Building a Better Bake Sale
Bake sales are as American as… well… homebaked apple pie! They’re a great way to fundraise, and you can raise even more by building a better sale with these fun ideas.
Fundraisers are all about raising money and reaching your goal, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave the fun behind! Fundraisers are also about community spirit, bringing people together, and teaching children about teamwork. A bake sale is the perfect choice because nothing says home, family and togetherness quite like the enticing aroma of homemade baked goods! Still, the money-raising part is pretty important, so here are a few ideas to increase your bake sale profits, and increase the fun for everyone:
Hold a Pie Eating Contest
This is a fairly inexpensive event to host because you don’t have to use real pies. The event is all in fun, so you can just fill pie plates with whip cream to create your “pies.” Charge contestants a small entry fee to participate. Hold 3 rounds in which different contestants compete with each other to finish their pie first. In a fourth and final round, the winners of the 3 previous rounds will compete, and the winner will be named Pie Eating Champion!
Another fun pie event is a pie-throwing contest. Have a group leader volunteer to be the “target.” Participants can purchase pies to throw at the target. Just be sure to use paper plates for this event to avoid injury. This is a really fun event for kids!
Have a Raffle
Raffles are common features at bake sales, and for a good reason – They work! Amongst your tables of scrumptious goodies, have a raffle table to display the prize, and allow people to purchase raffle tickets. The prize can be a gift or service donated by a local business, or a selection of baked goods donated by your volunteers.
Set up a Café
People love to mingle with friends and neighbors at bake sales, so set up a place where they can do just that! Arrange plenty of tables and chairs, and set up a stand where they can purchase easy-to-serve items like sandwiches, cookies, cupcakes, muffins, and bars or squares. Also offer coffee, tea and juice. People will absolutely love the chance to relax with neighbors while enjoying a delicious, home baked cookie and a cup of tea!
Quick tip: Your café doesn’t have to feature homemade baked goods. You and your volunteers will be busy enough, so take a shortcut and make cookies, muffins, brownies and other delectable goodies from mixes. The treats are yummy, they’re easy to make, and it’s also a great opportunity for kids to help out with mixing and measuring!
Diversify Your Products
Just because it’s a bake sale doesn’t mean you can ONLY offer baked goods! If you have an accomplished chef in your community, or a volunteer with a coveted family recipe for the world’s best tomato sauce or homemade strawberry jam, take advantage and put those goodies up for sale too!
Time it With the Holidays
Just before the holidays people are really going to flock to your bake sale! With family and friends coming to visit, everyone wants to offer their guests some yummy treats, but not everyone has time to do the work themselves. This is where bake sales come in handy, and can be very profitable!
A great idea for holiday bake sales is to sell homemade mixes. Dry mixes for cookies, cakes, brownies, specialty pancakes and all kinds of baked goods can easily be prepared and stored ahead of time, and many people prefer to buy mixes since they can still enjoy the scent of cakes rising in the oven without the prep time. Just be sure to attach preparation and baking instructions to your mixes, and try dressing them up in jars or baggies with festive ribbons, stickers or other decorations. That way, they make great gift ideas too!
With a little creativity and ingenuity, your bake sale can be a huge success in so many ways!