Is there a section in your family cookbook devoted to the age-old fundraiser known as a bake sale? If not, you might want to add these 5 tips for bake sale success into a new section devoted to such events, along with recipes for your favorite easy-to-make bake sale goodies.
With schools and churches having bake sales for fundraising, now is also a good time to review what makes a successful bake sale. Following are my 5 tips for bake sale success:
TIP 1. LOCATION & SET UP
Just as in the real estate world, bake sale success is all about location, location, location. There is no substitute for a highly visible location for your bake sale table. Being seen is the one major secret to bake sale success. A busy pharmacy next to a supermarket may be a great place because you won’t compete with the store’s bakery. Use tables to display the baked goods attractively (with a festive tablecover), and have chairs for helpers to sit down. Be sure to arrive early on the day of your bake sale to set up and get organized.
TIP 2. SIGNAGE & PROMOTION
Promote your bake sale in advance by putting up flyers around your community and in local businesses that agree to help your promotion. Make signs of yellow or white poster board. Print large letters on your computer or use a fat black marker to write BAKE SALE in big capital letters. Hang signs on three sides of the table. If allowed, attach some balloons. Also make your sales sail by using festive paper, ribbons, or stickers to add some creative packaging and pizzazz. Bake sale success is as much about marketing as great baked goods!
TIP 3. PRODUCT VARIETY
Ensure bake sale success by asking friends, family, and neighbors to contribute freshly baked items. Also ask for donations of bakery goods from the local supermarket to fill in the gaps not covered by the homemade goodies. A good product mix is to have brownies, small cakes, cupcakes, cookies, sweet and savory bread loaves, and whole cakes. You can sell some easy-to-eat individual items at premium prices, or pre-package baked items into an economical dozen assortment. Be careful about selling baked goods that will run up expenses. For example, a slice of pie requires a plate, napkin and fork. A whole pie requires nothing more than the plastic wrap over the top. Another good product option is to have sugarless, low-fat, or organic baked items for the more health conscious.
TIP 4. PRICING
Pricing items effectively is the other major secret to bake sale success. Some people like to make price tags for each item. Personally, it is much less work to group baked items for sale on the table according to a set price, and tape just one small sign on the tablecover, such as ”Whole Cakes $4.95.” (Smart bake sale sellers won”t have that nickel change available to encourage folks to donate the extra nickel. This technique works great at yard sales, too.)
TIP 5. TIME MANAGEMENT
Ask members of your group to sign up for 2 hour shifts. Most everyone can spare 2 hours, even during a busy weekend. I”ve found that those who do come have such a good time chatting with customers that they often stay longer. Make sure volunteers have water to drink, paper towels, and moist wipes or hand sanitizer. Also be sure to have such supplies as Saran Wrap, plastic bags, and paper bags. And, always after the limelight of your bake sale success, be sure to send thank you letters to everyone who helped, from store manager right on down to the kid in the stroller who bobbed the balloon to get attention!
Weve had many bake sale fundraising triumphs in our town using these 5 tips for bake sale success. Feel free adapt them to your next bake sale.