Five Tips to Help Share Your Story

By Cherri Walrod – Founder and Director of Resources4adoption © 2013

Why do adoption grant organizations want you to share your story anyway?

Adoption grant organizations are looking for compelling stories that makes a family stand out from the rest of the other applicants.

Five tips to help you share your story for adoption grant applications:

1. What sets you apart?

Before you begin writing your family story, sit down, brainstorm and write down at least three to five areas that set your family apart from other families. Every family has unique qualities and circumstances. You need to consider all areas of your life and focus on what makes your story compelling and personal. Think beyond what your life and finances look like on paper. For example: children with special needs, urgency of child’s medical or emotional needs, your small business successes or failures, your family’s housing situation or issues, trying to adopt sibling left behind, etc. While it is very important to look for areas that set your family apart from others, it is also imperative to make sure that you are honest and do not embellish the truth. Honesty is not the best policy... it is the ONLY policy.

2. Write, revise, review, and review again

Once you have your list of areas that you think sets your family or circumstance apart from others, put that information into an outline with bullet points. After each item and bullet point you will write a brief description or explanation of this item. If you are sharing about a medical condition, be sure to describe the condition in layman terms.

3. Write in your own voice, but please use good grammar!

I always encourage people to write their story from their heart and in their own 'voice.' However, there is something to be said for using good grammar as well. I would recommend that you have someone else read and edit your work to make sure it sounds and is coming across the way you intend for it to. Be sincere and honest, but resist the temptation to be overly dramatic.

4. Are you answering the right question?

Not all grant applications ask the same questions. Many of them have similar formats and ask similar questions, but pay careful attention to the details and requirements of each one. This is especially true if you are trying to apply for multiple adoption grants or loans.

5. Attention to detail and neatness count

When you are assembling all of the documentation and information required to accompany your application, be sure to do so in a very organized, neat and intelligible manner. Many grant applications come with a checklist of items needed or requirements for the application. I recommend that you make several copies of this checklist. Use at least one copy as your working checklist so that you can make notes to yourself and update it as you make progress on the application. Save one checklist to put in just before you submit the application. This checklist will need to be extremely neat because it will serve as an outline to those who are examining your application.


Cherri Walrod is mom to six children and the Founder and Director of Resources4Adoption.com. Resources4Adoption.com is the #1 educational resource for adoptive families seeking financial assistance. From help in writing compelling grant and loan applications to providing tips for fundraisers, Resources4Adoption offers personalized support for each family.

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