How to run a “Win the Window” event in your local town

This post is based on ideas from Highland Park’s February Win the Window 2014 event.

These are my ideas to try to sketch out what would need to be done by a small group in order to run a similar “Win the Window” event in Metuchen, NJ.

Your comments and feedback are welcome!


A “Win the Window” event is one in which a group of small businesses in a downtown donate prizes, all those prizes are displayed in one store window, shoppers are given some way to enter the contest, and at the end of the month a person wins all the prizes from the window.

Things to do

  • Get a core set of 5-10 businesses to commit.
  • Make the initial project small enough so that it can be organized and implemented in one month by two or three volunteers.
  • Set a target value for all donated items of $15.
  • Decide early on which business will be the one which displays the window with all the prizes.
  • Print and distribute entry cards to all participating businesses, along with a simple set of rules for participation.
  • Pick a date for the final drawing.

Rules (needs work and more detail)

  • Every time someone shops in one of the 5-10 participating businesses during the month, they will receive an entry in the drawing. To “shop” a person must buy $10 or more of something in a single transaction.
  • On the first day of the following month, a drawing is made by one of the organizers to select the person who wins everything from the window.

Questions, notes, and thoughts…

In Highland Park, I think the entry was limited to one per family in each shop. It’s not clear whether or not a purchase was required but it seems like not. I think it would be better to require a purchase and to allow as many entries as there are qualifying purchases. Is there any downside to this?

Thinking it would be good to have every business donate their prize of a similar value, about $15.

Some down-home community activism

We’ve lived in our new home, in what turns out to be a vibrantly active community, for a few years now. The town is called Metuchen, NJ, and many people think this town simply rocks.

I know we do.

But it can use a little help. Heck, any town can use a little help from time to time and we are fortunate to live in a town which already has a heck of a lot of community involvement to do the helping!

Recently, it turns out my wife has become a good bit involved in some of our local “issues” – and the topic was just covered by one of the local news outlets: Residents rise up to seek solutions to downtown ills

We’ll have to see where this goes…

I got an honorary mention in the article as one of the guys involved in last weekend’s Litter Brigade. 🙂