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How to Run a Sweet and Successful Bake Sale Fundraiser

How to Run a Sweet and Successful Bake Sale Fundraiser

Bake sale fundraising has been around forever. It’s a partnership that has warmed many an oven and heart alike. But to ensure your bake sale fundraiser stands out in a community brimming with events, it’s time to sprinkle in some creativity. From theming your event to health-conscious offerings, the following ideas are sure to make your bake sale fundraiser a successful, lucrative, and memorable event.

Themed Bake Sale Fundraisers 

Creating a theme gives your bake sale a direction and makes promotion easier. Why not dive deep into the delicious and diverse flavors of our world? Organizing a themed bake sale can be an exciting journey for your attendees and bakers. Here are some themes that work for fundraising bake sales.

  • Cultural Heritage Day: Celebrate diversity by offering a variety of global treats. From French éclairs to Mexican churros, let every bite teleport your guests globally.
  • Seasonal Sensations: Eating fresh and local is the way to go. So why not host a bake sale that resonates with the season? Think pumpkin spice treats in the fall or vibrant berry-based baked goods in the summer.
  • Historical Throwbacks: Transport attendees back in time with treats from various eras, like 1970s jello-inspired desserts or medieval pastries.
  • Local Legends: Collaborate with local celebrities or figures and share their favorite family recipes, complete with the story behind them.
  • Kids’ Imagination: Allow kids to share their made-up stories or fairytales related to specific treats. The sky’s the limit with unicorn-themed cakes and cookies.
Doughnuts sale

Classic Bake Sale Recipes

Here are some of the classic bake sale products that are sure to sell well:

Pie for Bake Sale Fundraisers
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Brownies and blondies
  • Fresh fruit pies – sell whole or by the slice
  • Lemon bars
  • 7-layer cookies
  • Decorated Christmas cookies
  • Snickerdoodles and sugar cookies
  • Angel food cake
  • Chocolate barks
  • Chocolate-covered pretzel rods
  • Popcorn balls
  • Cakes – sell whole or by the slice
  • Chocolate or candied nuts
  • Homemade candy or fudge

Healthy Bake Sale Fundraising Ideas

If your group works with children, health issues, or the environment, offering healthy options will allow you to raise money while fostering your mission. Talented bakers can cater to everyone with a menu that’s both tasty and considerate of dietary needs. Even if you don’t host a health-inspired sale, consider providing allergen-friendly options so all your supporters can partake. Some of these ideas include:

  • Gluten-free baked goods
  • Vegan treats
  • Sugar-free or low-sugar goods
  • Nut-free options
  • Lactose-free delights
  • Keto (low-carb) options

Digitalizing the Traditional: Online Baking Fundraisers 

While bake sales are traditionally a community-based fundraiser, organizations can find success by taking their sales online. Organizations can reach a greater audience this way, with more options to expand sales. So consider harnessing the power of social media and a fundraising website to extend your sale’s reach and impact. Here are some ideas for taking your baking fundraising to the next level online.

Online sale
  • Live Baking Classes: Host a livestream session where viewers can purchase tickets or make donations to bake along with a guest chef. This is a great way to make your bake sale fundraiser more inclusive for those who are unable to make it in person. 
  • Online Sales: Supporters can purchase ingredient kits and mixes before your Livestream via our free eCommerce stores
  • Online Auctions: Some organizations host pie or cake auctions with delicacies made by local bakeries. 
  • Fundraising Raffles: If you have a really great baked prize or baking experience, a fundraising raffle may be the way to make the most money. 
  • Virtual Tasting Tours: Collaborate with bloggers and influencers who can sample and review your treats live on their platforms to boost sales.

Step-by-Step Guide to Organizing a Bake Sale Fundraiser

If you’re ready to host a bake sale, follow these simple steps to guide you.

  • Set a Fundraising Goal: Begin with your fundraising goal in mind. Define how much you aim to raise and how the funds will be used. If you want to raise $10,000, a traditional bake sale with donated items will not likely cut it.
  • Assemble a Team: Rally a group of volunteers. Assign roles such as treasurer, promoter, volunteer baker, and logistics handler.
  • Select a Date and Venue: Pick a date. Consider public spaces with good foot traffic, or go digital for a wider reach.
  • Focus on Promotion: Use bake sale fundraiser posters, social media, community boards, and word of mouth. Consider designing interactive bake sale fundraiser posters. Include QR codes on your poster that lead to sneak peeks, digital coupons, or a backstory video.
  • Get Baking: Be sure to allow plenty of time to prepare the baked goods. Ensure variety to cater to different tastes and dietary requirements.
  • Setting Up the Sale: Display your goods attractively with clear pricing. Offer bundles or deals to encourage bulk buying. Keep extra items cool and bring them out throughout the sale. 
  • Accounting Matters: Keep track of sales, expenses, and donations in a budget app or spreadsheet. Ensure transparency in all of your financial dealings.
  • Thank Yous & Follow-Up: Be sure to send out thank you and appreciation letters to everyone involved. Update your community on the funds raised and how they’re being utilized.
Step-by-Step Guide to Organizing a Bake Sale Fundraiser

Bake-Off Fundraisers Are a Fun Alternative

The enduring success of The Great British Bake Off shows that people love watching other people bake. Bake Off fundraisers pit baking enthusiasts against each other in a friendly competition to raise funds for your organization. You’ll need to find some willing contestants with skills, so look to local restaurants and bakeries. They will compete for publicity and bragging rights, and your organization will win.  

Sell tickets to be in the audience and try some of the desserts. Spice things up by inviting a local or online celebrity chef to judge, drawing more attendees. While the items are in the oven, your group can give a short presentation or let people mingle and visit sponsor tables.

Pro Tips for a Successful Bake Sale

And finally, if you want to create a memorable and successful bake sale fundraiser, follow these pro tips: 

bake sale fundraiser cookbook
  • Pricing Strategy: Don’t just set random prices. Consider cost, effort, and market rates. Offering some items with a “pay-what-you-want” option can sometimes yield surprising results.
  • Presentation: Use attractive displays. Eye-catching setups often translate to more sales. Consider purchasing tiered trays to maximize space and visibility.
  • Taste Testers: Offer small samples of items you have a lot of or aren’t selling as well. If people can taste how delicious something is, they’re more likely to buy it.
  • Share the Stories: Stories can transform a simple cookie into a heartwarming treat. So, think about making your bake sale fundraiser more engaging by sharing the stories behind each recipe. 
  • Sell Cookbooks and Merch: Diversify your nonprofit’s income streams by selling baking items and cookware. Some organizations even create and sell cookbooks with their favorite recipes.
  • Engage the Senses: A bake sale isn’t just about taste. The aroma of freshly baked goods or soft background music can enhance the experience and draw more people.
  • Pair Hot Drinks: Everyone loves coffee, tea, or hot chocolate with a sweet treat. Sell beverages and provide tables so your supporters will eat at the event and then buy more to take home.
  • Feedback Cards: Allow people to leave feedback or suggest items for future sales. This provides valuable input and fosters a sense of community participation.

Last Thoughts on Bake Sale Fundraising

Remember, the little details can make a big difference. Focus on making your bake sale not just a fundraising event but a memorable experience for everyone involved. Success lies in those sweet, small moments!

The age-old bake sale, with a few innovative twists, can be an effective, engaging, and delicious means of fundraising. Whether you opt for a traditional table-top sale or a digital extravaganza, with the proper planning and passion, your bake sale fundraiser is destined for sweet success.

Nico Caceres

About Nico Caceres

Nico is the Customer Success Specialist at DoJiggy. Originally from Bogota, Colombia, he can provide support in Spanish or English. He is starting his career in the nonprofit industry, and is passionate about soccer and salsa music which he practices in his free time.

See other posts from Nico Caceres

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