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Aug 16, 2008 09:41 AM

Lasagne Fundraiser

How much would you pay for a gourmet frozen lasagne (1 whole tray) that you could store in your freezer?
(for example: lasagne primavera with a light bechamel sauce, gorgonzola spinach and walnut lasagne, lasagne bolognese, etc.)
If you knew that the proceeds went to a very good non-profit that you supported?
Do you think that $25.00 is reasonable?

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    1. I think you'd sell more at $20 or maybe $19.95. How big is one tray?

      1. How big? Is the tray 9x11x3? How many layers? Ingredients sound good.
        What about a smaller size? 9x9 or 8x8? Might be a bit more manageable.

        Yes, advertise the cause and what it promotes, as well as how much
        of the lasagne price goes to the cause.

        Create a label for each flavor with the ingredients, thawing and re-heating
        instructions, both in the oven and microwave. Make sure the timing is correct
        -- number of minutes.

        Find out if the cost of the lasagne is tax-deductible (probably 50% of the purchase price), and provide a receipt that can go into the buyer's receipt file. This might be
        a tear off portion of the ingredients label.

        Investigate the cool cardboard pans as well as foil pans, in case thawing or cooking
        can or will take place in the microwave. There's a good link on CH about these.

        6 Replies
        1. re: maria lorraine

          Great ideas about the labeling.
          I am thinking that it would all be pre-order.
          It would be 9 x 11 x 3.
          I wouldn't make one unless somebody specifically ordered it.
          My idea is to take samples to work, and then when people want to order it, for a party, etc. they can let me know. I will leave the form in the lunchroom. I am going to look into the cardboard pans.

          1. re: jenniferdines

            You may want to figure out your cost of producing each tray of lasagne. If you spend $12 total on the ingredients plus the cooking pan for each tray, and sell each pan for $25, your donation will be $13 per tray -- or nearly the same cost as if you simply donated the money you'd spend on ingredients.

            I always applaud when someone wants to raise money for a cause, and I applaud your effort, so I'm not trying to criticize your efforts or your generosity.

            You may want to do just a little more thinking about how to serve your cause, and the best way to get the word out to a lot of people and raise a lot of money. In your greater community, is there another way to raise money, perhaps as part of a group that will reach many, many people and that might result in a larger donation? Is there a more cost-effective way to raise money than making lasagne? A dance, a party, a rummage sale, a book sale, a this or that? Think it through. If you decide to go ahead with the lasagne, please remember that any donation is always appreciated, however small.

            Sincere best wishes,

            1. re: maria lorraine

              Um ... hate to break it to you, sister, but ain't no law says the OP can't donate the cost of ingredients on top of the $13. In that case, the charity's getting twice as much as they would have if the OP simply donated the cost of ingredients straight up.

              1. re: mclaugh

                I'm certainly no tax expert! I rely on someone else for that knowledge!

                Since you know about these things, can you explain a bit more?

                Can jenniferdines, our OP, deduct the cost of her ingredients and tray pans on her taxes?

                Can she deduct the entire amount, or half, or what percentage? (I'm remembering 50% but I could be mistaken.)

                Can you do the math for us?

                What about those purchasing the lasagne, or any charity sale item?
                What percentage can they deduct? Is there a dollar limit? Also, are there only certain items that can be deducted?

                Glad to know you know about this stuff -- it will save time for the OP.

          2. re: maria lorraine

            You have to also consider all of the legal ramifications.

            Do you have a licensed commercial kitchen to produce the product? What are the rules in your municipality regarding products available for sale?

            Does your organization have liability insurance in case someone gets sick? Does your organization's liability insurance cover food related issues?

            1. re: jlawrence01

              good point jl! The cheesecake I mentioned was commercially made and packaged then sold as a fundrasier.

          3. If OP makes a dish that costs $12 and donates the dish to a charity they have a $12 donation. If someone buys it for $25 they have received something worth $12 and therefore have a $13 donation/deduction ($25 - $12). That's the theory.

            But they will probably write a check to XYZ charity for $25 and when they do their taxes will probably deduct $25. Sorry for being cynical but that is probably what will happen.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jfood

              Most charity events should provide an appropriate donation sheet pre-event, stating the deduction allowawble.

              When my son's school coordinated a cheesecake fundraiser the cakes sold for $25.00 a wheel, offered in 6 flavors, and $10.00 was the allowable deduction. The order form stated the cost, tax deduction, flavors, charitable purpose and contact person. The buyer kept the top portion (which served as their order form & tax receipt) and turned in the lower section of the form with payment. Very easy.

            2. there are some very interesting responses here, but it seems to me that the amount you are going to charge is directly proportionate to how connected the purchasers are to the fundraising cause. I have seen parents pay truly remarkable amounts for certain items at the school their child attends, and I have seen people bid truly pathetic amounts for items at charity auctions that they were more or less forced to attend for social/political reasons - even though it was for a good cause.