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Using A Paper bag as a training tool — WHAT??

Updated: Apr 20

In my career I have used many techniques to engage my teams in training.

Here are a few samples of successful programs used with teams who are ready to collaborate, enjoy and learn at the same time!

  • Before a Ritz Carlton quality service training session- we gave the entire team RC bathrobes to wear for the training- It was fun and everyone started off the training with open ears and feeling comfy in their new bathrobe.

  • Before each regularly scheduled team training, we would have a team member play a song that motivated them- Some dancing, some silliness served to get everyone stoked to learn.

  • In case you were wondering, favorite selections included: High Hopes (an Ant can’t move a rubber tree plant) and Movin Right Along by the Muppets.

  • I’ve surprised teams with intermittent game show style trivia questions- Who does not love to be the winner and go home with a prize? (really, we are talking about little tokens like $5 Starbucks cards).

But, the training tool I am here to tell you about today is the brown paper bag.

Paper Bag

This simple bag can be the key to some amazing new (or enhanced) knowledge for your team.

Step One:

Identify the facts you feel each Fundraiser needs to know to help them be the expert of your mission. What are your donors most frequent questions about the work of your organization and what are the possible answers?

Include ALL of the details they need to know to build their own version of the mission story. Shaare enough information that your team can be comfortable and nimble with the facts and components as they tell their/your story in the community.

Step Two:

Design questions where these facts are the answers.


  1. Who was the founder of our organization and what was the moment that led them to this mission.

  2. What does the word Apherisis mean and why is it important to our work? (Sorry, flashback to Bone Marrow World!)

  3. What is the interaction between our local chapter/work and the national organization? How are gifts allocated?

Step Three:

Cut these questions into small slips of paper and fold in half.

Step Four: Put them in a Paper bag- shake vigorously (the shaking part is for fun-serves no purpose).

Now, Bring this bag with you to your next meeting that includes:

  • Fundraisers

  • Marketing team

  • Events team

  • Support staff

  • If you would like, invite select volunteers to join in.

Explain that this exercise is meant for group learning and if the person who chooses a particular question has difficulty with the answer, they can ask for help. This is NOT designed to put anyone on the hot seat.

Now ask your team, one by one to pick a slip of paper and to talk about/explain or share their thoughts on the subject.

Some Notes:

  • The first time you do this be prepared for some skepticism-no worries, if it is fun they will want to repeat the process with different subject matter. Remember, even wrong answers teach the group the right one! I even had the most negative person on one staff offer to run the exercise next time-She thought it was fun and cool.

  • This really brings a team together and can lead into other fun exercises like Shotgun roleplaying, Storytelling surprise, Brown Bag Karaoke, Mission Moment Mania and more!!

  • IDEA----USE A GIFT BAG- for a special exercise of MAJOR Gifts!

  • Year-end giving is on the horizon—Now is the time to make sure you have a team who is ready, willing and able to make those big asks.

Do you want to know more about these exercises or why one even includes a shoe? …Give Team Kat & Mouse a call…or email.

And check out our Website

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