“Bake for a Cause” (BFAC) is the largest annual event in Denmark and Finland – spearheaded by Havas Denmark’s Lars Møller – that inspires children to bake and sell food, with proceeds going to a charitable cause. Hear more from Lars about the 15+ year tradition in Dare!.
Can you talk to us about how Bake for a Cause started?
BFAC started in 2005. At the time I had a client selling baking ingredients, and they were struggling with decreasing turnover and a drop in market share in the Nordic countries. Their marketing emphasised the product and the prize – and in the process we realised that we had to make a change in their communication towards consumers.
We wanted to create a meaningful communication platform with events and activities that focused directly at getting “fingers in the dough” – creating valuable moments in Danish families, as well as selling bakery products. Children became our inspiration, because they love to bake, and baking is meaningful for children as well as grown-ups. At the same time, we realised we could improve children’s knowledge about baking and cooking, kitchen hygiene and how to use kitchen tools.
By connecting that activity with the idea that children should bake, and to help other children in need at the same time, we made baking a very meaningful activity. Hence the name “Bake for a Cause”. Now, we are more than a little proud to say that we have worked with meaningful content since 2005.
How has the initiative grown over the years?
Since its beginning in 2005, BFAC has grown every year. Today, BFAC has become Denmark’s largest annual event. From the beginning, the project involved schools, kindergartens, and day care facilities, but today we also see families, sports clubs, organisations, and companies participating and baking for a good cause. About 25% of all Danish schools and kindergartens participate and we have baking events in almost 500 Danish cities.
What’s been the most meaningful part of this experience for you?
It has been a pleasure to see the commitment of so many children to help other children. And we should not forget the enthusiastic parents, grandparents, and teachers in Denmark – and now in the other Nordic countries – who support BFAC. To see the joy and pride children have in helping and supporting other children makes me very proud.
It also means that the creativity, when it comes to selling cookies, cakes, and bread, is amazing – and through our website and social media channels all participants can find and download inspirational material as well as recipes.
The most concrete example of the meaningfulness I mentioned, is that the project has made a HUGE difference, for children in Denmark. During the 15 years BFAC supported the Children’s Helpline in Denmark we increased the visibility and awareness for the helpline massively. Before we started in 2005, about 20% of all Danish children knew about the helpline. 15 years later an incredible 90% of all children know about the helpline, and how to contact it. Furthermore, the income from Bake for a Cause covers 20% of the total costs running the Children’s Helpline.
What impact do you think initiatives like this have on the next generation?
Through BFAC children learn and understand that not every child is born under a lucky star. That is a very important lesson in every society, and it strengthens the bonds that children have.
At the same time, we create awareness about baking, and all the wonderful moments children and grown-ups create when they bake, participate and sell their products. And for producers of baking ingredients, it offers them a huge opportunity to reach out to many potential customers, whom they would otherwise have difficulty reaching.
We teach everyone to turn off their cell phone, PC, TV, etc. and create valuable moments with our children, and that is the best lesson in all of this.
If you could bake anything as part of BFAC, what would you make?
Jonas Vingegaard from Denmark just won the Tour de France, the world’s largest and most challenging bike race. His mother-in-law, Rosa Kildahl, is a well-known and very loved master baker, and she has become one of our very visible ambassadors of Bake for a Cause – a fact that we are proud of. So, Jonas’ favourite cake is the carrot cake that she bakes, so I would like to try to create that cake from her recipe.