Charity Golf Tournament Ideas for Your Nonprofit Organization

Charity Golf Tournament

Charity Golf Tournament

Are you looking for a way to raise substantial revenue for your nonprofit organization? A golf tournament can be a great way to do so while bringing your community together. While a charity golf tournament requires a generous budget and planning, the results are well worth it. A golf tournament raises $5,000 in revenue on average.

This article covers everything you need to know about planning and hosting a charity golf tournament, from running a golf fundraiser to brainstorming golf tournament fundraising ideas. 

What Is a Charity Golf Tournament?

Golf Fundraiser

A charity golf tournament is a fundraising event that virtually any nonprofit organization can pull off. Moreover, it is an intelligent fundraising move for a variety of reasons. First, it is a fundraising event enticing all age groups, attracting children and seniors alike. It also is suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to advanced golfers. In addition, it takes place outdoors, making it safe for social distance practices.

Lastly, golf is a long game. Completing 18 holes of golf typically takes a minimum of four hours. This gives your nonprofit organization plenty of time to do additional fundraising. From auctions and competitions to refreshments and caddie services, there are endless opportunities for your nonprofit organization to increase its funds.

Is a Charity Golf Tournament Right for my Organization?

A charity golf tournament is a widely popular and successful way to raise revenue for nonprofit organizations. However, they require extensive planning and a more comprehensive budget than other fundraising event options. If no one in your organization is familiar with the planning process, you may not know where to start. Moreover, you may not know if a golf tournament is proper for you.

A golf tournament is not a good fit for every organization despite being an excellent way for a nonprofit or charity to increase funds. Your nonprofit organization needs to consider the demographic of its audience when determining if a golf tournament is the right fundraising choice for them.  

For example, suppose your nonprofit organization is focused on sustainability in fashion, and your audience is primarily females aged 18-25. In that case, a golf fundraiser may not be the most effective way to raise money. If you are wondering whether a golf tournament is the right fundraising choice for your organization, you should ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Who is my nonprofit organization's audience? Who are its main contributors? 
  • Does my organization have the resources to fund this event? 
  • Does my organization have the time to organize this event? 
  • Is this event weather-appropriate for where my organization is based?

If your organization's contributors are interested in golf and you answered "yes" to the last three questions, a golf tournament might be perfect for your next fundraising event.

How Do I Run a Golf Fundraiser? 

The success of your golf fundraiser depends on how well you prepare for it. Planning and running your golf fundraiser are easy with these steps.

  • Decide on the Basics 

The first step of planning a golf fundraiser is loosely establishing your budget and fundraising goals. Then, based on these factors, you will choose a location with the highest cost to consider. When picking a place, there are a few things to consider. First, you want to select a golf course in your donor's price range.

You want to avoid an expensive course the average donor could not afford. However, it should be a location that your donors would look forward to playing on. For example, you could pick a course that might not be accessible to the general public, like a reasonably priced private course, for your golf fundraiser.  

This would attract donors and give them an incentive to participate. Lastly, you want to pick a location large enough to host an event. Your location size will determine how many foursomes can compete at your event. 

  • Firmly establish your budget and goals

The golf course where your event is held will likely be your highest fundraising cost. Once the tournament location is established, you can tighten your fundraising budget and goals range. Next, you must determine how much your organization has to raise to offset expenses. Other expenses of your golf fundraiser might include:

  • Refreshments (food and beverages) 
  • Advertising and outreach costs 
  • Tickets 
  • Prizes 
  • Signs and decorations

Once you have estimated your expenses, you can brainstorm ways to raise additional revenue. Ticket sales and hole sponsorships are the most obvious ways your fundraiser will raise money. However, your organization can also raise money through auctions, raffles, or small competitions held throughout the event. 

Knowing the demographic of your donors is essential when establishing your budget and goals. The statistics of your previous fundraising events will help you determine what does and does not work for your nonprofit organization. After you have an idea of what your donors are interested in, you can begin to plan supplementary auctions and contests for your fundraising event. 

  • Find Volunteers for Your Event 
Fundraising Golf Tournament Ideas

Planning and running a profitable golf fundraiser require a lot of hands. First, your nonprofit organization must recruit volunteers to help with your event. Next, you should reach out to your organization's board members and ask if they have an interest in helping plan your fundraising event.

There is a good chance that at least some board members have contributed to planning a golf tournament before. If they are not interested, they can likely connect you with someone who is. 

You will also need extra hands on the day of your golf fundraiser. You will need volunteers at every hole, helping out around the course and providing refreshments throughout the day. In addition, if you have auctions or other competitions at your tournament, you will also need volunteers to help with those events.  

You can post about your event on social media and include a volunteer sign-up form online to find volunteers. You could also reach out to local businesses and ask if their employees are willing to volunteer. Of course, it would help if you gave yourself enough time to find volunteers, as finding enough people can be a long process.

  • Pick a Theme for Your Event 

Golf tournaments are a common way nonprofit organizations raise money, so you want to ensure your fundraiser stands out. Picking a theme for your golf fundraiser can attract more participants and add cohesion to the event. When choosing a theme, there are a few different approaches your nonprofit organization can take.

You can pick a theme that aligns with your organization's mission. For example, if your nonprofit organization is focused on marine wildlife conservation, a tropical theme might be a good fit for your golf tournament. Golfers could wear tropical or colorful golf shirts, and the refreshment menu could include a signature tropical cocktail.  

You could also choose a seasonal theme for your fundraiser. For example, your golf tournament could have an Easter theme if hosting the event in the spring. Competition prizes and auction items could be wrapped in an Easter basket. Whatever angle you choose, a theme brings participants together and makes the day a more memorable experience. 

  • Plan additional fundraising opportunities 
Charity Golf Tournament Ideas

Ticket sales alone will not raise enough revenue to make a golf tournament worth the costs. Therefore, your nonprofit organization needs other ways to fundraise during the event.

Adding additional fundraising opportunities like auctions, challenges, and contests will help your organization raise money while keeping your golf participants and spectators engaged. Of course, you want to keep your audience in mind when planning an auction and other games. For golf tournament fundraising ideas, you can check out the following section of this article. 

  • Secure Sponsorships for your tournament

Securing sponsorships is an effective way to increase funding for your golf tournament. You can contact local businesses to see if they are willing to sponsor your event. If they offer a large donation, you can advertise your golf tournament as being supported by them. This benefits both your nonprofit organization and the sponsor.

The sponsor receives advertising opportunities while your organization can reach a larger audience and increase your funds. If a business wants to make a smaller donation, you can offer them a hole sponsorship. A business can sponsor one of the 18 holes at your event, and, in exchange, a sign with their company name will be posted at the hole. That business could even set up a table advertising their services near the hole if they wish.

  • Spread the word about your event

You secured a tournament location, picked a date and theme, and began brainstorming additional fundraising ideas. Now it is time to promote your event! You can take several approaches to promote your event, including high and low-tech communication forms.

We recommended combining these approaches to reach a larger demographic and widen your audience. For ideas on how to spread the word about your charity golf tournament, consider taking the following guidelines: 

  • Social Media
Golf Tournament Fundraising Ideas

Today, social media is one of the most effective ways to reach a large audience quickly. For example, you can use your business name's Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts to spread the word about your tournament.  

On Instagram, you can use Instagram stories to showcase special offers and count down to the tournament date. On Facebook, you can create an event page that can be shared easily with a wide range of people. 

You can share a link on all your social media platforms allowing people to buy golf tournament tickets online. You can also post updates about the planning process, including new hole sponsorships and games that will be featured.  

Creating a hashtag for your event is an excellent way to organize your outreach and track your engagement progress. In addition, it may be helpful to create a page that keeps track of your fundraising progress. For example, you can use a website like Fundrazr that automatically updates each time a donation is received.  

  • Email campaign

Most nonprofits and charities have a list of donors' email addresses and people interested in getting involved with the organization. A simple way to reach potentially interested people is by emailing a virtual invitation to this list of recipients.  

You can include a link to register for the event on the virtual invitation. This form of outreach allows recipients to forward the email to other people who might be interested. 

  • Newsletter campaign 

A newsletter is a great way to keep people interested in your organization in the loop about upcoming events. A newsletter can be an excellent opportunity to promote your tournament and build excitement among potential participants if you already have a newsletter. It is essential to begin this outreach as soon as possible so that people have time to prepare for the event. You should send information for the event at least a month in advance. 

  • In-person outreach

People are more likely to participate in an event if they recognize a familiar face. Because of this, personal invitations are an effective way to bring up numbers at a charity golf tournament.  

In addition to branching out online, all members of your nonprofit organization should ask their friends and family if they are interested in participating in the golf fundraiser. This should give you a reliable base number of participants when planning your event. 

A lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into planning a charity golf tournament. However, do not let this discourage you. If you plan ahead of time and follow these steps, your nonprofit organization will be able to run a memorable and successful golf tournament.

10 Golf Tournament Fundraising Ideas 

Brainstorming and planning fundraising ideas for your golf tournament can seem daunting. Luckily, various golf tournament fundraising ideas could be perfect for your event.

1- Hold a Silent Auction 
Golf Tournament Fundraiser

Silent Auctions are an easy and effective way to raise revenue quickly. This is especially true when you have a precious item to auction off. For example, you can hold an auction at the end of the golf tournament when golfers relax after their games.

If your tournament includes a dinner or ceremony afterward, this is the perfect time to hold an auction. To acquire an auction item, you can reach out to local businesses to see if they can donate an item. Or you can work with a fundraising website like Charity Safaris.   

Charity Safaris is among the United States’ largest fundraising websites. They offer free hunting trip packages to qualifying charities and nonprofits across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. All their hunting packages are at no cost, with 100% donations for all charity fundraisers.

Charity Safaris operates as a charity auction site by collaborating with event coordinators and auctioneers. They guide auction winners through every process step, providing them with everything they need to have a lifetime trip.  

Charity Safari offers trips to New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, and Namibia (available in 2003). If your nonprofit organization is interested in working with Charity Safaris for your next fundraiser, you can connect with them by filling out an online donation request on their website. 

Of all golf tournament fundraising ideas, a silent auction is a reliable way to raise revenue for your nonprofit organization. 

2- Sell mulligans on the golf course

What golfer wouldn't love a do-over? Therefore almost all golf fundraisers offer their golfers a chance to purchase mulligans or a second try at swinging. In addition, you can sell mulligans at your golf tournament for a small price. 

Make it even more enticing to golfers by having a volunteer selling mulligans at every hole. It is an excellent opportunity for golfers to donate additional money, and it also benefits their scores. 

3- Hole-in-one Contest
Golf Fundraising Ideas

Of all golf tournament fundraising ideas, a hole-in-one contest is a traditional way to raise money during your event. At select holes, your nonprofit organization can offer a small prize for anyone who gets a hole-in-one.

Make it more alluring to advanced golfers by holding the hole-in-one contests at the course's most challenging holes. Additional perks, like the opportunity to win a prize, can draw in more golf participants and increase your revenue. 

4- Allow donors to sponsor a hole 

Hole sponsorships are one of those golf tournament fundraising ideas that benefit both your nonprofit organization and the sponsor. A donor can pay to sponsor a hole at your golf fundraiser. In exchange, a sign with the donor's name or business will be posted near the hole, giving them more exposure and network opportunities.

In addition, the hole sponsor can decide if they want its hole to be involved in a contest or become an auction site. To raise revenue, you can sell a sponsorship for each hole, which is 18.

5- Have a "Beat the Pro" golfer contest 
Golf Tournament Fundraiser Ideas

A "Beat the Pro" contest is popular among beginners and advanced golfers. In a "Beat the Pro" golfer contest, you can have a professional golfer stay at a designated hole. Then, for a donation, golfers can pay to compete against the professional golfer on that hole.

If the golfer wins, they win back double the amount they bet. If the professional golfer wins, your nonprofit organization keeps the profit. The chance to meet and play against a professional golfer at your event will surely attract more participants. 

6- Sell Customized Merchandise 

People love to buy products that align with and showcase their interests and values. Therefore designing branded products and selling them at your golf fundraiser is a great way to raise revenue.

In addition to tee shirts, you could sell golf-related items, like towels, golf balls, and ball makers. But, again, you should give golfers the option to purchase these items during registration so they can use them during the game.  

Moreover, you can create a hashtag that allows people to share their branded merchandise purchases on social media and continue spreading awareness of your organization's cause. 

7- Sell Refreshment Tickets 

After spending a few hours golfing in the sun, participants will most likely be craving a cold beverage. Selling refreshment tickets is a great way to raise revenue. You can sell drink tickets before each game to ensure all participants stay cool and have a great time. You can also sell tickets during online registration, at the end of the tournament, and at the course's halfway point.

8- Hold a "Pink Ball" Contest

If you are looking for games that will add excitement to your charity golf tournament, the "pink ball" contest is a great option. The rules are pretty simple: Each foursome receives one pink ball for a small price.

At each hole, the players rotate the pink golf ball between each other. The score of the golfer with the pink ball is recorded. At the end of the tournament, the team with the lowest pink ball score wins a prize.  

They are eliminated if a foursome loses the pink ball during the game. The pink ball content is fun and effortless to set up. It encourages golfers to get competitive with each other and be motivated to play.

9- Rent a Caddie
Golf Fundraiser Ideas

A "caddie rental" is a great way to raise revenue at your golf tournament. Golfers can pay a fee to rent a caddie to assist them throughout the golf tournament. You can offer a discounted rate if golfers buy a package including golf tickets and caddie services.

However, you will need enough caddie volunteers to cover every foursome in your tournament. Therefore, you want to ensure you have enough volunteers before offering this service. Securing enough people could be a challenge depending on your fundraising event's significance.  

This fundraising idea is a great way to get the entire community involved, and the payout might be worth it. 

10 - Have a Longest Drive Contest

Seeing who can hit the longest drive is another popular contest at a charity golf tournament. This is another opportunity to get golfers to compete in an engaging and friendly way.

For this contest, whoever hits the longest drive from the tee box wins a small prize (and bragging rights.) You can save this contest for one of the back nine holes, where there is enough distance from the tee box for even advanced golfers to compete. For this contest, you should have a volunteer stationed at the hole to check the competitors and track their driving distances. 

Final Fundraising Thoughts

A charity golf tournament is a fantastic way to increase funds for your nonprofit organization or charity. Even if golf draws in fewer people than other fundraising events, a tournament provides ample opportunities to raise money.  

It is essential to begin planning early to get enough volunteers and participants to make the costs of a tournament worthwhile. Following our guidelines on preparing a goal tournament will set you up for success. 

In addition, you can use some of our golf tournament fundraising ideas to raise additional revenue. If you are looking for an item worthy of auctioning off, check out Charity Safaris’ adventurous hunting packages. 

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