Location, location, location.
Sure, we know the annual bake sale is always held in the school gym or the church basement, but a traditional spot doesn’t mean that’s the best place to sell your wares. Choose a location that gets a lot of foot traffic to attract passersby.
Name the happy day.
Now it’s time to choose a date. Make sure you pick a day that doesn’t conflict with any major events. If your city is hosting a marathon and her thoroughfares are shut down to accommodate 5,000 runners, then no one’s going to be able to get across town to your bake sale.
Everybody loves a good angle. A themed bake sale is fun for all concerned. Holidays like St. Patrick’s Day or Fat Tuesday (Mardis Gras) are also perfect bake sale themes. And a good angle increases the chances of your bake sale getting listed in the local press.
Create a press release and flyers.
Get the word out about your bake sale as early as possible. It helps to get a post in your local paper’s event listings. Include the date and location, the organization you’re raising money for, the theme if any, and any other pertinent facts. Post flyers in your local library, in local shops, and on community bulletin boards.
Email everyone you know.
You’ve got your traditional advertising covered with your printed flyers and your newspaper listing. Spread the word by emailing your bake sale’s details to all your friends well ahead of time and ask them to forward your email to all of their friends. Send a reminder email or text message as the bake sale date nears.
When you’re working out your marketing strategy be sure it includes pre-orders. Local business owners love pre-orders because bake sales are often held when they can’t leave their stores. They also help you figure out how much to bake and where you are in your fundraising goal before you even start cooking.
Mix it up.
Variety is absolutely essential to a successful bake sale. Ask your bakers to tell you what they plan to cook. If everyone is planning apple cobbler, then you can ask some of your bakers to prepare something else. The objective is a pleasing balance of proven standbys and offbeat delights.
Make sure your sale runs smoothly.
1Ingredient Lists—Make sure your bakers bring these for each dish. You don’t want people with allergies getting an unpleasant surprise.
2Change—Imagine your customers all hitting the ATM just before your sale. Be ready. They’re going to be buying that cupcake with a twenty-dollar bill.
3Utensils—Make sure you have a nice tablecloth and an ample supply of plates, bags, hot cups for coffee and tea, plastic knives and forks.