Why is the infernal cake stall business the job of MUMS?!

(59 Posts)
Chandon Wed 26-Jun-13 11:36:01

So, in our school y6 mums traditionally run a cake stall every single week for the last term, to raise money for the Y6 day out/celebration.

So.....we started getting organised. Interestingly, most mums in this particular year work, and just do not have the time ( or energy or inclination) to bake and sell cakes every week, at 20p each, so a lot of cakes need to be sold to reach our target.

Some working mums wanted to know if we could maybe just all contribute £40 and be done with it.

I have been thinking why I feel pissed off about the whole set-up, and I think it is the fact that t is not the PARENTS job to fundraise, it is the MUMS' job.

Considering the fact most mums this year work ( and even if they did not!) AIBU to feel angry that it is the women's job to fundraise through a ridiculously unprofitable and interminable cake baking project. WTF? is this the modern world or what?

Or should I just suck it up for the sake of "tradition" and don my apron and bake loads of cakes? I feel really annoyed, nobody expects any of the DADS to give up their time for this pointless exercise.

MalcolmTuckersMum Wed 26-Jun-13 11:53:54

Well Chandon - when we reached that stage - and most PTAs do - we had a radical re-think and presented the school and parents with the option to change or sink. They gave us a chance and we trebled the income in just one term. It can be done - but you do have to go in in a 'don't fuck with me' grin kind of a way.

happyyonisleepyyoni Wed 26-Jun-13 11:55:21

Yes, don't ever waste your time and money on expensive ingredients, if these are for the kids to buy they are just a vehicle for icing and sprinkles. IME the ones that sell fastest are topped with dolly mixtures or other sweets.

how about "Ice Cream Fridays" if you can get hold of a freezer, buy a load of lollies in amultipacks from the supermarket and sell them at £1 eachin the playground after school. We've made an absolute fortune doing that for our PTA.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 26-Jun-13 12:01:23

Why do you let the school dictate to you? If fundraising IS the job of the parents - and I don't actually believe it to be so - then it needs to be viable. Otherwise just call it a 'fannying around waste of time and money' event and don't dress it up as 'fundraising' because it patently isn't.

Everybody's time is precious and at least covering costs plus a reasonable 'profit' is needed. Otherwise, bung them the cash you would have spent and tell them why.

I really do think that lots of 'mums' like to complain but would be heartbroken if they were taken 'out of the loop'. Sorry to say it but I think men would really think about what the output is supposed to be and work towards that as the goal. Probably many women would too but for some reason... they do this; ineffective and pointless really.

curlew Wed 26-Jun-13 12:01:48

Why do you charge 20p for a cake?

We charge 60p for a big decorated cupcake, 40p for a small one and 30p for home made biscuits. It's a big primary school in a very disadvantaged area. We make about £60-80 profit per cake stall. (Well, almost profit- people put in receipts for ingredients, but not for time- they donate that)

And as for why it's mothers- you tell me. All our publicity and so on talks about parents, never just mothers- but it's overwhelmingly women who do stuff.

But sort out your pricing!

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 26-Jun-13 12:02:07

What Malcolm said - your time, your rules.

freddiefrog Wed 26-Jun-13 12:13:42

We've tried several times to overhaul our PTA fundraising events. Some of it has worked and been really successful, but they still insist on the bloomin' cakebakes. We've shown time and time again that they're not effective ways of raising money, and over time cake donations have dwindled to almost nothing as parents are getting annoyed with making cakes that are then sold for next to nothing

We've tried suggesting all sorts of ways to make them more profitable - selling drinks and providing tables so it's a more social/afternoon tea sort of event, presenting plates of mixed cakes for a couple of quid, anything really, but it all falls of deaf ears

Our head has recently changed the way the PTA works as she was fed up with all the back stabbing, bitching and arguing. We now make suggestions and ideas for events, and we organise ourself into smaller groups and run with them. The cakebake stalwarts do their thing, and others do their thing. It works really well now, we don't have to argue our ideas with the PTA chair anymore

kim147 Wed 26-Jun-13 12:17:01

Best thing we did was a talent night with "unusual" voting.

The public vote was based on how much money the children got in their box. So each child was sat on the stage with a bucket - some rich parents put a lot of money in so their child won.

I was a teacher so had no idea this was the plan.

Fillybuster Wed 26-Jun-13 12:23:29

I have sympathy....had a similar rant at DH last night about our school 'fun day' (hah!) this weekend. Each class has a stall, and then the PTA (or PITA a I like to think of them) reps from each class set up a rota for the mums to sign up to for 30 mins each. So (in theory) I'm down for 90 minutes of stall-running, solid, on Sunday afternoon, whilst dh mooches about with our dcs who neither of us get to see all week....angry

Admittedly, there's not many ftw mothers in the school but that isn't the point!! Why can't dh serve candyfloss or manage the guess how many sweets in the jar competitions?

(By the way, he will be covering at least one stand, obviously...and possibly the only father in the place to do so....)

SoftlySoftly Wed 26-Jun-13 12:24:03

Because dads and mums like me are too sensible?

They'd ask how much the trip is, divide cost by parents, ask for cash.

Job done and a huge sigh of relief from most normal people!

If all these hard-working professional men and women floated the idea at work of selling a product for 20p that cost 25p to make they'd be laughed out of a job.

Right now, taking MTM's figures as typical, you are taking the available cash to pay for a Y6 day out (£3 spent on making cakes per Y6 family per week) and throwing away 20% of it (given that those cakes will then be sold for only £2.40). I suppose that's fine if you don't actually like your Y6 kids very much or you are worried that they'll get spoiled if they actually have a nice day out, but otherwise it's just irrational. You need either to actually increase the amount of available cash through the medium of baking (i.e. put the prices up) or just collect the money directly and immediately have 25% more money to spend on the day out.

You've got (probably) a huge range of solid commercial/business experience across the assorted Y6 parents; you can't possibly be the only one who sees that this is madness. Make a stand!

BackforGood Wed 26-Jun-13 12:28:01

I don't understand why it isn't the Yr6s who are making the cakes, and manning the stall ? confused

Ilisten2theradio Wed 26-Jun-13 12:31:21

One of the biggest fundraisers in DD'[s school was a clothes swap evening.
Clothes were donated beforehand.
Some parents were persuaded to be models for some of them - Catwalk type of thing, and then people mooched through the rails, tried on in the toilets, and paid a small amount for anything they wanted.
There was a paid bar which made quite a lot and snacks too.

MummyPig24 Wed 26-Jun-13 12:31:30

I have made some brownies and fairy cakes for the cake stall at sports day tomorrow. To be sold at 20p each. I like baking stuff for us to enjoy but I don't particularly like doing it so they can sell them.

I'm a sahm so I suppose I apparently have time, it's not how I would choose to spend it though!

kim147 Wed 26-Jun-13 12:31:56

Year 6 could do car washing, face painting, gardening - I have worked at schools where the year 6 have had to come up with plans to raise money.

MummyPig24 Wed 26-Jun-13 12:33:14

We also do 'Ice Cream Fridays'.

DontmindifIdo Wed 26-Jun-13 12:33:24

I'd bow out, just because you work parttime doesn't mean you can waste your time and money on something so stupid. So what if it's tradition, if noone is prepared to carry on the maddness of making cakes to sell at a loss when they are time poor, then the tradition will die on it's arse unless the teachers deciding you have to do it this way start baking themselves.

If it makes you feel any better, when you 'resign' from baking and organising duties, hand over £20, that's like giving them 100 cakes. If you rocked up with 100 cakes I bet no one would think you weren't doing enough.

Personally I agree it's unfortunate that it falls to mums, but that's because a) woman tend to be the ones who've either given up work or reduced their hours so have more time (you just have a year that hasn't quite so traditional) and b) men tend to not try to "do it all" so if they work full time they are quicker to say, "sorry, I don't have the time to help out with X at the school, but here's a fiver to the funds." - the working parent guilt of trying not to let having DCs effect work and not letting having a job effect anything child-related, does seem to be a more female problem.

But then, schools are a nightmare for this, in most primary schools the bulk of hte teaching staff are woman, and they aren't able to just have time off to go do things at their DCs schools, yet even though they are staffed by working woman, so many schools really don't seem to be able to comprehend that the mothers of the pupils might have similar time pressures to them.

HelgaHufflepuff Wed 26-Jun-13 12:33:57

Who said it has to be the mums? Has the school actually said it's the mums job, or is it just a case of dads not bothering to get involved?

CissyMeldrum Wed 26-Jun-13 12:38:01

The year 6's in our school, have a fayre with little stalls and this year there was no cake stall the children managed to raise £600 maybe you could get the year 6's involved they would have a lot of incentive to work hard and make lots of money.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 26-Jun-13 12:38:09

You need to raise prices.

We doubled our prices at the summer term cake sales this year and were sold out within minutes despite there being at least one plate of cakes from every child in the school.

We made a really decent amount of money.

TempusFuckit Wed 26-Jun-13 12:38:54

YANBU with the mums thing. Challenge it directly.

As to the silly cake prices issue, why not write "this cake cost £6.20 to make" on the top and see what it's priced at then?

TempusFuckit Wed 26-Jun-13 12:39:23

In icing of course!

kim147 Wed 26-Jun-13 12:42:50

Year 6's are very persuasive at getting people to buy things. In your face buy these cakes now kind of persuasive.

happyyonisleepyyoni Wed 26-Jun-13 12:47:07

DontmindifIdo has a good point.

Most staff in primary schools are women and many of them are mothers.

So why do schools seem to think that mums are all sat at home waiting for the next order to bake cakes etc?

Our head teacher is a case in point. She suggested that "mums" should all meet up for coffee after school drop off to discuss PTA stuff. Well thats the Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary out because we all have jobs!

insanityscratching Wed 26-Jun-13 13:21:12

Y6 are doing their own fundraising at dd's school.HT gave them £200 and they have used that in an enterprise project. Stalls have been running all week selling sweets (from pound shop bagged up in individuall portions) keyrings (made from Hama beads), trinket boxes (bought cheap and decorated) cocktails (value lemonade, fruit juice, food colouring etc) Biscuits (value, half coated in chocolate dipped in sprinkles) cakes (again value and decorated) Raffle (prize donated) Lucky dips (sweet and balloon). Past years have made £600 plus profits, they have sold out every day so far within half an hour so should do well again this year.

kim147 Wed 26-Jun-13 13:25:37

Reception class I worked in had the idea. We "made" biscuits - just like above. Coated in chocolate, decorated with sprinkles.

Job done.

Rice Krispie cakes.

Simple and cheap to make. And profitable. Alan Sugar would approve.

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