Step By Step Fundraising Newsletter

May 2007

In this issue -

- Bye, Bye Bake Sales

- Pie & Cake Auction Fundraiser

- More Delicious Fundraising Ideas

- Run, Walk or Bike for a Cause!


Wave Bye, Bye to the Bake Sale

Bake sales are a common fundraiser put on by schools, churches and a variety of other small groups.  At the outset it sounds like an easy fundraiser that can be planned quickly.  However, as I described in an article that was published in April, bake sales can actually be one of the worst fundraisers you can choose.

  1. Most bake sale items are priced very low.
  2. It is difficult to bake and sell enough items to generate significant revenue.
  3. Bake sales don't bring you much closer to your overall goal.
  4. They are a lot of work!
  5. Repeated fundraisers fatigue your volunteers and audience.

For more information see the article: Looking for Bake Sale Ideas? Here’s an Idea – Don’t Have One!

Looking for a bake sale alternative?  How about a Pie & cake Auction...


Pie & Cake Auction

Instead of pricing baked good at low set prices, have an auction and each item will garner a higher donation.  Several years ago our church did this fundraiser and it was a big hit.  Not only did it raise funds, but with our comical auctioneer and a competitive spirit in the audience, it was a lot of fun.

This fundraiser works especially well with a group that enjoys baking and has strong ties to one another.  People will enjoy bidding on their friend's baked creations. Here are ten steps for planning a pie & cake auction.

  1. Set a date for your Pie & Cake Auction.  Try to schedule it at the same time as a complimentary event so that people will be more likely to attend.
  2. Publicize your event and get people to sign up to bring items. Items can be anything baked such as pies, cakes, brownies, or cookies.
  3. Create item tags with a place for people to fill in the name of the cook and name of the item and then attach to the covered dish. You can go one step further and provide space for writing out the recipe.
  4. Recruit one or two people to play the role of auctioneer.  This person should be someone who is energetic and can encourage bidding.
  5. The day of your auction cooks bring the items to a designated place. Allow time for people to view the items that will be available before the actual auction starts.
  6. Provide "paddles" so that bidders can be easily spotted by the auctioneer.  The easiest way to do this is to buy a pack of bright colored paper and cut into quarters.  People then just hold up the paper to bid.
  7. Opening bids should be different for each item depending on the type of item.
  8. Remind the audience of what your auction benefits.  This way people will be bidding to make a donation, not just bidding on the value of the pie.
  9. Keep the auction at 15 to 45 minutes at most so people will stay interested. If you have many items consider combining two items into a single auction.
  10. Thank everyone for their participation, those that helped plan the event, brought an item, and/or bid on the items.

More Delicious Fundraising Ideas

There are a variety of other ways that baked goods can help your group raise funds for its cause. 

Chocolate Lovers Brunch - Your volunteers who love to bake can show off their best creations at this fun event.

Pre Portioned Cookie Dough - These cookies come pre portioned and ready to bake.  There are a wide variety of flavors that will appeal to your supporters.

Run, Walk, Bike for a Cause - New Site!

When I began publishing Step by Step Fundraising in the fall of 2003 it was to help people who were fundraising as part of athletic events like I did walking the Anchorage Alaska Marathon.

Soon the topics expanded to include many types of non profit organizations and a variety fundraising strategies.  In the future we'll continue to offer a variety of free articles published each week, the monthly newsletter and even some new ebooks and CD's this fall.

Athletic events are still a great area of fundraising that continues to grow every year.  So now there is a new community website devoted just to athletic events called!  

Some of the most exciting features of the site will include MySpace type pages, forums and groups. These sections are currently still in development, but will be completed very soon.

Til then, why not check out the Charity Mile Blog. You can find out about fun events that are going on right now, possibly in your own community to benefit a variety of great causes.

As always, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions on how we can better serve your fundraising needs just complete our quick contact form.

We're here to help you be more successful fundraising, to make it easier and more effective. Again, if we can be of help in any way just let us know!

To Your Continued Fundraising Success,

Sandra Sims
Editor & Publisher
Step By Step Fundraising

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