FUND RAISING Letter Writing Campaign Gather a list of address for all friends and family members who you a close with (your Christmas Card list is a good place to start!). Write a letter explaining your desire to adopt. Include statistics about abandoned children, orphanage situations, and especially the cost. Send the letters to everyone on your list, including a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope. Organizations such as The National Heritage Foundation allow you to establish a charitable foundation for the adoption of children. This allows your friends and family members to donate to the foundation, which makes their donation tax deductible, and possibly more appealing. Information is included in this packet, in addition to sample friends and family letters. Gift Wrap for Donation During the weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas, numerous stores may allow you to set up a gift-wrap-for-donation booth at the exit to their store. Include some paperwork describing your efforts at the booth, as well as a “suggested” donation per package. Gift wrap bought in bulk, tape and ribbon are the only overhead costs in this fund-raiser, and be sure to recruit lots of friends and family members to work in shifts throughout the day (it can get a little overwhelming with just a couple people working all day… especially that time of year. If you know other families who are going through the same process, it might work out to do the event together, splitting profits either in half, or based on how many man-hours each person’s volunteers put in. Raffle A raffle is an especially good idea if either of you work for a large company, or are involved in a large organization that gives you access to a lot of people easily. The key to having a profitable raffle is to get a lot of items donated. For example, Blockbuster Video will sometimes donate 10-15 pre-viewed movies to be included in a raffle basket. Local restaurants will donate gift certificates, (be sure that when you approach these places for donations that you have your information in order… go in with a letter requesting the donation, explaining why you are raising the money, etc. They will need this for their records, and it will help to speed the process. Local hotels may also be able to donate overnight stays or weekend “getaway” packages. In all cases, when seeking these types of donations, it helps if the person that you are talking with has adopted or has a family member or friend who has adopted. Dress-Down-for-Charity Work Event Again, if you or your spouse is fortunate enough to work for a large office, you may be able to talk with the HR department about having a “dress-down-for-charity” day (outside of the typical Friday policy). In this case, workers are able to wear jeans on a different day of the week, in exchange for a small donation to your cause. $2-$3 is usually a fair donation in these cases, and can be quite lucrative depending on the size of your office, and overall participation rate. Organize a Yard/Garage Sale Having a garage/yard sale can be a great way to not only raise money, but also to clear away old items to make room for new baby stuff! The key to having a successful and lucrative sale is to collect donations from friends, family members and coworkers. Have signs displayed explaining your cause. If possible, have drinks for sale, and possibly breakfast items to raise additional funds for your adoption. Golf Scramble Made arrangements with a golf course to have a fundraising golf tournament. Arrange for reduced greens fees to be paid and solicit donated prizes for winners. Arrange for volunteers to handle registration, watch holes, and act as referees regarding rules of play. Charge $25 -$50 or more per 2 person team (to be paired with players of similar ability); $50-$100 or more for foursomes. You'll need to arrange the golfers into 'flights' using established handicaps or other criteria. Sell boxed lunches and have donated door prizes. Walk-a-Thon Bike-a-Thon, Hoop-a-thon, Jumprope-a-thon… all have the same effect and are pretty effortless to hold. Gather a group of participants from your circle of friends and relatives, and have them obtain sponsorship for your event. Either flat donations or per mile/basket/jump sponsorship can be obtained… Maybe follow up the event with a picnic or pot-luck meal. Bake Sales Again, the more donated items you can get, the better. Host at work, or in the building you work in, and solicit donations. Ask several different people to bring different types of cookies, and allow people to fill a ziplock back for $3.00 - $5.00. Breakfasts/Dinners Pancake breakfasts and spaghetti dinners are a staple of fund-raising activities and can be hosted through your neighborhood, work, church, or other large organizations. Advertise well and be sure to try to get donation of food items and volunteer chefs to keep overhead costs as low as possible. At-Home-Party Fundraisers “At Home Party” companies such as Pampered Chef, Longaberger, Home Interiors and Tupperware offer an option to host a party as a fundraiser. Under this scenario, instead of receiving hostess gifts and free merchandise, a percentage of total sales will be donated to the charity selected by the host. The percentage of total donated varies by company, and specifics can be supplied by individuals from each company. Below is a partial list of representatives in the Lexington area: Tupperware: Mary Ellen Young (859) 223-4082 email@example.com Pampered Chef: Brian and Jill Hensley (859) 252-2859 (859) 351-5300 firstname.lastname@example.org Websites with other fund-raising ideas: http://www.fundraising-ideas.org/DIY/index.html http://www.fundraisingideas.com.au/fundraisingideas.htm http://www.affordingadoption.com/fundraisers.php Sample Letter One - General Dear Family and Friends, We want to share our exciting news with you! We are adopting a baby from China! Our child will be between 6-12 months old and should be living with us by next summer. Her name will be Annabelle. You might wonder what made us decide to do this and all we can say is that it was God who put this desire into our hearts. We are excited about the opportunity to offer at least one child-in-need a family to love and the opportunity to learn about Jesus. We know God has a special child chosen just for us and we are eager to be completely faithful to what He is calling us to do. It will be exciting to see how He works out the whole adoption process. For us, the call to adopt internationally was an easy one to answer, when we considered the facts. Estimates of abandonment in China alone range from 100,000 per year to over one million per year. Extreme poverty and the “one-child” law are the root cause of most of these abandonments, and the truth of the matter is that many of these children will grow up not knowing love, what it means to be part of a family, and without the opportunity to know Jesus. Our hope from you, our friends and family is that you would help us by opening your arms and hearts to overwhelm our child with love and blessing. Also, we hope that you would be able to contribute to our cause with a small donation. Our adoption expenses including document preparation and translation, hiring of attorneys and other professionals in the U.S. and China, travel, hotels, passports and more will cost in excess of $20,000. Help us bring her home and give her an unimaginable life. In the meanwhile, please support us with your prayers. Pray for our patience as we wait, and that God will look over her , her birth mother and those who will provide her care until we get there. Please call or email us with any questions you may have regarding our situation. We are thrilled to death to talk about this wonderful adventure. We are excited about what God is going to do in our lives through this child. The process is long and not without obstacles but we are ready for the challenge. When our child arrives home to us, we will contact you through the mail with our happy news. Thank you for prayerfully considering our situation in your giving this year. Sincerely, Jeff and Kathy Ponatoski (859) 264-7159 email@example.com Sample Letter Two – Through Adoption Foundation Dear Family and Friends, Something wonderful is about to happen in our home! We have nearly completed an adoption of a little boy from Romania. Our new son’s name is Valentin and he is three years old. We’ve enclosed a picture of this little cutie. Valentin is a special child - he has cerebral palsy which affects his ability to walk. He’s a fighter, though, and is making excellent progress! We have wanted to adopt for some time and truly believe the Lord has led us to Valentin. We are using a wonderful agency in Denver, Colorado called “Children are Forever.” Adoption is never easy and the hardest part of all seems to be the financing. Our adoption will cost about $12,000 when it is completed. This cost includes document preparation and translation, hiring of attorneys and other professionals in the U.S. and Romania, travel, hotels, passports and more. We have paid $7,000 of this amount and are excited to see how God will provide the remainder. Recently we learned of Kingdom Kids Adoption Ministries, an organization that helps families raise funds for adoptions. Through this organization people can make tax-deductible donations toward adoption expenses! We have enclosed additional information about this fundraising plan. Please prayerfully consider our situation in your giving. Valentin could be home by Christmas and we believe we shouldn’t go into debt for this adoption. Please call or email us with any questions you may have regarding our situation. We are happy to talk about this wonderful adventure. Also, the Kingdom Kids staff is available to you Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Pacific Time.) Please contact them at (509) 465-3520 or email them at Ministry@KingdomKidsAdoption.org. Their website is www.KingdomKidsAdoption.org. When Valentin arrives home we will send a photo of all of us to contributors. Thank you for considering our situation. May the Lord bless you. All our love, Paul and Janet Brown (509) 555-1234 PnJBrown@KingdomKidsAdoption.org P.S. If you decide to assist us in our fundraising and wish to do so by check please DO NOT include our names anywhere on the check. Internal Revenue Service regulations do not allow for a tax-deductible donation to have any name other than the tax-exempt organization written on it. Please enclose a note with your check to indicate that you wish your donation to go toward our grant. Thank you so much. Sample Letter Three - With Matching Grant Dear Family and Friends, We have great news! Our dreams are coming true as we have the opportunity to adopt an infant. We should hear specific information soon. As most of you know we have been married for ten years and haven't been able to have a baby. This has been a source of discouragement and sadness for us. We truly believe the Lord has led us to adopt. He wants to build a family for us, but not the way we were thinking! Our agency, Babies for Everyone!, is located in Pennsulvania. They have been working in the field of adoption for twenty-two years and have successfully placed over 1200 babies in loving families. Adoption is an exciting venture. We will be able to meet with the birthmother and be at the baby’s birth. Our baby will be released to us from the hospital. The one part of adopting that is difficult for us, other than the waiting, is the expense of it all. Our adoption will cost approximately $8,500 when completed. We have saved $4,000 but are still in need of $4,500. Recently we learned of Life International, an organization that provides matching grants to Christian families to help fund adoption. The matching grants range in value from $1000- $4000 and we have been approved for a $2000 grant. In essence, this means that, for every dollar that we are able to raise up to $2000, they will match those contributions dollar for dollar! Thank you for being in prayer with us. We are excited to see what God will do to bring a child into our family! With full hearts, Kim and Andrew Smith (509) 555-1234 firstname.lastname@example.org P.S. If you decide to assist us in our fundraising and wish to do so by check please make the check payable to Life International, and include a note indicating that you wish your donation to go toward our grant. Thank you so much.