A bake sale is a great way to raise money for an event, a trip or non-profit institution. Bake sales can be primarily for raising funds, but are also great for raising awareness of a cause or initiating a social event in the community. Organizing a bake sale requires time, manpower, supplies and creativity. Learn about how to put on a professional and successful bake sale with the following suggestions:
- Schedule a date. Bake sales are traditionally a fundraiser for schools, churches or other community organizations looking to raise money for supplies, a student trip, or a faith-based event. Schedule the bake sale far enough in advance that people are still free to attend, but not so far that they forget all about it. A good choice is usually about two weeks or so. Make sure you have space, a table, and a place to collect any money you receive.
- Market your event. Your event is a fundraiser, but part of your job should be “awareness raiser.” Hang posters, pass out flyers, and talk up your cause, event or charity by telling people about your bake sale fundraiser.
- Find volunteers. Volunteers are an essential part of any bake sale fundraiser. If you pay people to work the booth, you could expect to lose part of your anticipated profit. Volunteers can help bake the treats as well as sell them from a booth or table on the day of the sale.
- Make a sign-up sheet. Provide a sign-up sheet for your bakers to mark down their names and the products they plan to bring. This helps you keep track of what types of treats will be donated to the bake sale, and also helps avoid a bake sale with too many of the same thing.
- Make hygiene a priority. Throughout the entire process, hygiene and cleanliness should be top priorities. Be sure all bakers are washing their hands and tying back their hair; this goes for those selling the baked goods as well. Wear disposable gloves when handing out baked goods as an extra safety measure for your customers.
- Provide healthy options. Modern families look for healthy choices at bake sales. You can help by offering children and parents a variety of smart options at your bake sale. Try using recipes with less fat, sugar and salt, and incorporate fresh or dried fruit and nuts into your treats. You may even suggest that your volunteer bakers provide fat-free, dairy-free or gluten-free products to suit many tastes or dietary restrictions.
- Use professional baking supplies. Baking extra large volumes for a special event like this can take a toll on regular residential baking equipment. If you have the time and money to update your home kitchen, see what professional supplies might help out for your bake sale baking duties. »Learn more
- Define correct packaging guidelines. There are usually guidelines at organized bake sales for how the baked goods must be packaged and presented. To combat health risks, allergies and other potential contamination, be sure to completely package every treat individually in plastic wrap or zip-close plastic baggies.
- Label everything. Labeling is a critical step in providing baked goods for your bake sale. This not only helps customers sift through the many possibilities, it also lends insight to ingredients and potential allergens present in each treat. Any non-obvious ingredients should be pointed out on the label. Additionally, each label should have a price clearly marked.
- Price your items to sell. Pricing items is one of the tougher challenges of putting on a bake sale. You want to make sure your items are bringing in more money than they originally cost, but you also need to be sure that you are not over-pricing your goods. Consider the market that will be buying your goods. If it is mainly small children, price them in the 10 to 50 cent range. If buyers are well-to-do adults, try pricing a little higher, around two to three dollars per treat.
Depending on your location, you may need a temporary food service permit to sell baked goods to the public. This usually depends on how long you plan to hold your sale and where in the community you plan to sell. There may be a small fee for the permit, and it usually requires filling out an application. Check with your local public health department to get full details.
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