Creative Fundraising

You’ll find many adoption fundraising ideas and resources on the Internet. The following links and ideas will be a great starting point for your fundraising efforts.








Art Sales – This one is perfect for kids; have kids produce great works of art and have a show. Family and friends buy back their budding artists’ masterpieces.
Art – Ask friends who are artists or photographers to donate their work, or approach local artists. Stage an exhibition and charge entrance fee and commission.
Ask Everyone You Meet – Tell them your story and let them know how they can get involved.
Auctions of All Kinds –
• Auction off a prime parking space at work with permission from the boss.
• Auction off a half or whole day off from work.
• Auction a picnic lunch.
• Auction desserts, homemade dinners, local artwork, or other creative and fun items.

Babysit – Work with your church youth group to provide a “date night” where you and the teens provide babysitting while the parents go out to dinner.
No-Bake Sale – Co-workers pay so they do not have to bake goodies.
Book Sale – Dust those bookshelves and have a book sale.
Boss for the Day – Allow people to bid on being boss for a day – high bid wins.
Bake Sale – Hold a Friday bake sale so employees have treats for the weekend. Make sure items are wrapped attractively so they could be given as gifts.
Bingo – Hold a one-off evening or regular morning sessions.
Brown Bag Lunch Day – Everyone brings their lunch and donates the money they would have spent for lunch to your adoption fund.
Beary Thoughtful, LLC. – Beary Thoughtful Bears design Custom Teddy Bears that are excellent fundraisers for adoption supporters, sport leagues, and other organizations (866-842-3277).

Carnival Fundraiser – Start your fundraiser by contacting local businesses and asking them to 1) donate prizes or the money to purchase them or 2) pledge to match a percentage or your proceeds. (For example, ask a merchant to donate a new bicycle or tricycle and raffle it off. Post a “Donated by” sign near the prize.)
• Hold a “carnival” with games like a dunk tank, fish pond, throwing rings over bottles, etc.
• Hold a hula-hoop-a-thon and have participants get pledges for the number of seconds or minutes they can hula before the hoop falls.
• Have a balloon pop.
• Fill a large jar with jelly beans (you’ll need to count them) and let attendees guess the number.
• Sell canned soft drinks at your event. (You can also recycle the aluminum from empty cans.)
• Have several donation jars on hand for attendees who don’t want to “play” but may still donate.
Carpool – For fun and profit.
Car Wash – In your neighborhood.
Car Window Washes – Your family can wash car windows at fast-food restaurant drive-through windows.
Change Jar – Keep a change jar in high traffic areas. All change is donated to your fundraising totals.
Cook Book Sale – A great addition to a bake sale! Your friends “donate” their secret family recipes.
Christmas Trees/Wreath – Ask a local retailer to donate $1 for every tree and wreath sold.
Christmas Tidings – Make fresh evergreen wreaths to sell adorned with festive holiday bows, berries, and pine cones.
Cake Drawing Every Hour – Bake different cakes, exchange tickets for a donation, and then raffle off the cakes.

Host a Dance Party – Sock hop, beach party, disco, square dance, senior citizens dance, etc.
Dress Down Day – Employees donate a small fee to be allowed to “dress down” at work (approved by the boss).
Dinner – Hold a dinner. Get a hall donated, sell tickets, and get some entertainment donated.
Drives and Collections – Aluminum can and glass bottle drives, plastic containers, recyclable paper, phones, precious (and not-so-precious) metals, inkjet cartridges, coupon collections.

Email – Contact all your friends and get them involved.
Expert Talks – Ask people to donate their time and expertise.

Flowers and Plants – Sell corsages, your donations will blossom. Sell your extra houseplants or bouquets from your garden.
Film Evening – Charge an entrance fee to an evening re-creation of vintage cinema by showing classic films and musicals.
Fancy Dress Party – Pay and win prizes.

Gift Wrapping – During the holidays (or Mother’s Day), you can set up a booth at a local mall or in a store.
Guess the Number or Weight – Jars of jelly beans, pennies, dried beans, etc. Prize goes to the closest guess.
Garage Sales – Ask your family, friends, and church family to clean out their attics, garages, and basements and bring items for a garage sale.
Games – Twister, Jenga, Team Trivial Pursuit. Pay to enter, donated prizes.
Garden Party – Sell tickets or invite guests to make a donation.
Gardening – Offer your gardening services to friends and family.

Home Scents Candle Company – Simple to sell premium fragranced, eco-friendly soy candles. Designed specifically for adoption fundraising, easy to handle, and no breakage. 500 candles sold = $2,800 profit raised. Find out more at
Human Jukebox – Set up a decorated cardboard box with someone that sings selected songs outside of a supermarket (after receiving permission) and ask for a donation for each song that is requested.
Handyman for a Day – Charge a fee to shovel snow, rake leaves, or mow a friend’s lawn to help your adoption.

Inkjet Cartridge Sale – An easy way to raise funds on an ongoing basis is with an inkjet cartridge fundraiser.
International Themed Evening – A buffet dinner, with each friend bringing a dish from a different culture.
Ironing – Offer your ironing services.

Jail and Bail – Pre-arranged; for a donation, employees are arrested and for an additional donation can post their own bail, or employees have a bounty placed on their head, arrested, and set free when entire bounty is raised.
Join in with an Existing Event – At a fun fair or school fete (for example) in your community, run a stall or activity.
Jewelry Making – Buy your own beads and sell at a craft market.
Jumble Sale
Justgiving – Set up your own online sponsorship page at

Karaoke Night
Knitting – Sell scarves, hats, ponchos, etc.

Lawn Service – After mowing your lawn, mow someone else’s too.

Meals (Spaghetti Dinner, Pancake Breakfast, Soup Lunch) – Also a chance to sell cookbooks or candies during event.
Make the Most of Your Talents – Make necklaces, sculptures, or cook food to sell.
Magic Shows – Charge an entrance fee.
Marathon – Get sponsored to run 26.2 miles!
Massage – Charge friends and family.
Mobile Phone Recycle – Collect old mobiles.
Murder Mystery Night – Dress the part to make it more fun!
Music Concert

Name Bead Bonanza – Take orders for personalized bracelets, key chains, necklaces, etc. for a donation.

October Festival – Celebrate autumn and the fall bounty by raising funds. Have pumpkins, straw bales, dried corn stalks, colorful gourds, and bright flowers for your decor. Consider the following activities: a dance, pumpkin carving contest, apple bobbing, face painting, petting zoo, pony rides, bake sale, and a scarecrow decorating contest. Charge an admission fee and sell other goods and services at your festival.

Order Taker Fundraiser – Also called pre-sales, brochure sales, or catalog sales. Your adoption supporters are provided a fundraising brochure to show potential supporters and an order form. If your group is selling a single item, volunteers may also have a sample to show. Supporters select products from the brochure and record the order on the order form. Once your members are done, all order forms are tallied and sent to the fundraising company, which ships the products to the contact person for your group fundraiser. Your members and volunteers then deliver the products to your supporters. Depending on your choice, your group can collect funds from their supporters when the order is collected or upon product delivery.

On-line Fundraiser – On-line fundraising is generally handled in one of two ways. In the first, the fundraising company you are working with creates a personalized website for your group. You encourage supporters to purchase products or services from that site and you receive a percentage of sales. The second way is to have a coded link on your organization’s website that will take the visitor to a personalized page on the company’s site. Again, you encourage supporters to make purchases through the coded link and your group receives a percentage of the sales. Your fundraiser could be for a specific time frame or may be ongoing throughout the year.

Pancake Breakfast
Pet Service – Love pets? Walk someone’s dog.
Pies – Find which fruit is in season, make and sell your delicious pies.
Pot Luck Lunches at the Workplace – Prepare foods, salads, desserts, etc. and offer to co-workers at a set price.
Personal Donation Letters – Send a letter to family, friends, and church family explaining your needs, your goals, and offering different levels of donations.

Quilts – Sell quilt squares made by adoptive families in your area. The squares can be sold in honor of the children and families united by adoption.
Quarter Canister Campaign – Old film canisters hold $7 worth of quarters.

Romance – Cater a romantic dinner for two; highest donation wins the dinner.

Stay at Home Tea – On Valentine’s Day donate $1 for the pleasure of having your cup of tea at home.
Smile Day Give-Away – Each time you catch someone at your office smiling, they can donate a designated amount to your adoption. Give the smiling donor a smiley face sticker or button to wear.

Turkey Drawing – Offer a dollar to win your Thanksgiving/holiday turkey.
Taxi – Drive your friends around at a fee.
Talent Contest – Charge admission.
Tea Mornings – Put the kettle on and get baking. Entertain guests with raffles and auctions.
Ten Pin Bowling – Bowling alleys sometimes have special rates.
Treasure Hunt – Entry fee and donated prizes.

Unique Boutique – Collect or make unique one-of-a kind items for raising funds via a silent or live auction.

Video Sale – How many times can you watch Forrest Gump?

White Elephant Sales and Silent Auctions – Ask businesses to donate close-out merchandise.

Xylophone Concert – Hold a music concert or recital. Pass refreshments and ask for donations, or sell tickets in advance.
X-Box Tournament – Have a night where you charge people to come and play your favorite video games like Guitar Hero or Rock Band!

Yard Sale – Hold the ultimate yard sale.

Zzzz – Sleep when all the fundraising ends!

*These creative ideas were graciously shared with us by All God’s Children International

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