Golf Day Fundraising Ideas
There’s never been a better time to plan a golf day, since the start of the pandemic, the golf industry has boomed, with male and female golfers growing in numbers by 2% and 8% respectively, the largest net growths on record leading to the most golfers ever!
Whether a golf day is new to the organization, or a tried and tested method to raise much-needed funds, there are countless ways to make this a fun, engaging, inclusive but crucially, profitable day!
No doubt your non-profit is always looking for new ways to raise money, so a golf outing or charity golf tournament is a fantastic way for you to engage your local community and customers. It could be as simple as running a golf marathon day to a simple raffle.
Below are our top tips to ensure we’re set up for success.
Planning your golf day fundraiser
Diligent planning is a huge part of any successful fundraising event, and it’s no different here. We want to make sure you are maximizing sponsor exposure and avenues for donors to give from the get-go. These include:
- Some people say 18 holes is too many for a round of golf, but I say that’s 18 opportunities for sponsors to support the organization! Signage on the tee, logos on your fundraising website and golfing giveaways give great brand recognition to supporting benefactors.
- As with any event, we need to sell tickets. By hosting ticket sales on an all-inclusive platform it allows the sales of fourballs, plus donors can add their guest information for immediate data capture.
- All attendees receive automatic messages to the auction/day of giving. Giving away golf polo shirts? Having a meal? Sizes and dietary preferences are the sort of questions you can ask at this stage.
- Drinks tickets, mulligans, longest drive, closest to the pin, beat the pro, putting competitions. All of these items/entries can be sold through your fundraising website pre-event or at check-in, so those without cash won’t miss out on their chance to give money!
It’s important that we cater for all types of golfers, new and experienced. A renowned course will be a pull for all ability levels, but we also want to make sure it’s a layout that isn’t too difficult. At the end of the day, we want everyone to enjoy themselves and feel charitable afterwards. This might not always be the case if pace is slow, or frustrations boiled over due to a tough round!
- Check in – Now guests are registered, we want to make it simple for guests to access on the day.
- Automatic texts when checked in “Welcome to our golf day Dan, you’re teeing off on Hole 7 in the shotgun start at 11am, click here to view the items, play well!” will certainly help as will QR codes, and staff on hand with devices.
- Swag bags – another nice draw for potential attendees with logoed balls, towels, hats, shoe bags etc are useful giveaways for both non-profit and sponsors.
- Prizes – Ultimately, everyone wants to win! Some exciting prizes (advertised pre-event) will keep interest high. Golf bags, golf scoring technology, and apparel will go down very well, maybe even a lesson with a local pro for those in last place!
We suggest to keep it competitive! How will teams input their score? Using live scoring (such as VPAR, our sister company) will keep everyone updated and spark those competitive spirits.
- Pink Ball Fourball – Give every fourball one pink ball, they take it turns between them to use it for a hole and keep track of their score (Player 1 for the first hole, Player 2 for the second and so on). The team with the lowest pink ball score wins. If a team loses it, they’re disqualified! It can also be a good side game .
- Best Ball – Quite often the favored format for a charity golf day because it allows everyone to play their part whilst keeping pace of play up. Every player plays their own ball as normal, and the best score from the hole is taken. A minimum of 4 contributing scores from each player is required over the round!
- Texas Scramble – A fun format, though not always the quickest! Every player tees off and the best drive is selected. Each player then plays their next shot from there. From the resulting shots, the best is chosen again and everyone once again, plays from that spot etc.
Fundraising for your non-profit
Right, we’re looking good, now for how we’re going to raise the funds on the day.
- Silent Auction – Almost essential for a profitable day. A variety of golf items (of course!), memorabilia, vacations etc will offer something for everyone
- Launching the auction pre-event gives some momentum coming into the day.
- Displaying the items and live leaderboard screens at check in before tee off allows something to catch an attendees eye!
- Make sure you contact local businesses for your golf event to help give prizes for your auction, plus to help promote your event.
- Don’t quite have the range of items you’re after? Choose some amazing risk free consignment items to add a wow factor to the auction.
- Message (texts & emails) donors pre-event, the morning of, and throughout to update them on items without bids, closing times in addition to automatic outbid notifications.
- Donation Moment – I personally recommend that all my clients have some sort of appeal moment at an event. It doesn’t have to be a strong ask, sometimes it’s just making people aware that the option to donate is enough.
- Promotional Contests – Not everyone can afford to bid on a silent auction item, but there might be something in a promotional contest that they fancy. A tee time at a sought after course will get lots of activity. Promotional Contest tickets are a great way to raise more money for your event. Giveaways can be as simple as golf balls, playing golf or winning a free golf tournament fourball for the winner and their friends.
Perfect, now the auction is closed, donations are in and because you’ve swiped cards at check in, funds are on their way to you via a seamless payment integration.
After your golf fundraising event
The most important element here, is to say thanks. A nice summary email post event goes a long way and all the data collected is gold dust for future fundraising initiatives. Thereafter, it’s time to focus on the rest of the year’s initiatives before planning soon comes around again!
Vice President, Givergy US
Dan has spent over seven years working in the digital and non-profit fundraising world, stationed in New York for the past three years. During that time he has helped hundreds of north American non-profits raise more for their fundraising initiatives, both online and at physical events.