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Themed Bake Sale Basics

What is it? The bake sale is a classic fundraising idea. You and your participants or volunteers whip up delicious treats and sell them to your hungry supporters. A themed bake sale simply adds a fun twist by assigning a theme to all of the baked goods. For example, your soccer team might make cake pops decorated like soccer balls.

Why choose this idea? A themed bake sale will help your team, club, or organization stand out among other fundraisers. Your creative designs will spark more curiosity than the average brownie or vanilla cupcake, capturing potential supporters’ attention and motivating them to purchase a treat.

How can you get started? This fundraising idea is simple to plan and execute, especially if you have a team of dedicated volunteers. Here are the basic steps you’ll need to take:

  1. Select a theme. Base this theme on your group’s interests, your nonprofit’s cause, your school’s mascot, or even a prevalent pop culture moment. ‘
  2. Assign tasks. To ensure you have plenty of baked goods in your inventory, ask volunteers to sign up to bring specific items. Make sure you have an even balance of cookies, cakes, brownies, pies, candy, and fudge (plus any other decadent creations you can think of) so supporters have a variety of options.
  3. Develop a price list. Decide how much you will charge for each item. Create a menu with prices for customers or make price labels for each treat.
  4. Set up shop. Choose a location with plenty of foot traffic and spread out your goods on a table. Create eye-catching posters to bring in lots of customers.
  5. Sell your treats! Ideally, you’ll have a few leftovers to take home and sample.

10 Bake Sale Treat Ideas

Because the theme for your baked treats is what makes this idea stand out, you’ll need to carefully choose one that both your participants and your supporters will enjoy. Here are a few themes to consider:

  • A sports or activity theme (particularly if you are fundraising for a sports team)
  • An animal theme, which is perfect for shelters and human societies
  • A holiday theme, like Halloween
  • Themes based on a popular book, movie, or television show
  • Treats that follow your school/team’s colors and mascot

Once you choose your theme, you’ll need to decide how you’ll decorate your treats. Websites like Pinterest can be a great resource for inspiration, but we have a few specific ideas based on our suggested themes:

  • Cupcakes with chocolate icing that resemble a football
  • Donuts decorated with cute cat faces and ears
  • Green “witch’s finger” cookies for Halloween
  • Cookies decorated with significant sayings and symbols from Star Wars
  • A sheet cake with your logo and team colors

Quick Bake Sale Tips

If this is your first bake sale, it can feel daunting to plan and execute. These tips can help you make your sale a success:

  • Promote the sale in advance. To ensure you have plenty of supporters turn out to support you, market your bake sale on social media, email, and with printed flyers ahead of time. If the bake sale takes place during school hours, make sure parents are aware so that they can provide students with money for the sale.
  • Be inclusive. Many people have dietary restrictions and allergies that make it difficult for them to enjoy traditional baked goods. If possible, offer options that are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and/or nut-free.
  • Pair the bake sale with other activities. Align these activities with your theme to create a more cohesive event that draws in more supporters. For example, you might sell cookies shaped like instruments at your marching band’s first performance of the season.
  • Reach out to local bakers. Ask bakeries if they would be willing to donate baked goods for free or at a discount to help support you. These items will have a professional touch, elevating your fundraiser.