Below you’ll find the transcript for episode 23, Creative Ideas for Door Prizes, from the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast.
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EP 23: Creative Ideas for Door Prizes
Welcome to the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast. I’m Cyndee Ownbey, your host and women’s ministry mentor. I’m the founder of Women’s Ministry Toolbox and the author of Rethinking Women’s Ministry. The Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast is a podcast for women’s ministry leaders and team members of all stages (from new to seasoned) serving in their local church community. If you’re looking for hope and inspiration, you’ve come to the right place! In addition to discussing the nuts and bolts of women’s ministry, I’ll be asking seasoned women’s ministry leaders to share their best tips and the lessons they’ve learned. Together we’ll learn to build a flourishing, Christ-focused women’s ministry.
Today, we’ll be talking about:
- The purpose of door prizes
- Creative ways to give away door prizes
- Creative door prize ideas
I want to start by noting that door prizes are 100% optional. Some women’s ministry teams never give away door prizes at events. Some women’s ministry teams only like to give away door prizes at big events, like retreats or conferences. And some just alternate – some weeks you might have a door prize and some weeks you might not.
What is the purpose of door prizes?
Door prizes can:
- Encourage attendance.
- They can create excitement.
- Encourage discipleship and spiritual growth.
- Be used to collect information.
Now you may be thinking, collect information. How so? We have used in the past something I call a door prize slip. On that piece of paper, we ask not just for their name but we asked for additional information. Then we put all those slips together, and that’s what we draw the door prize from.
These are some of the things that we have wanted to know in the past:
- We have wanted to gather email addresses for our women’s ministry email list to make sure that we have the most up-to-date email, or maybe we don’t even have an email for all of our women.
- We’ve also collected volunteers for various teams and committees. Put a check box on the bottom and ask if they are willing or available to volunteer.
- We’ve built our database by collecting physical addresses for our women.
- We’ve solicited responses to a question that we have had. Maybe you want to know if there’s interest in a Wednesday evening Bible study for your ladies or would women like to meet on Saturday morning for coffee or a walk at a local park. Ask them to fill it out on their slip and then have them drop them in the bag or bucket – and you’ve got all that information you gathered right there.
- You’ll also find out who’s visiting. Ask if they’re a member, regular attendee, or if they are a guest. If you are a multi-campus church, this is a great way to track which campuses are represented.
- You can also give your women’s space to submit a prayer request. A lot of times, I do that on the back of the sheet. Just say, “turn it over and write down a prayer request. If you have one and we’ll be happy to pray for.”
- You can also get permission to add women to your Facebook group.
Five creative ways to give away door prizes
- Stickers. Stickers are super easy and so fun. You can do them to coordinate with your theme if you want. You can place stickers on the back of five random name tags and then have them check their name tag later. “If you’ve got a sticker, come on up and get a prize.” You can hide stickers beneath their chairs, put them in their program, and on the bottom of paper plates.
- Play hot potato with door prizes. Whenever the music stops, the person holding the door prize gets to keep it. This can be a lot more fun if you have several prizes moving around this circle or table at the same time. If you’re at tables, you’re going to want to put one prize per table so that every table has a winner.
- For an event that requires registration, print out all the names of all those that registered and placed them in a basket, or maybe you put them in a Christmas stocking at Christmas or a gift bag or an Easter basket – have fun with that! Then just draw names out! You can even draw names throughout your event, especially if it’s a conference or a retreat weekend.
- Give door prizes to the winners of your icebreaker games. (We just talked about icebreakers back in episode 22. If you missed that one, be sure to check it out.)
- And I love this idea that I got from another leader years ago, the early bird gets the worm. Give a door prize to the very first woman who shows up for your event. If you do that often, women will usually make an effort to arrive on time.
Have you ever received a door prize you don’t want?
Maybe you already have one that’s similar, or it’s just really not something that you’re going to use? I’ve got an idea for you. It’s called the door prize basket.
This is, hands down, my very favorite way to give away door prizes at women’s ministry events.
The Door Prize Basket
I have a basket, and I fill that basket with many different door prizes – a random selection of things, all about the same value. Then when women have their name called or their sticker or whatever selected, they come up, and they get to choose the prize they want out of that door prize basket.
The key is that you have more prizes than the number of people you’re going to give prizes to because no one wants the last thing that’s left in the basket. (You feel like you’re getting the leftovers.) This has worked so well for us when we have used it in the past. Let me give you some ideas of things to put in your door prize basket.
Door Prize Ideas for the Door Prize Basket
- Jewelry, like a necklace with a scripture verse on it.
- Bracelet with a verse or an encouraging word.
- Stationery sets, pens, sticky notes, all those kinds of fun things. (Women love those!)
- Framed scripture verses or plaques.
- You can even find some neat digital prints on Etsy, put those in a frame, and place them in the basket.
- Insulated cups, tumblers, all those types of things. (I love finding them with a verse on them.)
- Devotional books.
- Personal Bible studies.
- Christian movies. (A lot of times, I’m able to find those for $5 or less.)
- Pretty note card sets or notepads.
- $5 gift cards for coffee, frozen yogurt, or your local Chick-fil-A.
- Christian fiction books with this one caveat, make sure that you’re putting in a book that you have read a first that you know is solid.
Door prizes are another way that we can be intentional about pointing our women to Christ.
We can fill our door prize basket with things that will remind them who their Savior is and who they are in Christ.
I want to encourage you to be intentional with the door prizes you give away at your women’s ministry, activity, and events. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to encourage women in their spiritual walk.
My favorite source for purchasing door prizes for women’s ministry events is CTA, Inc.
When I discovered them years ago, I was a little bit hesitant because their prices were so budget-friendly, and they run some really great sales.
I honestly expected the things that I ordered to be like the things I’ve received from Oriental Trading. Sometimes the quality is okay, and sometimes I was really disappointed. But ya’all, that was not the case with CTA, Inc. I was so impressed with the quality of the items that I have received from them, and over the years, I have ordered a lot of different things. The material is just top-notch, and the content is great. And I love all the colors and the beautiful designs that they make. You will be impressed and not one bit disappointed.
Are you launching or revamping your women’s ministry? Do you struggle to get your women’s ministry team on the same page? My book, Rethinking Women’s Ministry: Biblical, Practical Tools for Cultivating a Flourishing Community, is designed to help women’s ministry leaders and team members prayerfully examine what’s working and what isn’t. As God highlights the areas that need rethinking, you’ll be able to form an action plan that will enable your team to reach more women more effectively and create a community that flourishes. You’ll find Rethinking Women’s Ministry on Amazon, your favorite online retailer, and at womensministrytoolboxshop.com.
I’ve got a couple more door prize cautions to share with you…
- If you’re giving away multiple door prizes, please try to include items of a similar value. Expensive door prizes can create jealousy, and they can even create a distraction. Women can be so busy thinking about who got the $50 spa gift certificate that they’re not really paying attention to the speaker that you have.
- Our team decided that we would exclude ourselves from participating in any door prize drawing. Let’s face it; it’s a little awkward when you’re giving prizes to the members of your team. It also helps keep the focus on the attendees. They are our guests, and we are the hosts. Let them go home with a prize.
I mentioned earlier, door prizes are not a requirement.
Four reasons why you might not want to distribute door prizes
- Everybody’s already going to receive a goodie bag or favor. They’re already going home with a gift, and we really don’t need to add to that.
- Your women’s ministry has limited funds, and it’s just not in your budget at this time.
- Perhaps donated door prizes have caused conflict in the past. Women who own their own businesses can get competitive or territorial about donations.
- If door prices have been a problem, press pause on them for a while. You can always decide and pray about whether to bring them back.
Acts 20:35 reminds us that it is more blessed to give than receive, and that’s certainly true when it comes to door prizes.
Door prizes can be a great blessing to the women that receive them.
Today’s Toolbox Task:
- I encourage you to have a discussion about door prizes with your team. Decide what the purpose of door prizes serves in your ministry.
- If you decide to purchase door prizes for an upcoming event, I want to encourage you to select something that will encourage spiritual growth in your women.
Thank you for listening to this episode of the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast. Please make sure you hit the subscribe button, so you don’t miss any future episodes. May the grace of God carry you through difficult ministry seasons, may he direct your steps as you seek to make Him known, and may your love for the Lord be apparent to every woman you serve.