RSP­CA New South Wales: cup­cake day

Exhibited by
RSPCA NSW (Australia).
August 31, 2009
Medium of Communication
Face to face, online
Target Audience
Single gift
Type of Charity
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance
August, 2008

SOFII’s view

Here’s a simple idea that really seems to have struck a cord with supporters, so their enthusiasm and willingness to get involved has made it a huge publicity attraction as well as a fundraising money-spinner. The brilliant thing about this idea is that the supporters do most of the work and they have a great time too.

Creator / originator

RSPCA NSW created the event. The marketing materials were prepared by a graphic design house, following RSPCA’s brief.

Summary / objectives

Cupcake day for the RSPCA was a fundraising day. We encouraged supporters to register to become a RSPCA cupcake cook, then bake cupcakes and sell them to friends, family and colleagues and send the money to us.


Many charities in Australia have fundraising days. The RSPCA has an event called ‘million paws walk’, when people register to walk their dogs. This event has very high infrastructure costs so we wanted to find an event that would cost little to put on and that could be coordinated by our supporters. We supplied the advertising materials.

Special characteristics

The campaign included sponsorship from a national weekly magazine, TV placements, a website,, and a mechanism to generate an online community – through uploading pictures of supporters’ cupcakes and stories to the site.

Influence / impact

Who would have thought that a humble cupcake could change lives? Our supporters got behind this initiative. We had anticipated that most participants would be schoolchildren. We were wrong – 60 per cent of the participants were from the business and corporate sector. Because we had no way of measuring its uptake we promote it as strongly as we might have done with this event. But we have learned for next time.


Initial set-up costs (event identity, marketing materials and website development) – AUS $26,908.58; these costs will not be incurred again. Printing and postage nationally - $32,720.27. Total event costs nationally – $59,628.85.


Total income nationally - $309,353.01.


This was a simple idea, simply executed that resonated with its multiple audiences. It was a great testament to the power of a supporter to run a campaign on a charity’s behalf. And it was a lot of fun. Also the outlay in terms of costs, planning and preparation was minimal and the return was overwhelming.

Other relevant information

We have made cupcake day for the RSPCA an annual event.

Good enough to eat. There are 47 pages of cupcakes on RSPCA’s site, all of them just as delicious-looking as these – definitely for diets starting tomorrow! Click on the image to visit their site.