By Christina Campbell
When Haiti was rocked by a devastating earthquake last year, Toronto mom of two, Susana Molinolo, was looking for some way — any way — to help. So, together with 30 friends and neighbours, she organized a bake sale that raked in $12,000. (A box of red velvet cupcakes sold for $9,000 to one benevolent bidder!)
Inspired by the outpouring of generosity from that sale, Molinolo put together a cookbook featuring 30 cupcake recipes including a few from local celebrity bakers like Dufflet Rosenberg and Lynn Crawford. The proceeds from Cupcakes for Haiti (self-published), $20, will be distributed to two charitable organizations working in the devastated country.
Here’s Molinolo’s sweet advice for hosting a successful sale:
CHOOSE CUPCAKES They’re always the first items to sell out because they are whimsical, colourful, bite-size works of art that appeal to children and adults alike. And they’re the perfect money-raising item because everyone buys them — even people who don’t like sweets buy them for others.
PLAN WISELY To ensure a successful bake sale, it’s a good idea to have lots of bakers since the more bakers on board, the more variety there is for your customers. If you are organizing a school bake sale, try to coordinate it on the same night as a scheduled school function like a concert or open house since those events are always well attended. And don’t forget to get the word out via signage, email and social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and blogs. You can also reach out to your community newspaper and radio stations to ask for a mention.
DRESS TO IMPRESS When it comes to cupcakes, everything ends up being a bestseller, but definitely anything that has Smarties, marshmallows or decorative flags often sells out first. Decorating the cupcakes is the best part but if you’re a perfectionist, it’s a good idea to bake two dozen cupcakes; let the kids adorn half to their hearts’ content, and you can do the rest.
PRICE TO SELL Your price point will depend on your audience. Co-workers and grandparents might pay $3″“$5 for a cupcake, but if you’re selling mostly to kids, $1″“$2 is a good price — to most kids, that’s a fair amount of money.
DO IT FROM THE HEART Do it from the heart Baking is an act of love, and it’s a good idea to relay the message to your kids while you’re doing it. Whether you bake from-scratch or bake from a box, the intention is still the same: You’re baking with your kids so that you can help other families in need.
JOIN THE FUN! CF‘s Cupcakes for Charity campaign is under way. Get started by downloading our fundraising kit. After you’ve hosted your bake sale, send us an email and a few photos to email@example.com and your story could appear in a future issue.