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I have my nose a little out of joint....

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
And I know I really have no right too feel this way....

I need some advice as to how I handle this situation. I'll try to keep this really brief and to the point - without leaving out the information you need.

Recently some friends of my husbands were in a terrible accident. There has been a great deal of hospital stays, rehab, physio and the like. I don't know this family really well but the husband, as I said is old friends with my husband. The accident was in January and the wife is now out of hospital and the extended family are now running a charity / benefit night to help cover the increasing rehabilitation costs. I put my hand up right away when they were asking for donations and suggested that I would be happy to offer up a cake / cupcakes / gift voucher as a donation. I got a response from the lady organising the benefit night and she told me she appreciated my donation and would be in touch once they had a date in place. This past weekend she emailed me again saying they had the date in place and would I still be interested in donating. I immediately replied and said of course, anything I can do to help out the family. Please keep in mind I'm doing this from the goodness of my heart, not to help get my name out there or to increase sales. Their story is incredibly sad and really moved me - and I thought this can be my litle contribution....

We've exchanged a few emails and had decided on what I would donate and all I had to do was forward my logo so she could include this on a flyer with other businesses that are donating there services. The majority of emails and conversatrions had taken place on Facebook. So imagine my surprise when I see a post on Facebook on Wednesday (last night) with this woman (who is organising the benefit night) giving a shout out of thanks and support to the benefit night - to my main competition in town! I was a little taken aback and surprised. Like I said, I know I should not have my nose out of joint about this but I kinda do. I feel that if Such and Such a Cakes (not their real name obviously!) are going to be the main supporter of the benefit night then I would prefer not to have my details listed also. I guess I don't want to be seen riding on their coat tails or trying to steal business from them. To me, I just feel a bit awkward about this now and I would like to write a lovely email to the benefit organiser suggesting that she only have one Such and Such a Cakes at the event and perhaps I can contribute to the family another way. My husband totally agrees with me on this and I had suggested to him that perhaps I can offer to do the family birthday cakes for this year (or next) (they have three young, beautiful children).

Am I making any sense here? We're from a small semi-rural community and it's only a small community gathering and I think having both us decorators there is a bit much. I also feel like she should have perhaps said something to me if Such and Such a Cakes had approached her about donating also. From my understanding of the post on facebook Such and Such a Cakes is having a display table at the benefit night with her cakes etc. There is already a lot of confusion between us (with people contacting me thinking they're contacting Such and Such a Cakes) and I don't want to add to it by us both being there....

Any ideas / suggestions would be much appreciated. Am I making a mountain out of a mole-hill... Should I just go along with my donation anyway? My main concern is that I don't want to be seen to be 'copying' her or trying to steal the lime light from Such and Such a Cakes. I would prefer to let her business have the night and as I said, I can contribute something personally to the family at a later time...

Much appreciated if you managed the whole novel!!
post #2 of 17
I actually think you may be ok by continuing your donation. If your donation is going to be something like a silent auction item then why not. I've been to fundraisers where numerous restaurants donate and I don't consider that copying or a coat tails issue. However, since you're concerned you may approach it to the organizer and ask them if the sponsoring bakery is ok with your donation if they are the main supporter and that may give you an easy out.

But honestly in a small community, I think it would be a bigger deal if you are not there than if you are there and do is another bakery.
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post #3 of 17
Stop thinking about yourself and worrying about yourself and go ahead and do what you said you would. If you are not at odd with your competition contact them and let them know that you are happy to be working with them and ask if you can find out what they are making so you can coordinate things together.
post #4 of 17
I understand your hesitation. I have had my nose similarly 'out out of joint' by charity organisers in my own town. I don't think the organiser realises she is creating an issue for you, but I agree that I would not want it to look like a p*ssing competition on a night when the focus is meant to be on benefitting the family.

Your heart however is in the right place. I would do as you feel you should do and make alternative arrangements.

As your husband is friends with the husband of the family involved, maybe he can make your offer of free birthday cakes for the kids for one year?

You can still be mentioned as a 'contributor' to the cause on any flyers/notices, but you won't be uncomfortable feeling as though you are "undermining" the opposition.

(I am assuming that the organisers originally wanted you both doing the same sort of display?)

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Life's too short to make cake pops.
___________________________________
www.sweetperfection.com.au

www.sweetperfectioncakes.blogspot.com.au/
www.facebook.com/sweetperfectioncakes (come visit sometime!)

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post #5 of 17
You are correct in your concern.

You started this thinking it would be a donation and soon it became a confusing situation.

I have mentioned before that there are three bakeries directly associated with my daughter's prep school. We all have different styles. I found out early that it was very confusing when more than one of us donated to an event. Even on the ones I did not cater, people would come up to me and ask me if the desserts were mine when the announcer clearly gave credit where it was due. So we have the confusion even when one donates to a certain event.

Although all of us have our niche market, I don't want to be confused with another baker and neither do they.

My suggestion at this point would be one of two things. Because it has now become confusing, bowing out and offering a monetary or cake gift would be fine. Explain the situation to the family and they will be very happy with your gift.

If the flyer has been printed or distributed, you may need to stick it out. I'm unclear because the post was long, but can you have a table at the event? If you can, have plenty of cards and give out samples or mini cupcakes, cookies, etc., anything that will wow the crowd with your great products. Make this an event that works for you. You could have a donation jar there asking for donations to the family for the free samples. Now your samples have a purpose... raising more money.

Make your table festive and a place where everyone wants to stop. Be friendly, tell people about your business, and offer to make an additional donation of a percentage of any orders from people at the event. They just need to mention it when ordering.

Put your heart and soul into not only the donation, but standing out in the crowd in a charitable way. It's your job to be memorable.

Yes, a month down the road, some people will get you two mixed up, but many will remember your contribution and your great desserts.
post #6 of 17
Just a thought.

The other business may have donated the food for the event itself--your donation may have been assigned to be auctioned off. That would explain them being named as a primary supporter of the event.

The sensible way to deal with multiple donations is to say so: "Items for auction donated by businesses X,Y,Z" and "Support for the event provided by businesses A,B,C" Those are two different things. If you donate for the benefit, your name should be identified somewhere.

The message that is sent by both local bakers being named on the list of donors is that the whole town is pulling together.

I don't think you should pull out of the event.
post #7 of 17
All I can say is that if you made a promise to do something to benefit a family in need, you must keep that promise. Meet the expectations that the organizer has for you. There will be many business' there that may compete with one another, but for one night they are all working for this family.
post #8 of 17
I think you should continue on with your donation with the spirit in which it was intended originally. This is not about business; this is about community.
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post #9 of 17
I agree with Barabarajean and karensjustdessert. If this were another type of event then business and competition and individual gain would be your concern but this is a community coming together to help a family in need. I'm sure there will be other "overlapping" businesses involved (and maybe even individuals) who don't associate with each other day to day.

Stay in the fund raiser.
post #10 of 17
I'd definitely stay in the event as it's for a very good cause.

I'd stay in the event because it appears that's its been advertised that you'll be in the event.

And I'd make my display so totally kick-ass memorable that there'd be no more confusion between the two businesses.
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post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

I'd definitely stay in the event as it's for a very good cause.

I'd stay in the event because it appears that's its been advertised that you'll be in the event.

And I'd make my display so totally kick-ass memorable that there'd be no more confusion between the two businesses.



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post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

I'd definitely stay in the event as it's for a very good cause.

I'd stay in the event because it appears that's its been advertised that you'll be in the event.

And I'd make my display so totally kick-ass memorable that there'd be no more confusion between the two businesses.



^^^This. The only other thing I might do is get with the event organizer and see if you can find out what Such and Such a cakes is donating. then do something totally different.
post #13 of 17
Put yourself in their situation. If you asked someone for help with a charity matter and they came back to you and said that they are concerned because of business competition how would you feel? Charity and donations is not about drumming up business or getting accolades, it's about helping.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeordieMum



We're from a small semi-rural community and it's only a small community gathering and I think having both us decorators there is a bit much. I also feel like she should have perhaps said something to me if Such and Such a Cakes had approached her about donating also. From my understanding of the post on facebook Such and Such a Cakes is having a display table at the benefit night with her cakes etc. There is already a lot of confusion between us (with people contacting me thinking they're contacting Such and Such a Cakes) and I don't want to add to it by us both being there....




This, to me, is the key part of the whole situation. If it's a small town and there's already a lot of confusion between the two businesses then I think you should pull out and tell the organizer that you're contributing to the family directly. If they already printed up the flyers you'll have to go through with it, but just give them a certificate for a free cake or whatever, then let them do the silent auction.

For everyone who said that she should try to upstage the other baker, that isn't an appropriate time for that. The OP said that she didn't want this to end up being a competition, and it shouldn't be at a fundraiser of this type. Save that for a wedding show display.

For everyone who said that she shouldn't be thinking about business and just be thinking about the family, she obviosuly is, since she said that she would do the kids' birthday cakes. Honestly, a silent auction will bring in far less money for the famiy than the cost of three birthday cakes, so giving them those as a gift will probably be a more valuable donation.
post #15 of 17
I think you should go ahead with what you promised. You don't have to produce a product for the night, you could offer a voucher that could be auctioned off.

If you think YOUR nose is out of joint, think of how the family would feel if they heard you pulled out to help them because of another caker being involved. I'm sure there are more than one of most types of businesses that offer help to any one event
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