Bake sales are a really great way to fundraise but they can be hard to reel everyone in and get everyone to really listen to you about what your charity stands for. When you have a great group of friends or a tight-knit family, it can be a good idea to organise a Come Dine With Me where family and friends can come over to your house and you can cook them dinner for a fee.
Your dinner event can be as basic or as extravagant as you wish, remember at the end of the day you are the only person who knows the vibes of your family and friends and you will know the best entertainment to provide. Some good options can be playing guitar or singing if you want to provide entertainment, or maybe even a movie if that works for you!
A really great way to make your event special is to do a three course meal. This may sound terrifying but making dinners can be so easy and you don’t need to stress about it. For example, a super quick desert can be some mashed up banana with cream, some amaretti biscuits and chocolate shaved into the top. Voila! Easy! Making the event special means that more people may be interested in coming and if you do it on a Friday night or on the weekend then those who have had a long week at work might be excited because they can relax and they don’t have to cook!
The not cooking for guests is a really good angle to go down as many people hate cooking! Do not forget to plan what you are going to serve and buy all of your ingredients early. You could also run a cheese and wine night or do some nibbles with a movie.
I suggest £20-£25 is a good price to ask people to donate. This means that with 4 guests you would have already raised about £100 and that’s amazing! Be careful to make sure that what you are serving is worth the price though, with you still raising a lot of money.
Make sure to buy some decorations, maybe some party favours and enjoy your dinner party!
If there is any fundraising event that ALWAYS brings in money without fail, it’s a bake sale! Ooooh that rhymed! I have held so many of these and when put together correctly, they can make big bucks for your cause! In this post you can read all about my bake sale tips and the things that you need to do to ensure that you can get the best out of your bake sale!
Bought or Homemade?
Something that a lot of students and fundraisers find hard to decide is whether to bake their own cookies etc or whether to buy them! I know that if you don’t have a good baking background then it can seem hard to want to get baking because you fear it’ll go wrong or you don’t want to be laughed at!
I can tell you now that it is all a matter of practice! I have done more bake sales than I care to think about including Harry Potter themed ones, Easter, Halloween… You name it, I’ve done it! And not without the prosecution from my friends either! They have giggled when things have gone wrong but have always supported me by buying the one cookie in the batch that wasn’t burned… Or eating what I was going to throw out to make me feel better!
I have found that telling donators that the food you are selling is homemade works much better in your favour. People are much more excited by homemade food (especially at uni because they can’t have a roast dinner or homemade cakes from home anymore!) People were often impressed by the fact that I had even bothered to bake and somehow I think it made the food taste better to them because it was fresh!
Baking homemade also means that the food you sell is cheaper. You can make a super easy gingerbread recipe and sell each gingerbread man for 60p! This is in a complete contrast with the average £1 one that students would alternatively buy from the student shop on their campus. This is a really good angle you can use to persuade students to come to you instead of the shop and help a good cause whilst they are at it!
Buying cakes and cookies can also be a great alternative to baking if you decide that you really are not brave enough to try, but I have a few tips for you if this is the case.
DO NOT serve the cakes inside the packaging that they came in unless they are from a pretty platter as some people may know how much the cake is worth and might call you out on it if you are charging extra to make profit and that can be embarrassing!
DO NOT overcharge for something that is store bought because people WILL be able to taste it and that will give you a bad reputation for future events
Try to hide all packaging so you can at least try to show off about the cakes, just don’t get found out!
How to prepare…
Don’t leave setting up a bake sale to the last minute and definitely do not rely on your student’s union to make it happen as they do often make mistakes and forget about your events! These things I am about to cover you should use as a checklist to make sure you have everything you need to put on a great sale:
Book your table early to be positioned in a great area of the uni which receives a lot of footfall so you can make the most amount of money (this is usually done from the student’s union or your activities department)
Double check this table is STILL booked the day before your sale as I have been burned by booking systems more than once where receptionists have made a huge mistake!
Book out the fundraising pots that you need in order to have somewhere for change to go.
It can be a good idea to make a kind of “float” with money in already in case someone wants to buy a cake using a fiver, and you have the change!
Get decorations and table cloths as people will be attracted to your table if it looks fun!
Bring knives and napkins to cut the cake and also to give the slices of cake to people who want to be hygienic, some people will want to carry the cake to class and won’t want to get sticky chocolate all over them!
Set the times that you are going to be there so that you don’t end up staying all day, and if you’re not making a lot of money, then try to sell the cake in the union or head home and beg your friends to take a few in exchange for a donation!
Make a Facebook or other online event so people know where your sale will be and how much you will be selling different cakes for, this way people can remember to bring change! Don’t forget to post which charity the donations will go towards and why you are supporting them!
Put up posters around the university (double check where these are ALLOWED to go as my hard work has been binned before by cleaners due to “policy” apparently!) and show off about it as much as you can!
Good luck with your bake sales! An average one with about 8 tray bakes of flapjacks, brownies and similar run well should make around £50 in one day! This could be a great way to make easy money, fast!