Cakes For Charity

Decorating By Claire138 Updated 28 Jan 2014 , 6:29am by Claire138

Claire138 Posted 27 Jan 2014 , 12:35pm
post #1 of 18

I'm not sure this is the right forum to bring this to but just wanted some opinions and advice.


Since I turned pro (into my second year) I have twice donated a cake for (2 different) charities - both close to my heart. The problem I have is that when the winners of the lottery (I gave both the same amount I would be willing to make a cake for) seem so entitled. I don't know if it's bc they are essentially not paying for the cake apart from buying a lottery ticket or if it has been my luck and both were just annoying and demanding people.


Seriously, I made the first one one of the most beautiful cakes that I've ever made and  she didn't even phone and thank me although she was able to phone me a thousand times to go from "I don't know what I want" "And so... how much will it be if it's 5 tiers fully decorated etc. Oh, so that's not what your offer covers, wow you're so expensive" "I want this on it and then changing her mind 20 times before the phone call is even over!"  "I want it blue" and then phoning back not 5 minutes later to tell me she wants it blue again and then texts me with the same message on style and colour and size no less than twenty times in a 3 hour period. "I can't pick up the cake bc I don't drive, why don't you deliver" (I don't deliver, I live in Paris where traffic is horrific so avoid driving anyway) "I'll ask my son in law bc my husband refuses to pick it up I've just had an argument with him (don't ask why she was telling me this, maybe to make me feel bad and so I'd deliver?" eventually after 10 phone calls one saturday night she sends her son in law who took the cake with bad grace and I never heard anything back. 

I'm not an egoist and I'm certainly not doing it for the thanks but wow, how rude can people be? and it was free!


So this brings me onto winner number 2 who's cake is for this sunday and honestly I feel the energy has left me. She doesn't stop texting, whatsapping, emailing and phoning me with all her demands. She is drinving me to distraction - it is only 13h30 here and she has emailed me 6 times this morning, sent me 2 texts and 1 whatsapp message and it's only monday!


My husband feels that I should explain to her that as this is a cake she is getting for free than I have to be the one to decide what cake I want to make - obviously fitting for the occasion that she wants it for. I'm such a softie though and hate confrontation so can't see myself saying anything so now my husband says that if I don't feel I can control the situation I shouldn't do it again but I really want to as the charities are so important.


Sorry for being so long winded, I hope I've explained all this properly,


Any advice much appreciated (although not from Miss Helen)!



17 replies
nancylee61 Posted 27 Jan 2014 , 1:01pm
post #2 of 18

ANo advice, just a hug. You sound so nice and they sound like real jerks. Nancy

Claire138 Posted 27 Jan 2014 , 3:10pm
post #3 of 18

Thank you Nancy, hug gladly accepted & I send you one back:smile:

cakealicious7 Posted 27 Jan 2014 , 3:14pm
post #4 of 18

ACan I get in there for a hug??

Claire138 Posted 27 Jan 2014 , 3:25pm
post #5 of 18

Oh definitely, hugs all round.

cakealicious7 Posted 27 Jan 2014 , 3:30pm
post #6 of 18

AYaaay ☺

BeesKnees578 Posted 27 Jan 2014 , 3:41pm
post #7 of 18

I agree with your husband...but what did the ad for the raffle say as to what kind of cake they would be getting?


And only offer small dessert cakes for charity events, not custom decorated ones, if you EVER want to donate again after all of this.  


Explain to the people who run it, when they contact you in the future, the struggle that you have gone through with previous winners.  You love the charity, but you also have a business to run and you have to find a way to make both work for YOU if you are going to donate.


I have done a few donations where I donated 3 8" dessert cakes in a "Holiday Package" to be redeemed within one calendar year.


Figured that would cover Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, if that is how they wanted to use them.  Or birthdays or whatever...that is up to them.


Good luck!

as you wish Posted 27 Jan 2014 , 4:37pm
post #8 of 18

AThis isn't really advice, just opinion. Having tried the charity cake thing from a few angles I have decided that when I encounter a charity that I want to support I will just donate money. I won't be donating cake in any way, shape or form anymore. It doesn't seem to benefit the charity nearly enough to compensate for the hassle I go through and what feels like the devaluing of my work. I still donate to charities, but not in cake form.

Claire138 Posted 27 Jan 2014 , 5:04pm
post #9 of 18

Thanks y'all, I appreciate the advice. I actually did give direction with concern to the cake i.e. the price & the time limit but for some reason people just don't take it into account - maybe bc it's free and they think they can just get whatever they want. Truth be told I'm worn out with it which is so upsetting. This year I was very specific and told the charity how much trouble it has been, they promised that they would outline everything clearly for whoever wins so here's hoping for next year........

ellavanilla Posted 27 Jan 2014 , 5:22pm
post #10 of 18

In the future, write up your own contract. Please don't rely on the charity. They don't really have any idea of how to handle a custom cake order. 


Be very clear and detailed, including choices of flavors, frostings, size and a value for the cost of the cake--including consultation fees! For example, "Cake order includes a 30 minute consultation fee. Additional consultation time will be billed in 15 minute increments at $X." This should help. Start charging for what's not in the contract. 


It's not unreasonable to charge for what's not in the contract and it's not unreasonable to limit your time spent on these cakes, IMO. 

JWinslow Posted 27 Jan 2014 , 6:15pm
post #11 of 18

So sorry this happened to you.  Sending another Hug.  

I've had one experience (a couple years ago) donating to a community event - not just a cake but an entire dessert table.  it left me gun shy about doing them.  There is a little black & white cake with a peony on top in my gallery that was the prize.   When the winner was drawn he rolled his eyes and his wife pursed her lips.  I didn't know whether to be angry or hurt.   They took the cake and the next day returned it with a slice taken out saying it was too rich for them.  It was chocolate with raspberry filling and SMBC.  Not a thank you or we appreciated everything you donated - nothing.  They didn't have to take the cake - there were so many others that would have gladly taken it.

On the upside, I got to make things I wanted including 2 vases full of sugar peonies for the table decor.  The community organizers were thrilled with the returned cake - they loved it :)


I agree with ellavanilla.  You tell the charity what they can expect.

ellavanilla Posted 27 Jan 2014 , 7:17pm
post #12 of 18

who returns a donated cake? jeez. too much time on your hands people!

JWinslow Posted 27 Jan 2014 , 7:19pm
post #13 of 18


Originally Posted by ellavanilla 

who returns a donated cake? jeez. too much time on your hands people!


cakealicious7 Posted 27 Jan 2014 , 7:26pm
post #14 of 18

ABehaviour of a spoilt child

Claire138 Posted 27 Jan 2014 , 8:22pm
post #15 of 18

Thanks again everyone for your support, I was surprised though when I spoke to the charities administrator she told me they have a lot of trouble with stuff like this (regardless of what people have donated) and that's why they are having a more and more difficult time getting donations. For some reason when people win something it seems to set off an entitled gene. 

emetz74 Posted 27 Jan 2014 , 9:07pm
post #16 of 18

Sorry that happened to you. In other news, you live in my favorite city on the planet. I LOVE Paris!

ugcjill Posted 27 Jan 2014 , 10:42pm
post #17 of 18

Is this a raflle or on-site auction event? Are you allowed to just donate a dessert cake? I don't offer those as a sale option, they only go to charities.


I recommend cut-and-run with charity donations. A dessert cake is pretty, people can enjoy them that night, and they will generally get the biggest $$ for the charity.


The big cakes look fantastic, but nobody goes for it because who wants to suddenly own a huge special event cake they weren't expecting.


A $ off coupon sounds good, until you've got someone with their $50-off coupon trying to order 2 cookies and demanding the rest back in cash. Your potential customer is now ready to become your worst enemy over a $2 raffle ticket.


Then there's % off coupons. Great for someone who expects to have a wedding, but not easily noticed at a charity event, and doesn't usually bring in a lot of bids/raffle tickets.


The biggest reason not to give coupons - The winner is now your customer... no matter how unpleasant, agressive, nit-picky or dim-witted they may be. There are some people who are more trouble than they are worth, and you want to be able to weed them out.

Claire138 Posted 28 Jan 2014 , 6:29am
post #18 of 18

You're right about the coupon which is what this is (it's in a raffle) & the winner wants a cake for 300 people on a 5€ ticket. Sure. The coupon was for 1 big cake or 2 small ones, although I said only one cake for 30 people for this years one to avoid any confusion.

And yes, Paris is the most beautiful city in the world, I fell in love with it when I came on a school trip, came back and told my parents "I'm going to live in Paris" & 5 years later did just that, forward 20 years and I'm still in love with this city.

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