How to hold a successful fundraiser yard sale

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A special thanks goes out to the Massey family for sharing their story and fundraiser advice!

When our family stepped out in faith to begin the adoption process, one of our biggest fears was the large cost of adoption. As we continue to trust God and release our fears to Him, we are reminded of His promises. When we follow God in obedience, He is faithful to provide for us in ways we can’t even imagine. One way God has provided for our adoption is through a HUGE adoption yard sale fundraiser.

The idea of a yard sale came during a conversation with another adoptive mom. As she shared with us, I kept thinking in the back of my mind, “This is great, but I doubt we could pull off a yard sale that would bring in anywhere close to the huge amount of money their fundraiser brought in.†My husband and I talked about it and said, “Even if we can raise half of that, it would be worth it!†We were blown away by how God provided through this fundraiser. We never dreamed we would raise as much money as we did…$6,200.00. Yes, over $6,000!!

Here are several things to think about when having a Yard Sale Fundraiser:

  • Pray! Gather prayer warriors to pray with and for you. Pray through the brainstorming, preparation, and the event itself. Pray that God would not only use this to raise funds, but to point others toward Him.
  • Decide on the perfect location. We used our church parking lot because of the location and it gave us a backup plan of using the gym if it rained the day of the event.
  • Brainstorm ideas, thoughts, and details with your core group of friends and family. It helps to have support when doing any kind of fundraiser.
  • Ask for donations. About 3 weeks before the sale, we started asking friends and family, on Facebook, and at church. It was truly a community effort. Our friends and family asked others for donations. People that we didn’t even know donated. To make it as convenient as possible to those who donated, we offered to pick up donations big and small. When picking up items from friends and strangers we were able to share our adoption story. Slowly our entire garage was completely filled and then our friend’s two storage buildings were filled. The closer it got to the date, the more the donations came in. By this time we started moving everything to our church gym. We continued to receive so many great donations up until the night before the sale.

We started with storing donations in our garage….

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And we ended up with a gym FULL of donations. This is not even all of it. Only God!

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  • Advertise! Advertise! Advertise! We began advertising a couple of weeks before the sale on social media, yard sale sites, and flyers. My friend printed around 100 flyers for us. We hung these (with the help of others) all over surrounding areas such as restaurants, libraries, dance studios, oil change shops, laundromats…anywhere we could think of had a flyer hanging up
    • Price as much as possible. I know the thought of pricing seems crazy, but it helps your volunteers the day of the yard sale and a lot of times the shoppers will not ask and just walk by the items.
    • Make bright signs to post the day before the sale. I made 22 signs! We have a lot of schools near our church so we put the signs up before school dismissed that Friday
    • Have a plan! The day before, I drew out a map of where tables and tarps needed to go as well as labeling where groups of items needed to go that next morning.
    • Sell drinks and/or snacks. You can be creative with what you sell. Our two children sold cokes and waters (our local Bi-Lo donated the bottled water). My friend’s daughter and her friend volunteered to sell cupcakes. They also made salt scrubs and lip gloss to sell.
    • Start setting up early. Our amazing volunteers got to the church at 5:45 that morning. We had one volunteer directing in the gym while others loaded trailers strategically and brought things to parking lot for us to set up. Organization and planning was crucial in getting it all outside and in the right place before it was time to start
    • Have a designated “Pay Here†table. At our table, we had 2 people willing to talk/share about our story and encourage donations from the change in a non-threatening way. We had a big donation jar.
    • Feed your volunteers! Thankfully we had friends bring coffee and donuts that morning and pizza for lunch that afternoon.
  • Organize your donations. The week of the yard sale, I began working with my awesome helpers to organize all of the donations…it took so many hours! All of the donations were in the middle of the gym and we worked through organizing everything into sections (houseware, baby items, sports, kitchen items, toys, furniture, clothing, etc)

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Think about what to do with the leftover stuff. God provided just the right family in our lives at that time to give so many unsold items for them to sell at their adoption yard sale.

Fundraising is an incredible way to allow others to join you in your journey of adoption. It helps others to learn about the amazing things God is doing through your process and at the same time helps others to learn
about the “least of these.â€

This fundraiser required so much planning, time, energy, long days, and late nights, but it was so worth it in the end. We were able to share God’s story that He is writing for our family and how God provided for our family. We were completely blown away. I want to encourage you to THINK BIG! and GO FOR IT! even when it seems like such a huge task!

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.â€

Philippians 4:19


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