16 Oct 2015

Get your bake on and raise some serious dough

Cupcake - bake sale

Popular BBC talent show the Great British Bake Off has inspired millions of us to take part in charity cake sales. In fact, just last year bake sales in Britain raised an estimated £185m for good causes.

Bake sales are easy to organise and can lead to sweet fundraising success. But creating delicious goodies is just the start to holding a fruitful bake sale.

So, to help get you going, we’ve had a look at what makes a great bake sale and put together ten top tips.

1. Recruit some fellow bakers

The more bakers you have the more cakes you’ll have and hopefully the more money you’ll raise. Make sure you also asked your friends, family and colleagues to help spread the word or man the stall on the day.

If you can’t bake for toffee - don’t worry. Speak to a local baker or shop. Many will provide cakes at cost value or even for free once they hear about the great cause you’re fundraising foe.

2. Baked in success with MyDonate

Choose the right fundraising platform. By using MyDonate doesn’t take commission so more money goes to your chosen charity. It’s a piece of cake to set up a fundraising page and you can share your page by email and on social media before you’ve even got your apron on.

After your sale you can pay the money into your chosen charity via MyDonate. You could even ask everyone to donate to your fundraiser page in advance to avoid having to handle cash. Buyers can show you proof of their donation in exchange for a baked treat.

3. Location, location, location

Be sure to pick a high-traffic area, near entrances, exits or office building lobbies and community centres (with permission) or get a spot at an organised event like a village fete or conference to maximise your visibility.

Consider partnering with a local business. It's a win-win for everyone. The business gets extra publicity and you get guaranteed foot traffic. You could even plan one around your next team meeting getting everyone involved and raising money as a team for your chosen charity.

Put up some posters and hand out a few flyers to drum up some extra customers and donations. Lifts are fantastic places for a poster!

4. How much?

This one might surprise you, but setting prices can inhibit the amount of money you can make. Instead, encourage donations and consider setting a minimum price per item. This is a surprisingly effective way of nudging people into giving more for your cause.

5. Cater for all

Nobody has willpower when it comes to cake but make sure you also have choice for everyone. Be sure to include vegan friendly, dairy and gluten-free treats for fundraisers with allergies. Make sure you label the treats and have a copy of the ingredients available in case someone needs to check.

6. Go big

You usually can't go wrong with big helpings of the classics: brownies, cupcakes, muffins, and chocolate chip cookies. However, cheesecakes and pies by the slice also do really well too.

There will always be some people who are unsure about stopping and that’s why you must have a showstopper - a dessert so tempting, it will lure the most zealous avoiders and busiest of patrons to your table like the siren's call.

It should be decadent and special, like chocolate cheesecake cupcakes or that very special creation your grandmother makes only at Christmas. Don’t just cater for sweet either, many of us have a savoury tooth so why not try some savoury muffins or cheese scones too.

…And small

Take a tip from the supermarkets and put out small treats and sweets near your till, price them low and watch them quickly disappear. Bags of pick and mix work extremely well too!

7. Get your sprinkles on

Consider making your stand interactive this is a great way to get added value, you might expect to get a 50p donation for a giant cookie but people may donate more if they get to ice it themselves. By making icing and sprinkles available you’ll find children and grown ups alike will roll up their sleeves to write messages and draw silly faces on cakes and cookies.

8. What to do with leftovers?

Donate them! Your cakes, muffins and pastries are sure to fly off the table, but just in case there’s anything left, consider giving your treats to local foodbanks and homeless shelters. Or package them up and walk them around your office space, many people will love to take a treat home for the family.

9. Say thank you

Saying thank you to your donors, and saying it went well, is only polite, right? The truth is that a good thank you is much more than good manners: it’s a very smart and savvy fundraising strategy. Giving your volunteers, bakers, fundraisers and hosts a friendly, warm and personal thank you will help enormously at your next fundraiser.

Make sure you also put up some posters or send an email to let everyone know how much you raised and crucially what that money means to the charity. This helps your donors connect with the cause and raises awareness for the charity.

10. Spread the word

The final step is to take lots of pictures and tell us at MyDonate how your event went. If we think your story will inspire others, one of our friendly team will get in touch and your fundraising success may be featured on the MyDonate website.

MyDonate is not responsible for the content fundraisers post on their pages, but if you see something you feel is offensive or inappropriate, please let us know