January 25, 2010

Portland Vegan Bake Sale For Haiti (and some thoughts)

by IsaChandra

Vegan Bake Sale For Haiti – Portland
Sunday January 31st, 2 to 5 pm
People’s Coop, 3029 SE 21 Avenue, upstairs

Check out my dope art skills^
We still need bakers! Use this google document to tell us what you’re bringing.

You can also help by visiting the Yelp! event listing. If you have a Yelp! account, click on “sounds cool” or “I’m in” to keep our event at the top of the listings.

If you’re on Facebook, visit the invite and invite all your friends. Help spread the word!


Wow, you guys. So far over 10,000 dollars have been raised by vegan bake sales for Haiti nationwide, and that number is sure to multiply next week when sales in Portland, NYC, LA and Minneapolis (and lots of other places) take place. We may not have George Clooney (hey, George! Go vegan!) but we do have chutzpah. And cajones. And moxie. These dollar amounts are providing nice chunks of change to help out those in Haiti who need it. So what I’m trying to say is that I love you.

I’ve learned a lot while helping to organize these sales and from watching other people organize in their cities. As you can see from the Portland shout out above, using the internet to spread the word is crazy helpful. We’ve got google docs for sharing info and Yelp! and Facebook for getting the word out.

Don’t limit yourself to social media, though. Nothing beats good old fashioned pounding the pavement to get the neighborhood involved. Hand out flyers and hang them up on community billboards or in the windows of businesses that say it’s ok (what kind of jerk will say it’s not ok? Jeez, I’ve had a few.) Leave stacks at the supermarket or dry cleaners. Unless Old Miss Withersworth down the street is your Facebook friend, you’re reaching a whole different (and obviously local) audience.

Please let me know if you’ve picked up any tips organizing in your area, and also link to pics of your event. And give us the bottom line, how much did your bake sale earn? Where did you decide to donate?

  • January 25, 2010 at 6:20 pm: morgan

    Mad art skills Isa, i like the chocochips “e”. Thanks for helping Haitians out awesome vegans!

  • January 25, 2010 at 7:06 pm: Julie Hasson

    Love the design Isa! Don’t tell me you can sing too. That would just be too much talent.

    Hey, if you’ve got a stack of flyers, I’ll put some up at the cart.

  • January 25, 2010 at 7:43 pm: erin

    Dude! There’s one in Mpls? Who should I connect with?

  • January 26, 2010 at 12:38 pm: Amey

    Great sign, Isa, I love it!
    It’s so exciting to see all the vegan bakers uniting like this. It’s an untapped resource that we could rally for other causes too.

    I found Facebook to be invaluable for promoting our event. We made an event page, and then each of our bakers posted it, invited people, and the word really spread. Also, we did a little flyering, emailed our own email lists… and we got a little blurb in the local paper – which brought in a lot of people and many vegans we’d never met before, which was really cool. To do that, I just called the reporter in charge of Food and the reported in charge of Local Events, left a quick & clear message, and got a call back for details!

    We did everything by donation, which was a great idea from the boards. Next time I will cut my brownies a little smaller though, because we ran out after 4 hours, even though we had TONS of stuff. I mostly tried to maximize my hours-in-kitchen:goodies produced ratio , so nothing too complicated. The cinnamon rolls were the first to sell out, followed quickly by lemon bars. We tried to have a variety of chocolate, non-chocolate, fruity, spice-y, etc flavors. Also we had some Gluten-free, some soy-free, some nut-free, for the whole gamut of needs.

    In all we raised $1869.58 for Partners in Health!


  • January 26, 2010 at 2:25 pm: IsaChandra

    Amey, you are so amazing always!

    Erin, check the thread below this one for Mpls bake sale info.

  • January 28, 2010 at 1:33 am: xBEEPSx

    Here is the Winnipeg one that I am putting together.

    http://xbeepsx.blogspot.com/2010/01/come-one-come-all.html (view poster)

  • January 29, 2010 at 2:00 am: Jade

    So awesome!!! Im so greatful for all the links and info Isa, youve been such an awesome resource!

    The Dallas sale is on Saturday!!!


  • January 30, 2010 at 7:04 pm: Jen

    Pictures of Haiti bake sale part one in Doylestown


  • January 30, 2010 at 7:12 pm: Jen

    Pictures of Haiti bake sale part deux in Doylestown-we donated $1600 to Partners in Health.


  • January 31, 2010 at 11:07 am: Stephanie

    Tips/possible Milwaukeean idiosyncrasies:
    + SET UP EARLY. I got there 15 minutes before the sale was supposed to start and there were people waiting.
    + Facebook was crucial. I don’t have a social networking presence of any kind, but one of my awesome volunteers (go Kelly!) took the ball and ran with it. I’m sure this contributed to our stellar turnout.
    + Give your local paper a heads-up! Somehow, the Journal-Sentinel found out about the sale and gave us a little blurb in their weekend “to-do” section; a LOT of people who would’ve never driven out of their way to a vegan bake sale came out because of that.
    + Be prepared to turn down checks and credit. Yes, people tried to pay a few bucks at a bake sale with both of those things. I didn’t feel comfortable for taking on the liability of having people make their checks out to me personally, let alone serving as a stamp-and-envelope-providing mailing center for Red Cross.. YMMV.
    + Be prepared to deal with requests for tax receipts; people also asked for those, in order to have their $1-2 count as a charitable donation on next year’s tax return. As the one-woman organizer, I certainly hadn’t expected it, and definitely had no idea what tax codes are to that end. One woman insisted that all I had to do was pencil down how much she paid on a slip of paper, so I did, though I doubt that’s legal. Still: ???
    + People really love cupcakes. The cupcakes at our sale went: 1, 2, “I’ll just buy this entire pan!”
    + Chocolate-covered strawberries (I just melted/dipped ’em in Ghirardelli semi-sweet chips) were easy and popular. Tough cleanup without a dishwasher, though.
    + Have some gluten-free stuff (all praise be to Erin)! I made a giant list of everything we had with all the allergy information and ingredients, but not a single person looked at anything allergy-related other than the GF tag.

    We raised $820 total. My company is matching the donation, so $1,640 will be going to Red Cross in Haiti from our vegan bake sale. Thanks SO MUCH for the inspiration, Isa! Good luck to all the bakers who haven’t had their sale yet!

  • January 31, 2010 at 11:48 am: Judith Lautner

    The Central Coast Vegetarian Network in San Luis Obispo and upper Santa Barbara counties, CA held their bake sale in front of Vons Grocery in San Luis Obispo. In four hours we raised $258.76 for Partners in Health, Haiti.

    One tip we got from the Vegas Veg group: ask for donations instead of telling people specific prices. People gave generously, and the few who couldn’t were still able to walk away with great vegan baked goods and a sense of pride in their contribution.

    We didn’t do as much advertising as we could have and did not necessarily choose the busiest location but we wanted to get it happening quickly, while people were still thinking about Haiti. You can see a pic of our table at http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/2DHRqANC_2XSSWAXJdA5ww?feat=directlink

  • February 25, 2010 at 12:32 pm: MJ

    I have raised 200 by doing a bakesale at my office. Today we have dark chocolate and orange scones. It’s snowing gangbusters in NYC, so the scones are selling like, well, hotcakes. Thanks again for all your recipes, which I find to be amongst the most reliable vegan ones out there (Babycakes’ book SUCKS in comparison, too tricked out with space-age ingreedients). You, however, rule supreme.

  • April 9, 2010 at 9:31 am: SmegFridge.biz

    Well done on some good work!