It is possible to get all the money you need for your adoption; however, there are some misconceptions about exactly how to make this happen. Many families get the idea that they can get all grants or do one fundraising event to cover all the costs of their adoption. These misconceptions get perpetuated through social media and other channels, but it simply is not true.
Have there been instances where a family has received lots of money for their adoption through grants and fundraising? Of course, but these are the exceptions not the rule! It is important when you are starting out on your adoption journey that you are realistic about the finances you will need.
We recommend a diverse approach when putting together a financial plan for your adoption. The Adoption Finance Coaching system is designed to take families through a budgeting and timing process that will uncover all the expenses for your journey. Our Coaches understand that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all,’ we help you create a comprehensive, customized financial plan for your journey.
Below are best practices for creating your own financial plan for your adoption journey:
Your Own Money
Yes, you need to contribute to your adoption with your own money. Foundations expect this and it’s important to set aside money for your adoption each month.
We recommend reviewing your own personal budget and identify an amount of funds you can contribute monthly. It doesn’t matter how much; it matters that you are committed to this amount, and you do it!
Set up a separate account for your adoption where you’ll put all the money for your adoption. This helps you track expenses and your progress.
Likely you will have family members that will want to help…Let them! Include them in your plan, let them know what your plan is and exactly what you need and how they can help.
For funds received by family and friends, you can receive up to $14,000 in cash gifts without claiming that money on your taxes. That is per person, per year! Gifts are cash and cannot be tax deductible. Always check with your tax advisor or professional about any tax decisions you make. We are not tax advisors.
Loans are typically one of the first steps considered when you are putting together your plan. Why? Because in most cases a family wants to secure whatever money they can so the process can move forward.
Start with your home bank. Where do you have a banking relationship? You have a better chance at refinancing your current mortgage or taking out a home equity loan with the bank that has the existing mortgage.
Research other lenders. Credit Union’s such as America’s Christian Credit Union are offering adoption lines of credit that can be a useful option. Other Credit Unions are Firefly Credit Union, Vystar and perhaps more. If you’re a member of a credit union, we encourage you to research this option.
Zero-interest lenders. There are a few lenders who are in the nonprofit sector who provide loans with no interest. One of the most popular is Pathways For Little Feet. They offer loans of up to $7,500. They consider credit score, income, and financial need.
Others are Lifesong for Orphans and Abba Fund. They are all religious organizations. Some may or may not have any faith requirements or statements that are needed for loan approval.
Consider a combination of a grant and loan. An excellent example of this is A Child Waits. They provide grants to adoptive families and can also give a low interest loan in addition to a grant.
They have no deadlines for submission, nor do they have any religious affiliation. They do require a co-signer. Loans and grants or a combination cannot exceed $10,000.
Popular foundations include HelpUSAdopt, Lifesong for Orphans, Gift of Adoption and Show Hope. Each foundation has their own guidelines and restrictions that must be followed when applying.
A simple internet search will provide a full list of foundations providing grants to families. Families can waste valuable time hunting for grants on the internet without the proper guidance. Our coaches can help families connect to the right foundation to get the best results.
Be sure to read the web site and information before applying. We do not recommend applying to ALL foundations. It is a waste of your time and theirs as you will not qualify for all of them, and you are taking valuable resources from a family that might qualify.
Fundraising is not for everyone! If you are not the type of person that enjoys planning, details and events, then it’s likely not going to be your thing!
Many families have had a great deal of success with fundraising for their adoption. But they will tell you themselves it’s time consuming and requires attention to detail and planning ahead.
Best practices for a successful fundraising event include:
- Know how much you need. Do your budget first, ask for a realistic amount.
- Give yourself enough time! At least 6 months from start to finish.
- Ask for help! Gather some of your friends and family to help you – they may have ideas or experience that will help with the process.
- You will have to spend some money – establish your budget. No matter how large or small your event, you will have to spend some money. Be realistic about this going in, set a budget, make a plan.
- Be flexible! Ask anyone who has planned a wedding, shower or graduation – flexibility is the key to a successful event. You have to make a decision in the moment and sometimes roll with it!
Social media platforms come to mind when we talk about ‘other.’ Social media platforms such as GoFundMe, Facebook, Adopttogether.org are all viable options when fundraising. The key to remember about these valuable tools is that they are tools, not events.
They should be used in combination of something else you are planning. If you just plan to do a GoFundme page, then you’ll have to make a plan. Just like your fundraising plan, you will need to plan for how you’ll post, what you’ll post, writing your compelling story, who you will share it with, how many times and most important - how you will drive traffic and interest to your page over time. These platforms can be very successful; but can be the most beneficial when used as a part of an overall fundraising plan for your adoption.
Community Built Through the Adoption Journey: Let Your Community Help Grow Your Funds
Finally, we consider it a privilege and honor to have the opportunity to work with so many clients to help them build their family through adoption. There is no greater way to bring a community together than through adoption. We encourage you to invite your community in!
Family and friends and others in your community want to be a part of this extraordinary experience. Whether they give money, time or talent, you will be amazed at the generosity of others when you invite them in. Our best advice – LET THEM!