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Cake sales: a recipe for success!

Cake stalls or bake sales don't take much organisation, and are always a popular fundraising activity with both charities and supporters! If you're running a cake stall and want to increase profits, read our tips for success...

Publicise your cake sale

A bake sale isn't something that supporters need to prepare for, so plan your marketing to begin far enough in advance to pique interest, but not too early that people will have forgotten about it by the time the date arrives! Decide on the date and location of your sale, and think about drawing up some marketing material. How long will it last? What refreshments will be available?

Once the date and format are agreed, start telling people about it! Depending on the scale of your event, place posters in local nursery schools, GP surgeries, supermarkets, businesses and shops. Order cake sale posters from Charity Print Shop, and pay £9.95 for 10 A3 posters! Posters will arrive within three working days. Explain what you're raising money for, so that supporters know the impact their contribution will have.

Use your website, Facebook page, Twitter page, email and any other social media to tell people about your sale. Send out reminders as the event gets closer, using language that implies a growing sense of urgency: 'NEXT Friday, come and eat cake!'.

Cake sale posters

Request cake donations

To ensure maximum profit on the day, try to get as many cakes donated as possible. Appeal to supporters of your charity - mums, dads, grandparents, children, and your neighbour's. Don't ask for too much, if everyone supplies ten cupcakes each, you'll be well on the way. Ask donors to provide a list of ingredients along with their cakes. For the competitive bakers out there, you could introduce a bake-off style competition, with local celebrities judging the best cakes in different categories, such as 'cupcake connoisseur' or 'brilliant bread'!

To pull in potential donors, use our cake poem examples - stick the poems on a plate or advertise it across social media/on posters to grab their attention.

Pricing

You don't want to empty people's pockets, but remember you're there to raise money. Price cakes according to size and intricacy bake. For a rough guide, 30p for small cupcakes decorated by children, 75p for a large slice of cake, £1 for fancy cupcakes. Consider running a pop-up cafe, selling tea and coffee too. You could also have a cake decorating table for children, with plain fairy cakes, different coloured icing in squeezy bottles and a choice of toppings from silver balls to dolly mixtures. 

Display

Make your display look as enticing as possible... Seek out a variety of different cake stands of varying heights - not only does this make it easier to fit more on the table, but people will also be drawn in by all your mouth-watering goodies as they approach! 

Try to label your cakes, making it easier for visitors to choose - this won't take long, just some cut-up card and a marker pen to make some stand-up labels. 

Give your sale a vintage twist by sourcing old-fashioned cups and saucers from charity shops, popping a moist muffin in the cup, and wrapping these in cellophane. Your price can increase to cover the cost of the crockery!

Having material/posters detailing your cause, and anything specific you are raising money for will remind people who are donating or buying where their money will be going! You never know, it might make them dig a little deeper into their pockets!

Timings

Inform donors where and when they need to deliver their cakes. Set up your stall at least an hour before the sale starts. Run the cake sale for between one-to-two hours, or shorter if the cakes go fast, and allow some time to clean up afterwards.

Cake sale success story:

Cherylee Holley, secretary, Friends of Cwmafan School, Wales: 'Our cake sales are a huge success. Two weeks before the sale, we display posters around the school, in our local library, post office, chemist, health centre, and Co-op. We send out flyers asking for cake donations. Many people use the opportunity to show off their cooking skills! We always ask parents to provide a list of ingredients to ensure the buyer can see what they are purchasing. We keep our prices low: 30p for a small cake, 50p for a large and 50p for tea and coffee. The children assist us in serving the cakes. Prior to the event, we bombard local companies requesting donations - Warburtons Bakery and Tesco have been amazing at supporting us in the past. Between the main core of parent helpers, we provide the coffee, teabags, sugar, and squash. The cake sale is short and sweet, from 3.30-4.30pm. It is a very busy hour but everyone loves it and there are never many leftover cakes (see pictured)! We usually raise around £350.'

Cake sale


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