I have a charity event oppertunity for the fire department grand opening to donate as many cupcakes as I can do. Do you have any advice? Should I do regular cupcakes, minis or both, flavors etc. The elementary school across the street is having an event at the same time so with cross traffic there is 300-500 expected. Im working out of my home so I don't have a commercial kitchen. Should I make some cupcakes in advance and freeze them? I don't ever freeze cakes. Going to get my ingredients at the sams club. How many should I make? The cost comes out of my pocket well more like my husbands pay check. This is a donation but at the same time will be advertising from people tasting. And them putting my name in the local firefighters news letter and possibly there may be a news station there.
For this type of event minis might be best so people can try a few of your flavors, but even 500 minis in a home kitchen would be a pretty big undertaking so you'll probably want to freeze some or all beforehand. How long will it take you to prep, bake, decorate, package, and clean up for 500 minis?
You also need to seriously think if this is a good use of your money versus other types of advertising.
I help feed a college band of about 200. Will there be other desserts there? That will affect how many you should make. Generally I make 100 or so of the mini cupcakes because there are lots of other desserts there. Minis are best in this situation because there are tons of choices (think excited band parents finally getting to help the band).
Are you the only dessert?
How much other food will be there?
How long is the event?
Definitely freeze them. If they're not iced, you can freeze them solid and then toss them in a ziploc. Take them out of the bags before thawing them or they will stick together.
You can freeze them iced, but they will take up a lot more space. Does the fire department have room in their freezer? Friends or family?
As for flavors, do as many as you want Do you have a couple that are customer's favorite? (Ordered most often).
Packaging is going to be your biggest problem I think. Are you going to offer like 3 or 4 per pkg? Or offer them individually? That effects pkg'ing. Will you be there to hand them out or is it all done by the ff?
Do this out of the goodness of your heart. It is NOT good advertising. It will, however, bring you lots more requests to donate to "get you some good exposure." Which will result in $0 in your pocket.
Been there. Done that. Won't repeat the mistake.
Do this out of the goodness of your heart. It is NOT good advertising.
I have to agree, that's is not money wisely spent if the only reason you are doing it is for advertisement. I have couple of big charity events I do, by providing dessert buffet items. They are really big fundraisers with women decked out in firs and bling and designer clothes, they are dropping hundreds and thousands of dollars on tickets to attend these events. It is for a good cause and fun for me, so that is the reason I'm doing them. I never expected any business or referrals to come out of them, and good thing I didn't, LOL. Now, I get quite a few phone calls from people who attended with quote requests and such, but not a single person placed an order.
Actually, it is one of my policies to never donate or make any contributions for PR purposes. Leah is also correct, after I do an event like that, it just brings a whole lot more requests for donations.
Good Luck, P
Ditto on the goodness of your heart.
When I raised funds for Hospice, I told the businesses getting the listing or ad to make sure it was what they really wanted to do and expect no return. By being honest, those people gave year after year.
The magic "legal" thing is an issue. If you are licensed, fine. If not, HD's usually have codes and restrictions on charity food out of unlicensed kitchens. In our area, and most, it is a violation if you don't comply. If you, or anyone else unlicensed, gives to a charity, you need to contact your HD. In our area, the food must be marked clearly that it is from an unlicensed kitchen and we are not to donate to children or the elderly, as these groups are most succeptible to food issues. We also need an allergy notice and it is best to have ingredients available. It's better to serve strangers with the blessings of HD. You could still be sued over your gift, so compliance is a precaution worth taking.
Considering that you have limited funds, I would suggest doing maybe 100 mini cupcakes at most, and limit the flavors to your best two. Enough to put a significant dent in the dessert menu, but not so much that you're spending a lot of money. Folks will wolf down free food without giving a thought to where it came from, believe me, I know.
If you approach this more like an opportunity to donate some good will rather than to receive advertising, you'd be pleasantly surprised if you get orders from it rather than the other way around.
I wasnt seeing this as a huge advertising oppertunity. The fire dept said to be sure to bring business cards and such. I just asked if i could donate. I donate to the fire dept all the time. they are my taste testers since they are across the street. I know I could put my money to good use other this such as getting the vinal letters for my car or stocking up on tee shirts and business cards all of which i dont have now but i prefer to help our volunteer fire dept instead. they do alot for our community and dont get paid for it. why should i get paid to help them. I was mainly needing to know what to make. our state requres a label that says it is baked in a un inspected kitchen.