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LATEST FROM OUR BLOG

Anatomy of a Successful School Fundraiser

Anatomy of a Successful School Fundraiser

What do successful fundraisers have in common? Find out here as FutureFund breaks down the anatomy of a fundraising campaign that works. Learn what elements to include in your campaign so that you can meet your school group’s goals.

Thank You Letter Template for Business Donors

Thank You Letter Template for Business Donors

Create genuine and effective thank-you letters for business donors to your school fundraisers. Use this template from FutureFund to get started, then send it out using our platform’s built-in messaging system.

Published on November 28, 2023

15 Elementary School Bake Sale Ideas

Get the kids involved, hold unique baking competitions, and even grab inspiration from Grandma’s recipe book to create the best bake sale possible. These effective tips and ideas will help you find unique ways to make sales and reach your fundraising goals.
Elementary school students baking with teacher at bake sale

Baking goodies is a tried-and-true way to raise money for your elementary school. Check out this blog for some tips that’ll get those hotcakes selling like—well, hotcakes!

Below, our team at FutureFund has listed 15 ways to make your elementary school bake sale stand out and succeed. Find your inspiration below, or click here for more Food Fundraising Ideas.

Run Your Bake Sale Fundraiser with FutureFund

It’s easy to run a bake sale—but FutureFund can make it even easier by giving you the tools to co-ordinate volunteers and raise awareness.

  • Use our built-in messaging system to announce your bake sale and provide details.
  • If your bake sale is a ticketed event, create a Purchase Campaign to sell tickets online in the days and weeks beforehand.
  • Track your sales and create records easily with our built-in financial reporting tools.

Get started with FutureFund today or book a demo to see how it can work for you.

Elementary school student preparing goods for bake sale fundraiser

Get the Kids Involved

There’s nothing a child loves more than being included, especially younger ones! Think about how often you catch your little one watching you intently when you’re doing some grown-up stuff, and how excited they get when you ask them if they want to try.

See also: Guide: How To Run a Bake Sale

A “Made by the Kids for the Kids” slogan is also a great way to appeal to parents. Improve parent engagement even further by using our free tools to find volunteers for the event and more.

Add Some Healthy Competition

When it comes to kids, a contest is a great way to ensure everyone gets excited about participating. With elementary school kids, it’s easy to come up with some fun contest ideas and give each class or grade a task to complete to “win.”

An example would be for each class to use a specific ingredient creatively with prizes for the most unique treat. Have classes or student individuals register to enter the competition—you could even run an A-Thon style fundraiser for this one by having participants collect pledges.

Local Celebrities are Celebrities Too

One way to get the attention of your neighbors is to add some star power to the sale. Reach out to some local celebrities, like news anchors, law enforcement, or athletes on the community sports teams to come down to the sale and judge some of the goodies.

Getting someone popular in your town or city isn’t just good networking, it’s a great way to spread the word (and guarantee another sale!). If your bake sale is a ticketed experience, you’ll raise even more money from onlookers who come to watch when the judging takes place.

Christmas themed cookies for holiday bake sale

Work in a Holiday

If you plan your bake sale around a time when parents and families will already be baking, you’ll have a surefire way to get some great themed goodies and a ton of participation. You’ll be able to make the event festive and fun—think of a Christmas bake sale with kids dressed up with elves, someone playing Santa, and games to win candy canes!

Here’s a list with even more Christmas Fundraising Ideas for Schools. And there are tons of holidays in the year that warrant baking homemade goodies, so why not use them all to your advantage?

Sign Up Sheets

Want to make your bake sale more organized? Create signup sheets for kids and parents to sign up for certain types of baked goods. This will help you plan for exact quantities, make better use of the space, and predict your profits from the event.

Tip: Use FutureFund’s online surveys to make this process smoother and easier. Learn more about how to do that in this list of 10 Incredible Parent Engagement Ideas.

The Great Elementary School Bake Off

Take a page out of some popular baking shows, like The Great British Bake Off. Pick some of your favorite recipes from the show and task some classes or grades with their take on them! You’ll draw out some awesome creativity, and have a fun theme to promote throughout the school.

This specific theme will allow you to pick some faculty to judge the goodies, too! Winners can be awarded fun prizes to add a bit of healthy competition to the mix.

Traditional baklava for multicultural elementary school bake sale event

Go Global

Think about all the fun cultural desserts that are local delicacies in different countries. Go around the world and get the kids and their families to make some treats from different parts of the world. Bonus points if they use a family recipe!

Not only will you be able to try some cool goodies you may have never tried before, but the kids will get a chance to learn a little about different countries! This can double as a multicultural event at your school that you can sell tickets for in advance!

Get Colorful

The cool thing about baking desserts is that you can add food coloring and fruits to basically anything and make them a fun color! Having a bake sale with a rainbow theme makes room for all kinds of great decorations that can get the kids and parents involved—plus bright pink, purple, and blue goodies always look just that much more delicious!

You can even go one step further and get every grade or class to dress up in the color they are assigned to bake, making for a truly exciting event.

Candy apples for carnival themed elementary school bake sale

Rollercoasters & Cotton Candy

Who doesn’t love amusement rides and midway food? A carnival-themed event is a fun way to get people excited about the sale, plus with a little extra planning, you can work in a few other pay-to-play attractions to raise some funds. Remember, ticketed experiences can be an extra source of money for your school!

Treats baked for this event can also be carnival-themed, with churros, cotton candy, and candy apples a-plenty. You can even rent a pony for rides and invite a clown with balloon-animal-making skills to really spice up the sale.

Break Out Grandma’s Recipe

The best tried-and-true treats are passed down for generations, and a great draw to a sale is to only sell family recipes! Challenge the kids and their families to make their grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookies or date squares and bring them for everyone to try! You can also bring in some competition by having a few people judge certain types of popular treats.

This idea is great for keeping old traditions alive and getting kids involved with their families to make the goodies.

Pick Your Favorite Book or Movie

Ever read a book or watch a movie that features something sweet that makes your mouth water? That’s a perfect theme for your bake sale! Get the kids to pick a couple of books, TV, or movie series’ and make their favorite treats! Turkish delight from The Chronicles of Narnia, chocolate frogs from Harry Potter, or peach pie from James and the Giant Peach are great ideas to get the ball rolling!

Muffins for breakfast elementary school bake sale

Breakfast Time!

Not everyone has time for breakfast, so promoting an event where parents and their kids can get some treats great for the morning is sure to bring in business. You can involve healthy and decadent breakfast-time goodies for a balanced bake sale. Have kids bring in muffins, cinnamon rolls, and doughnuts—you might even want to bring a griddle for some freshly made pancakes!

Keep it Simple

Challenge participants to use minimal ingredients for their goods. Limit the amount to 3 or 4 ingredients to get creative juices flowing and help parents want to participate simply for the easy preparation! Who knows, someone might come up with the next s’more!

Accompany a Sports Team

If your school has field hockey, soccer, or other sports teams, think about working the bake sale into a big game. This may work best if the game is earlier in the morning, and bring in some fresh croissants, fruit, and muffins to fuel the kids and their parents. Up your game by offering tea or coffee for the parents, and watch the sales roll in!

Make it a Drive-Thru!

Parents dropping off and picking up their children before and after school are sure to go for the convenience of a drive-thru bake sale! Set up stands along the road for easy access, and be sure to set up an easy form of payment for drivers to quickly tap their card or phone for a plate of cookies (learn more about using FutureFund for payments and disbursements here). Finally, make big menus that people can read from the road with simple prices (think 3 for $5 kind of deals).

Sort Out the Behind the Scenes

Although a bake sale is only as good as the treats being sold, it still takes a ton of planning behind the scenes to make sure everything runs smoothly. Having easy ways to organize volunteers, take payments, and an integrated communication system are just a few ways to keep your focus on the important things—raising money!

FutureFund can help you manage your events, track funds raised, sell merchandise, and so much more. Want to know more about how it can help you take your PTA events to the next level? Start a free trial today!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I use FutureFund’s messaging system to promote my fundraiser?

FutureFund’s messaging system lets you:

  • Send messages to every parent in your school community or filter your audience to reach specific groups.
  • Create unique sender profiles to make sure the message is always coming from the appropriate party.
  • Use customizable message templates to save time when broadcasting updates or announcements.

How can I use FutureFund to track my fundraiser’s success?

FutureFund gives you the ability to generate financial reports for your fundraising campaigns in just a few clicks. To do this, navigate to Store and click the Reports tab near the top of your screen. Then choose Campaign Summary from the drop-down menu and click Generate Report.

How can I use FutureFund to grow my volunteer pool?

FutureFund has several online volunteer sign-up and communication tools to make this happen. Since the sign-up and the communication stays in one spot, both time and paper are saved in the planning.

Use FutureFund for Free

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