Running a successful charity golf tournament is no walk in the park.
Golf tournaments require months of planning, booking, and promoting before anything even starts to come together. But without donations coming in the door the effort could all be for nothing. So we wanted to highlight a few ways you can ensure that your charity golf outing is a fundraising machine.
Sponsors (You really can’t have too many)
Bring in a wide range of sponsors to your event, the more the better. Do so by offering a wide range of sponsorship levels so companies of all shapes and sizes have an opportunity to get in on the fun.
- Hole Sponsors
- Title Sponsors
- Cart Sponsors
- Lunch Sponsors
- Dinner Sponsors
The list goes on and on and it pretty much boils down to if you can put a sign in front of it you can get someone to sponsor it. Not only can sponsors provide your tournament with some great prizes and hand outs, but they can widen your reach considerably. So when looking for sponsors, make sure you consider their market as well.
While banks, dealerships, and law firms are great sponsors to have, look for some sponsors that might attract a younger audience to your tournament as well. Local trendy bars/restaurants, gyms/recreation facilities, and small tech based companies can all widen your tournament’s marketing reach to a younger crowd.
Fundraise with a meaningful purpose
Make sure that the charity that your tournament is raising money for is the focal point of the whole event. Large golf events typically have a large number of sponsors that accompany them and with corporate logos and tents every few feet it can be easy for your tournament participant to lose sight of what they’re out there for in the first place. So no matter what worthy cause you decide to raise money for make sure that everyone knows their story. Your participants are much more likely to keep the donations rolling in if they can associate a face or story with the cause.
On Hole Contests
We all know of the more straight forward contests like the hole-in-one challenge, longest drive, or straightest drive. And while those options are almost too easy to leave out, here’s a few alternative contests that shouldn’t be forgotten.
- Pink Ball
Each grouping of golfers is given one pink golf ball at the beginning of the match. The ball is rotated between players at each hole, with the score with pink ball is recored after each hole. At the end of the tournament the group with the lowest pink ball score is the winner.
- Beat The Pro
The course pro is stationed at a hole on the course (usually a Par 3), the pro is the first to tee off before each grouping. The participants are then allowed to place a bet that they can get their tee shot closer to the pin. If the pro is closer to the pin the money is donated, if the participant gets closer they get double their wager back. You’ll obviously want to find someone who is consistent and accurate so you can raise as much money as you can for your charity.
- 19th Hole Contest
A 19th hole contest lets the contestants compete against everyone. The first 10 or 20 contestants to turn their scorecards into the 19th hole(the clubhouse) are entered into a raffle to win a prize. To make sure everyone has a chance to join in on the fun, you can also sell raffle tickets to the other contestants that weren’t able to get to the clubhouse in time.
Regardless of which contests you decide to include in your tournament, the key to it all is creativity. Make sure that while you’re trying to raise money for your charities that you’re also making sure that your participants are having a fun time in the process.
Host an Auction
Auctions are a time honored tradition in the fundraising world for the simple fact that they work. Not only does it give your golfers another chance at winning some awesome prizes but it also gives their friends and family who may have not participated in the event to join in on the fun. The only question is which auction method is the best for your event.
- Silent auction
Definitely the easier of the two options, silent auctions require very little effort once the items are gathered up and put on display. Popular items include; sports memorabilia, golf vacation packages, concert and other event tickets and the list goes on and on.
- Live Auctions
To run a successful live auction it maybe in your best interest to hire a professional auctioneer to attend your event. Live auctions are something of a spectacle and a professional auctioneer knows how to excite crowds and drive up bids.
Regardless of which auction method you decide to use, it’s important that you make sure you offer a wide range of items, big and small.
In the digital age that we’re all currently living in, viral content is king, and in the golf industry that usually means trick shots and long drives. This opens the door for a lot of opportunities in the golf tournament and fundraising industry. Companies like Charity Golf International have taken advantage of this trend and turned it into millions of dollars in donation revenue.
CGI drives donation revenue by providing charity golf tournaments with a World Long Drive Professional. These professionals station themselves at one of the course’s Par 5 holes and entertain the participants with their signature 400+ yard drives and trick shots. To help drive donations, participants have the chance to buy in to a “Hole-in-Two” contest by donating to the tournament’s charity. In the Hole-in-Two contest, the long drive pro drives a ball within 100 yards of the green and the participants are given the chance to chip in for a double eagle with a golf vacation of a lifetime on the line.
Make it a Multi-Day Event
Hosting an opening or closing event can be a great way to add value to your event and further incentivizes your participants. Find a local bar or restaurant to host a celebratory dinner to welcome or thank your participant. This can give your club added face time with the players and give you more time to drive donations.
Team Connor Childhood Cancer Foundation does an excellent job raising money for their foundation by hosting the III Forks Golf Classic. III Forks Steakhouse in Dallas, TX plays host to their kickoff dinner the night before the tournament. At the dinner, players and their families are updated on all the wonderful things Team Connor has done with the money they raise through these events, participate in silents auctions, and enjoy a fun night. In previous years, the kickoff dinner alone raised upwards of $200,000.