Silent Auction Cake Donation

Decorating By mandyl Updated 24 Jul 2009 , 9:21pm by Parable

mandyl Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 6:45pm
post #1 of 33

I have a friend who is having a fund raiser dinner and silent auction to raise money. I make cakes as a hobby (not a business) out of my home for friends and family. I have been trying to figure out how I can donate making a cake for someone as a silent auction item. Any suggestions on how to word it so I don't get in over my head? I don't want to make a cake for someone to purchase right then, but don't want to just generally say "I'll make a cake for you whatever you want" and have someone pay $20 for a wedding cake. I would like to keep it simple at maybe a sheet cake or character cake. How should I word it or should I just scrap the entire idea since I don't have a business and am not licensed?

32 replies
mkm25 Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 7:00pm
post #2 of 33

If it were me donating towards the silent auction, I would probably make a simple dummy cake to display during the auction. Silent auctions are very visual so if you have a cake displayed, people will come over to it, get hungry, and bid! haha! Don't decorate the dummy cake any more elaborately than you would decorate the winner's cake. Also, post an estimated value for the cake that would be won. For example, you could word it something like this: "Win a delicious, personalized cake for your next special occasion - $50 value."

Then, if the winner wants a more elaborate cake than what $50 would buy them, you could just give them $50 credit toward their design. Does that make sense? I hope that helps!

bamberc Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 7:04pm
post #3 of 33

And you don't want to just make a cake to auction off on the night of the event? That would definitely keep you from getting in over your head as far as the risk of the winner ordering an elaborate cake, and if you present it well you could still help bring in a pretty penny. We had a bake sale fundraiser last year and I made a cake (not a decorated cake, but a really yummy hummingbird cake that I packaged beautifully) to be raffled off. We sold tickets for 2 dollars each, and at the end of the event we had raised $120 just on that cake. I never dreamed that little cake would bring in that much, but you never know.

mkm25 Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 7:21pm
post #4 of 33

Great idea, bamberc! I love it!

enoid Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 7:24pm
post #5 of 33

You would make a coupon stating what they will be getting if they win.
Example (10" 2 layer in chocolate, vanilla or lemon with your choice of 1 of 3 fillings, covered in a delicious buttercream frosting.) You could also specify simple design, writing, and at least 2 weeks notice.

mandyl Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 7:30pm
post #6 of 33

Thanks so much for the ideas. I was thinking making it more open to where the buyer gets to choose their cake might bring in more money than my making a cake for purchase that evening, but bamberc's idea makes me reconsider. I'll definitely have to give it some more thought.

PinkLisa Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 7:34pm
post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by bamberc

We had a bake sale fundraiser last year and I made a cake (not a decorated cake, but a really yummy hummingbird cake that I packaged beautifully) to be raffled off. We sold tickets for 2 dollars each, and at the end of the event we had raised $120 just on that cake. I never dreamed that little cake would bring in that much, but you never know.




I love that idea also!

SLK Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 8:06pm
post #8 of 33

I used to give gift certificates with all of the details...size, value up to, exp. date, etc...but the problem I experience is that they never used it on time and called a year later and asked if it would still be OK to redeem. I didn't want to seem like a jerk, so I did. Since then, I've started just donating a 6" or 8" already decorated cake and then put a 10% off your next order coupon with it. That way, the work is done and if they do end up and order, it's a win for you again.

I've found that the actual cake brought in just as much as the gift certificate has at 2 separate silent auctions.

good luck!

SLK Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 8:07pm
post #9 of 33

double post...sorry

mandyl Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 8:14pm
post #10 of 33

Are there any suggestions regarding a cake you think will bring in more money or how to make a great presentation?

Molly2 Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 8:25pm
post #11 of 33

I to am a home baker I donated a cake for a silent auction last year (Western Theme cake boots hat. etc. in my pics) I made it displayed it put the amount as to what it was worth and it went for $250.00 the people that got it bought it for the sons birthday which was the next day boy was I surprised icon_surprised.gificon_surprised.gif and the money went to a good cause .

Molly icon_smile.gif

bamberc Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 8:25pm
post #12 of 33

You could always go seasonal-Our bake sale was in the fall so that's why I made hummingbird cake-sort of a spice cake with nuts. I wrapped the board in a pretty sunflower paper and tied/glued raffia around the edges of the board. The lid of the box also had a raffia ribbon with some silk sunflowers at the bow. If the event is in the summer, you could do a citrus-type theme- maybe a lemon, lime or orange cake and decorated with like items and colors. Lots of ribbon and flowers are always appealing, I think.

sweetiesbykim Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 8:38pm
post #13 of 33

Here's how I word mine at quarter auction fundraisers:

3. Place an order for a 10 decorated gourmet cake, almost 5 thick, delivered to you! Choose from 30 cake choices and over 40 filling choices! -White Velvet Hazelnut Cake with Strawberries and Cream, Chocolate Mocha Cake with Espresso Silk Filling, Sour Cream Banana Cake with Caramel Cream Filling, and more! Serves 24-30.
Retail Value $56.00
3-Quarter Bid Thanks for bidding!

Here's another:

4. A gift certificate worth $75 for any gourmet Sweeties item! Choose from 30 cake choices, 40 filling choices, 30 cheesecake flavors, signature Wilbur chocolate covered Oreos, and more! Order for a special event such as a Baby Shower, a Special Birthday, or use as a credit towards a beautiful wedding cake! And of course, FREE DELIVERY! Credit good for one year.
Retail Value $75.00
3-Quarter Bid Thanks for bidding!

These are listed on a sheet of 4-5 items up for bid from my biz (Sweeties), with my heading of contact info and separate sheets of my flavors -cake, fillings, cheesecakes, general price list. They LOVE choosing the flavors, and they usually save the cake for a family member's birthday or baby shower (from my experience).

tinygoose Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 8:41pm
post #14 of 33

I think cookie bouquets are great for auctions.

Lita829 Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 8:49pm
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by bamberc

And you don't want to just make a cake to auction off on the night of the event? That would definitely keep you from getting in over your head as far as the risk of the winner ordering an elaborate cake, and if you present it well you could still help bring in a pretty penny. We had a bake sale fundraiser last year and I made a cake (not a decorated cake, but a really yummy hummingbird cake that I packaged beautifully) to be raffled off. We sold tickets for 2 dollars each, and at the end of the event we had raised $120 just on that cake. I never dreamed that little cake would bring in that much, but you never know.




I love this idea, too. I also like tinygoose's idea.

Melchas Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 8:56pm
post #16 of 33

I made a cookie bouquet for my son's school auction and then also included a "gift certificate' for $50.00 towards a cake or cookies.

My son's teacher bought it and and used the cookie bouquet for an a baby shower the next weekend and is going to use the gift certificate for her daughter's birthday cookies.

It worked great!

CanadianCakin Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 8:56pm
post #17 of 33

I did a silent auction cake recently....I made a cake to sit on the table with the papers so they could bid and take a cake home, I also had a certificate for a future cake for an occasion of their choice.....If you don't want to get over your head I would suggest as pp have also suggested to just do a cake they could bring home that night and eat, I wouldn't make it too big though as it would probably be just for there household. That way your done! No future orders to worry about!

I'll post the link to the cake I had at the auction...just so you can get an idea. Oh and my cake and certificate raised $350!!!! For a $50 certificate!! Which was awesome all procededs went to our local Child Development Center!!! I was soooo happy!


http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-photo_1399276.html



HTH!!!
~Ashley

amberdawn82777 Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 9:13pm
post #18 of 33

I've only made 4 cakes and it has been for friends and family, so I'm VERY new at this. Some friends of ours lost their son to neuroblastoma last summer and 2 weeks ago, they had the first annual golf tourney to raise money for neuroblastoma. Anyways, I was asked to donate a cake. So, i made a certificate and put the pictures of my cakes on there and I put that it was good for a 6" round or 1 dozen cupcakes. I stated that I would work with the winner to the best of my ability. I figured at that point if the winner wanted something more than was stated, we'd work out a deal. As it turned out, my sister-in-law won the item and I would've done her cake for her daughters party anyways !!!

mandyl Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 9:41pm
post #19 of 33

I love the cookie bouquet idea! That never even crossed my mind. Maybe I could do that as an extra item... Something to consider. I do have pictures of my cakes in an album that I had considered displaying, but it sounds like an actual cake at the auction is probably the way to go. Thanks everyone for your wonderful help!

Melchas Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 9:50pm
post #20 of 33

I forgot to add, I also put a book on the table with pics of all my cakes. I was also helping to cater the auction, from the kitchen I could hear all the oohs and ahhs while the bidders looked at my book.

LKing12 Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 11:35pm
post #21 of 33

When I do this I print out a certificate that states the cake is _ x _ size with butter cream icing. I also state that arrangements need to be made one week in advance and will need to be picked up. I have never had anyone take advantage of the certificate, I have had a few upgrade with an edible image...

xstitcher Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 11:57pm
post #22 of 33

I like the the way Momma_ash did her auction where she had a cake there as well as a certificate for a future cake.
I also like the idea of doing a cookie bouquet or even a cupcake bouquet.

If you do decide to go with a cake at the table instead of a certificate and your looking for inspiration there are about 11 pages worth of cakes that ccers have uploaded that they have used for silent auctions. Just do your search in the galleries tab with "silent auction" as your keywords.

CakeForte Posted 24 Jul 2009 , 12:55am
post #23 of 33

I did this as well, with a gift certificate as others have mentioned. I put an expiration date as well as the value of the cake. I don't know what the client bid....but she ended up increasing her order from the original gift certificate.

UpAt2am Posted 24 Jul 2009 , 2:37am
post #24 of 33

i recently donated to a silent auction as well. i made a dummy 2 layer cake with a simple circle (geometric) design. then, i made mini cupcakes to go along side it so people could taste my kinds of cakes! i included a gift certificate for $125 (what i would have charged for the kind of cake they were looking at). i didn't put an expiration date on it and the woman who won called me the next day to place an order. it so happened that the cake she wanted would have been less than $125 and i told her that, but she told me to "keep the change." lots of good people out there. but i'm going to add some extras to her cake since she was so kind! i later found out that she bid $400 for my gift cert.!!!

Lita829 Posted 24 Jul 2009 , 2:43am
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by UpAt2am

i recently donated to a silent auction as well. i made a dummy 2 layer cake with a simple circle (geometric) design. then, i made mini cupcakes to go along side it so people could taste my kinds of cakes! i included a gift certificate for $125 (what i would have charged for the kind of cake they were looking at). i didn't put an expiration date on it and the woman who won called me the next day to place an order. it so happened that the cake she wanted would have been less than $125 and i told her that, but she told me to "keep the change." lots of good people out there. but i'm going to add some extras to her cake since she was so kind! i later found out that she bid $400 for my gift cert.!!!




WOW...thats awesome!! I can't wait until I leave the community I currently live in so that I can do things like you all are doing!! People who live where I live just don't think like that. It is sooo important to give back or to lend your skills to a cause bigger than yourself. Keep up the good work everyone icon_smile.gif

2SchnauzerLady Posted 24 Jul 2009 , 12:08pm
post #26 of 33

I did a cake for a silent auction that was held at a mexican restaurant - I made a taco salad cake.

Kay_NL Posted 24 Jul 2009 , 1:27pm
post #27 of 33

Before the school year ended our local school had a dinner & auction. It included a dessert auction so I made a bee hive cake for that. For donations of things to bid on, I did up 2 gift certificates. I worded it something like:

This card entitles you to one free cake serving up to 30 people in the flavor, theme and design of your choice

Orders cannot be guaranteed on all dates, please order early to check decorator's availability.


I did one for 30 people and one for 50 and it says on my website that I do not make wedding cakes. Having the bee hive cake on the dessert table for auction with the tag demonstrated what I was able to do, and they had my gift cards packaged with other things to make a "party package." So there was one package including a cake, a sandwich tray and rental of a local party spot!

Kay_NL Posted 24 Jul 2009 , 1:40pm
post #28 of 33

Oh, I should mention though that one of the people who won a gift certifcate called me to order a baby shower cake for a day at the end of my vacation. Here's the phone conversation:

Her: Hi, I would like to order a baby shower cake.
Me: Okay, what date will you need the cake?
Her: August 15.
Me: I'm sorry, I will be out of the province on holidays at that time.
Her: Well can't you make it before you go?
Me: Sorry but I will be leaving town on August 1 and the cake will not keep for 2 weeks.
Her: I won a gift certificate for a cake at the school auction.
Me: I'm very sorry that I can't help you at this time but please contact me for a cake when you have another special occasion.
Her: Why would you give gift certificates if you can't make the cakes?
Me: I apologize that family vacations are important to my children and I, please call back when you have a date in mind for another event.
Her: Okay, FINE!

I don't think this is a normal reaction though. lol! I haven't heard back from her, I made the gift cards expiry for December 31, 2010 so I'm sure she may need a cake sometime before that???

Lcubed82 Posted 24 Jul 2009 , 2:05pm
post #29 of 33

I made two cookie bouquets for the church auction to benefit our youth mission trip. Another friend made a 6/8 round, covered in chocolate mmf with ribbon roses (it was very cute!). The cookie bouquets went for about 16.00 each, the cake for 60-70! Cakes definitely seemed to have more of a wow factor that evening. We compared notes, and the cookies took more time to decorate and arrange. Next time it'll be cake for me! We have a tradition of people buying the cakes, then serving them right away for dessert!

janelwaters Posted 24 Jul 2009 , 2:20pm
post #30 of 33

I usually donate a gift certificate also - I put in there that they get a custom designed and decorated cake for whatever occasion they have in mind. Total value of the cake not to exceed $250 (or whatever you are willing to make) - and then I made sure to put on there that they must call at least 3 weeks prior to the event to place the order.

If they pick a cake that goes over your value you can just charge them the difference or tell them that that is not included in the certificate.

The last one I donated went for over $300 - I always put my book of cakes on the table for them to look at.

Good luck!!!

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