Hosting a successful storybook fundraiser requires creativity and strategic planning. This blog unlocks the secrets to crafting a fundraising gala that intertwines classic tales with a noble cause. Our tips will help you leave your supporters in awe during a magical event filled with fun, fantasy, and philanthropy.
Every whimsical tale can make a difference to those you serve. Let’s explore how to turn the magic of storybooks into an enchanting fundraising event.
The following tips will provide information and inspiration to host an amazing event that generates funds to help propel your cause to make a difference.
Incorporate Your Theme in The Venue Décor to Create an Immersive Atmosphere
Transform your venue into a living storybook. Use theme-related decor to transport guests into a world where fantasy meets reality. An immersive environment increases guests’ interest.
Incorporate Storybook Theme in Entryway and Registration Area
Incorporate storybook/fairytale themes in the entryway and registration area. There are numerous options. Here are some ideas:
Greet them with an enchanted forest with twinkling fairy lights, mini lanterns, moss, wisteria garland, ivy leaf garland, vines, butterflies, etc.
These items can be purchased on Amazon. Search for:
- Enchanted forest decorations
- Enchanted forest décor
- Cinderella decorations
- Cinderella décor
- Wizard of Oz decorations (or other storybook characters)
- Wizard of Oz décor
How about a large storybook display? This type of decor can be purchased on Amazon. Search for storybook décor and storybook decorations.
Greet guests with various life size storybook and fairytale characters in the entryway and registration area. These can also be added throughout the venue.
Life-size cardboard cutouts like the Cinderella above can be purchased on Amazon. Search for:
- Life size photo prop
- Life size prop
- Life size cardboard cutout
- Cardboard cutout standup
- Life size photo prop cardboard
- Cut out of Cinderella, Rapunzel, Wizard Of Oz characters (or other characters)
Character Meet and Greet
Have volunteers dress as popular storybook characters and greet guests as they enter. You can also have them interact with guests during the event.
Storybook Ballroom Décor Ideas
Set up a storybook theme stage for auctioneers, speakers, storytellers and entertainers.
Some of our clients placed profile cutouts of storybook/fairytale characters throughout the ballroom.
Table Décor Ideas
Classic storybooks can be used as table centerpieces like in the photo below. Add tea lights and colorful flowers as accents.
Storybook Cake Centerpieces
Your guests will love storybook/fairytale cake centerpieces. These beautiful cakes can also be purchased in a cake/dessert fundraiser. Attach a QR code for guests to scan to purchase them. They can also be included in the auction. Ask the auctioneer to announce the cakes can be purchased. You can ask a local bakery or chef to donate the cakes. Offer them a table to display more of their cakes and the opportunity to meet your guests.
Creative cakes made of Styrofoam are also a great option. Here are some examples from fundraisers we have managed:
Teacup Candle Holders
Try this elegant display inspired by the Mad Hatter’s tea party for your table décor.
This can be purchased on Amazon. Search for clear glass cup and saucer or clear glass teacup and saucer.
Cinderella Crown Centerpiece
A round crown or tiara centerpiece adds beauty and elegance to your table décor. Add tea lights in the center to make it even more enchanting.
These can be purchased on Amazon. Search for:
- Tiara for women
- Crystal queen crown
- Rhinestone princess tiara
- Round tiaras for women
- Round crystal tiara and crowns for women
- Crown table decor
Cinderella Glass Slipper Centerpiece
A Cinderella glass slipper is a creative centerpiece. Surround the centerpiece with tea lights and you’ll have a fabulous eye-catching table centerpiece.
Find this type of décor on Amazon by searching:
- Glass slipper table décor
- Fancy Cinderella clear slipper party favor
- Cinderella glass shoe
Cinderella Pumpkin Carriage Centerpiece
How about a Cinderella pumpkin carriage centerpiece? You can find many great options on Amazon by searching Cinderella pumpkin carriage centerpiece or Cinderella table décor.
Include Diverse and Engaging Entertainment
Curate an appealing entertainment lineup that corresponds with your theme. Live storytelling, games, and musical performances ensure diverse activities that keep guests captivated throughout the night.
Here are a few engaging entertainment ideas:
Renowned storytellers will whisk you away to far-off lands.
Enchanted Dance Floor
Dance the night away to tunes spun by a fairytale DJ.
Offer Magical Photo Opportunities for Guests
Offer numerous photo opportunities for guests. They will enjoy taking photos in front of fairytale and storybook backdrops. Ask them to share photos on their social and tag your organization. Provide the tag they should use on a sign near the photo area. Amazon has a wide variety of photo backdrops. Search for:
- Photo backdrop fairytale theme
- Fairytale photo backdrop
- Fairy lights photo backdrop
- Enchanted forest backdrop
- Fairy forest backdrop
- Enchanted garden backdrop
- Princess castle backdrop
- Cinderella castle photo backdrop
- Wizard of Oz photo backdrop
- Storybook décor
- Storybook decorations
- Fairytale book decorations
Have Costume Contests
Encourage guests to dress as their favorite storybook/fairytale characters for costume contests. Consider unique costume categories. Provide exciting prizes to ignite creativity. The contests add excitement and fun to the event. Your guests will love seeing all the costumes. They will also be in suspense to find out who will win the prizes.
Here are some costume category ideas:
- Best costume
- Most creative costume
- Best group costume
- Best Villain costume
- Best Fairytale Duo or Trio
- Best Classic vs. Modern Interpretation
- Best Storybook Mashup
Offer Storybook-Infused Food
Craft a menu that includes dishes that are inspired by beloved storybooks/fairytales. From themed appetizers to enchanting desserts, let the culinary experience be a continuation of your fundraiser theme. Make it not just a meal. Make it a culinary journey through the pages of timeless tales.
Here are some ideas for dishes:
Cinderella’s Pumpkin Soup
Rapunzel’s Braided Breadsticks
Three Little Pigs in a Blanket
Red Riding Hood’s Berry Tarts
Jack’s Beanstalk Salad with green beans and sprouts
Engage with Storytelling
Incorporate live storytelling sessions or readings by local talents. These add a personal touch to the event and reinforce the connection between the shared stories and your cause.
Include Interactive Games and Activities
The goal is to keep the energy and engagement levels high. Go beyond the traditional fundraising activities by including interactive games and challenges. Here are some ideas:
Pin the Wand on the Fairy
A magical twist to the classic Pin the Tail
Test guests’ knowledge about classic tales and modern tales.
Mystery Character Guess
Guests draw a character card, and others must ask yes/no questions to guess who they are.
Golden Goose Egg Hunt
Hide golden eggs around the venue with little surprises inside.
Rapunzel’s Tangled Web
It’s a fun game where guests must untangle ropes to win prizes.
Incorporate Strategic Fundraising Moments
Integrate strategic moments throughout the evening to share the purpose behind the event. Use compelling visuals, videos, or even a brief speech to remind attendees of the cause they’re supporting.
Offer Live Auction Travel and Experience Packages
Offer storybook/fairytale related live auction travel and experience packages. Here are some examples to inspire your creativity:
Guests love these types of auction items. Our auctioneers often sell one package multiple times at an event, which is a great opportunity to increase fundraiser profits. If these no-risk packages don’t sell during your event, you don’t have to pay.
Create A Seamless Guest Experience
A well-organized event allows guests to focus on the magic of the event instead of logistics.
Ensure the event flows smoothly by paying attention to logistic details. Offer hassle-free check in and registration. Also make it easy for guests to pay for auction items, games, etc. by using software that allows you to pre-scan their credit cards when they arrive.
With these tips as your guide, your enchanted storybook fundraiser will be a magical night to remember. So, get ready to turn fairytales into a captivating, fun-filled evening of philanthropy.