How to Plan a Bake Sale Fundraiser
Want to raise some money for an organization that you love? Here’s how to plan a bake sale fundraiser, so your event will be a success!
This Saturday in Atlanta, some ladies and I are hosting a vegan bake sale to raise money for a local women’s clinic. We don’t have a ton of spare money to make donations, but what we do have are baking and organizing skills.
We decided to plan a bake sale fundraiser, and it looks like it’s going to be a huge success! It got written up in the local Creative Loafing, and 188 people have RSVPed to our event on Facebook. Our plan is to organize these quarterly and rotate charities, so that we can spread the love around.
This isn’t my first time planning a bake sale, and the other ladies working on this one have also done these in the past. It is awesome to work with a group that knows what goes into an event like this, but you don’t need bake sale pros to plan a bake sale fundraiser of your own.
Below is our process as it unfolded this go-round. Think of it as a step-by-step guide for how to plan a bake sale fundraiser in your town!
How to Plan a Bake Sale Fundraiser
This is how things unfolded for us, pretty much in the order that it happened. You might do things in a different order, just make sure you hit most or all of these, and you should be in business.
Gather a team.
Find a few people who are as passionate as you are about the cause. Meet over coffee or even via an online group chat to discuss logistics. You’ll need folks to take on each of the items below. Some are more time-consuming than others, so you don’t need one person per thing. You just need to make sure all of the things are covered.
Choose a cause.
This should be collaborative. Pick something close to your heart!
Find a location.
We are hosting our bake sale in a local record shop, which has let us host bake sales in the past. Several local businesses here in Atlanta have hosted vegan bake sale fundraisers over the years, so hit up your favorite store or even restaurant and see if they’d let you use a little space to raise money for a good cause.
Create an email list and use it wisely.
For our bake sale, I used Mailchimp to set up a free list. Mailchimp is free for smaller accounts, so this was an easy way to gather email addresses. People can sign up for bake sale updates like calls for bakers and reminders about the upcoming sale. You don’t want to overwhelm people with emails, so try to limit the number you send. We sent:
- a call for bakers, which linked to the Google signup sheet (see below)
- two reminders – one a few days before, and one a day before
When we sent the call for bakers, we included some links to a few vegan websites we love, in case folks are new to vegan baking and needed tried-and-true recipes to follow.
The email list is also handy when you’re planning the next bake sale fundraiser – contact info for all of the people who were excited to help last time are in one place. Email your list when you’re ready to recruit bakers and again with a reminder a few days before the sale.
Make a Google doc.
You don’t want 18 dozen chocolate chip cookies, so have bakers sign up on a Google Spreadsheet using Google Drive. This will give you an idea of how much food will be available and prevent a overlap.
Create a Facebook event.
This is a free and simple way to share info about the sale: time, date, location, etc. And folks can RSVP, so you can get an idea of how many people to expect. You can also include info in the event’s About section on how to donate directly to the charity, for people who can’t make it to the sale but want to help out.
Now share it wildly! Invite friends and family, share the link to the event on your Facebook page. Email it to people who you think might want to bake or shop. Talk about it on Twitter and Instagram. Don’t be shy!
Make sure you’re ready to sell.
Are you taking cash? Checks (made out to the charity, not to you!)? Credit cards? Figure this out before the day-of, and make sure you communicate that on the Facebook event page and when you send the email reminder.
You also want to be ready to display all of the beautiful, vegan goodies that folks are making. You’ll need:
- plates and trays (for display)
- packaging (ziplock bags or wax paper bags work well)
- price tags (small sticky labels are perfect for this)
- cardboard or chalkboards for making signs, big and small
- cash box, preferably one that locks
Get the money to the charity you chose.
Decide on who is going to bring the donation to the charity, and make sure they have all of the cash and checks when the sale is over.
People who baked and shopped will want to know how things went. Announce the final dollar amount on the Facebook event page, and share photos from the day. You can also send a thank you out to your email list.
That’s it! This might look like a lot, but with a team of three to five people, it’s totally doable.