I am very new here, but would like to add my 2 cents for just a moment.
I am one of the few lucky ones, I suppose. I run a VERY small rescue, I do not advertise, and I got into this totally by accident...
I started out wanting to be a large parrot owner, and of course I had absolutely NO idea of what was involved.
I started searching through rescue organizations, and found to my personal horror that there was no way to adopt a parrot without paying much more than I would going to a pet store, or a breeder.
I looked at "egads" Petsmart, and a few other places, then I looked at breeders, then I was looking at the paper in the ads.
Our local shelter does not deal with birds, and even if they had, i would not have looked there, considering they charge 200+ for dogs, and over 100 for cats. (Why? When the average person can get a dog or cat for much less by going through the ads. Even a "purebred" can be cheaper than the local adoption fees)
Anyhow, back on track.
I have been lucky enough to find an avian vet who donates his services, and finds me breaks on medicine costs, and I have some wonderful private donations.
Because I am very small, my costs are not that high now, mostly food and toy bills. I do make a lot of toys, but am not very talented in that area.
When I do take in new birds, I do make the owner turn over the cage(s) as well. that covers a lot of costs for prospective adoptive parents.
I do ask that the new parent tell me what they can afford, I do check homes and references, I do make sure that they have an avian vet lined up, but I am NOT going to charge out the wazoo to place a friend into a new home. I am willing to let anyone look over my books, so they can see what their new friend is going to possibly need from them, I keep all records of vet visits and why, so this makes it a lot easier on the new home.
To place our friends in permenant homes, we have to be willing to look outside the money. We got into this knowing that we were going to accrue and incur expenses, and we cannot expect new parents to offset all of those, and in some cases any of those. We have to look at what is best for the friend we are trying to help.