How to Run a Successful Golf Fundraiser

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Spring is finally here, and summer is just around the corner! With the coming of warmer weather, people are flocking outside to exercise and enjoy their favorite outdoor activities. For fundraisers and nonprofits, this also means one inevitable truth – golf fundraisers are here!

Your annual golf fundraiser can be a unique and engaging way to interact with some of your top supporters, while also attracting new donors to your organization. Because your golf fundraiser has potential for a major impact on annual giving, it’s crucial that you optimize the event in order to raise as much money as possible – while providing your guests with an unforgettable day.

In general, we recommend that you encourage your guests not take the golf tournament too seriously. Instead, follow “best ball” or scramble rules in order to keep the play more casual and light-hearted. Once you’ve found the right course, it’s time to focus on revenue drivers for the event.

In this post, we will walk you through the process of setting up a successful golf fundraiser in order to ensure that you boost proceeds and bring your participants back year after year. Here, we will focus on key revenue drivers for your golf fundraiser, while also including tips on how to enhance your event’s overall experience. Some of the topics we will cover specifically are:

  1. Ticketing
  2. Mobile Fundraising
  3. Other Revenue Drivers

Ticketing

Selling tickets for your golf fundraiser will likely be one of the largest drivers of revenue for the event. As you probably know, the best way to set up ticketing for your golf fundraiser is by selling tickets in groups known as foursomes. A foursome simply means that a team of four people can combine and golf at the fundraiser together. Each member typically contributes funds for their own share of the foursome. While you can create different group amounts (individuals, twosomes, etc.), the golf foursome is by far the most popular.

Depending on your demographic, foursomes can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars per person, to a few thousand dollars per person! Clearly, your funds can add up, based on how many teams you can attract.

In order to make the ticketing process as smooth as possible for your donors and participants, we recommend using an online ticketing platform, which will allow you to easily create a custom event page for your golf fundraiser, and offer different ticket tiers.

For foursome signups, you will be able to set up ticketing so that users can purchase foursome tickets, and then enter the information on each participating member of your group. This information includes contact data on your guests, and it will become extremely valuable to your organization throughout the year.

golf ticketing checkout

In addition to making the ticket purchase / donation process a lot easier and more convenient for your guests, online ticketing will keep ticket sales, performance, and guest data streamlined and easy to manage for your event organizers.

Finally, online event ticketing will allow your organization to begin promoting any other fundraising tactics you are using early. Are you hosting a silent auction at your golf fundraiser? Choosing an event ticketing platform that integrates or offers their own mobile bidding service will allow your guests to buy their tickets and begin bidding / donating – all in the same place! We’ll touch more on the mobile fundraising aspect of a golf fundraiser later in this post.

To learn more about the full benefits of online ticketing and how to choose the best vendor, check out our full post here.

Sponsorship

Along with selling ticketing to your golf participants, selling sponsorships will hopefully bring in a windfall of proceeds for your organization. As with all fundraising events, targeting, engaging and closing the right sponsors can be extremely challenging. That’s why we created our Ultimate Guide to Fundraiser Sponsorship to help you along the way!

With a golf fundraiser, your traditional sponsorships will most likely go to the larger sponsors (big corporations, etc.). But don’t forget to get creative and offer smaller, unique experiences to potential sponsors. Specifically for a golf fundraiser, some fun ideas include:

  • Sponsor a hole / flag
  • Sponsor the food or beverage service
  • Sponsor one (or all) of the golf carts

These additional opportunities will open sponsorship to local vendors, as well as those who might be participating in the event for the first time from a sponsorship perspective.

Mobile Fundraising

As we already discussed briefly, mobile fundraising is perfect for your next golf fundraiser, and can really help your team boost proceeds while providing your guests with a more engaging experience. Mobile fundraising includes anything from online donation pages to mobile silent auctions and text-to-give campaigns. When it comes to golf fundraisers, any of these tools will be a great fit.

Using a mobile fundraising platform that combines with online ticketing will allow you to offer your donors a central location to purchase tickets, bid on your silent auction items, and make an online donation – it doesn’t get much easier than that!

We know that many event hosts include a silent auction at their golf fundraiser. While silent auctions are a perfect way to boost proceeds, traditional silent auctions do not typically perform well at golf events. Why?

Because your donors are out on the course all day!

As you may have realized by now, mobile bidding combats this issue by allowing your guests to bid from anywhere on the course from their phones. Furthermore, they will also receive outbid notifications throughout the day. If you think your donors are competitive when it comes to golf, wait until you see them on the back nine in a bidding war with another team!

In addition to allowing your bidders to bid from anywhere on the course during your event, you can also attract pre-bidding from any of your supporters, whether they are attending or not.

Using a mobile silent auction will also help streamline your checkout process, as your guests will be able to check out and pay while they are still finishing up on the course.

Golf Fundraiser Auction Tips

From our experience with countless golf fundraisers and their mobile fundraising tactics, we can offer a few subtle tips that can go a long way to improving your donors’ experience (and yours!), while boosting proceeds.

  1. Printed Item Catalogs  Because your participants will be out on the golf course all day, putting a printed sheet with all of your silent auction items on each golf cart’s steering wheel will help guests submit their bids. It will also act as a physical reminder to continue donating.
  2. Live Call-To-Actions – Place volunteers at certain holes throughout the course in order to encourage donations on the spot. For example, have volunteers encourage a $50 donation from each player … or a $200 donation from the player whose tee shot is furthest from the pin!
  3. Constant Refreshments! – A huge part of a successful golf fundraiser is keeping your participants happy. The happier they are, the more they will donate. If food and beverages (alcoholic, too!) are constantly circulating the course, your guests will be having a great time, and they will keep the donations coming.

Additional Revenue Drivers

While ticketing, sponsorship, and mobile fundraising are all proven methods to boost proceeds at your golf fundraiser, the nature of your event lends itself to additional revenue drivers. Take a look at some the ideas below, and consider incorporating them into your next golf fundraiser:

  • Longest Putt / Longest Drive – Here, you can have your participants donate an entry fee to join the Longest Putt or Longest Drive Competition. The winner of the competition – the player with the longest putt or drive on the designated hole – receives half of the total entry fees, while the organization receives the rest.
  • Closest to the Pin Following the same idea, the Closest to the Pin challenge rewards the golfer who hits their tee shot closest to the pin on the designated hole.
  • Buy a Mulligan – Regardless of the golfer, everyone would like to have one shot back at some point throughout the day. For your golf fundraiser, offer players the chance to retry their shot … for a fee!
  • Rent-a-Pro Is there an especially difficult par four coming up on the back nine? If so, give your golf teams the opportunity to rent the golf club’s pro to take a shot or play the whole on behalf of their team. This will drive competition and increased donations!
  • Golf with a celebrity – If you have local celebrities attending your event, ask if they would be willing to golf in a foursome for the day. If so, you can sell spots on this foursome on your online ticketing page!

Conclusion

While we have included a lot of thought starters to help your next golf fundraiser, you do not need to incorporate all of them in your first event. Feel free to slowly test each method out to see what works best for your team to raise as much as possible while keeping your guests entertained. Good luck!

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Updated

2019-05-16T10:27:23-04:00March 19th, 2018|