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How to host your own tea and cake sale for charity

07 July 2016

A charity cake sale is a fun and delicious way of raising money for good causes. Find out how to host your own baking fundraiser with tips from the Dream Tea organisers.

A charity cake sale is a fun - and delicious - way of raising money for good causes

Anyone can host a tea or coffee and cake event to raise money for charity. Simply get a few people together, pop the kettle on and have lots of cake.

Why plan a cake sale for charity?

Many of us would like to help charities that do good work but don’t have the funds to donate financially so look for other ways to help out, whether that’s volunteering or raising money through sponsored challenges.

Baking for charity is a great way of raising money for charity in a fun and friendly way. Hosting a tea and cake event can fit in with your own lifestyle - you could invite family and friends to your home, or arrange a bake sale at work or at a local community space.  "What better excuse to pull together a group of friends I love and to sit, have a cup of tea in the sunshine and to raise some money for such a worthwhile organisation,” says Caroline Thompson, a Dream Tea host raising money for the children’s charity Dreams Come True.

Find out about the charities running baking fundraising events

How to plan a successful cake sale

The organisers of Dream Tea, a successful nationwide event to raise money for children’s charity Dreams Come True, share their tips for hosting a successful Dream Tea event.

Plan and promote

Choose a time and place - work, school, home or in the community. Decide on your venue and then start letting people know. If you want you could choose a theme - anything from traditional Victorian afternoon tea to a Mad Hatter's tea party.

Posters and invitations are available to download from the Dreams Come True website. Now spread the word invitations, posters, Facebook or even a press release to your local paper.

Get baking

From lemon and poppy seed cakes to vanilla cherry bars - there's lots of recipes to choose from by Dream Tea ambassador Miranda Gore Browne and celebrity supporters to inspire you in the kitchen. Have some take-away boxes ready to sell leftovers to your guests as they leave too.

Don’t stress if baking isn’t quite your forte, buy a few cakes instead (we won’t tell!)

Read the Clandestine Cake Club's top baking tips

Tips for raising extra money

Boost your fundraising and keep the party going with raffles, competitions and challenges, such as guess the amount of sweets in the jar. You could also get competitive - organise a Bake Off and auction off the star bake.

Don't forget Gift Aid to raise an additional 25% too.

Find out more about Gift Aid

Spreading the word

Share your successes on social media with photos and videos. Fellow charity supporters and employees love to hear fundraising stories, so share your baking successes and event photos using the hashtag #dreamtea on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Show people how their donations can help and where the money is used.

Cake sale shopping list

  • Tea bags/leaves
  • Tea pot
  • Cakes
  • Napkins
  • Plates
  • Mugs
  • Milk
  • Sugar
  • Collection box
  • Take-away boxes

The fundraising experience

Dreams Come True caught up with Allison Bullivant, who held a Dream Tea fundraising event at work.

Tell us about your Dream Tea event

I work at a private hospital in Wimbledon Common and we decided to host a Dream Tea in the staff room.

Why did you decide to do a Dream Tea?

I work with an amazing array of bakers and a captive audience of hungry staff across the hospital. Dreams Come True is an incredible charity that is making a real difference to the lives of some very special children.

What was the best part of your Dream Tea?

It was great to see us all getting so involved and (dare I say a little competitive) in raising the maximum amount of money.

How many people were involved? Who were they?

Over 20 people donated cakes, biscuits and their time. I was overwhelmed with the response. They were mainly nursing and appointments staff and one medical secretary who must have been up all night baking! All our produce on the day was home baked.

How much did you raise?

We raised over £300. One piece of cake was sold for an astonishing £100 (we had to give him the recipe too!)

How easy was it to organise the event?

It was really straightforward to organise. We advertised in our monthly newsletter, through emails and our intranet. We were unable to sell cakes to patients due to Health and Safety risks but we have over 300 staff and everyone was very generous. We all like a nice slice of cake!

What advice would you give to someone planning a Dream Tea?

You have to be very persuasive to get everyone baking, lots of advertising. It is such a great cause so it pretty much sold itself!

How did you prepare for your Dream Tea?

I asked all my staff to contribute and most did just that. We had some amazing cakes donated. It was a great team building exercise and we all thoroughly enjoyed doing it.

Host your own Dream Tea event

Hosting a Dream Tea event is a great way to get started with baking for charity. Visit the Dream Tea website to find out how to take part.

Read our guide to sewing and knitting for charity


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.