How to Organize a Garage Sale For Adoption Fee Fundraising

Posted by Emily Conway on 9/2/18 12:00 AM

The process of adopting can be stressful. However, paying for adoption shouldn’t be. One way to raise money is to organize a garage sale. This could be a great way to get rid of unwanted things, bring the community together, and raise money to help with the adoption process.

Here are some helpful steps in setting up a garage sale:

  1. Round up things to sell. Go through your closet, attic, basement, backyard, and drawers to see what you don’t need anymore, but is still in pretty good condition. This can range from toys to books to clothes to furniture to kitchen appliances and any other knick-knacks you think some other person might like. Also ask friends and family members if they have anything they’re willing to donate to you.
  2. Make sure you have the necessary permits. Many towns require you to have a permit to run a garage sale. Contact your local town hall and ask about this to make sure you don’t get in trouble on the day of the event.
  3. Pick a date and time. Go through your calendar and choose a day or series of days that works for you. Make sure to consider that many people go out-of-town if it's a holiday or close to a holiday. Many people start with just a Friday and Saturday. If you feel like you have a large demand or large interest in the event, consider expanding the sale to include Thursday and/or Sunday. In order to make the most of your time, start the sale early in the morning so people don’t have to interrupt their days. If possible, also consider having the sale in the spring or fall as the weather is nice, more people are outside, and less people are on vacation.
  4. Advertise the garage sale. Contact your local newspaper and make flyers to hang around town. In your advertisement make sure to mention some of the items that you think will attract people the most as well as dates, times, and the address at which it is being held. Most importantly, mention that all of the money is going towards adoption as many people are willing to spend more if it is going towards a good cause. You can also advertise online on websites such as Craigslist and on social media platforms. Post a photo of the flyer and a brief description of why you are raising the money to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Make sure to reach out to friends, family members, and co-workers and get them to share about the event with their network.
  5. Make large posters. On the day or days of the event, make sure to have large posters that point to the garage sale. Use bright colors and large lettering in order to attract the eye.
  6. Garage Sale To Raise Money for Adoption FeesSet-up the sale. Make sure you have enough tables of flat surfaces to hold all of the items you are selling. Put price tags on each item (you can use tape and a marker) and breakables off to the side. Also put anything you aren’t selling in the house or out of sight. Group similar items together such as clothes on one table and books on the other. Make sure you have enough change on you and have a place where you can safely store the money you make.
  7. Get your family or friends involved. Have people you know help you on the day of the event. You need to make sure you have people to answer questions, keep an eye on items, and ring people up. Having friendly conversations with your customers will also help encourage sales.
  8. Deal with the leftover items. There are sure to be leftover things that didn’t sell. Instead of putting them on the side of the road or throwing them away, consider selling items on Ebay or Craigslist. In addition, you can donate to charities such as Goodwill or Salvation Army and receive a break on taxes.
  9. Update friends and family. Make sure to post on social media about how the garage sale went and/or how much money you made since it is a fundraiser!

Now you can support other fundraisers you see, provide support to another family trying to fundraise, and share about your fundraising experience with us! Email your story (and photos too!) to

If you have questions about fundraising or other financial aspects of adoption, please reach out to our Senior Vice President of Finance.


Topics: Adoption Finance

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