How to Run a Successful Cake Sale
Cake sales are traditional in a lot of towns. They’re a great way to raise money for schools, community groups and other activity clubs such as cheerleading groups. If you’re looking for a way to raise money but also boost some morale, they’re the perfect type of event to host. They are also easy to do and have incredibly low set-up costs depending on where your venue is and how many people you can get to donate their time to baking.
But let’s talk more about how to run a successful cake sale – starting with how to do it in the first place.
If you need help running your cake sale, with online tools such as taking online payments or donations, Givergy can help you run any fundraising event. It all depends how you want to run your sale with simple purchases or if you plan to sell tickets to win a cake.
How to run a cake sale
Cake sales are simple enough to do. You get as many cakes as you can, advertise the event and then sell as many as possible. However, there are a few twists to be aware of. It can be quite complex to keep track of the funds raised and in some cases can put pressure on individuals to give the correct change. This is why a lot of cake sales are pushing towards a less complex system where there isn’t the chance for human error.
By implementing a ticketing system you can raise funds and make sure that all cash is easy to keep track of. If you put a value on each cake, for example 5 tokens, you remove the need for cash to be handed over in direct exchange for a cake. To maximize fundraising you can promote the cake sale online before the event, selling tickets to a wider group that’s easy for people to share.
If you do go down the cash route, have an attendant at the entrance to your event to handle the money. $20 can be worth 20 tokens, when the money is handed over, paper tokens are given. Each individual then hands the tokens over at stalls in order to purchase cakes.
If the person doesn’t use all their tokens, they can come back and exchange them for any leftover cash. Just be sure that they can’t be reproduced in such a short amount of time. You might do this by numbering the tokens or having them signed by the door attendant and cake seller. With a little organization, you can remove any worries about wandering cash.
Where to run a cake sale
Cake sales can be run in many different places. We suggest somewhere that is already a regular meeting spot for the people you’re raising funds for. If you’re looking to raise funds for your church, host it in the foyer. If it’s for your cheerleading squad, host it outside the gymnasium. Try not to make people travel further to attend your sale.
This also transfers over as to when you should run your cake sale. Make it at the most convenient time possible. After school, after training, after any regular meetings. Beforehand may not leave people enough time to browse thoroughly through the cake selection and attend the event like normal. Evenings also tend to be favorable or a couple of hours before usual meal times (this triggers those who are already hungry to buy extra!).
What makes a bake sale successful?
It’s one thing running a cake sale, but to make it successful you’ll need to think a little beyond ‘buying and selling cakes’. Think about how you can really attract attention to your bake sale. Do you perhaps run a scoring competition whereby you vote for your favorite baker? It could be a great way to get people volunteering their baking services and of course, it creates more incentive to invite your family and friends to secure votes.
As ever, getting people to attend is crucial, so promoting your event online can have great advantages in getting more people there. You could do this on one fundraising site and even include a silent auction or donation appeal at the same time for those that can’t attend.
Another way to spice up your bake sale is to create a theme. It might be around a certain color for the sports team, it could include a particular ingredient or even set the bar high by getting people to create a certain item like a pom pom or gravity style cake. Challenging your bakers is a great way to get people involved. Asking someone to simply ‘make a cake’ can be difficult and often people will want guidance before they feel confident enough to get into the kitchen, so don’t be shy about setting parameters to enter.
What will make your cake sale truly successful is to make sure everyone is catered for, no matter who shows up. Lactose intolerant, nut allergies, vegan, gluten free – there are so many dietary requirements to consider so it’s important to have at least one of each of these cakes so that nobody is left out.
Once you’ve catered for every type of dietary requirement, created an awesome theme that turns baking into a spectacle your only task is to make sure every size of cake turns up. Not everyone will want a cupcake or a wedge slice. If you’re going to use cake tokens, make sure you have plenty of $1 cakes so that every dime is spent. The last thing you want is returned tokens simply because there weren’t enough small cakes to eat and there isn’t enough money left over for the big ones.
Remember a successful cake sale isn’t just your traditional cake. You can include all sorts of tasty treats like cookies, donuts, even shortcake. As long as there is some sort of theme to adhere to, you’ll watch bakers flock to fulfill the brief and you’ll have ran an incredibly successful bake sale.
Good luck! And for any more information from us, just get in touch.
Client Success Team Manager for North America
Emily is an experienced and passionate fundraising and events consultant, working with and supporting clients on their special events and fundraising campaigns all over the world.
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