6 Creative Adoption Fundraiser Ideas

by | Apr 10, 2024 | Adoptive Families Blog

Many hopeful adoptive parents seek adoption financial assistance and hold fundraisers to help defray their adoption fees. And there are countless ways to contribute to your adoption fund besides checking into your employee adoption benefits, applying for grants, taking advantage of the adoption tax credit, and exploring adoption loans.

Get Info Now

With a bit of ingenuity and support from your friends and family, you can successfully raise money for your adoption. Now, when you think about adoption fundraisers, your mind is probably going to things like silent auctions, yard sales, or spaghetti feeds. But today, we’re sharing six creative adoption fundraiser ideas that have been proven to work!

1. Adoption T-shirts

Another fun adoption fundraising idea is to sell adoption t-shirts, and this has become one of the most popular adoption fundraising ideas. First, find an economical t-shirt vendor. Next, design your adoption shirt and set the cost. Here are some ideas for adoption slogans to put on the t-shirt:

  • Love. Hope. Adopt. #larsonfamily
  • Families Don’t Have to Match
  • Love Makes a Family
  • Family Ever After
  • You Were Born in Our Heart

One online t-shirt fundraising site, Bonfire, gives you a risk-free way to create and sell custom t-shirts. They do not charge you any upfront costs or shipping, and you do not have to keep an inventory of shirts at your home. Bonfire prints and delivers the t-shirts to your supporters!
If you have time to keep track of inventory and shipping, you can manage your t-shirt fundraiser yourself using Fund The Nations. This company has a wonderful selection of pre-made adoption designs or they can customize shirts just for you.
Share your link for the t-shirt fundraiser site on Instagram and Facebook so your friends and family can order them. You can also sell the shirts at a local craft fair or your church’s bake sale. Be sure to have your entire family wear the shirts so they can advertise your fundraising.
Suitcase fundraiser for adoption

2. Suitcase Fundraiser

Another adoptive family came up with a clever way of raising money for their adoption by selling spaces on their suitcase. First, they bought a big suitcase, which would go with them when they traveled to meet their baby one day.
Then they sold spaces for people to write a verse, their name, a word or message, or draw a picture on their suitcase cover. It’s a sweet way for an adoptive couple to take their friends and family along on their adoption journey while helping pay for some of their adoption costs. Plus, the suitcase cover will become a keepsake for you once you adopt!

3. Lemonade Stand

Set up an adoption fundraising lemonade stand on selected weekends. You could even get friends’ children, nieces, or nephews involved and have them make signs and hand out cups of lemonade. If you already have children, they’ll love getting the chance to help raise money for a new sibling.
Set a large jar on your stand for donations to your adoption fund. Be sure to keep people up to date on how much you raised so they can celebrate with you!

4. Taco Night

Some adoptive families have hosted a taco night for their fundraiser. Tacos are relatively cheap to make, and most everyone likes them!
Find an inexpensive venue to host your event, like a church basement or outdoor park. Create a menu and buy the food. Be sure to post your Taco Night information on Instagram or Facebook, so your friends and family know the date and time.
Decorate the venue with colorful balloons and streamers, and hang signs that say, “Thank you for helping us welcome our baby home through adoption!” Sell the taco plates for anywhere from $10 to $20 depending on whether people add rice and beans to their tacos.

5. Fantasy Football Adoption Fundraiser

A lot of people are into fantasy football. So why not use fantasy football to raise money for your adoption? Set up a buy-in limit at $25 a team. Make sure your co-workers, family, and friends know that all proceeds go towards your adoption. Get a trophy for the person who wins, and be sure to thank them for helping you raise money to adopt.
Woman selecting the bath bombs she'd like to buy at an adoption fundraising craft booth

6. Sweet-smelling homemade bath bombs

Bath bombs are economical and easy to make. You can make some sweet-smelling fizzy balls that people will love to buy with just a few ingredients. Find a recipe that you like best, make them and then sell them on Facebook, at your local craft show, or directly to your friends and family. Design cards that explain that all proceeds will go for your adoption. People love donating to such a worthy cause.
Here’s a recipe by one of Lifetime’s adoptive moms, Angie, who used bath bombs as part of her family’s adoption fundraising efforts.
Bath bombs for sale at a craft fair, as part of one couple's adoption fundraiser ideasBath bombs

  • 4 cups baking soda
  • 2 cups cornstarch
  • 2 cups citric acid


  1. Mix the dry ingredients. Then add 24-32 drops of essential oil to the dry mixture. Never use peppermint. It burns!
  2. Add 2 cups of melted coconut oil, mixing slowly.
  3. It’s ready when you can squeeze some of the mixture in your hand and drop it in the bowl without it falling apart.
  4. If you want to color, add it to the coconut oil and whisk it before you add it to the dry ingredients.
  5. Pour two tablespoons of bath bomb mixture into each mold. Let them sit for 24 hours to dry completely.
  6. Wrap them in shrink wrap to keep them fresh and dry.

Crowdfunding for Your Adoption

One of the more popular adoption fundraiser ideas we’ve seen lately is crowdfunding. Crowdfunding offers an effective way to raise funds by asking many individuals to contribute, typically in modest amounts. It is often facilitated through online platforms that seamlessly integrate with social networking sites, facilitating easy sharing of fundraisers among supporters.
Among the most widely used crowdfunding platforms for adoption are GoFundMe, AdoptTogether, Plumfund, and AdoptionBridge. These platforms typically provide features such as:

  • Page setup for detailed descriptions, promotions, and updates, often including video content.
  • Seamless integration with social media for effortless sharing.
  • Online donation acceptance.
  • Fee structures comprising a percentage of funds raised along with transaction fees.

When using crowdfunding, it’s crucial to articulate your adoption journey with clarity and sincerity. Share your motivations, financial needs, and ways for others to participate wholeheartedly.
Additionally, some crowdfunding sites operate on an “all-or-nothing” basis, meaning that you need to reach your fundraising goal to access any funds. Therefore, it’s important to thoroughly review and comprehend the guidelines, terms, and conditions of your chosen platform before starting your campaign.

Adoption Fundraiser Ideas

There are many creative ways to raise proceeds to help pay for your adoption from a taco night to adoption-themed T-shirts. Hopefully, these adoption fundraiser ideas will help you raise the money you need.
Also, be sure to capture the event with lots of pictures to show your adopted child later on. Your child will love seeing the pictures and hearing how family and friends helped them come home!

Get Info Now

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on October 21, 2021, and has since been updated. 

Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.

Written by Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.

Founder of Lifetime Adoption, adoptive mom, adoption expert, and Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P).

Since 1986, adoption expert Mardie Caldwell has been dedicated to bringing couples and birth parents together in order to fulfill their dreams.

“Many years ago, I was also searching for a child to adopt. We didn’t know where or how to get started. Through research, determination, and a prayer, our dream of a family became reality. I started with a plan, a notebook, assistance from a caring adoption consultant and a lot of hard work; this was my family I was building. We had a few heartaches along the way, but the pain of not having children was worse!

Within weeks we had three different birth mothers choose us. We were overwhelmed and delighted. Many unsettling events would take place before our adoption would be finalized, many months later. Little did I know that God was training and aligning me for the adoption work I now do today. It is my goal to share with our families the methods and plans which succeed and do not succeed. I believe adoption should be affordable and can be a wonderful “pregnancy” for the adoptive couple.

I have also been on both sides of infertility with the loss of seven pregnancies and then conceiving by new technology, giving birth to a healthy daughter. I have experienced first-hand the emotional pain of infertility and believe my experience allows me to serve your needs better.

It is my hope that for you, the prospective parents, your desire for a child will be fulfilled soon.”

Read More About Mardie Caldwell

Get the latest adoption news, tips, and guidance straight to your inbox!


You may also like…

How to Find a Birth Parent-focused Adoption Professional

How to Find a Birth Parent-focused Adoption Professional

An indication of an ethical adoption agency is what sort of birth parent support they provide. Choosing adoption for their child is one of the most painful decisions in a birth parent’s life. An ethical adoption agency knows this and keeps the best interests of birth...

What if There Are Two Types of Adoption in One Family?

What if There Are Two Types of Adoption in One Family?

Open adoption arrangements vary from situation to situation. They can range from sharing little information to having a lot of future contact and involvement. As you embark on this path, it’s important to recognize that each adoption is unique, especially for open...

Looking for Adoption Agencies? 6 Important Questions to Ask

Looking for Adoption Agencies? 6 Important Questions to Ask

Many people search for “adoption agencies near me” or "adoption agency near me," but that may not be nearly as important as asking the right questions. The adoption professional or agency you hire will impact your entire adoption experience. Your adoption agency will...


  1. Casey

    We did puzzle pieces and a quilt that people could buy inches on! They were our most successful fundraisers and so fun! Now they hang in our nursery!

    • Lifetime Adoption

      Thank you for sharing, Casey! What a sweet keepsake for years to come.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest