The first thing that you might be expecting is that I am an expert at bake sales- I have done it all and raised huge funds through this. Well, I hate to break it to you that I am not an expert at this at all. In fact, I held my first bake sale just recently because it was part of my New Year’s resolution. I know, you would think why would I add this to the list of things you want to do/change in the New Year. I wanted to become more charitable and do things not necessarily for money, reputation or prestige but to expose myself to new experiences all whilst helping a cause. So, I decided to contribute to a cause which is dear to my heart by participating in the Great Legal Bake 2018.
I had to do a lot of research as I had not done this before and I wondered, what if nobody buys the cakes because I do not come across as friendly enough. So, I have five tips to anyone wanting to host a Bake Sale for charity.
Tip 1. Organisation is Key!
It is very important for you to plan ahead. Book a space, print the posters, decide on your budget and ingredients. Who will bake the goodies or be on your team, how you would like to sell items. Essentially, provide answers to the who, what, where and how questions. It is also very important to think about how much you would like to raise. At first, I wanted to raise £100 pounds but I did not actualise this as I decided to cut down the items to sell because I was doing this by myself. So, I will say that as you plan your bake sale, be realistic with what you can do alone. Also, think of how you will address allergies and dietary requirements. You can do this by writing out the list of all ingredients used in the making of the baked goods.
Tip 2. Ask for Help
Ask for help if you need help. As I was planning this event by myself, it was extremely difficult to do it all. So, I asked my colleagues Amy and Jenny to bake something and they kindly agreed. Amy was kind enough to bake the vegan cakes (even in a heart shape as it was close to Valentines Day!) and Jenny baked the lemon drizzle cake. Both items were extremely good and sold out almost instantaneously. This reduced my tasks to just baking 40 cupcakes and brownies. Asking for help goes farther than this, if you are not good at planning or calculations, ask someone to do this for you. As it is for charity, people are always happy to help.
‘How much is a slice of cake?’ I would say ‘priceless’ but that does not raise the funds you need. So, be realistic in the price that you can sell the items. I would say look at your location and targeted consumers, what do you think they can afford or would be willing to pay. If you still cannot decide, you can ask the buyers to donate what they feel is appropriate or you can seek out what prices have been placed on items sold at previous bake sales held at the same venue. I sold the cupcakes and slices of cake for £1 each and the brownie for £0.50p (it sold out so quickly, I should have probably raised the price).
4. Props and Customer Service
On the day of the bake sale, you need to ensure that your table is attractive enough and you catch the attention of the passers-by. To be fair, my table was not nearly as attractive as I wanted it to be because of time pressures. However, it was good enough to catch the eye of a sweet tooth. If your table does not do the shouting, you do the shouting. Grab their attention and tell them why you are doing this. You might hear excuses like ‘I have not got cash’ and I just make a joke and say ‘there is a cash machine right there’ because I know that they are not interested. So, don’t take those personally although I don’t understand why a person would not want an oreo-flavoured cupcake! Also, have on the table flyers and posters about the charity.
5. A Dash of Enthusiasm and a Tablespoon of Fun
Honestly, I would hold a bake sale again because it was so much fun. From baking the cupcakes to selling them. I had baked the cupcakes 8pm for them to be sold the next day. I was so tired that evening, all I wanted to do was go to sleep after a long day of work. However, it all came together and I am glad that I did not cancel. One thing that I pride myself on is customer service (I guess from my job working at McDonalds) so I was extremely pleased to speak to the students about the London Legal Support Trust all whilst meeting people that I never would have just sitting at my desk at work.
Within two hours, I raised £70 through the bake sale. I took out a fraction of my as £10 and donated £60 to LLST. Thank you Amy, Jenny and Frank for helping me out!