

  • Pingback: (Not) Too Expensive: Ways to Pay for Adoption | hello, stranger

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  • Lisa Holcomb says:

    Hi there,
    My sister and I have 11 kiddos and out of those 11, 5 are adopted. We own a menu planning website called Build A Menu that gives a portion of all it’s proceeds to orphan care charities. We’ve now started a wonderful fundraiser for families needing to raise income for their adoption process. Would you be willing to add us to your fundraising list? You can check out our info here: http://www.buildamenu.com/adoption-fundraising-program
    Thank you. We are hoping to help lots of families bring their children home. :)
    Lisa Holcomb recently posted..A Unique and Tasty BBQ SauceMy Profile

  • We have 200+ DIY ideas at our site. Please feel free to use any that would be appropriate for adoption groups.


    Larry Hollingsworth

  • Zerita Brockman says:

    Thanks so much for compiling this list!  We are soon to be a "waiting family" for our second domestic adoption and needed some inspiration for fundraising.  This has provided some wonderful ideas.  Now, we will pray God gives us direction. 

  • Cara Chapman says:

    I am always willing to give 100% off the commissions from Arbonne classes about skin care or nutrition that I do for people.  People usually raise about $100-$250 in just a couple of hours with about 6-10 people in attendance. 

  • Tessy Fuller says:

    Thanks for linking me.  I will definitely share this post!

  • Pingback: My Two Cents on Raising Thousands of Dollars » light breaks forth

  • april says:

    What a great list!  I would love for you to add my company – Created New – to the list.  We offer no risk, online fundraising through our fashionable infinity ruffle scarf.  We starting doing adoption fundraising in the spring of 2013, and it has been a huge success.  We are now signing families up for the fall.  Thanks!



  • Abria says:

    What an awesome list. I have also used Mavuno Market. A nonprofit in Colorado. They send a box of faur trade items for you to sell and you keep a portion of the total.  They also run Passion for Orphans. 

  • Michelle says:

    What an awesome list! Thank you so much! I'd love to be added to your fundraiser list! I am an Educational Consultant for Usborne Books and will give 100% of my commission to adoption fundraisers! I'd be thrilled to help others as we are in the adoption process ourselves! :-)

  • Fundraising says:

    Thanks you so much for sharing this adoption fundraiser list. I am also doing doing fundraising for chairties and churches. continuetogive.com  provides mayn online fundraising tool to easy fundraisng from website. Raise money online by online tithing and fundraising.

  • Tabatha says:

    Thank you so much for this list, we are praying fervently for y'all to get to your little girl! 
    Blessings on you! 


  • Pingback: Affording adoption | Love makes a family

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  • ami says:

    Thank you, Tabatha!

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  • Amanda says:

    What a great list! Feel free to add my jewelry boutique as well, with all profits going toward our adoption expenses. :) 

    Many thanks,

  • Amy Moss says:

    Wow! I wish I had this list when we were adopting! We started a small business to raise money for our adoption and we now raise money for other families.  Owls for Orphans provides fundraising opportunities for our families through our boutique that sells handcrafted children's items.  We would be honored to be included on your list. <3 

  • Grace says:

    Exactly what I was looking for as a resource to point other AP's to!  Thank you for putting this together!

  • Auctions, games, and raffles are popular ways to raise even more money. The best raffles and auctions feature items that tie back to your cause or reflect your community’s unique interests.

  • Pingback: 22 ways to raise funds for your adoption

  • Anna says:

    Hi Ami. Your story is inspiring. I've shared with my sister who is going through the adoption process, trying to bring home their baby girl from Ethiopia.

    I also wanted to share Driven Coffee's fundraiser program as well: http://www.drivencoffee.com/fundraising
    Great company that gives back a percentage of each sale to charity, and also has a great fundraising program! Perhaps you'd like to check them out too.

    Many blessings to you and your family!

  • Buffi Young says:

    Hello….We are SO GRATEFUL for this list here.  It helped us with our adoption expenses when we adopted our son from China in 2013.  Love all your ideas.  My husband and I have a new business and we are offering it as a fundraiser for adoptions as well.  We will give 40% of the sales (not including tax or shipping) toward a families adoption expenses.  We will send donations to an approved non profit, like their adoption agency or adopttogether.org – Here is a link to check out our website.  We hope it will help families connect with their precious little ones!!! Let me know if you have questions. Thanks! Buffi (Here is the link:)


  • Pingback: Orphans, Fundraising, and Teens: Resources | Teens Interceding for Orphans

  • Tracy Jensen says:

    What a great list!  I even used some of them!  My most successful fundraiser by far was a shoe and clothing drive.  We blasted social media for a few months, and ended up collected almost 13, 000 lbs of shoes raising $11,000 dollars!!!  It was amazing to watch the oupouring of love come in from all over the country.  Here is a snippet from Angel Bins about what they do with the shoes and clothing when they get them:  

    All items will be recycled/reused. Many items will be sent to developing nations as a low cost alternative to new. Other items will be 

    recycled to make yarn, insulation, or wiping rags for local industry.



  • Thank you soooo much for this list (and site in general)! It has seriously lowered my blood pressure and stress level when it comes to finding ways to afford my upcoming adoption. I have posted a link to your site in my adoption blog and I will be adding some more fundraising ideas over the next few months. Thanks again!

  • Pingback: 5 Ways to Afford Adoption |

  • Monica Reagan says:

    Thank you is not kind enough words. My husband I just met with an adoption agency yesterday and were heartbroken by the amount it would cost. Still, God has a plan for us and after reading through your page and links, I have HOPE again. I will try many of these. Truly blessed you shared this with everyone!

  • Brittany says:

    I'm a Jamberry consultant and would love to help anyone who needs a fundraiser done! I donate my commission to help those trying to adopt. ~ Brittany 

  • Summer Mauldin says:

    This is a phenominal list! Thank you so much! I am starting a blog in March to provide encouragement to all the folks involved in one way or another in the adoption process and also have resources linked and available for adoptive families, specifically in the financial areas as well as practical resources for families in a variety of family dynamics. This is a great resource you've provided. Thank you!!!

  • Summer Mauldin says:

    ps- I'd love to Pin this to my Pinterest board, but when I clicked the P button, it just took me to your site. Could you help me figure out how to pin this page? Thank you!

  • ami says:

    Hi Summer,

    At the very end of the post there is a little bitty “pin it” button. We are hoping to have a new design on the blog soon along with a big FAT “pin it” button. :) Hope that helps!

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