Bake sales are popular fundraising ideas that make lots of money with very little effort. In most cases, all that’s require for a bake sale to do well is lots of cookies, volunteers to manage the register, and hoards of customers with lots of cash.
Of course, us insiders know that there are a few tricks of the trade to make a fundraising bake sale a rousing success. One of the tricks is knowing how to wrap and price homemade cookies so they will sell. Since the goal of your fundraiser is to make money, these insider tips will help your fundraiser be a smashing success.
Use the right kind of wrap for the cookies: Your customers will not buy cookies they can’t see, which is why paper bags, foil, or wax paper just won’t work. What does work are attractively wrapped cookies that can be viewed from more than one angle.
- A cling wrap product such as Glad Wrap or Saran Wrap allows you to completely wrap up a cookie much like the bakeries do for local coffee shops. Cling wrap works very for a single large cookie and for bars.
- Zippered bags are another great product for bagging up homemade cookies. Zippered bags can hold anywhere from one large cookie to 6-12 smaller cookies. Zippered bags keep the cookies fresher than bags that fold over.
- One quart storage bags are a wonderful solution for packaging cookies by the dozen. These are normally secured with a twist wire. Storage bags are very inexpensive and often the cheapest solution for bagging up lots of cookies, bars, batter breads from your bread machine, and other bakery items.
Label the cookies: You might know the difference between a Toll House, Snickerdoodle, and a Moravian Coffee cookie, but no one else well. All homemade cookies should be individual labeled. While it isn’t necessary to identify all the ingredients, it is a good idea to note if the cookies contain nuts or not.
Recommended Reading: Get started with baking by reading our Ultimate Guide to the Best Baking Equipment for Beginners!
Package the cookies to appeal to the market: Bake sales that target adults should have cookies and bars packaged by the dozen. But, if your bake sale fundraiser is taking place at school or a kid’s event, smaller portions is important. Most kids will only have a dollar or less to spend at a bake sale, which means individually wrapped cookies or “two packs” are often the first things to sell. What I’ve noticed is that many kids like variety and when given the option, prefer buying four different cookies that are individually priced, rather than a bag of just one type.
Price homemade cookies to sell: Bake sales are pure profit since everything is donated. But, many organizers make the mistake of pricing things too high which means that there may be a lot of unsold merchandise at the end of the event.
For kid oriented bakes sales, cookies should be priced between 25¢ to a $1 per unit. One suggestion might be to package two small cookies for 25¢, a jumbo cookie or 6 small cookies for 50¢, and brownies, Rice Krispie treats, and other bars are packaged at $1 for a 2″ x 3″ sized bar. However, bake sales geared to an older crowd can fetch higher prices. A dozen small cookies will sell for $2, a half dozen jumbo cookies will sell for $3, and a 9″ x 9″ ray of the best brownies or fancy bars can fetch up to $5.
So what about the cookies that don’t sell? Half an hour before closing the fundraiser, the posted prices should be ignored and people encouraged to pay what they want. A “Make us an offer” sign is very effective and will ensure that the rest of your merchandise will be sold instead of given away to the volunteers.
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