How to Organize a Bake Sale
Raising money to support an organization is a universal cause. Many teams use car washes, Entertainment book sales, or coupon cards to raise money. In addition to these great fund raisers, bake sales are always a good source of funds. Planning and preparing the bake sale will improve success for your organization. The following will review the basic steps to get your bake sale off to the right start.
How to Gain Permission
The first step to planning a bake sale is to gain permission from the owners of the location where you wish to host your sale. This could be the manager at a local grocery store like Meijer or a hardware store like Home Depot, the principal of your child’s school, or the president of the local athletic association. Whomever you need to speak to, make sure the date, time, and any other details are worked out prior to bake sale day.
You can gain permission in several ways. The first way would be to ask the individual in charge if they allow such events to take place at their establishment. If they do, ask the proper procedures and then go from there. It may be as informal as requesting the date and time and the manager saying it is ok. Other locations may have a no liability form for you to sign or other paperwork associated with the use of the property during your sale.
Another approach would be to write a business letter requesting permission. This letter should detail what your organization is, what you wish to do (bake sale), and why you are raising money and how it will help your organization. Ensure you include a “thank you for your support” in your closing remarks of the letter and include contact information.
Once your receive permission to host the bake sale, rally your organization to meet the needs of your sale to include workers, set up and clean up, and donations.
How to Organize Your Club
Regardless of what type of club you are raising money for, whether it is a sports team, a band, chess team, or a summer swim team, you will need the support of the members to be successful. The first step will be to compile a list of all the jobs and supplies you will need to host a successful bake sale. Some items may not apply to your team or you may need to add to it to cover all required steps.
Then you will need to find volunteers. If your team uses email for communication, this may be the best avenue. You can send out the request for volunteers along with the request for specific baked goods. Once your receive replies, you will need to manually track who has volunteered for what jobs. Once those jobs are filled, notify your members and let them know what still needs to be filled. Make sure to include when and where the bake sale is along with instructions on where to drop off the baked goods. If you don’t use email, you can announce the sale at club/team meetings, before or after practice, or make telephone calls to each member’s home.
You can also send a message home with the members of the team requesting volunteers. Using more than one method of communication can encourage participation in the event and make sure the message gets home.
What Type of Baked Goods
Each bake sale will be slightly different, but have the typical fare to include Rice Krispie treats, brownies, cookies, and cupcakes. Anything out of the ordinary may create problems for the sale. If people are familiar with the treat then it may sell well, but if it is an unknown dessert people may shy away from purchasing it. Presentation is key to selling the products. Each product should be individually wrapped to improve the appearance of the treats and ease of selling. The easiest way is to have the team members baking the products, place each item in a Ziploc sandwich bag. This will eliminate anyone touching the treats or handling money then serving treats.
Here are a few ideas for bake sale items:
- Brownie Bites
- Pie (apple, blueberry, strawberry, pecan, or cherry) Pre-slice the pie and place on small paper plates and insert into a Ziploc Bag. Tape a wrapped fork on the outside of the package.
- Cookies (any variety) (two per bag usually sell better than just one)
- Rice Kripsie Treats (Use Large Marshmallows to make the treats extra gooey and place on a popsicle stick to make them easier to eat, cover with a plastic Ziploc bag)
- Strawberry Short Cakes (place cake in bowl, cover with strawberries, add whipped topping at time of purchase)
- Cup Cakes (place in bowl and cover)
- Popcorn balls
- Trail Mix
- Granola/Granola Bars
- Homemade Carmel Popcorn
Depending on the time of year and your location, you may want to include drinks at your sales list. If it is a sporting event or during the summertime, you can add sports drinks, bottled water or soda to your sale. If it is cool weather such as a football game, you may want to add coffee, water, and hot cocoa. This increases the workers needed along with a location to keep drinks hot or cool, so plan accordingly.
Other Necessary Items
Hosting a back sale takes more than simply selling the items. Here are a few items to think about prior to set up:
- Tables–sturdy tables are necessary to ensure your baked goods don’t end up on the ground
- Cash Box–or a safe location to hold all of the money. You may need more than one of these depending on how large your sale will be.
- Donation cans–Setting up donation cans allows people to deposit money without making a purchase.
- Chairs–during busy times of the sale you may not have a chance to sit down, but during the slow periods you will want to have a few chairs to relax in.
- Signs–You will want to make it clear why you are selling items. Place the signs around the table or hang a banner above you to encourage support of your organization.
- Change–don’t start of empty handed. You will need at least $20 worth of change in coins and $20 in ones. This will provide a good start when someone hands you a $5 bill for a 50 cent cupcake. You may want to start off with more change if a location to get more is not near your selling location.
- Price labels–This can be store bought or you can simply sell everything for the sale price. I have been to some bake sales where everything was 50 cents, but you may want to vary depending on what items are being sold. Cookies, brownies, and Rice Krispe Treats often sell well for 50 cents, but you can sell pie, cake, and other novelty items for a little more.
- Trash Can–if a public trash can is not provided in the area of your sale, you will need to provide one to help prevent litter around the area.
When recruiting volunteers, make sure to recruit clean-up volunteers. This team will need to make sure all items (trash, signs, tables, chairs, etc.) are cleaned up and put away. Always try to leave the area better than you found it. This will help the location owner know she or he made the right decision to let you sell your goods on their property.
Good luck raising money for your organization. Do you have any questions about hosting a bake sale? Let us know, we would love to hear from you?