This summer, we’ve started a new push to fundraise for competition season and our outreach activities. At the forefront of this effort: the humble bake sale. The formula is pretty simple; just bake appealing treats, set up in front of a local shop, and sell.
The first step, of course, was the baking. The trick here is to get a few people to bake and split up the labor. But, we had to be careful not to bake too much- otherwise, there’s waste.
We realized the importance of selling a great product, so, at our bake sales, we’ve gone beyond cookies and cupcakes, expanding to lemon cake, cupcakes in a cup, and more. This brings in more customers who might pass up on a chocolate chip cookie; lemon cake was one of our bestselling items.
Choosing the right venue was key to our success. By picking a local grocery store, we came into contact with more customers who knew our school and what we do in the community. When customers understand what an organization stands for and have a personal connection with it, they tend to be more generous.
But, the most important part was selling.
Selling isn’t just standing behind a table. It’s about looking friendly, talking to customers, and telling them about how much robotics impacts. We didn’t expect customers to donate; we convinced them. But, the measure that impacted our success most wasn’t just being outgoing; it was a calculated decision to solicit donations instead of setting prices. When asked for a donation in exchange for a baked good instead of a fix price, we let the customer add on extra, ultimately making every sale more profitable.
In the end, success came mostly from have great product, great people, and great strategy. Look for the Bionic Bruins Bake Sale at a store near you!