How to Plan an Adoption Fundraiser

Adopting a little one costs a lot of $$$. I wish it didn’t have to be like this! There are so many children that need a good home. But it is what it is. Planning an adoption fundraiser is a great way to raise money to help with the financial burden!

When my husband and I first decided to adopt the expenses were very daunting. Sure, we save our money and try our best to be smart with it. But having thousands of dollars ready to go at any moment is very overwhelming. We researched and brainstormed many, many ideas to help us raise the money we needed. We wanted an adoption fundraiser that was right for us and that we would be passionate about. 

Planning a fundraiser is stressful and very time consuming. I had a lot of tears and doubts during the whole process, wondering if it was even going to pay off. But it sure did! It was 100% worth it. All of our hard work came through and I still get emotional every time I think about our fundraiser…people are so kind! We are SO grateful for everyone that supported us! They are making our dreams become a reality. 

How to Choose Your Adoption Fundraiser

My #1 piece of advice for organizing an adoption fundraiser is to find something that is a good fit for your lifestyle! It should be something you enjoy putting together. Maybe a hobby or interest you have, and that other people have an interest in as well-since you need an audience to target. For our fundraiser we decided to do a 5K/1 mile race. We felt like that would be a good fit because:

1. We enjoy running ourselves, we both ran cross country in high school and still enjoy running together.

2. We felt like we knew a good amount of runners that would enjoy the race. 

3. We wanted a family focused event, something that anyone could participate in.


Moving Mountains for Adption 5K/1 Mile race logo.
Moving Mountains for Adoption 5K/1 Mile race logo.

Be open minded when planning your adoption fundraiser. Try to come up with ideas that a variety of people can participate in. For example: at first we were just going to do a 5K, but the more we thought about it we realized that limited our target audience. We wanted it to be more of a family event, so we included the 1 mile course. That definitely helped us get more people to sign up! 

Also, don’t be afraid to have more than one way to raise money. We had a raffle drawing for a treadmill at the race. That was another fun way for people to donate. 

Once you decide on an adoption fundraiser plan a date! Make sure you give yourself enough time to organize all the details and get the word out. In our case we gave ourselves 3 months, which was a good amount of time. Your fundraiser might take less time to plan or even more time.

10 Ways to promote your fundraiser

Promote your fundraiser like crazy! Any chance you get. Here are some ways that we promoted our race:

  • Social media. This is the biggest one in my opinion. Make a Facebook page. Post like crazy. Ask anyone and everyone to share your event and help get the word out! Here is the link to our event page:

You can also promote your Facebook page. This does cost a little bit of money but it helps get the word out about your event quickly and reaches people that you wouldn’t normally reach just by sharing. You can decide how many days you want the promotion to go for.

  • Hang up flyers anywhere you can. Make sure to ask for permission first of course. Design your flyers to be eye catching and straight to the point. You want others to notice them! There are a lot of online resources to help you make flyers easily. We used postermywall.com to create a bright, fun flyer. It costs $2.99 to download the flyer for online and printing use.
  • Talk about it! At work, school, any conversation you have. 
  • Pass along cards, we had some we would carry around in our wallets. That way if we were having a conversation and the race came up we had the information right there to give to them. 
  • Ask to hand out flyers at local events. We went to a couple Easter egg events and handed out flyers to the parents and candy to the kids. We also put our business card flyers with a little treat in goodie bags, that a couple local events handed out. 
  • In the case of our event, we were able to team up with another local race to promote. They included flyers for our race in their race packets and we did the same for them at our race. Kind of like a trade off to help each other get the word out.
  • Have a website or online page that people can view to find more information. You can view our race page here:

  • Create a radio ad. Our local radio offers half price for fundraiser ads. 
  • You can send out an email list to all your contacts.
  • Be creative in your ideas! 

Sponsors & Participants

During the planning process we asked some businesses to sponsor our race. They donated things like food for the finish line, gift cards for prizes and our t-shirt sponsor gave us a discount. When working with businesses make sure to communicate and keep in contact. In our experience often a business will be willing to sponsor your fundraiser, but if they don’t keep a record of your conversation it could be forgotten later on. Then you have to go through the same process again. 

My last tip is to have a way to thank those who participate in your adoption fundraiser. For example, we had t-shirts to give to all the race participants. Then we had a raffle and prizes for the race winners. We also made sure to send out thank you cards to the businesses that helped sponsor, and anyone else that spent a lot of time helping us. It’s nice to thank individuals personally. 

Our adoption fundraiser was a great success because of all the hard work we put into planning and promoting it! We are very excited for next year, as we are planning on putting on the race again-this time to help another family with their adoption expenses.

If you have any questions or comments about putting an adoption fundraiser together, I would love to hear them! 

2 thoughts on “How to Plan an Adoption Fundraiser”

  1. It’s great to know about the success of your adoption fundraiser. I have never arranged something like this but you have inspired me a lot.

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