Can we use social media outlets instead of sending out snail mail letters?

The old fashion way of sending out letters first has proved the most effective initial contact to donors. You can use social media as an additional tool to promote your project.

We have discovered that most people require 3-4 impressions before they react or move into action. We recommend that team members send out the fundraising letter via snail mail, then follow up within a week to check to see if they received the letter over the phone and/or via email (with an attached  digital version). Then after the project, follow up again via email with the link to the video created after the project.

How is money raised?

The money is raised through the sponsorship process. Each team member, as part of the team, is asked to send a letter (written for them by the project manager) to their entire list of contacts.  The letter explains the program and gives people the opportunity to sponsor them as a worker for the day. The tax-deductable gift is sent to the adoptive family's or designated cause's fundraising account.

What are expenses for the entire process?

The goal is to have 100% of the supplies donated for the work on the widow's house. That is why we usually encourage our teams to prioritize projects that are labor intensive rather than supply intensive. Cleaning, de-cluttering, landscaping, painting, etc. are examples of a labor intensive project.  The printing and postage costs of sending out all the letters should be the only cost to the adopting family. Some projects have even been blessed to have the stamps donated by volunteers.

Can money collected from donors be used to pay for supplies for the project?

No, all monies donated to the project go toward the cause - family's adoption, church fund, orphan care initiative.

How do we get supplies for the project?

The supplies for the work on the widow's house are donated by local businesses. After you have assessed the needs for the widow's house, Both Hands will provide you and your team with a letter for merchants who donate. You and your team can then use the letter to gather donated supplies, food, etc. from local businesses.

Who is responsible for finding the widow’s house?

Both Hands will help the project manager draw up ideas for places to find a widow in need. Your church's benevolence department or senior ministry may be able to direct you to a widow in need. We have also had luck contacting meal delivery programs. The drivers and program directors can often identify a person in need.

How much time does it take to put a project together?

After approval, the Both Hands project process usually takes about 6-8 weeks to allow for planning and execution of the project. You can shorten or lengthen that timeline as it works best for you and your team.  The critical factor in this process is the quality of your team.

When is the best time to hold a project?

Both Hands projects take place year round (though winter tends to thin the pool of available volunteers). The best time of year really depends on the location of the project and types of projects being completed.

What kinds of projects do you do?

We usually recommend finding projects that are labor intensive (landscaping, painting, cleaning, de-cluttering) rather than supply intensive (major construction overhaul). If your team is composed of skilled construction workers with connections likely to yield donations of supplies, then major construction overhauls are more achievable.

At what point in the adoption process can I apply?

Applications are accepted after your home study is completed.

How does the whole thing really work?

It's much like a 5K walk or golf fund-raising event. Once an adoptive family or project manager has been approved for fundraising support, they enlist the help of their friends and form a team. The team then sends letters out to their contacts asking them to consider a one-day sponsorship as they work on a widow's house.

The adoptive family or project manager is responsible for locating a widow in their community who owns her home and but is not in a position to manage its upkeep. Once they have identified a widow and her needs, the team gives local merchants the opportunity to donate supplies for the day. The team then spends a day working on the widow's house. 

100% of the money raised goes toward the cause – the cost of the adoption, church adoption fund, or orphan care initiative. Nothing is taken out for the operating expenses. 

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress...

James 1:27 (NIV)