The AAT Xmas bake A Christmas “Afternoon Tea for the AAT” event or a bake sale is a great way to raise funds and awareness for the charity this festive period. It’s also a lovely way to spend time with family, friends, colleagues and the wider local community. Please read on for some handy tips to help you pull off a successful AAT Xmas Bake Sale! Planning your event You can request from the AAT some Gift Aid forms, social media banners, branding material, such as the AAT logo, leaflets and/ or postcards about aplastic anaemia and the charity. Please get in touch on [email protected]. You can download a customizable event poster to use at your event here. Promoting the bake Promoting the event should start with people you know who will support you and attend. Friends and family members can display posters in their workplaces/schools etc, as can you as the event organiser! Then social media works wonders - you can set up a Facebook event with all the relevant details and invite people to that, display the poster on your feed from time to time (and vary the days/times to maximise who sees it), and ask other people to do the same. Depending on the scale of your event, you could even advertise in local newspapers, small local magazines that advertise local events, or even pubs and fish and chip shops have been known to help advertise. Equally, simply getting people you know to invite their own friends / family / colleagues is simple and effective. Venue Deciding on a date, time and venue are important first steps. Your venue could be your home, a local community centre or a village hall, your work place or school. It’s obviously worth trying to find somewhere for free, so do use friends and family contacts to see what you can find. Support Ask friends, family or work colleagues if they can bake cakes for you or help you on the day making teas and coffees. Decorate Decorating your venue is important, especially if you’re holding your event somewhere plain. Red and white tablecloths work well for symbolising blood, and just make it seem a bit nicer. Adding some glitter or sprinkling with the AA pins/badges/ribbons is nice too. Starting your event Start your bake event with a little introduction to why everyone is there and what the purpose of the evening is – explain the charity for anyone who doesn’t know, and where the money goes. Having a video or a presentation with photos and/or patient stories is really effective, and just reminds people that they are there to raise money for a fantastic cause. You can download the presentation here. Additional ideas As well as selling cakes why not hold a raffle and a competition for prize baker or a cake quiz?! Raffle If you can, it’s great to hold a raffle to raise some extra money. £1 for a strip of tickets makes people feel they’ve got a lot for their money and is a nice way to end the event: For prizes, contact local companies to see if they can donate anything – they will like the publicity! Please get in touch with the AAT for a letter if needed as proof you’re doing this for charity. Getting vouchers from pubs and restaurants and donations from shops is usually quite easy. If you get anything that you think is too expensive for a raffle prize, you can hold a silent auction, getting people to put their bids of how much they would pay for it into envelopes, and the highest bidder wins. Then you can just ask around for any unwanted birthday or last year's Christmas presents that people could donate, and even people bringing things on the night is fine. Other than that, Poundland is a good source of fun and easy prizes! Donation tins You can get some old jars or money boxes (Poundland is wonderful for this) and turn them into donation tins for your cake display table(s). You can stick the AAT logo on them to remind people of the cause. You’d be surprised at how much ends up in them! Selling merchandise if you want to, you could buy some merchandise from the AAT (if you’re happy to spend and get your money back from it) and sell on the night or have posters advertising what the charity sells. You could sell Xmas cards, trolley coin key rings, ribbons and wrist bands. Every little does help! Enjoy the fruits of your labour, eat lots of cake and share lots of pictures on the AAT's social media channels!