Adopt-a-family programs are a great way to bring your community together and support families in need. These adopt-a-family programs allow donors to assist specific families who are struggling, dealing with homelessness, unemployment, severe medical and other issues. When they adopt a family, they can provide clothes, food, or other items they need in a more personalized manner than a general donation drive. These programs are popular in states like California and beyond because they allow organizations to tell their clients’ individual stories, building stronger bonds with their donors in the process.
What Is an Adopt-A-Family Program?
Adopt-a-family programs collect specific in-kind donations for struggling families and/or individuals. Each family is profiled – their background and stories are summarized without compromising privacy – and a set of specific needs are identified. Families are matched with a donor who buys the requested necessities or gifts.
These programs can help with many different types of needs and occasions, from holiday gifts to food to school supplies. Organizers often schedule these programs around a holiday or event, like the start of a school year.
A back-to-school backpack program, for example, can provide low-income families with school supplies and backpacks. Children receive backpacks that fit their personal size, color, and style preferences. Around the holidays, these adoption programs collect gifts so the children can have something to look forward to that matches their interests and passions. They capture the spirit of giving and make it easy to help out local families.
How Does the Program Work?
Adopt-a-family programs generally have 3 main components: needs collection, donor matching, and distribution.
First, organizations need to collect their families’ (or individuals’) profile and needs. These profiles include the family’s background, why they need help, and each family members’ wishlist – including age, gender, clothing size, and the specific wishes or needs. These needs can be collected by social workers, volunteers, nonprofit staff, or provided by the clients themselves. Often these needs are collected on paper forms or online with Google forms, but there are also new digital services where the profiles are collected directly online and managed in a central repository.
The next phase is donor matching. Donors often have a specific idea in their mind of the type of family or individual they’d like to sponsor. Often through a form, or via email, they provide information like the size of the family, ages of the kids, or any other special requests (like a military family). Historically, the donor matching process has been handled by volunteers or nonprofit staff, who manually review family profiles, donor forms, and then match a family with a donor. The family wish list is then emailed to the donor for their review. This process is manual, time consuming, and can be error-prone.
With more modern solutions, profiles are posted online, and donors select for themselves who they want to sponsor. Not only does this provide donors with a greater sense of the need (then just receiving one family), donors can better identify families that they relate to and often end up selecting larger or more families than they intended.
The last phase is the distribution. After purchasing items that suit the adopted family’s profile, donors are usually asked to drop off their gifts at a designated location. They may be provided time frames for drop offs, or they may be asked to schedule specific time. When the items are all received, the nonprofit schedules them to be picked up either directly by the families, or by social workers/case managers who then distribute their gifts to the families.
With adopt-a-family programs, California families in need are provided the support they need to get through a challenging time, and participants get the satisfaction of helping people in their own community.
How Can You Improve Your Adopt-A-Family Program?
Hosting one of these programs takes a lot of work, but it gives your community a chance to show generosity to families who need it. Streamlining your adopt-a-family program will make it more efficient, allowing you to servemore families.
Traditional adopt-a-family programs rely on volunteers to do most of the sorting, matchmaking and logistics. While this approach is tried and true, you can increase your reach incrementally and reduce the work needed by opting for a digital platform. After you add your program to a hosting website, people can simply visit the link to adopt families and make donations which are easier to track and can cut down the workload for your dedicated volunteer team, freeing up their time for other important tasks.
Let Roonga Drive Your Program to Success Seamlessly
Partnering with a non-profit supplier can also help you get better deals on the goods you provide for the families. Wholesale prices allow your money to go further, making it possible to buy more items.Roonga provides an online platform designed to host donation drives and other charity projects. We can help you track donations, create lists, and share your project online. To learn more about our services for charities and discuss how we can help, you may fill out our form or contact us today!