I don’t know about you but I love a good bake sale. When I worked in an office building there was often a bake sale to support fundraising efforts several times a year. Now that I work from home I miss trying new treats, and supporting a good cause at the same time. Recently we have been attending a local church which just did some upgrades to their aging building including replacing the front steps. This was no small task and they have been running a “Stairway to Heaven” fundraising campaign to help offset the costs. When my oldest asked how he could help out we talked about some ways to fundraise. The Good News Letter from Local Love has been my weekly dose of inspiration over the past few months, so how could I say no when the kids suggested a Bake Sale where all the money made will be donated to the church.
As busy as we are a bake sale is an easy way to shoe some big love in your community. Bake sales are a popular way to raise money for schools, churches and clubs – because really who doesn’t love a sweet treat. They also don’t take a lot of time of capital to set up. Here are my top tips for hosting a charity bake sale to help give back to your community.
Tips for a Successful Bake Sale
Here are several tips to host a successful bake sale:
Location, location, location – Think about time and location
Try to pick a high traffic location and a busy time of day – weekends are likely the best option for getting people to pause if you are having your bake sale in a residential neighbourhood. If you are looking to have your sale during the week it will be important to have it in a high traffic location such as an office building or in front of a grocery store.
Get the word out – Advertise
Advertising your bake sale has come a long way from just putting up some posters around your neighborhood. While posters are still important to help let people know about the bake sale and point them in the right direction to pass by there are lots of other ways to get the word out as well. Make sure you post on Facebook and in any neighborhood or local Facebook groups or pages. You could also try getting the word out on Twitter and Intsagram.
Figure out who is going to be involved in the bake sale. Who are the bakers? Who will be there to help set up or take down? Who will act as cashiers? If you are just having a small sale with your kids then that is pretty easy. However if you are organizing a larger group it is helpful to have a sign up sheet or online document to track who is doing each task.
Package to Sell
Once you have your goodies ready to go make sure you have a way for them to be transported home with buyers. While some might pop by and eat their purchases before they have even left the table others will want to take them home. Think about having paper plates for carrying cupcakes, plastic baggies for cookies and napkins for single purchases like 1 brownie. You could also package items together, for example 4 cookies in a bag, if you want to sell them in lots. Pre-packaging in pretty bags and boxes with a little ribbon will go a long way. Not only does it save time, but keeps things hygienic (if you are outdoors it will keep bugs off your items) and makes your whole operation look a little more professional. Don’t worry about spending lots of money on packaging, stop by your local dollar store to pick up bags, napkins, and plates.
Tips for hosting a bake sale
Price to Sell
Establish your pricing system, and think about how things will add up. Are you grouping all items so that they are $1 each for easy math? Stay away from making things complicated and if you do decide to price items without just using whole dollar amounts try to stick to $0.25 increments to help making change easier. Make sure you have a float with small bills and coins to make change for your buyers. Don’t assume that everyone will be walking around with small coins in their pocket. Make a couple of signs with your prices or add stickers to your packaged products so that potential buyers don’t have to keep asking how much items are.
Go Big and Small
While individual items such as cupcakes and cookies are always popular at bake sales you could also have some bigger items like pies or a decorated cake. You never know who needs a dessert for an upcoming dinner party. Alternatively it is a good idea to have some smaller items as well for people who don’t have a big sweet tooth but would still like to support the cause. Mini cupcakes or packaged bags of popcorn work well for these sorts of items.
Think Outside the Baked Goods
Yes, this is a bake sale but it doesn’t have to be JUST baked goods. You could offer tea, coffee or lemonade. If it is summer time having bottles of water to sell will also be popular.
Have a Donation Jar
This is a charity bake sale after all, give your customers the opportunity to give a little extra money to support the cause if they would like to. Make sure you let your buyers know what you are raising money for, as people are more likely to give a little extra when it goes to charity.
Donate Your Leftovers
With picking a good location and getting the word out it is likely that you are going to have very little to pack up at the end of your bake sale. However if you do have some items left over it is a good idea to have done some research beforehand to find a location where you could drop them off to. In my case leftovers would go to the church for after service snacks. But there are many local organizations that help people in need that would gladly take the remaining treats.
Top tips for hosting a charity bake sale
Supporting a local organization or group doesn’t have take up a lot of time. For the bake sale I spent 2 evenings making EASY recipes with the kids, we printed up some flyers on our home computer, and will be spending a couple of hours outside in our neighborhood selling our goodies. There is no pressure to raise a certain amount, just a fun learning experience for my kids on how to run a (very) small business and give back.
I know life it busy, but it can be easy and fun to find ways to give back in your community. If you need a little more positive in your live, and who doesn’t these days, make sure you check out Local Love for good news stories that are happening right in the Toronto and Peel region! You can also connect with them by getting the Good News Letter, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Best Selling Baked Goods – Bake Sale Ideas
Now you might already have some bake sale ideas for what you would like to make for your big event. Here are some popular baked goods that are always a hit at bake sales:
- Cupcakes – These can be a very economical bake sale item. Pick up a box of cake mix and icing on sale for $0.99 each and you can make 18-24 cupcakes. Don’t forget some sprinkles to decorate. As an alternative you can make mini cupcakes too!
- Brownies – a bake sale classic that you can add a little variety to like these cheesecake brownies
- Truffles – Now these take a little more time to make as you need to roll and dip the truffles, but that is what makes them desirable as people don’t often make them for themselves
- Butter Tarts – These are always one of the first things to sell out at bake sales as they are a favourite for so many
- Fudge – You need only 5 simple ingredients and 20 minutes to make this tasty recipe
- Breads – You can pick up some mini loaf forms from the dollar store and make up some banana bread, Strawberry Rhubarb Loaf or zucchini bread that people will love to take home for breakfast
- Chocolate Chip Cookies – pull out your favourite family recipe and whip up a batch of cookies for the bake sale
Disclosure: I have partnered with YMC and Local Love and have received compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.