At Double the Donation we specialize in providing matching gift tools to help nonprofits raise more money from corporate philanthropy programs. Our friends at Causera published this great post on Bake Sale Fundraisers [June 2015 update – Link to original article no longer working] that we wanted to share.
Bake Sale Fundraisers: A New Take on an Old Classic
Almost every man, woman, and child has had some sort of experience with a bake sale. There are a lot of things about modern bake sales that are perennial, while new takes on this old favorite can make your goods appealing to even more people.
New Takes On Old Favorites
Traditional chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies and crisp-rice-and-marshmallow treats are always good sellers. But you can make even more customers happy if you get creative. Sugar-free and gluten-free selections are more popular than ever, and you can substitute apple sauce for the butter in many recipes to save on fat. You can even use egg substitute to lower cholesterol. More people are eating healthier these days, so healthy selections will widen your customer base. It’s also a good idea to specifically label all recipes and items that contain, or that may contain, nuts or other ingredients that may cause allergic reactions in some people.
What To Sell, How Much To Charge
There are a lot of websites out there offering bake sale recipe ideas. A good rule of thumb is to figure out how much all the ingredients cost to make the baked goods, and then charge double. You will find this is still a bargain. It’s a good idea to keep things in increments of 25 cents to make making change easier. Make sure to make a sign-up list to keep track of what everyone is bringing to the bake sale, so you can avoid lop-sided offerings like all cookies and no cake. You can also ask area stores to donate raw ingredients for the event, and make sure you thank them by posting their names at your sales table and sending thank-you letters. Take sample goodies to area newspapers and radio stations with a news release and flyer about your event to help get the word out.
8 Tips For Great Bake Sales
1. Identify Yourself – Post a large sign or banner identifying your organization and what you will use the funds for. This kind of fundraiser is a great way to fund new supporters, so make sure you have take-away information on your organization – at least a card with your name, mission, phone and email – so you can send your info home with anyone who seems interested in volunteering or supporting your cause.
2. Make A Menu Poster – Create a poster or use a remarkable board to list your menu items and prices. This helps promote the goodies to passers-by and saves on time individually pricing each item.
3. Include Recipes With The Goodies – Make a cute recipe card and attach it to each item, so people can re-create your bakes masterpiece at home. This reinforces your charity’s name and contact information and also adds value for your customers.
4. Offer Samples – Set out a plate of small samples of your goods. Sometimes all it takes is a taste of one of your delicious treats and you’ve turned a lookie-loo into a customer.
5. Sell Sides – Offer drinks like milk and coffee, hot chocolate or cider or consider selling salty snacks like peanuts or chips along with traditional baked goods to add to the income.
6. Put Out A Donation Jar – Add a loose-change donation jar to your table. You might be surprised how many people will donate their change, or just make a donation without buying anything, when they see that ubiquitous donation jar. Make sure it’s clear so people can see their donations in action.
7. Sell Raffle Tickets – Sell raffle tickets and give away prizes of your fanciest baked goods, or other items donated by supporters and area businesses. Make sure to post simple drawing rules and drawing times (if winner must be present) or get contact information so you can get the prizes to your winners.
8. Sell A Recipe Book – Make up a simple recipe book, or a collection of all the recipe cards from your items tied together with ribbon, and sell these as an added fundraiser. Remember to shamelessly promote your organization in this publication, and to thank the buyers for their donation to your cause.