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Do You Know a Food or Water Charity That Could Use $4000? – Introducing Cupcake Project 4.0

Home  »  Recipes  »  Uncategorized  »  Do You Know a Food or Water Charity That Could Use $4000? – Introducing Cupcake Project 4.0

Cupcake Projects 1, 2, and 3 were all personal challenges.  For each project, I baked 300 wedding cupcakes in my home kitchen.  The weddings were both exhausting and rewarding.  Would I do it again?  Yes, but only for the right people.  For now, I’ve been keeping the blog going without a project and it’s a blast.  I love virtually meeting all of you and coming up with new recipes, but I’ve started to feel the itch to help somebody – beyond sharing life-enhancing recipes.

Introducing Cupcake Project 4.0

Cupcake Project 4.0 is not just my project.  It will include all of you – the whole Cupcake Project community. We are going to use this space to make a difference. Are you in?  Great!  Thanks!  Ready to hear what you just agreed to?

We are going to raise $4000 for a food or water charity.  Why $4000? In honor of Cupcake Project 4.0, of course. Here’s how it will work:

  • First, you’ll help me choose the charity.  This part starts now; see the details below.
  • Then, during the month of November, I’m going to create a brand new cupcake with a flavor that you have all requested, but up until this point I have never been willing to make.  I’m going to post a photo and a description, but to see the recipe, you’ll have to donate at least $1 to the charity that we choose.
  • But, that’s not all! (Do I have my infomercial lines down, or what?)  Depending on how much you donate, you’ll be entered to win a variety of prizes. (I’m still looking for some more prizes, so let me know if you have one to donate.)

How To Propose a Charity

Update:  The three charities that we will be voting on have been selected.  See the details here.

The summary:

  • You pitch a charity in the comments.
  • On Oct. 18, I will randomly select three of them.  That week, I’ll devote a post to each of the three so that we can learn what they are all about.
  • During the week of Oct. 25, we’ll vote on which of the three we want to raise funds for.

What types of charities can you pitch?

  • The charity that you make a pitch for must be a not-for-profit food or water-based charity.  This can include (but is not limited to) food banks, charities fighting hunger, working on food education, combating lack of access to clean water, supporting local farms, helping to have better school lunches, etc.
  • They can be local, national, or international charities. But keep in mind that if the charity only supports your town, you might have a harder time winning the public vote.
  • The charities may not be religious in nature.
  • I reserve the right to reject any pitch for any reason.  I don’t plan to exercise this right, but if for whatever reason I don’t agree with the goals of a charity, I wouldn’t feel comfortable helping to raise $4000 for them.

How to pitch a charity:

  • You may only pitch one charity.
  • To do so, you must leave a comment on this blog post and include:
    • The name of the charity.
    • The website of the charity (if it has one).
    • Why you think we should support this charity.
    • Your involvement with the charity (only if you are involved with them – you don’t have to be).

How to increase the chances that your charity will be chosen:

  • Each person is only allowed to propose only one charity, BUT if you really want your charity to get picked, ask your friends and family to also leave comments proposing the same charity.  The more comments we have for a particular charity, the more chances that your charity will become one of the three randomly selected.

What Happens if We Can’t Raise $4000?

We will do it.  I know we can.

About the Cupcake Stand in The Photo

The cupcake stand in the photo (not all of the bills on it) was a gift from The Cupcake Tower.  They sell stands in all different sizes.  This one holds about 72 cupcakes.  Aside from being extremely durable and easy to assemble, there are two things that I really like about The Cupcake Tower’s products: one is that they don’t take up a lot of storage space since they break down to all flat parts, and the other is that you can give your stand a fun fresh look simply by changing the ribbon color.  Check out all of their stands on The Cupcake Tower’s website.

Love it? Share it!

62 comments on “Do You Know a Food or Water Charity That Could Use $4000? – Introducing Cupcake Project 4.0”

  1. Nataliesays:

    what a neat idea! I vote for World Vision!

  2. Adam Woehlersays:

    I would nominate the Bi-State Pet Food Pantry. They have only been around for six months, but they have given out thousands of pounds of donated pet food since then.

    I volunteer and donate as much as I can because I believe in what they do. They keep families together with their pets, and keep the pets out of shelters.

    “Bi-State Pet Food Pantry is a St. Louis-based volunteer organization committed to keeping animals with their guardians during financially difficult times by providing emergency assistance with pet food.”

  3. Joysays:

    That is a wonderful idea. If I think of one, I’ll send it your way.

  4. Anonymoussays:

    I’ll second the Bi-State Pet Food Pantry.

  5. Jensays:

    I would like to nominate Cake4Kids. (,

    Cake4Kids provides free birthday cakes for at risk children; foster children, families in need of housing or food assistance out here in the SF Bay Area. The chapter just started last month and is patterned off their Parent organization; Free Cakes for Kids.

    I’m a volunteer baker for this organization. It’s a great feeling knowing I’m helping a child feel special at least one day of the year.

  6. Megsays:

    My nomination is Heifer International.

    To End Hunger & Poverty
    Heifer’s mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth.

    By giving families a hand-up, not just a hand-out, we empower them to turn lives of hunger and poverty into self-reliance and hope.

    **This organization helps families help themselves. Particularly women in countries like India and Central/South America. **

    “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” -Chinese Proverb

  7. Ann Thurlowsays: – I posted a link previously, but on the FB page, instead of the Blog site.

  8. Ninasays:

    I would choose Share our Strength.

    First, I choose this organization because they do great things for the hungry children in America that we often forget about.

    Second, I’m a part of an organization Cal-Nev-Ha Circle K International that is currently supporting this organization this year as our fundraising initiative.

    It would be great to be able to give them as much money as possible to be able to support the children of America to grow up stronger.

  9. Cindy dsays:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Beckysays:

    I second the post for heifer international. They are an awesome organization.

  11. Awesome! I love the blog for the foodie aspect. Now I just love you. Well done. I’ll sit down and watch with anticipation now…

  12. Maireadsays:

    I second the charity:water suggestion by poster #7. ( My husband promotes them through a Wargaming for a Cause group. (Yes, we’re nerds.)

    The charity is devoted to providing clean, potable water to communities around the globe, as thousands die every day due to water-based problems. Sadly, most of those affected are the weaker members of the affected populations. (That’s kids, y’all. Not cool.)

    Figured I’d give them a plug — DH got me into water based charities, and it’s one of those causes that does not get enough focus, since nobody in the States really thinks about water as a commodity they will ever go without. Here, potable water is a given. Other places…not so much.

  13. The Charles River Watershed Association would be great to support! ( They do great things in the Boston area, and are “watchdogs” for the industry that is right by the river.
    Apart from protecting the Charles, they also help other organizations mobilize to protect their water too!

    They do tons in the community, like talk at schools about responsible water use, and are a great environmental organization that is really serious about what they do!

    I interned there over this past summer and learnt so much from them, like how they’re not getting nearly enough funding as they need and they have to cut important programs like weekly water testing. The Department of Conservation and Recreation in Boston uses their data to make their decisions but the data isn’t as accurate as it needs to be!

  14. Big Fan of Generous Bakerssays:

    Love this idea, Stef! You could really bake a difference in someone’s life!
    That’s all. I’ll be back :)

  15. lorasays:

    My vote is for The $4,000 can be lent, paid back by the micro financees and then relent several times overto help a lot of people.

  16. Kimsays:

    I would like to nominate NWNL: No Water No Life (


    No Water No Life combines the powers of photography, scientific research and stakeholder knowledge to raise awareness of the vital importance of freshwater resources, perils of watershed degradation and opportunities for sustainable resource management.

  17. My nomination would also be for Heifer International.

  18. I think this is wonderful!! I cant wait to get involved!

    Please please please everyone vote for (nominate I guess at this stage) Heifer International!

    they are a wonderful organization that is all about teaching a person to fish! I think the education and supply of the tools necessary to accomplish that goal is the most powerful gift anyone could give to those in need. It is not just a hand out, but a hand up! I hope that more people continue to nominate them and that they end up on the voting block as it is a truly amazing organization.

    As for me and my family, we will be donating our yearly allotted donations to Heifer during the month of December as a Christmas gift to all those we love. A donation made in their name instead of giving gifts to one another. The best gift to give and then spending quality time together! I can think of no better way to honor those we love than by this gift!

    Best wishes to all!
    Happy Baking!

  19. Anonymoussays:

    This is such a fabulous idea. I nominate Heifer International (again). Providing communities with livestock not only helps feed their bodies, but also the sense of community itself. It will definitely get my vote!

  20. Children’s Hunger Fund!

    They’re an organization aimed at feeding hungry children both in the US and internationally as well, including home delivery of food, orphans, job training for parents, emergency aid, clean water, and farming training and support.

    Over 99% of all revenue is used directly in these programs (versus administrative costs).

  21. I agree with Jen and would like to nominate Cake4Kids. (,
    This is a wonderful idea.

  22. Anonymoussays:

    Another nomination for Heifer International!

  23. Filter Pure!

    They make water filters out of clay in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Tanzania. They use local clay and colloidal silver to create these filters that disinfect and purify 20 liters a day. Each filter lasts 5-6 years. The founder, Lisa Ballantine, is the sister of a good friend of mine.

    I cannot think of a more simple, basic need than water. I cannot recommend a more dererving, humble and hardworking charity. Thank you.


    The most basic human need: Clean Water. Filter Pure not only makes filters but they teach and employ locals to make their own water filters. Each filter lasts 5-6 years and costs the same as.. well.. a birthday cake! Please let children have more birthdays by staying healthy another year.

  25. Ashleysays:

    I’ll second Share Our Strength.

    It’s all about ending childhood hunger here in America. I have ambitions to do a bake sale for them next summer. I also think they are great because they not only give food, but they teach children and their parents about health and how to help themselves with budgets and other money issues so they can keep food on the table.

  26. Kelleysays:

    I second Mudflapmomma’s nomination of Filter Pure:
    I’m also a friend of the founder’s sister.

  27. Rachelsays:

    This is an incredible idea!

    I also nominate Heifer international

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. I nominate Mayan Families, a non-profit organization operating in the Lake Atitlan region of Guatemala. They serve the poorest of the poor by providing food aid, water filters, fuel-efficient stoves, medical aid and education programs.

    FOOD PROGRAMS: Mayan Families is feeding over 170 children every day at four preschools. These children are under-nourished or at risk of becoming malnourished. With regular food, children recover their health and thrive. Mayan Families also has infant and elderly feeding programs.

    ONIL STOVE PROGRAM: Mayan Families distributes fuel-efficient Onil stoves that improve health by funneling smoke outside of the kitchen area. They are much safer than open fires, dramatically reducing burns to children, and they reduce the backbreaking labor of collecting firewood, which is typically done by women and children.

    CLEAN WATER: Water filters save lives in poor communities. People without access to clean water are the first to get hepatitis or cholera. Mayan Families works with Rotary International to distribute water filters to impoverished families.

    This year’s active hurricane season has devastated Guatemala, causing flash floods and deadly landslides that have buried or destroyed homes, schools, roads and bridges. People who live by subsistence agriculture have had crops and livelihoods washed away. Those who had only a few possessions lost everything. Mayan Families is providing as much emergency disaster relief as possible, putting up shelter box tents and delivering food and clothing. The staff is over 80% indigenous and come from local communities, so they are especially well prepared to deliver aid quickly and efficiently. Donations are needed for emergency relief as well as development programs that help break the cycle of poverty.

    Please consider Mayan Families for the Cupcake Project fundraiser. I am a supporter and volunteer. Thank you.

    For more information:

  31. Christasays:

    Filter Pure, they are a wonderful group

  32. I too would like to nominate Filter Pure Filters. Clean water is one of the most basic human needs, and they are helping to provide that to families using technology that is rather simple and sustainable for them.

  33. Sylviasays:

    I would like to nominate Peanut Butter Project. To see a video describing their work go to

    They estimate their costs/life saved is about $25, so for $4000 you could save 160 children’s lives. There is a mention on their website that a family foundation matching donations to PPB 4:1. It’s not clear on the website what time period that covers. It might have just been the month of September.

    The pediatrician that founded PPB works at Wash U, as do I, but I’ve never met him and don’t have any other association with him.

  34. Whitneysays:

    I would like to add in my vote for Share Our Strength as well. I volunteer in my local schools and can say from personal observance how incredibly important it is to provide healthy school lunches. For some children that is the only meal they are given all day.

  35. Juliesays:

    Your project idea is SIMPLY FABULOUS!! :)

    Here’s the charity I would like to nominate:
    Food Outreach

    Food Outreach is the only St. Louis area organization whose mission is to provide nutritional support and enhance the quality of life of men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS or Cancer.

    This charity is simply fabulous – you couldn’t find a more caring group of people. I’ve had several family and friends who have gone through Cancer or are HIV positive – one of the hardest things when you’re stick is to afford healthy food and to have the energy to cook and eat the healthy foods. Food Outreach helps to make sure you have good fruits, veggies, and meats to cook with and provides several already prepared meals for the times you just can’t cook.

  36. Clairesays:

    I second the nomination for Mayan Families for the Cupcake Project 4.0. I support them with donations of used clothing/shoes/athletic equipment. They are very poor Guatemalans and lack the basic necessities that we take for granted in the U.S.

  37. Project Bread!! They are located in Mass


    They help food pantries, soup kitchens, and food banks all over Massachusetts.

  38. I nominate Operation Food Search They provide food for many food banks in the St. Louis and Metro-east area. I am involved with them as a participant in Miles for Food, a private fundraiser/walk/run on Nov 21 at /Route 66 Park. It seems like a natural since they help many people who are hungry right here in our area.
    Great idea, Stefani. See you at Dueling Desserts this weekend.

  39. Beth359says:

    I also support Mayan Families – This organization takes care of multiple communities in Guatemala supplying all their critical needs such as education, medical care, food, water filters, stoves…basically whatever is needed. It is a wonderful cause doing critical work. Without their help, there would be many Guatemalans suffering from starvation, malnutrition and life threatening illnesses. I personally send donations in support of programs offering clothing, shoes, food, furnture, medicine, water filters and stoves. I sponsor 6 children so they can attend school. I hope you choose this wonderful charity!

  40. Andrewsays:

    I like how you say “no religious charities,” but half of those being pitched are religious in some way. Turns out the vast majority of food banks, development nonprofits and food/farms partnerships are faith-based.

    That said, I nominate the Interfaith Food & Farms Partnership, who link congregations to local farmers for CSAs, help congregations start community gardens, operate a food pantry, are fighting childhood obesity and do lots of other amazing things (cooking classes for low-income youth!).

  41. Katsays:

    I would also like to nominate Heifer International . I love that they not only help provide food, but they provide a means for people to support themselves and their communities.

  42. Carrie Berkmansays:

    Wow! What a great idea! I’m nominating The Treasure Box. The website is: You should support this charity because it is feeding families in your hometown! You purchase a “treasure box” for much less than it is worth. It can provide a week’s worth of meals for a family…rather than just one meal. I became involved with this charity after I discovered that there were families in my own backyard that could not put food on the table. In this economy this charity gives me a way to make a real difference in someone’s life. I pick up the food and deliver it myself so I have been priveleged to make a real connection with the family I’m buying it for.

  43. It’s hard to find a charity in this regard with no religious affiliation. If you’re willing to stray from that regulation, I second Heifer Project or another one to consider is Living Water International.

    I hope you may reconsider this rule.

  44. Ellen Barthsays:

    Gleaners Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan.
    The are helping many people in an area very hard hit by changes in the auto industry.

  45. This is a GREAT idea!

    I would like to nominate Meds & Food for Kids.

    Mission: Meds & Food for Kids (MFK) is dedicated to saving the lives of Haiti’s malnourished children and other nutritionally vulnerable people.
    We accomplish our mission by developing, producing, and distributing highly nutritious foods, including the gold-standard Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF). We make our food products in Haiti, using Haitian workers and, whenever possible, Haitian raw materials. Haitians call our RUTF “Medika Mamba” — or “Peanut Butter Medicine” in Creole.

  46. I nominate Planet Water Foundation

    Planet Water Foundation provides access to clean, safe drinking water and improved sanitation to the world’s most disadvantaged communities. The foundation was started and personally funded by Mark Steele in order to get the foundation off the ground. Just in case clean water and saving lives isn’t a good enough reason to support this charity, the foundation’s work supports an educational legacy for generations to come by installing the systems at community schools. Over the first 12 months of operation, PWF completed projects in Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Tibet, and China and has also deployed in Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal, and the Philippines.

    Why should Planet Water receive this $4,000.00? Because EACH DAY, 4,000 children will DIE from water related illness due to lack of access to clean water. Planet Water is chipping away at that # village by village and installation by installation.

    My involvement started in the professional realm, the founder was my client. Mark’s work and his foundation remains in my mind and heart well after finishing all his projects. I am in awe of the work PWF does and people like Mark and his foundation colleagues are modern day heroes.

  47. Kristensays:

    I nominate Planet Water Foundation ( see ). This organization brings clean water to villages and schools in the developing world through the installation of water purification systems. Along with the water system, PWF also helps to create positive change through educating children on proper water-health & hygiene practices. Planet Water Foundation gets my vote!

  48. Lorisays:

    I nominate the Community Challenge Fund of the Friends of the Dominican Republic or (click “get involved” at top)

    The Community Challenge Fund has done a fantastic job of helping the poorest families in the Dominican Republic in meeting their basic living needs with help to construct water, sanitation and educational projects. In the past 6 years they have helped 800 families to help themselves in building 12 potable water systems. Their keys to success are: an all-volunteer organization so that 100% of donations go to hard construction costs; make small ($2,500) grants for construction materials; and “partner” with Dominican families who provide all the labor.

    If the Cupcake Project selects the Challenge Fund, they will pledge to raise another $4,000 this winter to match the Cupcake Project so that at least 3 new water projects will be funded.

  49. Anonymoussays:

    I second the nomination of the Challenge Fund of the Friends of the Dominican Republic.

  50. robsays:

    I support the Challenge Fund of the Friends of the Dominican Republic. Lori and I had a chance to visit a couple of their projects in the DR, and met many people who have been helped by their water projects.

  51. Anonymoussays:

    I am one of the founders and a volunteer for the Friends of the Dominican Republic Challenge Fund, and would love to see the $4000 put to good use with this charity.

    – John Epler

  52. Jeansays:

    I am a founder of the Community Challenge Fund. Our water projects are helping many communities. We’d love to see this project get the $4000.

  53. i would love to nominate Wine to Water.


    they are helping provide clean water to needy people around the world.

    i have no personal involvement, but think it’s a great organization filling a huge need.

  54. eliciasays:

    I nominate “Birthday Cakes 4 Free”. We provide free birthday cakes and cupcakes to financially and socially disadvantaged kids and seniors. I am the founder and I also run the Santa Cruz Ca. chapter. We are growing fast and now have 6 chapters in 6 states! We would love your support to help us grow to serve more kids and seniors on their special day!
    Elicia Hammond

  55. connie munozsays:

    cake4kids gets my vote!!!! this is a cool idea, will be getting my money ready to buy your recipes, you are just awsume….

  56. Melindasays:

    I also nominate the Community Challenge Fund of the Friends of the Dominican Republic or

  57. Anonymoussays:

    My vote goes to the Community Challenge Fund. The Fund does not take an administrative charge for any of the projects it supports. or

  58. The Challenge Fund is my cupcake.

  59. Anonymoussays:

    Don sez…I Have supported the Community hallenge Fund for a number of years. $4000 would most certainly bring much needed Clear Fresh Water to another small isolated community!!

  60. Anonymoussays:

    An admirable and worthy recipient of the $4000 would be the Community Challenge Fund of the Friends of the Dominican Republic. What good work they do on a shoestring budget!

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