Donating A Cake?

Decorating By tguegirl Updated 30 Mar 2009 , 2:18pm by erinalicia

tguegirl Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 1:31am
post #1 of 18

Hey all,
My law school is having an auction to raise money for students working in unpaid public interest internships during the summer. I showed my cake pictures to some people in charge of it, and they suggested I donate a cake. They want me to provide some photos of my previous work and offer to make someone a custom cake.

I can't decide whether to do it or not. In any event, I have a few questions.
1. Do I need a license to donate a cake?
2. Should I put restrictions on it? At first, I was thinking of doing, "decoration, flavor, date of your choice," but then i thought people might take advantage. I'm a first year law student, so I definitely don't want anything to interfere with finals. Also, do you think I should put restrictions on flavors and design too?
3. I was thinking of saying "feeding up to 50 people"- is that a lot?
4. What kind of price do you think I should anticipate getting for this?

Thanks! Just having a lot of thoughts about whether to do this or not after seeing how some people undervalue custom cakes.

17 replies
sari66 Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 4:20am
post #2 of 18

1 No you don't need a license to donate a cake
2 Yes, you should put a restriction on it. Size is up to you but I'd keep it simple in the decoration and flavor and fillings. If you have dates that you can't do it then make sure you let them know you need a two week or more time lead.
3 A cake to feed 50 is a lot!! keep it between 8-20 ppl if you can
Not sure about a price.

hth a bit

BlondiezBakery Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 4:36am
post #3 of 18

I donated a cake, and still haven't had the person 'make good on it', yet. They paid the charity, but I haven't got a call for it.

What I did was:

- Donate a 'value' of a cake. Then, if they wanted something bigger or more detailed then they could just pay the difference. Otherwise, I would just make them a cake of that value to suit their needs.

- I also put that I need to know about it 2 weeks ahead of time, because I travel a lot.

- Also, put specifications on delivery as well. you don't want to be driving to BFE, b/c it didn't 'state' the details in the donation.

tguegirl Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 10:33pm
post #4 of 18

Thanks guys. BlondiezBakery- what do you mean by donating the value of a cake? As in, whatever price this goes for at the auction, I will give them a cake that meets that price range? Or should I specify upfront that it's a cake worth, say, $100? (not sure how that would work in an auction context).

dg10148 Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 11:22pm
post #5 of 18

I did a police car with running lights and siren for an auction for my nephews school he is becoming a police officer. I got there early and dropped off the cake everyone that seen the cake went crazy over it they said it looked just like there cars. One of the teachers went around and told everyone not to bid on the car because she wanted it for her dad she got it for 20 bucks. I was so mad if I would have sold the cake I would have gotten 250 for it I did tell them it was worth 200 to 250. But if I do another auction I would still make the cake and take it there so I wouldn't have to deal with trying to fit it in when I am busy. Maybe you could do stacked law books .Just a thought

tguegirl Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 1:53am
post #6 of 18

uh oh...
so i sent an email telling the person in charge that i would be willing to donate a custom cake for whoever bid on it. I got this response,
"I had another idea about making good use of your terrific baking abilities. In addition to auctioning off a custom made cake that you will make on request, how about making a cake for the night of the Auction? Only if you can fit it into your schedule.

Our theme is a red carpet / movie so anything you can think of that fits into that would be great. At the end of the night, we will auction off this cake during the Live Auction. I think it would be a big hit, but no pressure if you're busy."

What do you guys think? Do you really think there would be interest in bidding on a large movie-themed cake? Would the custom cake in the future be more popular? And it would be a lot of work (and money!) to donate two cakes....any thoughts?

brincess_b Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 12:26pm
post #7 of 18

i think its nice they arent just expecting you to donate two cakes! i think it really comes down to what you can afford to do - if you can only afford to donate 2 cakes, i would just stick to doing the voucher. if you can afford to do both, im sure the movie cake would be popular.

i think your voucher should say that it is for a cake worth $x, which includes XY and/ or Z, additions charged at normal rate - i dont think it would make any difference in the auction, the idea is that your giving to charity, not trying to get a great deal.

-Tubbs Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 2:41pm
post #8 of 18

Honestly, I think it's a bit much to do two. Ask yourself if others will be giving this much of their time -- I expect not. Personally I'd make it an either/or, but not both. And if I were choosing, I'd do the movie cake for the event night: lots of people will see it, and you can leave a stack of business cards there too.
BTW your cakes are beautiful!

shannon100 Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 3:44pm
post #9 of 18

I'm baking a cake for my school's auction. I've heard that the actual cakes in the auction go for a lot more, usually, than certificates. (This is my first auction.) People are into instant gratification. They buy the cakes so they can take them to work and serve that week (at least here they do.) Some cakes go for $400, and there was 1 that went for $1100... twice!! (The first buyer gave it back and it was auction off again.) I don't know if this is normal or not, or if it's just because people really wanted to support our school.

I think you should just do 1, unless you are really into supporting the school that much. Is it a tax deductible contribution (or do you care about that?) If you do the certificate, definitely put restrictions on it!

JGMB Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 4:04pm
post #10 of 18

My first thought is to go with the one that will be auctioned off live. I donated a "pie a month" coupon for a church auction. Well, 2 guys with competitive spirits tried to outbid each other. The one ended up paying $450!! It turned out that he didn't even want the pies, he just wanted to win! He suggested that I bake them for the local homeless shelter.

BlondiezBakery Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 4:33pm
post #11 of 18

sorry for the late response. however this is what i mean.

just like everything else will have a value associated with it, yours should do. Ie. a $100 spa gift certificate or $50 at should donate a cake with an assigned value.

They could end up paying less for it, or they could end up paying more (for the charity). However, you have established exactly what you are donating, and what you will do for the 'winner'.

Otherwise, someone could ask you for a really expensive cake that you can not afford to do. So, establish a price...and if they want to add on top of that amount, then they can get a bigger cake. So, if they want a wedding cake, you would basically take off the amount that they paid towards the charity.

However, if they just need a cake that fits in that budget you can do that. So maybe it is a cake that feeds a certain amount of people, or just one that has a lot of fondant decorations.

Does that make since? I just want to make sure that you have 'protected yourself' and don't get in a situation.

JenWhitlock Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 6:46am
post #12 of 18

I donated a "cake" certificate for my DD preschool over a year ago (but they didn't collect before we moved, even though I did my best to work something out)
anyway, I'm donating two more to a couple more school auctions.

I price based on servings only, so I specified "up to 25" servings
I also requested that it be redemed within a year and to order at least two weeks prior.
the certificate has several photos (and the option to do 25 cookies instead)

this year, I'm also doing a dummy cake for the show table at the auction.

good luck!

lostincake Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 7:29am
post #13 of 18

IMO...I think you should do one, not both. Unless you are part of the organizing committee or the fundraising committee, it doesn't make sense for them to expect so much out of you as it is not only time but also the cost of the ingredients that you will be donating.

And if you had to choose one, I'd have to agree with several of the PPs and say do the Live one as it will probably generate more activity and bids. Also, it would showcase what you can do more effectively if you were interested in generating any side business by donating.

tguegirl Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 2:41pm
post #14 of 18

Thanks for your help, everyone! I ended up emailing the girl and saying that I could only donate one cake. She said she really preferred the certificate over the live cake, so that's what we're going to do.

brincess_b Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 1:49pm
post #15 of 18

on other similar posts, i have read 'live' cakes dont always do so well, because if people dont like the decoration/ flavour they wont bother to bid - i guess it depends on the people there! but hopefully ur voucher helps a lot icon_smile.gif

tguegirl Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 1:32am
post #16 of 18

An update- the custom made cake certificate went for $80. I was happy with it (although I know it could go for more)- but since these were students who purchased everything, I felt pretty good about it. Had a lot of blackout dates too--due to finals time!

PinkPunch Posted 29 Mar 2009 , 4:44pm
post #17 of 18

My church does a fundraiser for the mission trips every year and one woman donates the most fantastic carrot cake ever. It is put up in the live auction each year and goes for a great price. We paid $300 for it one year just to out bid a friend (we had this all planned out so that we could make a big donation to the missions team - it was fun to see everyone get all worked up over the price. hee hee)

But this year I am donating a cake and I was glad to see this thread here because it outlines what I already planned on doing.

- up to 25 servings
- that I need 2 weeks notice
- and having a value assigned.

They have also asked me to pick the starting bid and I am going with $30 so that I know the church got at least a sheet cake price out of it. LOL.

I haven't had a lot of time on this board yet, but I really appreciate all the help available.

erinalicia Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 2:18pm
post #18 of 18

My husband and I have been trying to come up with ideas for fundraisers to pay for stem cell therapy for our son. We need to raise about $30,000 and my DH thinks I should raffle off cake certificates or just have people donate to Aidan's account what they would pay for a cake. I just do cakes for friends and family, but the more I do, the more people ask.

Since I'm not licensed, can I even do that? I would think it's similar to doing a bake sale, but like I said we're trying to come up with ideas.

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