Events, functions and fundraising activities
Cake Stall and Bake Sale
Cake stalls and bake sales are a traditional favourite of Australian community club culture.
Very simply, it involves members, parents and families baking cakes and yummy treats for your club to sell to bring in fundraising dollars.
Unfortunately, there has been a tendency of late for clubs to avoid this type of event due to food & safety regulation concerns. This is a pity as the community love this type of event and the rules and regulations are not as hard to navigate as people often think. In essence, the regulations are fair and reasonable and with some preparation and a few phone calls clubs can make excellent funds from a cake stall or bake sale.
Why a Cake Stall or Bake Sale?
This is a great fundraiser that can be used in conjunction with any event that you have a crowd attending. It can be a awesome idea to plan to include in a game day or registration day.
This fundraiser would suit any club who has a group of parents or members happy to help with baking, often great for clubs with a large number of juniors as it is easy for parents to help out.
When should I hold this fundraiser?
One advantage of a cake stall and bake sale is that it can be held at any time of the year or season. If it is winter or expected to be very hot ensuring there is a temperature controlled room to hold the fundraiser in is important.
The key activities to consider for your event are:
- Set your date
- Recruit your bakers
- Advertise to ensure there will be a crowd attending
On the Day
- Set up tables and table cloths or paper.
- You will need paper plates, bags, price tags, tongs and rubbish bags.
- Ensure you have a lot of small change ready and a safe place to keep it. A till is great but a margarine container can also work if your club doesn’t have a till.
- Ensure those selling the food are presented well and hygienically. All long hair should be tied back and you might like to consider providing aprons.
- Ensure all items are priced. Remember don’t undersell your products.
- Follow food regulations and sell food safely on the day
- Monitor and collect money as products are purchased.
- Thank the volunteers and community for a successful fundraiser after the day
After the day
- Publicly thank everyone involved
- Announce the amount of money raised in club newsletters, on social media, website and around the club.
Who can help?
It is important to engage your members to help in the running of your fundraiser.
For a cake stall and bake sale you could approach them to help:
- Promote the day
- Bake and cook their favourite goodies!
- Help logistically on the day
A Cake Stall and Bake Sale is easier with more help and more bakers. It is important to gather together a group of people who are committed to helping make your fundraiser a success.
To ensure a wide selection of different cakes, it is a good idea to make a list of what people plan to make so that you can plan accordingly. It is also a good idea to know what type of foods are being made to ensure you can store them appropriately, for example if the day is forecast to be warm then ice-cream cakes or cakes with a lot of icing may need refrigeration.
You might also like to consider what you expect sell well as some cakes sell better at different times of year, for example sponges in the summer and fruitcake in winter.
You could also approach current club Sponsors for any prizes you plan to use if you are holding any additional activities.
Recruiting your people
It is important to create a culture of volunteering at your club to help not only with fundraising but also across the day to day running of your club. For more on how to create this at your club, click here.
Using technology to make it easier
You may like to consider using technology to reduce the workload on your volunteers and increase your fundraising dollars.
Your club may then also like to use social media, email newsletters and your club website to promote the event.
You may like to live stream some of the event on social media for people in the area who may want to pop down on the day to support your club.
The Potential profit of this event is limited only by the supply and quality of baked goods from your members. The more bakers and the better quality the baked goods, the greater the revenue.
If members are happy to donate their cakes and baked goods, the initial outlay for the club is zero. The only challenge becomes attracting a crowd and ensuring you have enough volunteers to bake the cakes and man the stalls.
You will also need to consider costs on the day including gloves, cloths, cleaning sprays and price tags. These costs should all be minimal and your club may even have these items already.
Cake stalls are usually run as part of a bigger event, for example, your club may be having a registration day or round robin event. Typically, clubs promote the day and include references to the cake stall using the normal tools for promotion:
Club Facebook and Twitter
Also on any advertising for the day itself (eg school newsletter advertising)
As a cake stall and bake sale has broad appeal and is an easy way for people to support your club you might like to use social media to build excitement. You can use social media to countdown to the day and live stream the event on the day so that those in your community can be reminded to come down to support the club.
What can go wrong? (Risk Management)
Low attendance numbers
To ensure high attendance numbers your club might like to hold your cake stall and bake sale at a larger club event, on a game day or externally at a busy venue like a shopping centre.
The health and wellbeing of those who attend your event should be a focus at all times. It is important that your club takes time to consider all possible risks and how to minimise these.
When catering food ensure you cater for those with allergies and these are clearly labeled. Allergies can be life threatening and need to be considered seriously.
It is imperative all food handling licenses and permits are in place and safe practices of food handling are adhered to at all times to prevent contamination and food poisoning.
Licenses and Permits
Council or local statutory authority approval is required to ensure compliance with food safety regulations. Whilst this is often an obstacle for clubs, it doesn’t need to deter you as local councils readily work with clubs, if approached, so the key is to work with the authorities when planning your cake stall.
There are also various online food safety courses available to clubs and we strongly recommend club members dealing with food preparation and sale complete these courses (at the very least), as this will help avoid mistakes that will endanger the health of others.
It is also important to contact your insurance company to ensure your public liability insurance policies cover the event both onsite at your club and offsite (for example at a shopping centre complex).
Additional Factors to consider
There are some additional factors to consider when running this type of fundraiser:
Storage requirements – depending on food type, either chilled or constant temperature or regulated storage, needs to be considered.
Sanitization – Food handling gloves, hand washing facilities and appropriate cleaning aids for spills and wipe downs need to be provided.
Cash/Card Handling – Clubs need to consider how they will handle and account for sales from the cake stall. If you wish to offer card facilities then card readers will need to be made available. If cash is involved, then clubs will need to avoid having large sums of cash in open areas and should consider periodic emptying of the tills into a holding safe until the funds can be banked. It is vital that whatever payment system is employed, accurate records are kept so that the success or otherwise of the event can be properly evaluated.
Ingredient list/ Vegan/Gluten free – It is important to display an ingredient list for each product being sold so that those with food allergies are aware of what they are purchasing. You can consider Vegan, Gluten free and Dairy free options, to cater for a wider customer base.
Pricing – Be sure to have plenty of price tags on hand so that all items can be priced. It is also important not to undersell your items or buckle under bargaining pressure from those more interested in grabbing bargains than supporting your club. You can always reduce prices if sales are slow later in the day. From a practical point of view, it is a good idea to only price in round amounts e.g. $1.50, $2.00 etc.
Involve a local cake shop – If you’re having trouble getting enough club volunteers to bake then you can consider approaching your local cake shop and offering them opportunities to promote their business in return for cakes. Many will be happy to help out, especially if you have developed a strong relationship with them over the years.
Additional Revenue Opportunities
A Cake Stall and Bake Sale can be used in conjunction with other fundraisers depending on how many volunteers you have able to help and how many people you are expecting on the day. Some other activities that you might consider are:
This links to other pages that have fundraising ideas that can run simultaneously, should the club like to.
Any specific suppliers or links for this particular fundraiser. Could be used for 3rd party advertising in the future.
This procedure should be treated as a guide only. Your club should seek advice specific to the needs of your club and event. Seek further details from authorities and service providers; especially in regards to insurance, licences, permits, spectator and participant safety.
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