Cakers for a Cause

Have you noticed how popular cake collaborations have become? More and more of them are organized not just to showcase works of sugar art, but to raise money for worthy causes. Zawadi Parizek is a collaboration veteran and accomplished sugar artist. She shares with us what she’s learned about how to organize a cake collaboration and how you can get involved too.

Cake collaborations have become part of our everyday vocabulary, often revolving around a particular theme. With one or two being revealed every week, the sugar community has come together in celebration of movies, holidays, and world events.

Of special interest these days are the charity collaborations that not only bring us together as Artists but give our collaboration a specific purpose and voice. Finding time to volunteer on a regular basis is hard with taking care of families and work. Often charity collaborations are the perfect combination of creative freedom while giving us the opportunity to bring awareness to the causes we believe in. We can donate our time and materials to create heartfelt showpieces and then share them on social media with the support of an established community without leaving home. We often spend months, if not well over a year, in private groups getting to know each other and learning about our chosen cause.

Here is a round-up of some forthcoming collaborations for a cause:

Too Beautiful for Earth hosted by Bobbie-Anne Wright of For Heaven’s Cake by Bobbie Anne is a fundraising event for Sands – Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity during Baby Loss Awareness Week, Oct 9th -15th. Sands provides emotional support and information to anyone who has been affected by the death of a baby before, during or shortly after birth.

Anya’s Stargazers hosted by Vicki du Plessis of Tiki’s Bakehouse is a Fundraising Event for Anya Waugh-Wheelchair Racer to celebrate Anya’s 12th Birthday in February 2017. Anya is a determined youth who is woking to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. She loves the band One Direction and anything with Leopard print! This event is to bring awareness to Spina Bifida and help pay for an Olympic-quality racing wheelchair.

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“Look at the stars, not your feet.” – Anya Waugh

Never Give Up hosted by United Nations of Sugar Art and Depressed Cake Shop is a fundraising event taking place for World Mental Health Day Oct 10th, 2017. Understanding, diagnosing, supporting and ending stigma for those with any form of mental Illness is the goal of this future collaboration.

As with any volunteering, finding opportunities can be a daunting task and does take a bit of research. A lot of times charity collaborations become annual events or the people organizing them find other charities to raise awareness for. If you want to become involved, find out who hosted a previous charity event that you connected with and privately message them for more information. Private groups on Facebook are also a great place to get connected. Make a general post stating that you are interested in joining a charity collaboration with the link to your page, if people are looking for members they will find you!

Organizing a collaboration is a lot of work and a charity collaboration is even more work. It carries with it the added pressure of properly researching and representing the chosen charity. For those participating, as well as those donating, they need to feel confident that their time is honored and donations will get to where you are promising they will go.

So, first find a cause and research it, educate yourself on the cause and the organization and most importantly, make sure you feel as strongly about the cause as you want others to feel. It doesn’t hurt to contact the chosen charity as well–they may help you promote your event.

Pick a reveal date, decide how many members you want and make the pitch to your sugar friends. Give them the Why, Theme and When of your collaboration. The more organized your thoughts are the more likely they will trust you to do a great job and join you.

Be ready to dedicate a decent amount of time to your collaboration. Look at it as an actual event that you will have guests show up to. You wouldn’t have your guests show up to a dirty house! You are representing your members and a reputable charity to thousands of people on social media. If you need help, ask for it, even if it’s just to ask for advice from a peer who you know has had a successful collaboration.

Have a way to collect donations. Decide if you want to sell t-shirts, create a digital magazine, run a GoFundMe campaign or have people donate directly to to your charity’s website. Each option has it’s pros and cons that you just need to decide will best work for your event.

Set an end date for collecting donations and provide feedback. Again, it’s about trust and showing that you have done what you promised to do. If you take possession of any money, even if it’s to transfer it to your charity you need to hold on all transactions, I take screenshots of everything!

Finally, thank your members. You may have done a ton of work, but you chose to. This is volunteering for them and they’ve had to purchase their own materials to participate. Gratitude will go a long way with your sugar friends.

Three years ago I never would have imagined I would be part of this amazing Sugar Community. In that time, I have found that we are intelligent, all heart, and kind artists who love hugs. We may be spread out all over this planet, but what a better way to to bring us together AND reach everyone, everywhere, as we unite in common goals.

On the ground volunteering can not be replaced and is a much needed service that I encourage everyone to do when you can.

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