Bake Sale Economics 101

Date: August 19, 2014 Author: scholmark Categories: default-import-blog-type-1
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It’s school fundraising season. For many this means finding ways to raise funds for your school. Many schools turn to bake sales. Why not! Everyone looks forward to seeing those tables abundant with delicious homemade treats. Pies, butter tarts, short breads and of course my favourite, the Chocolate Chip Cookie. I am salivating just thinking about it.

The return on investment appears pretty good. You send a letter to parents, you then get free stuff to sell and you make 100% profit on each baked item. The average total profit can be a couple hundred dollars. Sure, of course it depends on how big the bake sale is, how big the school is and how good the baking is.

But let’s do the grown up math, and calculate all of the costs of ingredients like sugar, flour, and butter. Add the cost of the “love labour” and other costs like gas and hydro, transportation, packaging, you get the picture. Consider all this effort for a few hundred dollars. Does this really make sense? Will this fundraising approach be enough to really make an impact on your school’s fundraising needs?

It’s time to re-think your fundraising strategy. Why not ask your community to make donations to help reach your fundraising goal. You would be surprised how effective it could be by simply asking and articulating your need. Everyone likes to help their local schools if they can and if they are properly asked. Foundations like The Scholmark Foundation can help schools collect donations in an easy and effective way. Bake sales are fun community events, and have their role in the school community, just don’t rely on them to generate the money you really need to implement your school’s dream projects.