To Give Or Not To Give...

Business By sunkissedbakery Updated 7 Apr 2014 , 5:13pm by 1234me

sunkissedbakery Posted 5 Apr 2014 , 4:20pm
post #1 of 24

AHey all! I've been reading CC for such a long time now, but only just opened an account so I could post and whatnot. Okay so here's the situation. I own a legal home based bakery in Virginia, and was recently asked by an up and coming business to donate cakes. I guess basically her business is designed to host parties for the less fortunate? Anyway, this lady wants custom character cakes, tiered cakes, and really expensive things (that I'm entirely capable of doing), for a "flat rate", as she described it.

So....she's saying she wants me to do a certain number of CUSTOM cakes for a certain amount of money. I've never done anything like this before. I really only do weddings...

My question is, is this even a good idea? I love donating my unused cuppies to charities at the end of the day but I'd be losing so much money I fear. Have any of you done this or been asked to do this?

23 replies
bakernoob Posted 5 Apr 2014 , 4:55pm
post #2 of 24

I would think if it were a donation then you would choose yourself what it is that you would like to donate and then she would accept whatever it was because it's a donation. Beggars can't be choosers. 

stefkovic Posted 5 Apr 2014 , 5:07pm
post #3 of 24

If she is paying you money, I would say she is looking for a discounted item not a donation. To me a donation is no money. Just my thought.

sewsugarqueen Posted 5 Apr 2014 , 6:07pm
post #4 of 24

To donate to a charity event--where you choose what you will give is always kind.  however--  This sounds like she expects/demands cakes to order for her events at low cost--are you willing to lower your prices??  There is a limit to what you can afford to donate in terms of time and materials-- as we all know the ingredients are not cheap not to mention electricity.  If you feel a one time event is coming up you would like to support then you can choose to donate.. sounds like she wants a lot of donations ( that make her business look good...)

MimiFix Posted 5 Apr 2014 , 6:09pm
post #5 of 24

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by sunkissedbakery 

... was recently asked by an up and coming business to donate cakes. I guess basically her business is designed to host parties for the less fortunate? Anyway, this lady wants custom character cakes, tiered cakes, and really expensive things (that I'm entirely capable of doing), for a "flat rate", as she described it.

 

Your description is somewhat confusing so it's hard to know what's happening. You wrote "up and coming business" which sounds like she's new and inexperienced. That's not a good sign. And you wrote she hosts "parties for the less fortunate?" What the heck does that mean? 

 

I suggest you wish her well and graciously decline. Then run far, far away.

-K8memphis Posted 5 Apr 2014 , 6:22pm
post #6 of 24

yeah, what mimi said

AZCouture Posted 5 Apr 2014 , 6:47pm
post #7 of 24

AH E C K No. Just no.

rychevamp Posted 5 Apr 2014 , 7:25pm
post #8 of 24

AUmm, no. Sounds fishy to me. If you would like to donate, you choose what she gets, not what she tells you to give her.

MBalaska Posted 5 Apr 2014 , 7:28pm
post #9 of 24

Hmmmm  it really sounds like a scam.

If it were for a non-profit organization she'd say so and ask for tax-deductible contributions.

if it's for her new for-profit money-making business, then it's more like extortion telling you what you're going to do for her and for how much.     She's asking you not only to be an un-paid employee, but to supply and pay for all the goods.

Carrie789 Posted 5 Apr 2014 , 8:26pm
post #10 of 24

I learned these things in two classes I took.

Class Number 1. You will never get what you want if you don't ask for it. And, you might just be surprised with a "yes." (It was a class encouraging making ridiculously low offers in negotiations.) Maybe the party lady went to a similar class.

Class Number 2. You have every right to ask for what you want. And I have every right to say "no."

TheItalianBaker Posted 5 Apr 2014 , 11:58pm
post #11 of 24

ALike everybody said, it doesn't seem right. I did donate a couple of cakes during the year, but I picked the design and everything (I made half sheet cakes anyways). If you want to work to her, she needs to tell you the budget and YOU tell her what she can get! Or Walmart sounds a good option for her..

costumeczar Posted 6 Apr 2014 , 2:36am
post #12 of 24

If you happen to be in the Richmond area feel free to message me and tell me who this is. I know a lot of people around here have "foundations" that say they serve the less-fortunate, and they present themselves exactly the way you're describing this one. They're actually for-profit organaizations that might host events occasionally but are more interested in lining their own pockets. I get tons of these requests from groups that come and go and I always turn the "opportunity" down. It's not going to get you wedding business, I guarantee.

ugcjill Posted 6 Apr 2014 , 3:13am
post #13 of 24

Quote:

Originally Posted by costumeczar 
 

If you happen to be in the Richmond area feel free to message me and tell me who this is. I know a lot of people around here have "foundations" that say they serve the less-fortunate, and they present themselves exactly the way you're describing this one. They're actually for-profit organaizations that might host events occasionally but are more interested in lining their own pockets. I get tons of these requests from groups that come and go and I always turn the "opportunity" down. It's not going to get you wedding business, I guarantee.

This is the first thing I thought of, too.

 

I have a donation policy. Donations go straight to the non-profit, I need the tax ID for the 501c, only non-discriminatory organizations, and the donation is always a dessert cake - so far, I've only been requested to participate in raffles. It wasn't very long before I was asked about a donation cake, so I had to come up with a plan. This topic was my first (of many) "I didn't think of that before" situations. It was good thinking to come for feedback.

 

Best wishes!

Norasmom Posted 6 Apr 2014 , 3:26am
post #14 of 24

Definitely say no.  You don't want to end up losing money and this does not sound legitimate.   Just tell her you cannot as you are a very small and limited business and you have already exceeded your donation budget.

Pastrybaglady Posted 6 Apr 2014 , 7:58am
post #15 of 24

Quote:

Originally Posted by sunkissedbakery  Anyway, this lady wants custom character cakes, tiered cakes, and really expensive things (that I'm entirely capable of doing), for a "flat rate", as she described it.

So....she's saying she wants me to do a certain number of CUSTOM cakes for a certain amount of money. I've never done anything like this before. I really only do weddings...

 

What's to keep her from taking orders, have you make the cakes cheap and then sell them for profit?  There have been instances of this happening on CC before!

costumeczar Posted 6 Apr 2014 , 12:55pm
post #16 of 24

A

Original message sent by ugcjill

This is the first thing I thought of, too.

I have a donation policy. Donations go straight to the non-profit, I need the tax ID for the 501c, only non-discriminatory organizations, and the donation is always a dessert cake - so far, I've only been requested to participate in raffles. It wasn't very long before I was asked about a donation cake, so I had to come up with a plan. This topic was my first (of many) "I didn't think of that before" situations. It was good thinking to come for feedback.

Best wishes!

This is a great idea, because if they don't have the IRS paperwork they're not legally recognized as a non-profit. Also pay attention to the type of non-profit it is. I was involved in filling out all the paperwork for a business association, and we registered as a non-profit, so we're legitimate, but we're not a charitable non-profit. There's no reason we should be asking anyone for donations, know what I mean? Taking a look at their registered paperwork could put an end to the requests pretty quickly.

BeesKnees578 Posted 6 Apr 2014 , 3:27pm
post #17 of 24

AI hate to sound selfish, but I used to do more elaborate donations and just never really got any buiness from it. The events I was donating to were things that only more "antiqued" people attended. People who would probably never need my services in the future. Even though they'd rave about the delicious cake, they don't have children getting married or 1st birthdays to celebrate, etc.

I used to get upset until I realized they just weren't my audience and quit with the detailed work and donated dessert cakes.

I know the point of a donation is to get nothing but warm fuzzies in return, but when you run a small business, you are VERY much hoping that you will get biz as a result of the donation.

Are the less fortunate ones the attendees of the event, or the beneficiaries? That wasn't clear. If they are the attendees, I could see ONE donation ONCE a year. Partying it up every month with a bunch of free stuff just isn't a realistic way to live. Less fortunate or not.

And she should know that it's unfair ask you to donate more than you feel comfortable with.

cakegrandma Posted 6 Apr 2014 , 4:38pm
post #18 of 24

I have found that donating cakes, cupcakes or whatever does not mean more business. In the beginning I tried to get my name out there so I donated to everything.  I also provide 15 dozen decorated cupcakes of various flavors to a large dinner for Hospice. Hospice is one of my personal favorites so I was glad to give and I thought since so many were to attend I surely would get some business from it. I was told to give my business cards out with the cupcakes, which I did and was it worth all the work? Yes for Hospice but, No for new business.  I got sooo many compliments and when they heard my price on jumbo cupcakes decorated ($3.00) it was the last I heard from them. They preferred the Publix and Sam's price for their baked goods. :-?

MimiFix Posted 6 Apr 2014 , 5:07pm
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakegrandma 
 

I have found that donating cakes, cupcakes or whatever does not mean more business. In the beginning I tried to get my name out there so I donated to everything.   

 

I totally agree with cakegrandma. It's unfortunate that some posters will proudly insist they have a booming business because of all the goods they've donated. Maybe that's possible but most of us agree that donating rarely brings business. If it's a cause you support, then please do donate. But otherwise, smile and say, "I'd love to, but..."

sunkissedbakery Posted 7 Apr 2014 , 1:15am
post #20 of 24

AIt's a different "less fortunate" each time. But I just told her the issue with copyrighted character cakes and she's flipping out and doesn't believe me! So I sent her a really great article and kindly said hmmm p*ss off, I'm done! I've got way too many weddings and regular orders to deal with this extra stress!

costumeczar Posted 7 Apr 2014 , 10:59am
post #21 of 24

ASome of you may have seen this before, but it's so awesome I'm sharing it again. I laughed myself silly when I received this in the mail. Turns out a bunch of my wedding vendor friends also received it, so she was plastering the town with offers for the awesome opportunity she was presenting us. http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2011/12/my-belated-christmas-gift-to-youan.html

Carrie789 Posted 7 Apr 2014 , 3:27pm
post #22 of 24

Quote:

Originally Posted by costumeczar 

Some of you may have seen this before, but it's so awesome I'm sharing it again. I laughed myself silly when I received this in the mail. Turns out a bunch of my wedding vendor friends also received it, so she was plastering the town with offers for the awesome opportunity she was presenting us. http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2011/12/my-belated-christmas-gift-to-youan.html


Laughing hysterically. She raises awesome crassness and greed to new heights!

ShellBell69 Posted 7 Apr 2014 , 3:55pm
post #23 of 24

AThree words stuck out to me in that letter "happy married life". BWUAHAHAHAHA

Sorry...I lurk a lot and don't post much but that just stuck out to me this time.

1234me Posted 7 Apr 2014 , 5:13pm
post #24 of 24

you will be making  less profit on her cakes which will take away time from your more-profit cakes.  Sounds to me like that is reason enough to say no!  You are a business, not a charity!

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