Updated: Oct 22, 2021
Written by: Asmi Palakodeti
Shefaali Mahendar, Jasmine Nguyen, and Shruthi Kethamakka hosted a Cupcake Sale to raise money for Note in the Pocket. Note in the Pocket (NITP), is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing clothing to impoverished and homeless students in Wake County. This message spoke strongly to the trio--especially to Nguyen, a member of the NITP teen board--and they figured what better way to support NITP than to mix their passion for baking with community service? With their inventive flavors (especially the favored apple pie), Mahendar, Nguyen, and Kethamakka managed to raise an astounding $220.72!
So what pushed them to host this sale? For Mahendar, quarantine gave her a lot of free time to browse baking videos. While doing so, an idea sparked in her head; she could combine her passion for baking with community service to create appetizing, colorful cupcakes. For Nguyen, her cousins’ cupcake business, District Cupcake, taught her how to market and create beautiful cupcakes. She decided to incorporate these talents into the bake sale, especially because it was supporting NITP, an organization very dear to her heart as a member of the teen board, and by having a friend affected by its mission. For Kethamakka, quarantine entailed lots of baking, and she discovered she loved it. As a result, she decided to utilize this passion to support an amazing organization like NITP.
Mahendar, Nguyen, and Kethamakka used social media to promote their bake sale. The group created a flyer advertising the bake sale and posted it on applications such as Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and Nextdoor. Nguyen and Kethamakka also attempted to diversify their audience by reaching out to their church youth group and by personally reaching out to people, respectively.
The group agreed that the cupcake-making process was very organized and relaxed, allowing them flexibility and comfort. With regards to the actual process, Mahendar first experimented by making a variety of flavors and gave them to her friends to taste and give feedback on. True to their word, her friends deemed the apple pie flavor to be the best tasting. Encouraged by this, Mahendar began her baking process. She baked the cupcakes the day before they would be sold and stored them in the fridge. Finally, she created the apple pie filling and placed it inside the cupcakes.
Obstacles and Tips
The group remarked that their greatest obstacle was choosing which promotion method was most effective. For some promotion methods, the interaction was greater than the others. They recommend reaching out to people considerably, being personal when promoting (cold calling, individually texting, etc), and using social media platforms to promote.
Mahendar, Nguyen, and Kethamakka were able to implement their passion for baking in order to benefit the community. If their project has inspired you to start a fundraiser of your own, reach out to General Services Foundation! The general services board is always available to assist you with starting your own service project!