Double up! Hold an adoption fundraiser garage sale to not only raise funds, but to raise awareness of your adoption journey!
With summer just around the corner I know my thoughts turn to a favorite pastime- garage sale treasure hunting! Not only do I love grabbing my BFF and a tall cup of coffee to drive around town looking for sales, I love ending the summer with my own garage sale. In fact, it’s become a staple event for a group of friends to haul their loot over to my house and then we spend the day chatting, selling, grilling and generally having a great time together while making a little extra money.
If you’re adopting a garage sale can be a fantastic tool, not only as a fundraiser, but as a way to spread the word that you are hoping to meet someone that might be considering adoption. If you’re interested in a fundraiser to help defray the costs of adoption you can solicit donations of gently used clothing, household goods, toys, etc. from friends, neighbors, family, or your faith community. Send an email giving people enough time to gather used goods for the sale and then offer to pick up the donations or have a large bin at your home were people can swing by and leave donations. You will be surprised how willing people are to gather things to contribute to your sale!
Be sure to advertise your garage sale, and to let people know it’s a “multi-family benefit sale” so your ad draws more attention. Consider using free sites like Craigslist, local buy/sell Facebook groups, the bulletin for services at your faith community and local stores, or a neighborhood website. And don’t forget to post big signs directing people to your sale too!
At your sale make sure visitors are aware that all funds raised go towards your adoption expenses. Make large signs and place them around the sale so it’s clear why you are raising funds- even have outreach cards and a flyer about adoption on each table. Consider having a section of the sale with “Name Your Price” items to let people pay what they think is fair. Because it’s a fundraiser people are apt to be more generous that you might expect!
I know when I visit garage sales or host my own the whole day is a huge social event. I spend the day chatting with people, having fun finding a bargain or begging people to buy my used what-nots for a nickel or two. People are generally in a great mood on a sunny garage-sale-Saturday, and everyone loves chatting about adoption. Just mention that you are adopting and almost everyone will chime in with a story about someone they know that adopted, their own adoption story, or the latest celebrity gossip about adoption. This is a perfect way to spread the word and get your new garage sale friends involved in the process.
Make sure you have friends or family members available to mind the cash box and tally the sales so you can spend the day interacting with sale visitors. Have lots and lots of outreach cards on-hand (at least 500!) and as you chat with people ask them to keep a card or two in their wallet, so they can pass them on should they hear of an expectant parent considering adoption, or maybe share with a school counselor they know, the youth pastor at church, etc. This is a great way to spread a wide net in your outreach.
In addition to outreach cards you might want to have copies of your profiles on-hand for people that might be interested. If so, consider if you will have your contact information on the profile or the contact information of your agency or attorney. Some agencies have a lower fee if you bring an expectant parent in to them- this is called an “identified adoption,” and typically you won’t need to pay the agency “matching fee.” Each agency or attorney is different- so check ahead of time to see if it might save you money to have a potential birthparent contact you directly vs your agency.
It goes without saying your outreach cards should send people to your online profile or website. You may want to consider having a Facebook page, text number and email address listed as well.
I would love to hear about your successes with a garage sale fundraiser or using a garage sale for outreach!