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How to organise a charity bake sale

According to The Guardian, the Great British Bake Off inspired 6million people (12% of the adult population) to take part in a charity bake sale last year. Research from Charities Aid Foundation found that cake sales raised an estimated £185m for charities.

A charity bake sale can be a fun way for your staff, volunteers or supporters to raise funds for charity. Whether you are running a one-off sale in your office or planning a big cake campaign, here are some tips to get you started.

Things you'll need

  • People who like making cakes.
  • People who like eating cakes.
1

Announce your bake sale

Invite your community to get involved. Use posters, email and social media to tell your community the date and time for your sale. You may want to set some rules depending on who will be buying the cakes (for example many schools say no nuts or alcohol).

There are no specific laws about bake sales but this page on the Food Standards Agency is a useful reminder about hygiene (under the schools cake sales question). As with any activity, you should carry out a risk assessment.

For example Nantwich Christie Hospital Support Group use Facebook to inspire bakers but set some gentle rules about entries. Devonshire Homes shared a cheeky picture on Twitter to announce their sale.

2

Give your bake a theme

Does your organisation have a mascot, theme or colour to inspire your bakers? Are you organising a bake for Halloween, Easter or around an event? Could you run a sugar-free bake or one just using chocolate? If you run lots of bakes, it can make them more interesting to choose a theme.

3

Make it fun

Could you turn your bake into a competition? For example, the quickest selling cake or best looking cake wins a prize. Make sure your judges are impartial. Could you find a local business to donate a prize? Maybe you could add recipes to your website or Facebook page and ask supporters to share their own?

To encourage non-bakers, share recipes as NDCS do for their Big Cake Bake.

4

Give your supporters materials to run their own sale

Your supporters may be keen to run their own bake sales to raise money for you. If you have lots of supporters, this has the potential to raise lots of funds. For example, Bliss charity’s supporters ran 300 sales in 2015, raising £23,000.

Make it easy for your supporters by giving them information and / or materials. You may want to create a poster they can download as well as some guidelines, pointers about hygiene and information about how to send the funds raised to you.

Take a look at United Response’s 4tea pack, Haven House’s par-tea video and Macmillan’s mega Coffee Morning resources for some ideas.  Wallace and Gromit’s Big Bake pack even has bunting, invitations and a game.

 

5

Ask people to take photos

Encourage your bakers and tasters to take photos and share their experience on social media. You could create a special hashtag if you know that there will be lots of bake sales happening in your name. This could help build a sense of community around the sales and help you to document and share them. Social media posts about cake (and cats) always do well.

Take a look at Heritage Lottery Fund’s #BakingHeritage on Twitter and this gallery of charity bake offs.

6

Tell people how much you raised

Count up the money and say a massive thank you to all who baked and ate. Sharing news about the total raised and what you will use the money for will motivate your supporters to do it all again. If your supporters are running their own sales, encourage them to use social media to share their results too. Totals could even be newsworthy.

For example, a local community in London ran a sale to raise money for Mencap. Clic Sargant wrote a press release about a company’s bake sale.

Further information

This guide is based on a Tennyson Insurance blog post from August 2015 written by fundraising consultant Gemma Kingsman.

Contributors

Page last edited May 11, 2017 History

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