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How to Run a Successful Bake Sale

5 Easy Steps: How to Run a Successful Bake SHHale


A successful bake sale can raise anywhere from $500-$1000. Don’t believe me? With planning, organization, and a goal, your chapter can perfect the bake sale routine, regardless of the size of your campus. At the University of Mary Washington, where only 5,000 students reside, we can pull in $3,000-$5,000 in just one semester through our cupcakes. This is how we do it!

1. Pick a date, but not just any date.

Determine the date in advance, but choose wisely. Is there a holiday coming up? A freshman orientation or open house? Maybe it is Family Weekend? Utilize special dates where foot traffic is higher or there is more reason for a student to buy a baked good. Pick a date and advertise; instagram, facebook, snapchat, fliers. Get the word out.

2. Plan, plan, plan. Get organized.  

How many bakers do you need and how many people minimum per shift? At our cupcake only sales, we would have 3 designated bakers who would bake 2 boxes of cupcakes each, and then a minimum of 2 people per shift. This gave us over 100 cupcakes at every bakesale! We provided cupcake carrying containers to our bakers for transport and any supplies if needed (cupcake pans, liners, measuring cups, etc.) However, we took a different approach on decorating our cupcakes, see step 3.

3. Boxed cupcake mix? Get CREATIVE.

We make all of our cupcakes from a 99 cent boxed mix. We have our designated bakers bake the cupcakes, but only bake them. They bring the unfrosted cupcakes to the table the morning of the bakesale and that is where we get creative. We have a stockpile of toppings and frostings that we purchased with previous bake sale money.  We invested in a Wilton frosting tip ($1-2) and gallon bags to make that perfect dollop of frosting worth a million bucks.


4. Work hard. Play harder.

Be prepared to sell, BUT while having fun. Have a checklist of what you need to bring: cash box and/or any other forms of payment (Square Reader or University Cash), donation jar, posters/signage, tablecloths, napkins, speaker, and most importantly a smile. We ALWAYS sell our cupcakes as donation based, the customer gets to decide how much our cupcakes are worth, and we get the power to convince them how worthy Students Helping Honduras is of their money. With our handy-dandy speaker, we are able to attract the crowds. We have a “no phone” policy at our bake sales, only dancing, singing and having a good time.

5. Celebrate.

No matter how much you make, celebrate. Celebrate your members and show them how much you appreciate all of their hard work, because without them these bake sales wouldn’t be possible. Celebrate every success and track your progress as you inch closer and closer to your goal.  Without each of you, none of this would be possible. Any amount of money fundraised is a victory. Every dollar, every penny, each takes us one step closer to 1,000 schools para los niños.


Mallory Young was one of the 2017-2018 Student Directors, University of Mary Washington’s Chapter President in 2018, and has led numerous volunteer trips in Honduras. When she’s not in SHH mode, she is a student at the University of Mary Washington ’18(W) studying Business Administration.

Learn more about how you can get involved and come on a trip.