Churches, clubs and other organizations have discovered that, in conjunction with their bake sale fundraiser ideas, a casserole sale is a great event for fundraising that brings in a lot of money and is 100% fun as well. Start off relatively small the first year and build as members become accustomed to preparing and freezing extra batches of favorite foods ahead of time.
Things You Will Need
* Plastic pint-sized freezer containers with lids
* Plastic quart-sized freezer containers with lids
* Aluminum casserole trays
* Plastic bags
* Cardboard boxes
* Pens to tally sales
* Table covers
* Portable freezers (can be rented for two or three days ahead of time)
* Sign-up sheets
Step 1Set a date six months ahead of time, preferably during months where you don't have high temperatures that become a factor in selling frozen food items. Saturday morning is ideal.
Step 2Locate a place such as a church reception hall large enough to set up tables and a few rental freezers along the walls.
Step 3Ask to see if any of your site's freezers have extra freezer space you might use for a couple of days. Call local rental venues and rent two or three small freezers two to three days before your sale. Some of your organization's members might reserve extra space in their home freezers.
Step 4Sign up people to make extra casseroles, soups, chilis, vegetable dishes, breads, cakes and bake sale items. Enlist volunteers to make an extra serving of dishes they make and freeze for your upcoming casserole sale. Even one or two contributions from members add up. It's all profit for your organization.
Step 5Purchase from a discount restaurant supply store: pint containers, quart containers and aluminum casserole trays. Allow food preparers to pick these up from a central location. Purchase plain white labels and let people pick these up at the same time so they can label their items ahead of time.
Step 6Instruct food preparers to deliver their frozen food items to your sale location on or before the day before the sale. Have people on hand to label, price, sort and store donated items. Label each item with ingredients, preparer's name, name of item and its price. Place in freezer.
Step 7Advertise your sale. Allow senior citizens to come in and buy an hour before everyone else comes. Seniors love buying individual frozen items, especially smaller sizes.
Step 8Allow four hours for your sale. The first hour for seniors, the next three for other buyers. Food will begin to thaw after that, so you want your buyers to come early, buy and leave happy.
Step 9Begin setting out foods an hour before your customers arrive. Have plenty of volunteers on hand to help set out the items. Definitely allow volunteers to buy the day before the sale as they are helping and during the early hours as they are setting out food. This sale is all about making money, and your best buyers will be those who volunteer to help raise the fundraiser.
Step 10Enlist young people to help carry around cardboard boxes and shopping bags for older people who are buying. Trays work well, too. If your buyers are hands-free, they will buy more.
Step 11Set up tables near the door with calculators, change, bags and more boxes. Have 2-3 people working together to tally items, collect payment and box or bag items. Have young folks on hand who volunteer to carry items to cars.
Step 12As food begins to thaw, move it back to freezers. Be sure to keep items from thawing completely. Churches might make an announcement that items will be on sale after services the next morning. People love buying things to take home so they won't have to cook.
Step 13Take leftover items, solidly frozen, to shut-ins, families with special needs or elderly people who would appreciate having a convenient meal or two in their freezer.
Step 14Return freezers, or have them picked up, quickly to avoid additional charges.
Thank people for their donations. Be sure to announce how much money you raised. People who take part appreciate knowing their hard work went for a good cause and was a success. They'll be more apt to donate next year.
Tally your profit. This fundraiser is both fun and profitable.
Tips & WarningsMark prices high. You're out to fundraise, not do a lot of work for little profit.
Sell to whoever wants to buy whenever they want to buy.
Mark prices high. You're out to fundraise, not do a lot of work for little profit. This is not a yard sale.
You're out to make profit. You want to turn over items quickly and collect money. This is not a yard sale.
Early birds are quite welcome!
Frozen food thaws quickly. Sell it fast! This is not the time to prepare your favorite congealed salad recipe.
Plan to sell food fast. If you see, during the last hour, that you're going to have tons of food left over, feel free to mark it down. Most of the time, items sell for their original prices.