Golf tournament fundraisers are an excellent way for nonprofits to raise money. According to Phil Immordino of Tee Times Magazine, over 1 million golf outings occur in the US each year, with the average event raising $5,000 net. The amount you raise will depend on the size of your organization – some events raise $100,000 to $500,000, but that takes unique ingredients. Generally speaking, supporters who attend golf outing fundraisers can and will spend the money participating in golf events. These events can be reasonably easy for an organization to manage.
While planning your fundraiser, you can include all or a few of the ideas we mention in this article. People who golf love to golf, and we believe you will have an incredible turnout for your outing. Read on for eight tips to get your own golf fundraiser going and some added elements to raise more money for your organization.
Here you’ll learn:
- Choose the date and location
- Set your fundraising goal
- Enlist volunteers
- Design a theme
- Pick other fundraising events to play at the outing
- Secure sponsors
- Market your event
- Select a photographer
Choose the date and location
The first task is to pick your date and where to have your golf outing. Many event planners suggest setting fundraising goals and a budget before arranging the date and site. However, golf tournaments are different due to the cost of golf course time. Also, the location may determine the number of foursomes you can include and how much money you will raise.
To determine your event location, it’s critical to find a golf course that will make your event ticket price affordable for your donors. Check out your donor database to figure out how much people were willing to donate to your nonprofit in the past. This helps determine your ticket price.
Consider whether golfers will want to play your course of choice since golfers are discerning about where they play. Holding your outing at a private club that many folks can’t use, you may be able to attract high-income donors. Keep in mind that many nonprofits have golf fundraisers, which means there’s a lot of competition – so you might not get a venue discount if you ask for it.
Lastly, it’s beneficial to research nearby nonprofits to scope out when they’re having their golf fundraisers to not duplicate the date.
Set a fundraising goal
After you have your location set, create a realistic fundraising goal and a budget. Your development office can help you determine how much you need to raise. In further steps, your team will play a more prominent role in figuring out how to fundraise.
Your past fundraising accomplishments and failures can assist you in determining how much a golf outing fundraiser will benefit your nonprofit. There’s a better chance of success if you have a set of donors who love golf and have participated in past silent and live auctions.
Tip: Once you’ve set your goal, add a progress meter to your fundraiser page. A progress meter is a great way to ensure that your fundraiser is focused on your target. It keeps your team encouraged, and shares progress with donors, sponsors and prospective donors. Furthermore, it creates a sense of urgency!
Consider what your expenses will be after the golf course fee, like food, drinks and signage. Think about adding signage at each hole to promote your organization’s mission and acquire sponsorships. Further costs include tickets, advertising and prizes. Also, many golf tournaments include a dinner or a lunch. The location you’ve chosen will likely have room rental costs available for this part of your event and food since golf clubs won’t allow outside food and caterers. An event platform like iConnectX offers social media integration, customizable landing pages, online event ticketing and event marketing best practices to share.
Your event should bring in revenue from several sources:
- Ticket sales
- Silent and live auction
Enlist plenty of volunteers
A golf outing needs plenty of volunteers. Build a fundraising team of volunteers to assist with planning and managing your event. You can choose from several different directions to go in for your golf outing. Still, we recommend having at least five people to help plan your event and put them in charge of specific planning areas.
Besides the planning committee, you’ll require more volunteers on the golf outing day. You’ll need volunteers to run the games at each hole, assist golfers and manage the fundraising dinner and auction. You may be able to find businesses that offer volunteers for a big event like a golf outing. Please remember it will take quite a bit of time to recruit plenty of volunteers to assist in planning and running the tournament.
Tip: Speak with your board members first to see who would like to join the planning committee. Your board has connections to fellow community leaders. Thanks to these connections, your board members can help procure sponsorships, sell tickets and attain auction items.
Design a theme
We’ve mentioned there are plenty of golf tournaments out there – make yours stand out with a memorable, cool theme.
Here are a few ideas:
- Wine tastings with a professional sommelier
- Whiskey/Bourbon or Martinis and Cigars
- Great Gatsby
- Kentucky Derby (in early May)
- Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year’s in warm climates
Since ticket sales only cover the food and golf course costs, you’ll want to have other games. Have a live or silent auction if your outing includes a lunch or dinner. Auctions add hundreds or thousands of dollars to nonprofit coffers, depending on the items for bid. Make a list of things for your fundraising team to secure that will have the most significant opportunity of raising money.
Tip: Golfers love private clubs. If you hold your event at a private club, request a foursome donation to include in the auction. You can also ask other area clubs too.
Make it easy: a fundraising platform like iConnectX offers live and silent auction tools with secure bidding and payment features.
Raising funds via sponsors is a time-tested development method. Business partnerships must be tailored for each organization contacted. Suppose a big company is willing to assist your organization with a sizable contribution. In that case, you may want to offer them a naming sponsorship. Example: the iConnectX Golf Tournament for ______ Nonprofit.
You can offer hole sponsorships for a few hundred dollars in exchange for a company name and logo on signage at a specific course hole. Many companies will pay more to sponsor holes at a putting contest or hole-in-one holes. We strongly recommend finding different sponsors for each hole. You may want to offer each sponsor an opportunity to set up a table at their location to share swag.
Check out our article on the mutually beneficial relationships between nonprofits and business.
Online ticket sales
While promoting your golf outing, create an email campaign to encourage ticket sales. Include a link to an online landing page with a signup form where tickets can be purchased, and people can make donations. Another great way to promote your event is on social media with regular updates. Create and share posts every time you get a new sponsor or receive great auction items.
iConnectX does all the heavy lifting when it comes to landing pages, crowdfunding and online ticketing – you can manage your RSVPs and promote in one place.
About crowdfunding – it’s an effective way to promote ticket sales. A crowdfunding platform offers a simple donation form, a tab for updates, a donor wall, a progress meter, etc. All of these features help get more registrations!
If your fundraising team and your board help sell foursomes, you’ll likely sell all your tickets. Word of mouth is always the optimal way to promote. They can accomplish this by email and social media!
Hire a photographer
A golf tournament is ripe with photo opportunities, and this is even more relevant if attendees are dressed up. When donors are having a good time, your nonprofit promotes its mission, and sponsors advertise on the golf course, great pictures are made. Make sure you use these pics on social media accounts and your website and offer them to your sponsors to use on their own sites.
The iConnectX Difference
iConnectX is a comprehensive, fun-to-use and straightforward fundraising platform. We have you covered from online ticketing, RSVP and guest list management, social media integration, auction tools, secure bidding, and payments. Also, our platform is free for nonprofits to use; the only cost is a payment processing fee.