Our adoption grants

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption uses grantmaking to dramatically increase adoptions of children waiting in U.S. foster care. We invest significant resources in our evidence-based program, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids. We also provide general grants to organizations with proven or innovative initiatives that further our mission.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids grants

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids is making a difference for thousands of children — one child at a time. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption awards grants to public and private adoption agencies to hire adoption professionals who implement proactive, child-focused recruitment programs targeted exclusively on moving America’s longest-waiting children from foster care into adoptive families. Recently-released research from a five-year evaluation of Wendy’s Wonderful Kids shows that children referred to the program are up to three times more likely to get adopted. Read the full research results.

To be eligible for a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids grant, your agency may be public or private, must qualify under regulations of the United States Internal Revenue Service, and must have access to children in foster care and their case files. Organizations meeting these criteria may submit an agency profile to be considered if and when the Foundation expands in their area.

  • Click here learn more about eligibility or apply to be a potential Wendy’s Wonderful Kids grantee.
  • Click here to sign up for email alerts about Wendy’s Wonderful Kids expansion and child-focused recruitment curriculum development.

General adoption grants

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is interested in reviewing new and innovative ideas, and proven programs that focus on foster care adoption in the United States. Your program or project must have national impact, or include a plan for national replication. We do not provide funding for building additions or improvements; capital campaigns; financial assistance for individuals adopting; general operating funds; individual child expenses such as camp, therapy, schooling and housing; entertainment projects or programs; start-up funds; step-parent adoption; or vehicle purchase.

Only submissions by U.S. nonprofit organizations will be reviewed, as the Foundation does not award grants directly to individuals.

If your request for funding meets the criteria above, we invite you to submit an online letter of inquiry. The Foundation does not have any submission deadlines. We will notify you within 60 days after receiving your online letter of inquiry whether or not we will seek a full proposal to fund your initiative.

Funding inquiries must be submitted electronically. The form can be saved for later completion, but cannot be edited once it has been submitted.

Current national grantees:

Adopt America Network – $25,000
Matching children with special needs who are waiting in U.S. foster care with potential adoptive families on a national scale, without regard to geographical boundaries

Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E) – $75,000
Expanding adoptive parents’ access to adoption-competent mental health providers through a national training curriculum

Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) – $75,000
Educating lawmakers through a Foster Youth Internship Program, providing former foster youth as summer interns to members of Congress

Fostering Hope Foundation – $10,000
Increasing adoptions of teens by stabilizing their foster care placements with trauma-informed volunteer teams

National Center for Adoption Law and Policy (NCALP) – $20,000
Improving outcomes through policy reform, education and training with a particular focus on post-adoption contact agreements and development of an national online child welfare learning exchange

National Indian Child Welfare Association – $60,000
Making adoptions of American Indian and Alaska Native children possible through an expanded and updated customary adoption curriculum

National Council for Adoption – $25,000
Keeping prospective parents engaged in the foster care adoption process by providing a liaison between the interested family and the public agency

North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) – $75,000
(On behalf of a national collaboration of NACAC, National Foster Parent Association and Generations United) Strategically aligning national efforts on behalf of children in foster care, kinship and adoptive placements to preserve placements and adoptions