Food

How to Throw the Best Vegan Bake Sale

Organize your own successful event for the second annual Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale.

Last June, hundreds of volunteers across the world participated in the first annual Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale (WVBS), raising more than $25,000 for a number of animal-focused charities. The event, which was originally started by Gary Loewenthal and members of Compassion for Animals, aimed to give vegan outreach a tasty, traditional twist. Back for its much-anticipated return, the second annual WVBS is quickly approaching, slated for April 24 to May 2. Eager to participate in this year's event? Grab some friends and follow this six-step plan to host your own cruelty-free fundraiser.

Pick a date, time, and location for your bake sale.
Saturday or Sunday are ideal days, but maybe you have an "in" with a local church or organization that will let you sell before or after an event. A good location is anywhere that gets ample foot traffic. Ask a popular lunch spot if you can set up out front, or any well-traveled corner will do. If the weather in your town is less than stellar, choose a cozy indoor spot, such as a recreation center, library, or church.

Find bakers.
Advertise in the events section of VegWeb, post online in appropriate forums such as Craigslist and local blogs (the Post-Punk Kitchen is great!), and just start spreading the word to everyone you know. Once a network begins to develop, it's fairly easy to get a great group of vegan bakers together. If they need advice on recipes, whether they're unfamiliar with vegan baking or new to the kitchen, send them online for a wealth of ideas, tips, and tricks (may we suggest our vault of delicious vegan recipes, or our sister site, VegWeb?). Local professional bakers are also excellent to contact and often willing to donate a dozen or so baked treats for a good cause.

Advertise like crazy!
Contact local papers and list your sale in the events section, revisit those online postings, and get flyers up all over town-especially near the sale location. Need inspiration for the perfect eye-catching poster? Check out some of the creative selections from last year. Make sure all the bakers email and call their families and friends, too! You never know who might have a million vegan-treat-loving cousins, so ask everyone.

Get your supplies.
Don't forget the essentials when setting up your sale. Through your growing network of bakers, volunteers, and local businesses, start collecting these must-have items: folding tables, to-go containers, price cards, plates, napkins, large platters, serving utensils, a cash box and change, and trash bags.

On the day of the sale, get there early.
Set up tables, have to-go boxes arranged, and make sure there is plenty of space for arriving bakers to set out their goods. Treats should be labeled with price cards, with any special dietary specifications included, such as gluten-free, soy-free, or raw. Hungry buyers are guaranteed to show up on time, and often before the official start, so it helps to be prepared and ready to go.

Watch the goodies disappear.
Once the sale starts, keep an eye on the selection and rearrange baked goods as inventory begins to disappear. People tend to shop—and eat—wih their eyes first, so presenting the most aesthetically pleasing table helps draw in hungry passersby. Between restocking, putting on your best salesperson shtick, and doling out change, the afternoon will go by in a flash. When it's all done, feel the sweet satisfaction that comes when you put dozens of fabulous vegan treats into the world and raise funds for a good cause. Make sure to provide a courteous clean-up after the sale, so you'll be welcomed back in the future.

Stuck on what to make? Give these delicious recipes a go:
Classic Vanilla Cupcakes
Mexican Wedding Cookies
Blackberry-Almond Scones
Death by Chocolate Brownies

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