How to Make Your Next Bake Sale a Sweet Success | Before You

How to Make Your Next Bake Sale a Sweet Success

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Class is back in session, the kids are busy with homework, and before you know it school fundraising will be in full swing. While no one really wants to buy the booster club’s wrapping paper, chocolate bars, or popcorn, most parents can get behind a good old-fashioned bake sale. So whether you’re raising money for the team’s new equipment or theater program’s costumes, consider a sweeter way to money-making success. We know our way around a bake sale, so we’ve put together a few tips to make your next sprinkle-covered fundraiser a total win.

Make a Plan

Avoid day-of dessert disasters by having an organizational system in place. Reach out to potential parent volunteers well in advance – especially to working parents – and start brainstorming a theme. Not sure where to set up shop with your tables of delectable goodies? Try setting up where you’d encounter the parents most likely to support the mission of the department or cause. Supporting the theater department? Post up outside of the school’s musical for intermission treats. Raising money for the football team? No better place to sell game day treats than next to the bleachers under the glow of those Friday night lights.

Make It Accessible to All Parents

Not all parents can re-arrange their schedules to be present at functions or to spend the time baking. Even if a parent has a wide-open calendar, not every parent’s skill lies in the kitchen. While having a crew of bakers is essential, you’ll also need a team of volunteers to help with things like:

  • Organization – pull in parents with a project management background!
  • Promotion – any parent with a marketing background will knock this out of the park.
  • Prepping & Packaging – a great opportunity for parents to be hands-on after the kids go to bed.
  • Day-of-Event Oversight – someone needs to be looking out for those little details like having enough dollar bills and coins in the cash box to make change!

Organize a sign-up sheet on day one with options ranging from sign-making to manning the bake sale table, even spelling out who’s going to handle clean up duty. Offering a variety of ways to pitch in helps to include as many interested parents as possible, even those who work full-time or don’t know their way around a mixer.

Bake Sale Basics

Here’s your cheat sheet of the bake sale essentials you should have on hand and ready to go:

  • disposable gloves
  • tablecloth
  • trash bins (with bags)
  • folding table
  • cash box (we recommend having $15 in change)
  • signs
  • paper product (napkins, plates, forks, etc.)
  • price labels
  • baked good packaging supplies (consider green options, like compostable parchment bags)

Allergy-Friendly Labels

A growing number of school systems have adopted food allergy-friendly protocols to help keep problematic ingredients, like peanuts and gluten, out of school cafeterias. If your bake sale is required to follow your school’s food allergy rules, there are simple ways to make sure there are treats on the table for everyone. Even if there are no banned ingredients, it’s still a good idea to label your bake sale goodies clearly. Create food labels that flag any allergy-related products, or section off part of the bake sale table for allergy-friendly treats only.

Piggy Bank Prices

Kids aren’t millionaires. Remember to keep the sale items affordable so your young customers can purchase a goodie or two – even if they’re paid for in quarters. Consider pricing treats between $1-3 dollars, and encourage parents to stop by to support the sale as well!

Get Creative

Tired of the traditional brownies and snickerdoodles? While everyone loves a crowd pleaser, consider adding a few more options into the mix! Go healthy with homemade granola bars, or create a carnival atmosphere with caramel corn and cake pops. Working under strict rules about sugar content in foods at school? See if a smoothie bar is an option! Think outside the box, and don’t be afraid to get a little creative in the kitchen.

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