School bake sales are one of the original school fundraisers from which all other fundraisers were born. They’re easy to plan, profitable, and fun for the kids. So let’s start with the most basic of all school fundraisers…
Planning a School Bake Sale Fundraiser
Bake sales are one of the most reliable school fundraisers. They are easy to plan, require little investment, and can raise several hundred dollars in a single day.
- Assign a Chairperson
- Enlist volunteers to advertise, bake, set up tables, and clean up.
- Choose a date. For a more profitable fundraiser, hold the bake sale on the same day as another school event (holiday show, sporting event, voting day).
- Set up a volunteer schedule to ensure all time slots are filled with at least 2 people per time block.
- Purchase paper tableclothes or use cloth tableclothes on each of the sale tables.
- Make phone calls to local bake shops and donut shops asking if they’ll donate coffee, donuts, muffins, or bagels. Or, if you have an x-large coffee pot, plan to make coffee but purchase cream and sugar.
- Sell pre-orders of boxes of donuts. Ask the local donut shop to sell you boxes of donuts by the dozen at a discounted rate (perhaps $5.00 per dozen), then re-sell them for $7.00 or $8.00. Parents will can pick up their coffee and donuts at the school bake sale and bring them to the office. Submit the pre-orders to the donut shop a few days before the sale. Designate a parent to pick up the boxes very early the day of the bake sale and bring them to the school.
- A few weeks prior to the bake sale, make announcements in school newsletters and over the morning loudspeaker announcements.
- Hang a few flyers around the school to remind students of the bake sale date.
- The day prior to the bake sale, make an all-school announcement and send home a printed reminder in the school backpacks. The reminder should specifically remind parents to donate baked goods and send money with their student to attend the sale.
LOGISTICS OF A BAKE SALE
- Set up 1 to 3 sale tables with tablecloths the evening before the sale so they’re ready when parents drop off baked goods early the next morning. The tables should be located just inside the school entrance and in a place clearly visible and accessible to students and parents.
- Place one of those bake sale tables apart from the others, specifically for peanut-free options.
- Bake sales rely on the contributions of school parents. Ask parents to donate baked goods, packaged snacks, and other small non-food items that can be re-sold for under $1.00. To ensure you’ll have enough donations, it’s best to ask several parents face-to-face or make personal phone calls to gain commitments. Request that all items be individually wrapped for easy sale.
- Label individual items with a price for $1.00 or less ($0.25, $0.50, $0.75). If you’re expecting a large number of adults to attend the bake sale, you can sell larger items (full loaves of banana bread, pies, boxes of donuts, etc.) and price these at a higher market rate.
- Set out a donation jar (clearly labeled) if a large number of adults will attend the bake sale.
- Consider also selling oranges, bananas, apples, soups, and pizza.
THINGS TO HAVE ON HAND FOR A BAKE SALE
- Cash box with dollar bills and change.
- Small plastic sandwich bags to package items individually.
- Pens and small stickers to label sale items
- Cream, sugar, and spoons for the coffee
- Volunteer work schedule
SAY THANK YOU
Remind your volunteers to say Thank You to every buyer and send a hand-written Thank You note to any business that donated to the sale.
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