Fundraising for an adoption is NO JOKE.
Asking others for help for something that solely benefits you is truly not an easy thing. Everyone wants to be able to to just wake up and have the money, I don’t think I have ever met one single person that is REALLY excited to fundraise if it is for themselves. It’s exhausting, fundraising takes a toll on you. It is stressful to no end, I remember I use to cringe when making another “fundraising” post. The comments from people, the jokes, the vulnerability in it all.
My husband and I were able to have AMAZING success with fundraising and I get asked a lot..HOW??
Our adoption with Foster cost about $40,000 total. I know.
The actual adoption agency fees were $36,090
Finalization is another $2,000
Travel to FL/6 weeks in FL around another $2,000
We did various fundraisers for the first year, my husband and I saved and then when we got the surprise call about Foster and I announced we were headed to meet our son $17,000 was raised in 4 days. My husband and I were watching miracles straight from the Hands of God right before our eyes. It was a feeling I will never fully be able to describe. To see thousands of people rallying around MY family to help us in a time of SERIOUS need as we were headed to meet our son. Before we left we took out a $30,000 personal loan with a ridiculous interest rate. We had that loan paid in full in 12 weeks because of mostly strangers.
Because of all of the above, I often get asked what we did that was different to have so much support and the number one things I say is to be..
Transparent and Authentic
Which is NOT easy to do. It is hard to have all of social media in on the details of your life and struggles, but that’s exactly what I did. It’s not that you OWE it to them but people in general will feel more inclined to help support your cause if they know more about you, your family, your cause and struggles.
NOW we have a decent following from our adoption journey but that wasn’t always the case. When I first started my blog I would have around 7 people read and I wanted to stop writing all the time. But I didn’t and when it came to really needing help it was there and when we were in the hospital my blog posts and social media posts were reaching around 90k people. I remember in the early days of fundraising I would write a new blog post about how I was SERIOUSLY struggling about not being a mom, how I was tired or other feelings I had. I think one time I even wrote how I was crying my eyes out one night while taking a bath.
I would turn on my worship music (I still do, I have Kari Jobe on right now), blog my heart out and leave my entire emotional book case right there on the screen, press post and shut the laptop. I felt so vulnerable and IMMEDIATELY wanted to delete it, all of them, every single time I wrote. But I never did and I always received the most encouraging messages.
Another thing NOT to do is to compare you beginning to someone else’s middle or end.
When people hear we raised/saved $40k sometimes I feel as though it even discourages them because they could never see themselves accomplishing that. We started this process in September 2013 and we finalize in 3 weeks and are paying the final $3,000 of this adoption journey. It didn’t happen over night, it wasn’t easy and there was A LOT of prayers and living on Faith. Don’t compare your decision to START this journey to my ending because I was RIGHT where you are now and it is scary.
There will never be a day starting an adoption WONT be scary.
So here are my from the heart TIPS to successfully fundraising:
Be transparent (to a point)
Be Authentic with your writing Be true to your feelings
Be consistent with updates and posts
Start a blog
Don’t be defensive of comments if possible
Pray and talk to Jesus about your fears and concerns, HE can handle them
Remember to not take the stress out on your spouse
And last, Remember the end result, remember a child that will forever have a family because of your BRAVE decision to adopt.
This was the day we meet our son, Foster.