» Fundraising with a Fun Run

We frequently receive e-mails from friends connecting us with other families starting the adoption process. Each time, the first question we are asked the BIG F question: How did you fundraise??? If you’re anything like the rest of us, raising money is not something you find joy in. Unfortunately, adoption expenses can add up pretty quickly. Just like many other families, we’ve done everything; t-shirts, yard sales, auctions, bake sales, you name it.

A few months before our travel date to China, we wanted to do a final push to raise money for the upcoming expenses. We put our heads together with another family (also in the adoption process) to figure out what we could do. We were tired of yard sales (who wouldn’t be? It felt like we had already done 20) and t-shirts became less and less compelling as more people were doing them.

After about an hour, we came up with the idea of doing a 5K run. This was in 2013, so the Color Run was becoming established and at the cusp of becoming wildly popular. There were also a lot of spin-off themes that we didn’t want to compete with. We wanted to attract and encourage whole families to participate so we decided to do a superhero theme. People told us what a great time they had and we felt like we provided a great family experience in return for supporting us financially. And seriously, I still love our graphic.

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We tell people over and over again that this event was the most fun and rewarding fundraiser we’ve ever done done but that doesn’t mean it was easy. By some miracle, we were able to pull off the 5K run in a matter of four weeks. In total, we raised about $5,000 but with proper planning and more time, I think we could’ve easily doubled it.

If you’re needing to raise money for a mission trip or adoption, a run should be something you consider. Here’s a short list of what you need. Feel free to e-mail me if you want more details or have any questions!

Before the Event

  1. Sponsors
  2. Venue
  3. Marketing collateral (Flyers/Posters)
  4. Online signup (PayPal, Active, EventBrite)

Day of Event

  1. Signage
  2. Fruit/Bars
  3. Water
  4. Cones
  5. Volunteers
  6. Speaker system with microphone
  7. Tables and tents


About the author


Erica is an advocate for simplicity, family time, making a cozy home and loving others well. She is the community coordinator for One Orphan, the orphan care ministry of America World Adoption Association. Erica and Calvin have four young children; Elliott, Charlotte, Lola and Liam. They currently reside in Nashville, TN.

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