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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Bakers
Read through our frequently asked questions for bakers (FAQs Bakers) to learn answers about who we serve as well as cake types, sizes, and designs. We appreciate that a significant amount of time and expense is involved in creating custom cakes and want to make the process as easy as possible.
How do I become a baking partner?
It only requires a love of baking and a passion for our kids. Simply fill out the volunteer application, and we will include you in our database. In order to get on our baker list, you will need to provide us with pictures of your work or a link to an on-line photo gallery.
How do you determine who you serve?
We serve all qualified medical children suffering from a life -threatening medical condition that is considered progressive, degenerative, or malignant and are within two years of their most recent inpatient stay. We will serve the medical child and their sibling provided that the request is made before their 19th birthday.
Why do we serve siblings?
We feel strongly that siblings are the unsung heroes in these families. They consistently put their own lives on hold and sacrifice the attention of their parents while their families are helping the medical child.
How much notice do you provide?
We try to schedule our cakes as far in advance as possible and can sometimes can call on bakers as early as three months in advance. Icing Smiles requires a four week notice on all applications. However, if a medical child is terminal or hospitalized on their birthday, we allow an exception and instead only require one-week notice from our families. There may be times when we can provide only a few days’ notice when a baker has to cancel at the last minute. In these cases, we often contact multiple bakers at once to increase the likelihood that someone will be available to accept the request.
Can I turn down a “call to action”?
You will never be obligated to accept a call to action. We have a large network of partners and simply ask that you reply to your call as quickly as possible, so that we can have the best chance of finding another partner to create the cake should you be unable to do so.
What should I do if a family contacts me directly to request a cake donation?
If a family contacts you directly, please refer them to our website to submit an application. It is important that all cakes come through our organization so that you are protected with liability insurance, so that you may receive tax documentation for your donation, so that you may receive reimbursement for cakes donated in excess of two per year, and so that we can recognize you as a Sugar Angel.
What is the difference between a “dream” cake and a “fun” cake?
We offer 2 types of cakes for our families: “dream” cakes and “fun” cakes. Dream cakes are tiered, 3-dimensional or carved. They require significant labor hours, and each child is currently allowed one under our program. Fun cakes do not have those elements and can be used by the family for other events. They provide us with an opportunity to utilize more of our hobby bakers or relieve the pressure on our professional bakers who have less time. These cakes are just as important to our mission.
What should I expect on the delivery?
The reward for our baking partners is the reaction of the child when they see the cake. Unfortunately, this may not always be the experience you imagine. Should you not receive an enthusiastic response, please understand that it is not a reflection on your cake, but may be related to how the child is feeling or news that they received from a doctor. On the other hand, many of our kids undergo treatment for extended periods, so the family often requests a cake between rounds of treatment when the child is feeling well. Should the child be playing and running around, do not feel that they are less deserving. These moments are often few and far between for medical families, and they should be treasured. Regardless of the circumstances, you are Baking a Difference, and the impact of your kindness may never be known.
How do we determine which baker is contacted?
There are multiple factors involved in deciding which baker receives a “call to action.” The factors include, but are not limited to the following:
-Proximity to the family
-State laws regarding licensing
-Type of event
-Quality of work
-Date the partner signed on
-Number of cakes previously donated
How quickly do I need to respond to a request?
Until we are able to increase our notification time, we would like a response 24-48 hours after receiving the request. This gives us the best chance of finding another baker if you are unable to donate a cake. In cases where we have less then a month’s notice, we may send out up to 3 requests at a time and the first baker to respond will be offered the opportunity to provide the cake.
Do I need to bake in a licensed kitchen?
Most states do not require a licensed kitchen for food donations through a nonprofit. The administrative team will determine the laws for each state. If you are not a licensed baker, we require that you appropriately label your cake.
Am I covered by insurance?
Most states have laws that indemnify donors of prepared foods provided that they donate to a nonprofit organization. However, to ensure complete protection for our baking partners, we carry liability insurance.
What size does the cake need to be?
At Icing Smiles we only guarantee a cake with a maximum of 40 servings.
How do we decide on the design?
While the theme is determined by the family, the design is determined by the baker. For dream cakes, the only request we make is that you include a “wow” factor in the cake and try to avoid sheet cakes unless requested by the family. If you keep in mind that our mission is to provide an escape and to help the family focus on something besides the medical world for a short period of time, it will be easier to decide on a design. We advise our bakers not to accept pictures of cakes as examples. We feel that this puts undue pressure on you and sets the family up for disappointment if the cake is not exactly like the example.
What about dietary restrictions?
We request that the family list dietary restrictions for the child on the application. Please notify the administrative team immediately if you cannot satisfy their requirements. We will either identify another baker or ask the family to provide a dessert that can be enjoyed by the child.
Do I have to deliver the cake?
We ask the family to pick up the cake at a time that is agreed upon between you and the family. There are however, exceptions: if the medical child is hospitalized on their birthday or is considered terminal. If you are unable to provide delivery in this situation, we will do our best to find a volunteer to handle the delivery.
What do I do if the family offers me money for the cake?
We recommend that the family make donations directly to Icing Smiles so that they receive the benefit of the tax deduction and to ensure equity among our baking partners and administrative volunteers. We are all donating our time. While our baking partners are asked to donate supplies, many of our administrative volunteers are covering corporate costs. If donations begin to exceed our costs, we will then increase our reimbursement policy (see below).
How does Icing Smiles promote their partners?
Each week, we highlight several cakes from across the country on social media. If we post a photo of a cake you have created, we will credit the cake with your name, company name (if applicable), and website or Facebook page (if applicable). Our social media outlets include Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram and can be accessed from the header section of any page of our website.
Do I get reimbursed for my costs?
We ask that the first cake in the calendar year be fully donated by the baker. For all remaining cakes, we will offer reimbursement at a flat rate of $25 per cake.
Is my donation tax deductible?
Under IRS rules, your time is not deductible. However, if you are not reimbursed, all supplies and mileage are tax deductible. If you own a retail bakery, you may be able to deduct up to two times the cost of your supplies under IRS rules. The “extra” deduction is to help businesses donate appreciated inventory at a fair value since labor is not deductible. Please contact your accountant for information on how these rules apply to you.