Cooking Up a Bake Sale Fundraiser

If you want to make your charity the yummiest cause on the block, then a bake sale fundraiser is a great way to lure willing buyers to your church group, school club, and team events in order to raise funds.

A bake sale is pretty easy to organize, and with a little unique and creative effort, you can ensure your bake sale isn't just another run of the mill event, but one that donors will look forward to with salivating anticipation every year.

As I said, a bake sale is pretty easy to organize, all you need is a group of willing bakers to whip up some homemade goodies, and willing volunteers to man the stations and sell the treats in support of your cause to the general public.

Now the question is: will your bake sale fundraiser be encompassed into another event or hold its own as the prize pie of your fundraising efforts? You can risk a lot of planning on a bake sale as a standalone moneymaker – especially around holidays like Christmas, Easter and Valentine's Day!

However, if you plan to run a bake sale – either as a stand alone event or as part of another larger charity event – you will want to ensure it stands out from the myriad of charities pumping out baked goods at the mall and local church bazaar. Your bake sale needs a fun twist!

Before you doubt that the baking gods are in your corner, let me share a number of creative ideas that can add some extra flavor to your baked sale event. Put these hotcakes in your oven:

Musical Cakes

You've undoubtedly heard of musical chairs? Well musical cakes puts some sweetness into the event:set up a number of squares, all will be colored and blank other than one winning square or cake square. Just like the chair variety, play music and have the contestants jump from square to square until the music stops.

When it does, the person standing on the winning square wins a free cake or baked treat of their choice. The best thing about musical cakes is that you can charge an entrance fee – so each willing contestant pays $1 or $2 to enter the contest.

Musical cakes is a prime way to liven up a baked good sale, and get others wondering how good your baking must be!

Bake Sale with a Theme

A themed baked sale always gets buyers in the mood – especially when your sale can save them time on baking for a busy holiday. Take Christmas for example, a Christmas Cookie Exchange can become a much a yearly lifesaver when everyone brings in several dozen (the exact number of people involved in the exchange) of their favorite homemade Christmas treats and each exchanger leaves with a box of a dozen of each cookie to take home to hungry in-laws. Whew! It makes Christmas baking that much less hectic and time consuming.

BakeOff Sale

happy group of friends and male chef cook baking in kitchen

Holding a bakeoff bake sale lets you tap into your community's love of sweet treats while encouraging some competitiveness amongst your neighbors and friends at the same time.

The parameters of the bakeoff are up to you. You might want to restrict the event to just cookies, or just cakes, or let the participants make up their own minds. By charging a small fee to enter the contest, you can be raising funds right from the beginning.

You'll need a suitable venue where everyone can gather comfortable and where there's room for all the baked goods to be viewed and judged. You should provide a small prize for the winner and then sell of all of the baked goods you've collected. You have the option of charging per item or asking for donations with each purchase.

People might want punch or soda to wash down the cookies and cakes, so having these for sale as well as a useful idea. For an extra touch, why not ask the bakers to include a list of ingredients and recipe instructions along with the items they produce? It isn't much more effort on the part of the baker, but will add to the appeal for someone looking to buy.

Silent Cake Auction

Now who's kidding who! A silent auction fundraiser is hardly possible with your tummy rumbling. The twist to a silent cake auction is to present a scrumptious cake on a fancy display that interested buyers can bid on.

During the day the bidding continues – ballot style. Near the end of your event the bids are calculated and the highest bidder takes the cake!

Celebrity Baker

Another delectable twist to your bake sale can be to invite a guest baker or dessert chef to hold a cooking demonstration or a presentation to your guests. You could even ask for them to judge for a bake off. For this treat, all you need to do is score the “celebrity” (look to your local food columns and shows) and provide a podium and chairs for the demonstration.

Baker Supplies

Another way to boost profits is by offering baking products. After all, your guests are obviously interested in baked goods – chances are they bake at home too! So add some fundraising products in the form of baking dishes, utensils, cookie dough, frozen pie crust and preserves to your bake sale agenda and watch the profits role in.

Another idea is to invite a Pampered Chef or Tupperware representative to your event. Let them set up display tables and demonstrate how to use the products they sell.

Let the consultants do all the work – but ensure your charity gets a big cut of the profits for hosting their demonstration.

The key to any successful bake sale is to always include as many extra profit snatching offerings as you can. The more unique attractions you add to your yummy day, the more interest you'll draw to your sale and the easier it is to raise some dough!


  1. Bev says:

    If a cake does not sell, does the item revert back to the person who donated it? Do they in fact have the right to want it back?

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