Sometimes good policies can come from bad experiences. In my case, it was a big-time bakery bully who prompted me to create sensible rules which took the stress out of donation requests.
I remember her like it was yesterday. Over the course of our tense phone conversation, she snarled that I would be a horrible member of the community if I didn’t donate free cupcakes to her charity. She was awful and aggressive, and I caved under the pressure – but you don’t have to.
If you have a home bakery, you are going to get requests (lots of requests) to donate your special treats.
Don’t be afraid to have (and enforce) policies that protect your bottom line. While donations to local charities help generate good public relations, ingredients are expensive and preparation can cut into the time you should be devoted to your core business efforts.
Do’s & Don’ts of Home Bakery Donations
Here are a few do’s and don’ts to remember when you’re contemplating giving your time and talent locally:
- DO create a well-crafted donation policy that is visibly posted on your website.
- DON’T be afraid to limit the number of donations you provide each month or name specific charities that you work with in your policy.
- DO reply to every request you receive – be polite, even if you have to turn down a worthy cause.
- DON’T accept donation requests during the busiest revenue-generating periods of the year – that’s your key time to concentrate on building your bottom line.
- DO be clear in all your communications with your customers and always take the high road in your phone calls, emails, and social media interactions.
I really like the way Butter Bakery spells out their donation policy. And SusieCakes does a good job, too.
All small businesses want to be able to say, “Yes, I will donate to your amazing cause.” But the reality is we also have to be mindful of our expenses and even more so of our time and energy.
Remember, it’s important to be charitable and smart.
Have you gotten my Essential 5 P’s for Perfect Product Pricing pdf yet? I created this freebie to take the guesswork out of determining how much to charge for baked goods. Sign up for my email list, and your very first email has the pdf.
Check out my blog archive for more helpful articles. Follow me on Instagram at @whiskwarrior where I post weekly tips, resources, and personal experiences operating a home bakery and retail bakeshop.