The general idea behind a bake sale is thus: You have an organization or group that wants to raise money. Rally some members or sympathizers and get each of them to donate a batch of some baked good. Typical fare includes cookies and cupcakes, but can vary with the creativity of the group.

Then, you find yourself a table in a prominent location--a building entrance or busy hallway. Set up the goodies and sell them to passers by.

The bake sale is a good way for a small group to raise some money. The cost is a minimal monetary outlay by the members and a little time. The return varies, but it's pretty easy to make one or two hundred dollars, depending on the sweet tooths of the passers-by.

A tip for those organizing a bake sale: forget about putting prices on items. Sell everything "by donation". Most people will pay a little more than the price you probably would have put on the items. Some generous souls will think of it as a donation to your wonderful cause and give you much more. "By donation" bake sales make a lot more than ones with prices, in my experience. You might reconsider if you're targetting a particularly cheap group. :-)

As far as I'm concerned, the big benefit is that you're providing something useful. Sure, some will complain about their waistline, but who doesn't want a cupcake to top off their lunch? This is contrast to the fund raising schemes that involve selling crappy "chocolate" for $5 a box or ugly nick-knacks. Nobody wants that crap, they're just buying it because they feel guilty. On top of that, the company that organizes the whole thing for you takes most of the profit, leaving the group doing the work with a shockingly thin cut.

So, go have a bake sale. Preferably near my office, because there aren't nearly enough here. :-)