At Cost Or Just Donate?

Business By flamingobaker Updated 19 Feb 2009 , 2:17pm by flamingobaker

flamingobaker Posted 16 Feb 2009 , 8:34pm
post #1 of 16

I just recently started advertising for my legal home business.

I was asked if I could do 100 cuppies for $50 for a church/women's group function from my son's school. New school - no one knows I do cakes. I know that is a riduculous price so I am looking at this as an advertising opportunity. ($50 would be the Sam's club price around here).

My question is - do I take the $ to cover costs or do I just flat out donate it? My thinking is that if I take the $, it will say "cakes by XXX" and word will get out how cheap that is and people will expect it for themselves. But if I donate - it will say "cakes donated by xxx". She will let me put out cards/brochures in either case.

Any thoughts?

15 replies
KHalstead Posted 16 Feb 2009 , 9:06pm
post #2 of 16

If you can afford to donate them, I'd probably go that route.......if you can't afford to donate them...then take the money for the cost of the cupcakes and just let them know...they retail for $x.xx amount of money (I'm sure they won't mind getting a deal on them) and then that's what they can put by them! I've had plenty of people that I give a break to for various reason and I just tell them....hey, the $50.00 cake you just got, is actually $85.00 so if anyone asks how much it costs...that's what you should tell them..........usually they get a big smile like..hehehe I got a heck of a deal!

-K8memphis Posted 16 Feb 2009 , 9:11pm
post #3 of 16

I would pass on it altogether. They can get them at Sam's-no worries.

Advertising dollars are better spent elsewhere.

Plan B would be to donate.

No-goodLazyBum Posted 16 Feb 2009 , 10:19pm
post #4 of 16

I agree with KHalstead. In my (unsolicited) opinion you need to get your product in their mouths somehow. Otherwise, why shouldn't they go to Sam's Club next time? Why should they care if you bake at all (everybody in the church does)?

Give them the reason.

I think advertising in other means works but then again you can taste a flyer or classified liner.

rockysmommy Posted 16 Feb 2009 , 10:34pm
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by KHalstead

I've had plenty of people that I give a break to for various reason and I just tell them....hey, the $50.00 cake you just got, is actually $85.00 so if anyone asks how much it costs...that's what you should tell them..........usually they get a big smile like..hehehe I got a heck of a deal!




I do the very same thing...

jolly Posted 16 Feb 2009 , 10:46pm
post #6 of 16

every time i do something that involves GOD, whether or not i charge, and my motives are pure he will be faithful to bless you ten times over. he will bless you for your hard work and sacrifice, GOD knows how hard you work and so dont the rest of us.peace

pastrychef22 Posted 16 Feb 2009 , 11:43pm
post #7 of 16

I donate my time and work to my churches senior group several times a year when they have dinners. They just love my desserts. Then I end up getting orders out of doing this so for me it pays to donate because i almost all the time get other work from my church out of it. So if it was me i would say to donate them it will pay off.

indydebi Posted 16 Feb 2009 , 11:57pm
post #8 of 16

It's a hit or miss. I've donated cakes to fundraisers, auctions, etc., under the heading of advertising and the implication of orders yet to come.

Orders that resulted? Nada.

I've donated cupcakes and cookies to area businesses just as a "Hi! I'm here to introduce myself to my neighbors. Have some cookies on me!" and it's paid off in orders.

Hit or miss.

flamingobaker Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 12:52am
post #9 of 16

Thank you all for the great input.
Except now I really can't decide!
I will just have to sleep on this for tonight. thumbs_up.gif

cylstrial Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 5:59pm
post #10 of 16

Donate it and put your flyers out.

CoutureCake Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 6:31pm
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

It's a hit or miss. I've donated cakes to fundraisers, auctions, etc., under the heading of advertising and the implication of orders yet to come.

Orders that resulted? Nada.

I've donated cupcakes and cookies to area businesses just as a "Hi! I'm here to introduce myself to my neighbors. Have some cookies on me!" and it's paid off in orders.

Hit or miss.




AMEN!!! To that!!

Seriously, this is something that WILL come back to haunt you later in your cake career!!! BIGTIME!!! Let's figure this out, those $50 for 100 cupcakes, won't cover your cake mix, ingredients, icing, time, and the fact that forever onward, they're going to want you to pay THEM to be able to bake for them. The people that want the freebies with delusions that you're going to get orders from them, YEA RIGHT!!! I did that for work, when I had my kitchen at my IL's business, it didn't get me ONE FLIPP'N ORDER, much less a referral business cake. They just want something for nothing. Even the places that offer to publish your name in a list of sponsors, no one EVER reads that list!!!

Sure, you want to get your name out there, OTOH, you've also got to set the market for your cakes, and YOU ARE NOT COMPETING WITH SAM'S CLUB!!!!! You are baking your product fresh, not coming in off the buying-power of billions truck to thaw and sell. If you want to get your name out there, purchase a business card size ad in your local paper's Bridal Guide that is distributed throughout the year, get yourself a GoDaddy website and get yourself on the web with a good site. That'll have a FAR better ROI than donating a cake to the churchladies who will pick it apart and won't ever give you an order because Bertha does it homemade better.

If you do a cake for cost, you're still donating your TIME. Time is the most valuable asset in your cakes. You have to value it for others to value it!!!

lostincake Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 6:37pm
post #12 of 16

IMHO $50 is not really going to make a big difference in the long run to whether or not your business is successful. The goodwill you generate with a donation however would more than outweigh any costs.

Add to that the potential to generate more business from this action (from those that attend the function as well as those organizing the event - they may use you for a future event), and I think it's pretty much a no-brainer.

You can always do it this one time and gauge if it generates a decent response. If not, then you're not be obligated to do it again. If they ask again and it wasn't profitable the first time, they should be understanding enough if you choose not to donate again. You are after all a business.

kandu001 Posted 19 Feb 2009 , 3:20am
post #13 of 16

Definitely donate them! It will be greatly appreciated and you won't have to feel like others can get a great product for a super cheap price because money won't be involved. Plus you'll feel good for doing a good deed!

snarkybaker Posted 19 Feb 2009 , 3:36am
post #14 of 16

Are you a member of this church ?

Donating to non-profits can be dicey. When we first opened, we figured we would make donations all over...get the word out etc. The thing about non-profit affairs is that they are largely attended by people associated with other non-profits, and you may indeed get the word out, but the word may be that you are a great place to get free stuff. For a while, we were getting up to 10 requests A DAY for donations.

Its a total crap shoot. Only do it if the charity means something to you, since the advertising value is questionable.

cakelady15 Posted 19 Feb 2009 , 1:33pm
post #15 of 16

My opinion on donations is you should donate to causes that are important to you and do it because you want to. As far as advertising with donations, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. If you are passionate about the cause though then you are still getting the satisfaction of helping them out even if you don't get orders so you don't have anything to be upset about icon_biggrin.gif

flamingobaker Posted 19 Feb 2009 , 2:17pm
post #16 of 16

So after everyone's helpful (and conflicting!) advice, I decided to do the donation route this time.
I felt good about it and even a little excited because it was my first cupcake order.

Then...I get the e-mail from the contact person that says "please tell me that you are peanut free" !!??

She goes on to tell me how wonderful it would be to advertise that fact (because this is a peanut-free school/church). Well, NO WAY am I going there. I have learned enough on this site to know that that is asking for trouble! (thank you CCers)

Oh well, my family is knocking down the door to try my practice cuppies...

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