Ahhh the bake sale… the perennial fundraiser at schools, churches and well, just about anywhere you can put up a card table. Everyone loves cookies, cakes and pies right? So it while it may sound like a good idea to have a bake sale, I contend it’s actually one of the worst!

Bake sale items are typically priced quite low. After all, you can only charge so much for a little zippy bag of cookies. Prices generally range from 50 cents to $10 for a cake. So let’s do the math, how many baked goods does your group have to make in order to raise the money it needs?

Unless you only need to raise $100 or less your group is never going to reach it’s goal with a bake sale. Why would you spend so much effort on something that produces so little results?

Anyone who’s ever baked items for a sale (and I have) knows how much work it is. Even if you like to cook you spend all afternoon in the kitchen making cookies and cupcakes. At best your hard work will fetch the organization $10-20. Was it really worth it?

Because bake sales generate such a low amount of income for the group, it becomes just one more fundraiser people are asked to participate in. After awhile even people who support your group will get tired of being asked.

Why not focus all of your efforts on one or two fundraisers that will produce much more results? Find a fundraising program that fits with the mission of your group. For many non profit groups donation requests are the best way to raise not just money, but make lasting friends for your cause. Special events and sales are also good depending on the nature of your group.

There are a variety of great fundraising ideas…bake sales are just not one of them!

Posted on 06 April 2007

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