Select a leader. It should be someone who has excellent organizational skills. The person should also be able to delegate responsibilities, which is extremely essential to a well run sale.
Volunteers are imperative. The bake sale leader will need several people dedicated to organizing donations, handling publicity, setting-up tables and/or the booth, selling goods, collecting money and clean up.
Donations are the key. Be sure to be specific in what baked goods will be needed for the sale straight from the start. As to not end up with all "chocolate cakes", make sure you know what is being donated. Pass out individual sign-up sheets with a list of the needed items. Ask for a first and second choice of what is being donated. Get names and phone numbers so that the person can be contacted to remind them of their donation and to specify which baked good is needed. Be specific on how you want the goods packaged. Some states have health codes stating that everything must be individually wrapped. Also, each baked good donated should have an index card prominently attached that has the name of the dish and a list of non-obvious and/or outstanding ingredients (such as coconut, nuts, candied or dried fruits or strawberries).
Timing and location are important. Try to place your table and/or booth in a high traffic area. To guarantee a heavy traffic flow, plan the sale around other coordinating events. For school affiliated bake sales, sporting events and theater productions would be the perfect time to host a bake sale. Local craft shows may allow free booth space for a worthy cause.
Presentation is everything. Set out nicely decorated and organized tables. Use tablecloths, but not in overpowering patterns. The baked goods should be your best decorations. Divide the baked goods according to type (cookies, cakes) and/or serving size (whole cakes, individual cookies). If you have several tables, separate them into just pies, cakes or even one just for chocolate goods.
Know your customers. Are you selling to big families? Sell cookies by the dozen and entire cakes. Sales to children or singles will be higher with individual packages of baked goods such as one brownie or one cupcake.
Think beyond baked goods. Serve coffee at bake sales in the evenings or on cold days. Selling cold bottled water or lemonade along with the baked goods at a football game would increase profits. If sales are slow have hourly specials. Group certain goods together for special pricing. Get recipes for all of the baked goods prior to the sale. Anyone with word processing knowledge could prepare a small, inexpensive cookbook for sale. Prior to the winter holidays, don't be limited to the typical bake sale. Try to coordinate donations of specially packaged baked goods that the buyer could in turn give away as gifts. Offering cookie ingredients or homemade granola in decorated jars would be the perfect sale for that time of year.
The Bestsellers List of Baked Goods
These are the treats that are the moneymakers for your organization.