Fundraising to host can certainly feel like a daunting task. However, there are a multitude of ways to fundraise hosting costs (and adoption!), making hosting a more affordable option for families. Fundraising does not have to be difficult or time-consuming. While it may require a bit of effort, the rewards from hosting a child are priceless and well worth the investment. Consider using one of these specific opportunities or simply use this guide to INSPIRE your own ideas.
While fundraising, the privacy of the host children should be maintained, especially in public areas of social media. Be aware that some countries PROHIBIT the use of the child’s image on social media. You could try converting the child’s image into a different type of image, such as a sketch or cartoon with available apps. You should also never use the child’s city/region of residence and do not use the child’s actual name, we prefer you use a letter, such as Miss ‘M’ or use a nickname such as ‘little man’ or ‘sunshine.’
Below are some specific fundraising ideas. While this is a long list, it is not exhaustive! Please use your imagination and have fun with the events!
Don’t underestimate yourself! Consider a service that YOU are good at, that others could use and pay you for. What gifts, talents and abilities has God given you that can help meet this need? Ideas are offer to clean/organize closets, do yard work, family photography, embroidery, instrument lessons, cake making, gift wrapping service, tutor, offer instrument lessons, mow lawns, sell patriotic paraphernalia (i.e. glow items) at a community 4th of July celebration, etc.
CLOTHING : T-shirt Sales
There are various online t-shirt fundraising sites. Probably the two most popular for you to consider is Fund the Nations and BonFire. They will design the shirt for you. Stick with ‘generic’ yet popular themes if you want to sell the most shirts possible. Meaning, it’s better to use a generic statement about orphans than something super specific like, “Give hope to Tatiana this summer.” That’s too specific and people won’t tend to wear it later, unlike a nice generic theme that has meaning but isn’t tied specifically to your hosting. https://www.bonfire.com/
Take quality items to a consignment or resale shop. Even though the money might be less immediate, you can often get more money for these items than what you would at a yard sale since most yard sale goers are looking for extremely cheap items. Whatever items don’t sell at the consignment stores can always be thrown in the yard sale pile, or even sold on Craigslist or Ebay.
FOOD THEME: OTHER
Valentine’s - Chocolate Covered Strawberries ($5/half dozen or $12/dozen), Pretzel Rods (any color based on the holiday), Cake Pops, Dipped Oreos, basically anything you can make! (Tamales even)
Egg my yard SUGGESTED DONATION: 30 eggs-$20, 50 eggs-$30, 70 eggs-$40 Purchase eggs and candy in bulk or ask friends/family for egg/candy donations. Publicize that you are willing to be the EASTER BUNNY and will drop off the eggs in ‘bulk’ or hide them around the yard in advance of Easter morning.
Forget the Frock this past Easter (and ones before), P143 host parent Ginger Noel designed and sold a t-shirt to take part in the 'Forget the Frock' movement. Forget the Frock raises awareness for charity (in this case, orphans) on Easter Sunday by encouraging Easter churchgoers to purchase and wear a shirt with purpose instead of spending the money on new Easter clothes. Ginger sold almost 200 shirts that were worn in churches in Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, and Kentucky. All proceeds from the Forget the Frock shirt sales went to help two orphanages served by P143! The hashtags #easter4orphans and #p143 were used to create awareness. Creative efforts both raised awareness, reinforced that orphans are important to our churches and fundraised to help orphanages! Design a shirt, get with a local shirt printer and sell to your church, family and friends.
HOMEMADE: Bath Bombs
https://brightnest.com/posts/little-luxuries-how-to-make-the-perfect-bath-bomb. One batch makes eight cupcakes. One thing the tutorial does not make clear is that you need to drizzle the liquid in slowly while whisking, otherwise it will all fizz up. If it does start to fizz, just keep whisking! I used Brambleberry fragrance oils and essential oils. Evert scent was .4 ounces by weight except for the peppermint essential oil, which was .2 (otherwise it's too intense).
We made these bath bomb cupcakes for a fundraiser last year, and they were very successful. They're easy to make (much easier than traditional bath bombs) and are perfect for people looking for stocking stuffers or Christmas gifts. We made the bath bomb mix, packed it tightly into cupcake liners, and after a few days of drying time, my sister piped on a stiff royal icing, which dries rock hard. Last year we offered chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla and sold them in sets of three for $15. This year I added peppermint and orange, and we're selling singles for $5 or trios for $12. The bath bomb pictured here is the chocolate. If anyone has any questions I'm happy to answer them!
HOMEMADE: Dog treats
12 treats for $5! It only takes pumpkin, peanut butter, flour and egg. I got the cookie cutter off of Amazon! We sold over 3,000 dog treats in 2 months! Link to “doggie treat” labels to print:
Barnes and Noble Christmas Gift-Wrapping :
Volunteer for a time slot, keep all donations given during your time slot. Check with your local store.
Wait tables at a local diner:
The deal was we waited tables and kept all tips and 20 percent of all sales. We raised $2500 in four hours. One thing that made this successful was every time we reached a $50 increment someone rang a cow bell, soon people were donating $50 at a time just to ring it!
We’ve heard of MANY different chain restaurants that will offer a percentage of sales to those who are fundraising. You would need to contact your local or favorite restaurants and ASK what fundraising options they offer. Compare and choose the best one for your friends and family. Here is a list of restaurants that we’ve been told will offer fundraising options: KRISPY KREME, Chick-fil-A, Zaxby’s, Longhorns (Pancake Breakfast), Applebee’s (Pancake Breakfast), Texas Roadhouse, Moe’s, Huey Luey’s, and many others. Get your church or school to jump behind you and EAT OUT for one night for some of the profits to go towards hosting.
Photography Mini-Sessions for Various Holidays
If you or a friend takes photographs, setup mini-sessions with proceeds going to fundraising. Even better if there is a holiday coming up that you could do a compatible scene.
Ask friends and family to donate items to you. Have a sign at your yard sale telling what you’re fundraising for. Perhaps offer an additional tip jar at checkout. Also, consider piggy-backing another fundraiser with your yard sale, like a bake sale, lemonade or Popsicle stand.
Donors choose the amount they want to donate. If they want to donate $1, they choose that spot. If they want to donate $50, they can choose the $50 spot or any combination of numbers that add to $50. Some people were picking envelopes that had the same number as their birthdate, or their age or just a number they liked – so it was fun to try and figure out which envelope to take. If you get all the numbers between 1-100 chosen, you will generate $5,050. As amounts are chosen, mark them off and update everyone as to what numbers are remaining.
Choose a 500 piece puzzle, perhaps a patriotic one or a custom one of your host child’s photo. Try to get $5 sponsors for each piece of the puzzle. 500 pieces x $5 each will fundraise $2500. Write donors last name on the back of each piece so you can remember who supported your fundraising. One family did a custom puzzle of the child’s photo and selling the pieces was the “reveal” of who they were hosting. As they got sponsors, they put that many pieces together to “reveal” the child’s face. Not until all pieces were purchased did the entire photo get revealed. Or, use a photo of the host child and make your own ‘puzzle pieces’ to be unveiled for the Reveal.
Both Hands Project:
If you can think of at least ten friends or family members from your work, church, recreational group, etc., this project is for you! The saying goes 'It takes a village to raise a child.' Through a Both Hands project, it takes a village to bring home a child. Families who complete a Both Hands project are often moved by the overwhelming support they receive from their volunteer team.
The loss of a beloved spouse often makes it difficult for a widow to keep up with the necessary improvements and repairs on her home. Widows are often overlooked in our communities and need help, but aren't sure how to find it. Both Hands guides a family through finding a widow in their community to serve for their project. On the project day, the family serves a widow alongside their team of volunteers. We encourage tasks to be labor-focused rather than material-focused. Labor-focused tasks often include painting, cleaning, landscaping and decluttering. We also coach families on how to get local merchants to donate any needed supplies. The family and their team raise sponsorship for their project day through sending fundraising letters and also sharing their fundraising webpage. For 2016, families' projects raised an average of $12,100. Both Hands is committed to fundraising support for its operating costs through private donors, NO funds raised by a family and their team are deducted for Both Hands' operating.
Contact your local Chick-fil-A about selling the calendars. Contact in 4th quarter of the year.
Consider setting up a lemonade stand, popsicle stand or bake sale. This allows the children to get involved in the fundraising process and, let’s face it, who can say no to a kid? Consider if there are local places that will allow you to setup a bake sale? Outside your local grocery store? At your church during an upcoming event?
Partner with a rep/seller for an online sell... meaning, you likely have friends who represent Mary Kay, Matilda Jane, Pampered Chef, Rodan + Fields, etc. There are many options out there to include Plexus, Premier Designs, Paparazzi Jewelry, Mary & Martha, Noonday Collection, Thirty-One, Beachbody, doTerra, It Works, Isagenix, Nerium, Norwex and that's just a fast list. The rep would open an online party, you would share the information and invite others to buy, and if the product was purchased, you'd get a percentage. Select partners based on the percentage they'd be willing to offer you, do your homework. There's no actual cost, simply promote it.
Have a raffle! If you make the tickets relatively inexpensive at $5-$10 each, you’re sure to make a lot of money. Ideally you would raffle off something donated or relatively inexpensive for you to purchase. I’ve seen everything from a Coach purse to a miniature teacup pig raffled off! Some more common ideas include American Girl dolls, gift baskets, jewelry, a honey baked ham (perfect during the holiday season), homemade crafts, and iPads. If you sell 100 raffle tickets for just $5 each, that’s $500 raised. If you sell the same amount of tickets for $10 each, that’s $1,000 raised. If you raffle off a donated item, that is all pure profit! Even if you put a little bit of money into it to purchase the item, the profit outweighs the investment. Is there a service your family has continually participated in, such as a certain karate studio or dance studio? If so, based on that relationship, perhaps the owner would offer 3 months of lessons to you and you could raffle that off to all the studio participants, sharing with MANY about hosting and hopefully helping you reach your goal!
Halloween- Pack a basket FULL of Halloween candy for a neighborhood as well as some simple outdoor decorations.
Thanksgiving- Consider buying a Honey-Baked Ham, many will want to add that to their dinner table
Father's Day- Package for men, round of golf & lunch, etc
Mother’s Day- Pamper package for mom, manicure/pedicure, massage, etc and raffle as a “Mother’s Day Pack.”
Valentine’s Day – Couples Massage, Spa package, Night to area hotel, dinner to area restaurant
Babysitting / Date Night:
Host a babysitting night in your home! Charge a flat rate per child, set the date and the hours, get some activities ready, and babysit while parents head out for a date night. This type of fundraiser is very fun for all involved. The parents get a night off, the kids get to have a giant sleepover, and you get to earn money for hosting! Ask some friends to donate their time and services so you’re not alone and can take on more kiddos.
If you’re hosting, you’ll need to acquire a rolling duffle or suitcase to send back with each kiddo. Have a “Tag the Bag” fundraiser to raise funds and send your host children back with some extra love. Charge a set price ($5- $20 is generally a good amount) and for every donation for that denomination, write the name of the donor on the bag with a Sharpie. If you’re not interested in tagging a bag, try another variation like a blanket, a soccer ball, or a t-shirt for your host child.
Contact your church about allowing you to have a fundraising lunch after church on a Sunday. Consider a spaghetti lunch and allow patrons to make donations for the cost of the lunch. If your church has an upcoming outdoor event or has a sports program such as Upwards, ask to grill out hamburgers and hot dogs for sale to benefit hosting fees. Ice cream social charging $5 for make your own sundaes. Baked potato bar with all the fixing’s, chili, sour cream, cheese, butter, steamed broccoli, chives, bacon bits, sautéed onions, sautéed mushrooms, hot peppers, ham, and spices.
Fall Festival, Craft Show, Field Day:
If your church or school is planning an event soon, ask to setup a face paint booth or dunk tank for donations. Think about all the FALL FESTIVALS and FIELD DAYS! Or, setup a table to sell one of the items mentioned earlier in this document (Christmas ornaments, jewelry, etc)
If you have a scanner, offer photo scanning. Lots of people have tons of photos they'd like to have digitally. If you have a scanner, this could be a good weekend project that would bring in some donations.
Used books can be sold to a secondhand bookstore or on Amazon (Amazon is usually only worth it for books with higher resale value).
Ask your supporters to give you their gently worn, used and new shoes. Recruit volunteers to help you maximize results. Email supporters and promote your shoe drive fundraiser through the press, social media and your website to create a buzz and get everyone excited. The more shoes you collect = more money! Contact the company for more details as to minimum collection amounts, funds generated, etc.
We hope that you found something that resonates with your situation and community circle.
For additional questions about fundraising for hosting, please contact Brandy Torvinen at [email protected].