When you read the books and blogs, and watch the webinars about Guest Ministry, you’ll almost always hear something about giving guests a gift when they visit. What’s up with that? Why do it? What’s the goal? What are best practices?


When it comes to giving people a gift, the goal isn’t to give people something for the sake of giving them something. Rather, the goal is three-fold:



Motivate guests to turn in their connect card by offering the free gift in exchange for their information.

Order connect cards here.





Give people a gift to thank them for taking time to visit your church and show that you value and appreciate them spending their valuable and limited time with you.

Order gift bags here.



Give people something that will keep your church name/brand in front of them long after their visit (in marketing terms, that’s called impressions). 88% of people remember who gave them a branded gift. 83% of people like receiving a branded gift. People keep gifts for 7 months on average, but regularly they last MUCH longer than that.

Order mugs here.


Okay, so it’s important to give people something for many reasons, but how do we know what to give them? How do we make the most out of this opportunity? Here are some ways to get the most bang for your buck with the gift you give to your guests.


Pick something YOU would be excited to receive!

I once received a portable mobile device battery charger that had all the popular device plugs (apple, android, pc) built right into it. Months after receiving it, that charger made its way across Europe with me on vacation and I even used it to help other tourists charge their devices when they lost power.

Order tech accessories here.


Make sure your choice matches the culture of your church, and your guests.

Not all gifts will have the same level of effectiveness with your church members, so you need to carefully consider the culture of your church and also your community as you decide what to give out. If your church is in an area where people commute by car, a high quality insulated coffee tumbler may get used multiple days of the week. If your church is in a dry climate, an umbrella in July might not be the most culturally relevant gift. Think through your gift and make sure it makes sense for your geographic region and culture.

Order tumblers here.


Change it up over time

As the seasons change, change your gifts along with it. Maybe a sweatshirt or nice coffee mug is great in the fall but a nice tumbler or water bottle or t-shirt would make a better gift in the summer months.




Understand the Science Behind the Numbers

Remember that marketing term impressions? Here’s how you use it in selecting a gift:

  1. Umbrellas generate 1,331 impressions over their average 14 month lifespan and cost you $.007 per impression on a $9 investment.
  2. Nice (durable) bags generate 5,772 impressions over their average 7 month lifespan, which is about $.0014 per impression on an $8 investment. People keep nice bags for an average of 11 months.
  3. 86% of people value receiving branded outerwear (sweatshirts, hoodies, etc.) from an organization. It’s the most influential gift you can give someone under the age of 45 (slightly ahead of drinkware and pens). They average 6,100 impressions (that's amazing!), which is about $.0025 per impression on a $15 investment over their average 16 month life span.
  4. On contrast, a redbox promo code and some popcorn or candy will cost about $3 and have 1 impression. (Use it/see it once.) That's 120,000% higher cost per impression than outerwear.
  5. Amongst all age brackets from 18-55, gifts and giveaways are the most liked form of brand awareness.
  6. People are 2.5 times more likely to have a positive opinion of your gift than they are of internet advertising.
If impressions is one of your primary goals (and it should be) then a higher initial investment gift might actually have a lower cost per impression than a low initial investment gift. Put another way, "expensive" might actually be "cheap" and "cheap" might actually be "expensive."



Is your church thinking through the strategy of how to pick a great gift that people want, and one that keeps your name in front of them for months and years after their visit? If you need some ideas for a great gift, call us at 866-654-6127. We’ll help you pick a gift that matches your church culture.

To view more gift ideas CLICK HERE.