The first key is to understand the types of grants that are available to adoptive families: direct, fundraising and matching.
Direct grants are the most desired, but also the most difficult to get. Direct grant organizations, like Show Hope, review applicants and award money outright. The money is never paid directly to families, but is paid to your adoption agency or attorney.
Fundraising grants give you an account with a non-profit grant organization to which people can donate. This provides your friends and family with the added benefit of a tax deduction when they give to your adoption fund.
These are the easiest grants to qualify for since the grant organization is not giving you money out of their pocket. I tell every adoptive family that they need to apply for these types of grants. It’s a no-brainer.
I guarantee at least a few people are going to want to donate toward your adoption, why not give them the tax break as well?
It is common for fundraising grant organizations to charge a small administrative. Ten percent seems to be the norm. Like direct grants, the money goes to your agency, not you.
Matching grants are basically a combination of direct and fundraising. The grant organization allows you to fundraise and provide the tax benefit to your donors. Then they match a certain dollar amount of donations received.
They will often provide you with sample fundraising letters, or you can find some on other parents blogs. Lifesong for Orphans is one matching grant organization.
You may dread the thought of more paperwork. Or like me, you might think that your family makes too much money to qualify.
Sadly, I wish I had spent more time and applied for more grants. I was quite lackadaisical about it. We did have a fundraising grant and I applied for one direct grant which we did not receive.
The beauty of the application process is that most organizations want the same information. So gather it up, grab a cup of coffee and your computer and you can apply for multiple grants without too much additional work.
What grants have you applied for? What money have you received?