Making the most of your charity bake sale

How much would you pay for this?

How much would you pay for this?

If you are a do-er (someone that doesn’t say no to friends requests) in life then at some point you will find yourself involved in a bake sale. This sounds simple- bake a cake, man the stand, take the money for the charity and go home. Over the last few years I have run several events for pre-schools and PTA and also organised a Help For Heroes event with over 100 hungry soldiers needing cake. In my experience there are a few tricks that will mean you take more money.

Think about your audience

At a children’s event- decorate. Use chocolates, sprinkles and sweets on top of a fairy cake or fill rocky roads with marshmallows. The mums may not like you but the kids will gladly spend all their money.

For adults- think variety. Make sure you have a couple each of: Victoria Sponges, classic fruit cake, a lemon something, an irresistible chocolate cake and if you have lots of volunteers or loads of time then flapjacks and caramel shortcakes.

Presentation

Take a nice table cloth, hang some bunting, take a few cake stands. Anything to add interest and make your stand the focal point.  You will also need a supply of napkins or paper plates for people to take their cakes away on.

Portions

I would always pre-slice the cakes as it saves time and means you won’t get too generous if you have a friend or a cheeky customer. I have found it easier to have a single price for all cakes just make sure the cakes are sliced into similar size.

Signage

For a children’s event,  create clear signs as they are often in charge of their own pocket money. Believe it or not, I have seen a child ask for the cost of every cake prior to deciding which one to purchase.

Adults,  especially at an event for men I found they were super generous when we just asked for donations, so include a box for donations.

Top tip- smile and be happy, even if its raining!

Wrapping

Buy some cellophane and wrap some slices of cakes in parcels so that people can take them home. You also need to advertise that people can do this. At events mainly for women and if you have surplus cake save a couple of whole ones to sell off- people to buy them if they have visitors coming.

It does seem crazy to spend money on cellophane and ribbon but the more professional your stand looks the more money you will take. Do you have experience of any of this or other advice then please do share it in the comments box below.