Bake sales have long been one of the most popular ways of raising money for schools. They are easy fundraisers because they usually do not require complicated preparations and the goods for sale are donated. When planning a bake sale, you might consider:
- Chancellor’s Regulations — in order to combat childhood obesity, the regulations have been updated to include requirements regarding food sold at schools.*
- Timing — select a high-traffic time. Often, PA/PTAs coordinate bake sales with other school events or schedule them when the school will have many visitors, such as during elections or community meetings.
- Organization — as with all events, select someone to be in charge and devise a volunteer schedule. Sometimes bake sale volunteers work in shifts. (See the Volunteers page for more information on recruiting and managing volunteers.)
- Donations — for a general bake sale, give parents a list of suggested items at the outset to ensure that your supply is varied. Many PA/PTAs try to provide desserts suitable for people with food allergies, and ask that any baked goods that are nut, gluten or dairy-free be delivered with a note stating so. If there are local bakeries that your school’s families patronize, consider asking them for donations too.
Not all bake sales follow the traditional method. For example, the PTA at P.S. 295 in Brooklyn devised a twist on the old standby and turned theirs into a community building event as well, as described below.
For bake sales held after school hours: CR D-180, which governs the use of school buildings after school hours, holds that the selling of refreshments on school premises is prohibited unless specifically approved on the permit. CR A-660 requires PA/PTAs to request a permit from the custodian for use of the school after school hours. To satisfy both sections of each regulation your PA/PTA would need to mention specifically on its permit that it will be selling food.
For bake sales held during school hours: According to CR A-812, PA/PTAs may hold fundraisers involving “non-approved” food items — such as bake sales — outside of the cafeteria between the time school begins and 6:00 PM once per month.