Recipe Card Auction

You know that delicious cake recipe that was passed down from your Grandma? It’s not something you’d find in any old cookbook, as it was your family who tweaked it to perfection. Since most families also have their own special steps to sweet perfection, it only makes sense to turn all those treats into a community-building event. Prepare to loosen your belt a notch; this fundraiser will have everyone begging for one more bite.

The recipe card fundraiser brings revenue from two sources: an auction and a community cookbook. This is only one event, though, so you need only schedule a single gathering for it. Try to secure a large area such as a fire hall or school gymnasium for the day of the fundraiser.

Advertise in advance that you’re looking for participants to prepare baked goods from their own family recipes, as well as donate other recipe cards as a cookbook contribution. Also advertise that the event is open to all members of the community. Anyone can participate in the auction, including those who aren’t bringing baked goods.

Ask each family that’s participating to bake a large pan (or multiple servings) of their classic family dessert, and to have it at the chosen location on the date of the event. They should also bring their recipe for it, plus any other recipe they’d like to submit to the community cookbook.

Place all the baked desserts on a row of tables against one wall. Each dessert will need a name so that participants can note their favorites. Either write the family’s last name or the dessert’s name on an index card beside the pan. Provide fresh coffee, hot water and tea bags, disposable utensils, and plenty of seating. Any items you’re in need of for this may be donated by area businesses.

Everyone in the community is then invited to drink coffee and taste all the different desserts while socializing with others. Remind everyone to make note of their favorite dessert for a chance to “win” it. Once everyone has taste tested all the cakes, hold up the card to each dessert, one by one, so that members of the community can bid on it. The highest bidder gets to see and keep the secret recipe.

A ballot-type box on one of the tables can be used to gather other recipe contributions, which should not be the same recipes that are being auctioned off. Ask a local printer to donate their services for a small cookbook made from the donated recipes. If you’re unable to find a printer for this, you could have one person (preferably someone with design skills) organize it and make copies. These cookbooks can then be sold at school and community events for the benefit of your chosen program.

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