Would You Do This For Free Advertising??

Business By korkyo Updated 17 Dec 2008 , 8:10am by cakesdelight

korkyo Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 11:41pm
post #1 of 47

I was solicitated from a Football players wife for our KC team to donate a cake for a charity fund raiser. The theam is bowling. They need to serve 300-400 people.

I think if I do it I should go all out and make it awsome.... tiered cake with 3D bowling stuff. It will cost me about 150.00 by the time I'm done... BUT my logo and tag line goes on all their advertising + all the people there will be upper class.

What do you think? worth it?

46 replies
kjt Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 11:50pm
post #2 of 47

I would do it...I'd feel like it would be time well spent. If you decide to take the plunge - don't forget to use SPS to make transporting this big project easier! icon_wink.gif

Good luck, and be SURE to post pics!

AbouttheCake Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 11:57pm
post #3 of 47

Is this for a professional team or the local high school? I may be the odd man out here, but I'd offer to do it for a very discounted price rather than free. You can still go all out, but where I am, I've found that charity events don't really bring in that much business. Although, if YOU want to do it, and you can afford to do it, and you think it will bring in the exposure you want, then by all means, do it.

(Side note on that: 2-3 of my original clients were from a acharity fundraiser, but they are no longer clients since my pricing has changed.)

I did a fundraiser for my local church and was very happy to do it, but I do not have any increase in business because of it.

-K8memphis Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 12:01am
post #4 of 47

In a word, no.

I mean if you want to donate a cake that's great. But don't get snookered into thinking that this is some great media blitz and you'll get orders from it. I mean you might but 99% of the time you do not get your money's worth if you invested the same in advertising.

korkyo Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 12:09am
post #5 of 47

OK maybe I should tell you that it's for a Kansas City Chief player and his choice charity. The cost to get into the event is min. $500.00 to the top level of sponsorship of $3500.00...... not cheap by any stretch of the imagination.

Does that change you mind any?

julzs71 Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 12:10am
post #6 of 47

I think if you want to donate it that is great. Maybe you can even offer for them to give you the price of the ingredients and gas and electric. I would not expect a huge return on the cake though. No one ever really looks at the brochures to see who made the cake.

littlecake Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 12:12am
post #7 of 47

i agree with k8....

they act like you will get big time orders if you give them a free cake....it's never been worth it for me.

for example (and theres been more than this).....

when i first opened dillards called and wanted me to make sample wedding cakes for their spring wedding whoop te doo...i made 25 small cakes for free......you know how many orders i got? 1.

if these people are so inclined to make orders, why are they looking for a free cake now?...i mean, they got enough $$$$ to buy one.

these kind of things (for me) have only got more people asking for more free cakes.

indydebi Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 12:16am
post #8 of 47

I say go for it, babe!! I'd do it in a heartbeat. As a matter of fact, I AM doing something like that on Valentine's Day. The Indiana Ice (prof hockey team) is giving a couple the chance to win a "Wedding on the Ice". I'm making three 2-tier wedding cakes and the couple will pick one of them. I will have 3 of my cakes in front of 8000 ice hockey fans, plus radio time during the week before the game.

At the very least, you are contributing a lot to a charity without it costing you very much.

thumbs_up.gif

BAY-BAY Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 12:20am
post #9 of 47

do it donate the cake its a great thing !!!

-K8memphis Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 12:23am
post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by korkyo

OK maybe I should tell you that it's for a Kansas City Chief player and his choice charity. The cost to get into the event is min. $500.00 to the top level of sponsorship of $3500.00...... not cheap by any stretch of the imagination.

Does that change you mind any?




It firms it up. If they have that kind of money flowing they can freaking pay you for your hard work.

Or just donate free and clear. To me, the advertising thing is a ruse.

I've done cakes for chichifoofoo events and I'm still waiting patiently for referral number one. I mean maybe you will get great results but generally speaking you don't.

Advertising should beget clients. Charity work feels good.

I'm not trying to be a downer--because it does feel real good to give to charity but those folks in attendance ain't the charity either--you will be adding to the ambiance and that's very important. But just do this with your eyes wide open.

Maybe ask her who did the cake last year. Find out if they got referrals. Ask her how many merchants are repeats from last year. Does she press for people in attendance to use the merchants who donate? It's just not a fair trade is all I'm saying.

It's funny that the football people's theme is bowling huh.

jjandhope Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 12:23am
post #11 of 47

I would go for it if I could pull it off. (I would even do it for a local highscool footabll team, but here in West Texas, even that is big...you know, Friday Night Lights). But yes, I would do it. I havent looked at your profile, so you may already be an expert, but I'm not and I like opportunities like this to put me up to a challenge I havent had before. In addition, you will be a part of something fun and worthwhile. You will also have a great picture to add to your protfolio. Definitely try to get one of the Chief with the cake!!! All of this makes it worthwile even if you get no orders!!

282513 Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 12:35am
post #12 of 47

In a heartbeat too! Why wouldn't you? Even if you don't get a single call from it what a great portfolio builder!! Make some great brochures up and feel good about donating to a great charity! You are very talented, I am sure you will do awesome!!! thumbs_up.gif

bchristianson17 Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 12:40am
post #13 of 47

I would absolutely do it!
Advertising for yourself works, but when someone else vouchs for you it just adds on to the credibility.
Also you might ask if you can have brochures or pamphlets set up somewhere to make sure people know how to contact you!

Great Opportunity! Good Luck!

bchristianson17 Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 12:43am
post #14 of 47

Also, I forgot to say that I would absolutely do it. Even if you get nothing from it, you're still donating for a charity. It's kind of sad when donating to help a charity suddenly becomes, "What will I get out of it?"

I say, it's going for something good and if you do get something out of it, great. And even if you don't get something out of it, great.

kakeladi Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 12:51am
post #15 of 47

Random Acts of Kindness!! Do it.

Are you legal? Do you have a shop? Do you have room to to such a large undertaking? What about your bookings for that time frame? This is going to take a big chunk of time out of your week or longer.

What kind of ideas do you have for it?

littlecake Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 1:23am
post #16 of 47

let us know how it turns out..........

-K8memphis Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 1:58am
post #17 of 47

You are all welcome to think I am an old crabby lady. You would be close. I'm really an old impatient crabby lady. icon_biggrin.gif

But this is not even close to a random act of kindness. It is a deliberate request for a huge freebie so some people will be in the mood to donate to a charity at a big gala event.

It's cool to donate but for me it's my idea to donate, not theirs. I got my own favorite charities. Getting people caked up & happy so they can give is not on my list.

I hope I'm wrong and I hope you have more referrals than you can handle and have to hire more people and ultimately get taxed out the whazoo in the newly created 'patriotic tax bracket'--hahaha--just kidding about the tax part--there's been too much political stuff flying lately. I was just reaching for superlatives & got carried away. icon_lol.gif

korkyo Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 4:05am
post #18 of 47

Yes I do have a licensed shop, and the time etc. etc. and No this is not about feel good stuff for charity. I do that well enough on my own. I agree, charity comes form the heart, THIS is a tax deduction and a business arrangement.

I guess I'll see how this one goes. I've spent a LOT more money on bridal fairs and diden't really come out that far ahead. I still get more from random searches on the internet. If I get 5 orders from it I'd be happy.

I'll let you know and post pictures in about a month.
Thanks everyone!

jammjenks Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 4:37am
post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by 282513

In a heartbeat too! Why wouldn't you? Even if you don't get a single call from it what a great portfolio builder!! Make some great brochures up and feel good about donating to a great charity! You are very talented, I am sure you will do awesome!!! thumbs_up.gif




ditto

kbak37 Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 4:59am
post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jammjenks

Quote:
Originally Posted by 282513

In a heartbeat too! Why wouldn't you? Even if you don't get a single call from it what a great portfolio builder!! Make some great brochures up and feel good about donating to a great charity! You are very talented, I am sure you will do awesome!!! thumbs_up.gif



ditto




Ditto again...whats the worse case scenario..no calls? Someone will remember the cake and word of mouth....

I dont see how you can lose really. Think of it as an investment.

dailey Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 5:07am
post #21 of 47

why aren't they just ordering the cake from you?? i would not donate because its obvious they can pay for it ( i hate beggers) AND it usually never pans out as far as getting more business...

all4cake Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 5:31am
post #22 of 47

If you can afford the donation and want to do it, by all means, do it. If you can afford the time to make it but not the financial outlay, tell them you would be able to do it for cost of supplies and the work will be donated. Even if they pay for it fully, the business will more than likely be mentioned. "What an incredible cake! Who did it???" I would also ask or make it part of the "deal" whichever way you go, to be able to rest business card holders(filled, of course) on the table beside the cake. If you're donating it, in part or in full, make sure it is in your favor! When I offer a donation, it's just that....a donation. When I'm approached, I make sure I get something more than a tax deduction for my efforts and my help in making THEM look good....if you know what I mean.

CakeForte Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 6:47am
post #23 of 47

I think they should pay for the cake. First, they can afford it, second, how is your free cake helping the charity? It sounds like they're eating it and not auctioning it to raise funds. Lastly, a custom cake for 300-400 is a HUGE order. I think in the end, you will not have the satisfaction you think you will because its not really helping the charity, its helping them have a good time while they help the charity.

I've donated gift certificates for a charity to auction off, but I didn't give them any free cake to go with it. They offered me a booth and what not to hand out fliers...but it just didn't work with my schedule so I didn't do it. I think there is a difference with what they are asking.

On the the Housewives of Atlanta, one of them planned this big fundraiser to raise a million...Well it was a bust and at the end she was all upset because they didn't raise anything and said we spent $30k on this party. Or something along those lines.

Mike1394 Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 11:35am
post #24 of 47

Like you said it's a write off. So eventually your donating a free cake. One thing I would do, if I had the talent to get asked to do it LOLOL, make sure your going to get the exposure your after. Something that is going to make you stand out from all of the other items donated. I would make this a bargaining chip going in. I would also check with the Chiefs would it be ok to use thier logo. How about a stadium cake, is it still Arrowhead?

Mike

costumeczar Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 3:05pm
post #25 of 47

I wouldn't do it, I've done things for free in the past for large "upscale" events like this, and it got me zero in return. If you WANT to do it, do it, but I agree with the previously mentioned thought that they should be able to pay you for at least the materials. Nobody really pays attention to who made the cake at events like this, and even if you get one order from it, you have to decide if it's worth your investment, which this is...An investment in your advertising budget. It's up to you, but don't expect a big upswing in your bookings from it.

AsburyArt Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 4:15pm
post #26 of 47

Donate to every possible, legitimate, charity you can find. Donate donate donate. You cannot guage how it will come back to you. The key is: all in or all out. Don't donate to a single function and expect your business to increase. The other key is: it doesn't have to be a large donation for every occasion. But keep your name out there and in front of people's faces and on their lips.

Always donate something that represents your business and be fearless about asking for advertising... leave cards or brochures with your donation.

There are some nay-sayers on this thread, but you CANNOT GAUGE how it will come back to you. Forget the cost, plan for the marathon and not the sprint. Donations to worthy causes will always come back to you.

Some say "I got nothing in return". I find that hard to believe, but mostly I ask how do you know? Do you track where every bit of your business originates? The cost is minimal compared to other forms of advertising, and I cannot stress this more, do not drop off a donation without cards or brochures or some form of printed acknowledgement for the donation.

julzs71 Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 4:50pm
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I say go for it, babe!! I'd do it in a heartbeat. As a matter of fact, I AM doing something like that on Valentine's Day. The Indiana Ice (prof hockey team) is giving a couple the chance to win a "Wedding on the Ice". I'm making three 2-tier wedding cakes and the couple will pick one of them. I will have 3 of my cakes in front of 8000 ice hockey fans, plus radio time during the week before the game.

At the very least, you are contributing a lot to a charity without it costing you very much.

thumbs_up.gif



That is awesome. The only difference between the two of you is that your name is being plugged. At the benefit they don't really do that. They may run off a list of Thank You's, but it doesn't single you out and say it the same way your free cake is. Which by the way, would be awsome.
Last thing. I have known people who run benefit dinner type things like this. They get alot of money and not all of it goes out. They pay coordinators, food, alcohol, and many other things.
Look up on the charity reports and see how much of the money donated will actually go to the charity.
some donate 75% and some donate 15%.
Don't donate to donate. Take some free cake up to the hospital for sick kids. My friends son has leukemia and is actually in the hospital today. I'm sure they and other children there would love something like that. If you feel you need to get your name out, nurses and doctors are there all the time.

AsburyArt Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 5:00pm
post #28 of 47

I have never had a request to leave brochures or cards with the donation refused. Even at black tie charity functions. I guess it could happen, but I make my intentions clear as soon as I am asked to donate.

The take home message from me is: be smart about how you donate. You are in control and can always refuse to participate. You should get something out of it. You cannot gauge how it will come back to you.

cecerika Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 5:13pm
post #29 of 47

Well, I did 23 beautiful Moulin Rouge themed cakes for a big charity fundraising event last year. I submitted my cost, which was about$1100. I put in about 100 hours of labor. (Making gumpaste flowers, bows, etc.). The mayor, chief of police, and other important people were there. My contact info with logo etc. was in all the printed materials. I thought it was a great opportunity with the upper class community. Well, guess what???..... not one call for a cake. I've been very bummed.

CoutureCake Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 5:15pm
post #30 of 47

Honestly, I'm in the club of the "Been burned enough on donations" at the same time you have to do what you think is the right thing to do.

First, it's going to cost you FAR more than the $150 you think it's going to for that many servings of cake, especially a custom cake... It costs me $143 in ingredients alone to feed 120-175...

Here's what I would negotiate and get in writing (and I really do mean GET IT IN WRITING!!!!)... O.k. negotiate for the cost of ingredients not to exceed $400 (that's $1/slice tops is what they'll pay), your business time value is $20/hr. for approximately 30-50 hours for a custom designed cake which will be donated in exchange for a minimum of a 4x5 to full page full color advertisement in the event flyer plus at least one name drop during the event. Your time is a HUGE donation is what you're trying to get across and time has value.

You've got to decide what is the best thing for you. Realize that you aren't likely to get much if anything from this event because a lot of these charity events are just so the organizer can get a writeoff and look "good" in the eyes of the IRS... They don't mention the people behind the scenes doing the real work. They may show your cake on a TV clip but they aren't going to say who did the work.

It's one thing to have a thing like Debi is talking about where you're going to have 8000 fans watching a bride and groom pick out their Hockey cake design in front of a building full of oogley eyed hockey fans (aka do you KNOW how much CHA CHING it costs to be in hockey???? - yea, for most super fans, to know Debi does Check/Hook/Skate/etc. that'll bring business)...

The key is make sure it's clearly stated what you will get in return for your donation even if it's only the hours portion of the cake...

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%