How to Organize a Charity Golf Tournament
Published September 4, 2021
Charity events nowadays are getting more creative. With a population used to a fast-paced lifestyle, it’s not enough anymore to just ask for donations. You need to create more awareness to drum up support. That’s why fundraiser events of late typically incorporate charity in sports and other community gatherings.
One great way of raising funds is by hosting a charity golf tournament. It won’t only provide an avenue for the avid golfers in your community to showcase their skills and engage in friendly competition. It’s also a great way to rally the community together in support of a common cause.
Running a Charity Golf Tournament
Charity golf tournaments are exactly what their name suggests. It’s a golf competition and a charity event at the same time.
It might sound simple but running a fundraiser like this isn’t easy, especially if you’re not familiar with the sport. In planning this type of event, there are six basic factors you need to consider:
- Your venue. Is there a golf course nearby? If there isn’t, how long is the drive to the nearest one? The venue should be your first consideration when putting together a charity golf tournament. You can’t send out invitations and plan your event properly without finalizing your venue.
- Your attendees. Obviously, you should invite people who play golf. I mean, you can’t expect to hold a golf tournament without golf players. But aside from the players, you should also consider inviting people who have supported your charity events in the past. They are more likely to support your fundraiser this time.
- The tournament format. There are two basic forms of playing golf: match play and stroke play. But there are many different types of golf tournament formats like Stableford, Texas Scramble, and Foursome to name a few. If you’re not sure which format you should go for, you can ask a golfer to explain to you the pros and cons of each.
- How to raise funds. It’s a fundraising event so naturally, you’ll need to think of ways to raise funds for charity during the golf tournament.
- How to promote your event. No matter how well-planned your charity golf tournament is, it will all be for naught if nobody knows about it. At the end of this post, we’ll give you some tips on how to promote charity events.
- How to execute the event. How will you go about running the tournament? If it’s a huge event, you’ll obviously need some help putting it together. Figure out how many volunteers you’ll need and your initial budget. Even if it’s a charity event, you may still need to pay for catering, the venue, and other sundry expenses. Don’t forget to set aside an amount for your prizes too.
If you’ve never done it before, it’s best to get advice from a golfer or your local country club members. They know the sport in and out so they can offer you great insights on what will work best. Or if your budget permits, hire an events manager to ensure that the golf tournament will run smoothly.
Golf Tournament Fundraising Ideas
There are a lot of ways to raise funds for charity during golf tournaments. If you’re lost on where to start, here are some easy and effective fundraising ideas that will surely spice up your next annual golf tournament:
1. Player Registration Fees
Imposing a registration fee is one of the standard ways you can raise funds from charitable events. Besides, golfing events usually have registration fees to cover the “green fees” or the cost of playing a session on the golf course. You can offer online and offline registration for both guests and participants. There are a lot of online services that can help you automate your registration process for a small fee.
You can also offer discounted packages for foursome registrations. This will encourage golfers to invite their friends to join the tournament. The more players you have, the more people will attend the event.
Golf can be tricky, especially for newbies. An extra stroke, not counted on the scorecards, will surely increase their chances – and their confidence too! This is why many people would pay for mulligans in these types of events.
You can bundle it as part of a package or as a separate offering. Just make sure to include it in your emails and social media posts.
Sponsorships are probably the oldest trick in the book of nonprofit fundraising ideas. Talk to the businesses in your community and offer opportunities for corporate sponsorship. Getting corporate sponsors for these types of events isn’t usually that hard. Most of the time, they’re also eager for their brands to be seen at events like this.
You can also offer sponsorships for every hole. With 18 holes, you can collect a fair amount – especially if the community knows it’s for charity.
4. Merchandise Sales
Big sporting events wouldn’t be complete without merchandise sales. It adds to the enthusiasm of the crowd and makes a great souvenir too.
There’s a wide variety of merchandise you can sell at a charity golf event. Aside from the usual button pins and hats, you can also offer golf-themed items such as:
- golf balls
- golf headcovers
- ball markers
5. Golf Marathons
Golf marathons or golf-a-thons are becoming increasingly popular in charity golf tournaments. It allows you to raise more funds by involving non-golf enthusiasts.
Instead of collecting registration fees from players, encourage them to do peer-to-peer fundraising. Let them solicit donations from their colleagues, friends, and family through email and social media. They can complete their registration once they’ve completed the minimum donation amount. You can also turn it into a contest to see who can raise the most amount of donations from their peers.
6. Donation Appeal
Aside from making donation appeals on your social media, you can also make an appeal on the golf course. Station a volunteer at every hole and have them ask each golfer to donate on the spot. They’ll be more willing to donate if you educate them about your cause and where the money will go.
7. Fundraising Raffle
If you have donations in kind, you can offer them as prizes for a fundraising raffle. You can sell the raffle tickets on your website or during the event.
8. Cash-bar Golf Cart
It’s inevitable for golfers to go thirsty or hungry on the golf course. You can cash in on this by turning a golf cart into a cash bar. Fill it up with drinks and small snacks that you think will interest them. You can also offer mobile payment options for hassle-free transactions.
9. Helicopter Drop
Another way to make your golf tournament more interesting is by selling colored, numbered golf balls before and after the event. Then during the tournament, a helicopter will fly around the golf course and drop the ball at designated targets.
10. Rent a Caddie
Some golfers find it bothersome to bring their own bag and golf club. You can offer volunteers as caddies for rent either as part of the registration package or during the event.
11. Charity Dinner and Banquet
A charity dinner and banquet is the perfect way to cap off a successful golf tournament. For golfers, it’s a way to celebrate and socialize. For you, it’s an opportunity to raise money for charity.
Make sure to provide good food, drinks, and a great ambiance so the diners won’t hesitate to attend next year’s tournament. You can also do a charity auction while at it.
12. Matching Gift Request
Corporate gift matching is a type of charitable giving where employers match, double, or even triple their employee’s donations. It’s a great opportunity to double or triple your donations without having to acquire new donors.
Though this type of fundraising is gaining popularity nowadays, it’s still an unfamiliar concept for many people. This is mostly because most employees aren’t really aware of their employer’s philanthropy programs.
So to successfully implement this fundraising idea, you need to help your donors inform their employers about your charity event. You can put the guidelines on your site or send out matching gift requests to their employers. You can also include this request in the donor’s thank you email so they can forward it to their employers.
13. Beat the Pro
This will only work if you can invite a pro-golfer to your event. And no, I’m not talking about Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson (though it would be infinitely better if you can invite them!). A local golf celebrity should work just fine.
The game goes like this: individual players will place a bet against the pro-golfer on who can get the ball closest to the pin. If they win, they’ll get double their bet amount. But if the pro-golfer wins, their bets will obviously be forfeited. You can just imagine how many amateur golfers will jump at the chance of beating a pro-golfer.
If possible, you can also ask the pro-golfer to provide one-on-one coaching with the winners. That will definitely drive your audience’s interest (and your ticket sales) up a notch.
14. Stream the Tournament Online
Not all people who want to watch the tournament or support your fundraiser will be available on the day of the event itself. Some might have a trip that they can’t cancel while others have work on that day. Whatever the case might be, the bottomline is they can’t attend your event. But if your stream the tournament online, they might still be able to donate to your cause.
There are multiple ways to raise funds for online events. You can sell tickets to the live stream or play your sponsor’s ads. You can also ask for donations during your live stream by directing your viewers to your site or to a secure donation link.
Promoting Your Charity Golf Tournament
There are a lot of ways to promote your charity golf tournament. But the important thing to remember here is not to stick with just one promotional strategy. When promoting your event, you need to cover all fonts to gain as much exposure as you can.
That said, here are some of the best ways to promote fundraisers like a charity golf tournament:
Humanize Your Fundraising Activity
Putting a face and a story to your fundraising is very essential when promoting the tournament. Pick a cause or a charitable organization beforehand. Feature their story and highlight how the money will help them. People are more generous when they understand where the donations will go. They might even promote your event themselves.
Promote Your Event Online and Offline
A winning email marketing strategy helps a lot. Don’t forget to make your event visible on relevant social media platforms. Your charity partner should also promote it on their website or social media pages. The people who already support them are more likely to support the golf tournament too.
Partner With Sponsors
If you have a major sponsor, make sure that their company logo is visible in all your promotional materials. They might be supporting your event for the sake of charity but, of course, they’ll also want to promote their brand. If they’re not satisfied, they might not be as willing to support your next fundraising activity.
Donate To The Poor & Homeless Of South Florida
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About The Author
Judy Ponio is a professional writer and devoted Christian. She has a passion for writing about topics related to morality and helping the poor and homeless. She is the lead author for the Our Father’s House Soup Kitchen blog.
Correct Digital, Inc is paid by private donors to provide website digital marketing services to this non-profit organization.