Supplementing an online crowdfunding campaign with an offline fundraising event is the perfect way to increase donations and raise awareness in your community. Golf tournaments have become progressively popular in recent years, especially for celebrities looking to hit a few bogeys and birdies for a deserving cause. As reported by the Golf Tournament Association of America, there are more than 800,000 golf tournaments dedicated to raising money for charities each year.
Whether or not you have a list of celebrities willing to contribute, you can also pull off a successful event on the fairway for a charity of your choice. However, this popular fundraising event can be used to drum up support for other purposes, too—memorials, medical bills, adoption fees and even community scholarships, to name a few. Check out these and other fundraising ideas to help your fundraiser.
Take It From the Pros
Rick Peters is a PGA Golf Professional and serves on the executive committee for The Legacy, an annual golf tournament aimed at raising money for charities in San Diego. The Legacy has achieved great success in the past 15 years.
“Individually, one may have limitations on their ability to make an impact on the lives of others, but the collective effort of a golf tournament aimed at fundraising can make an enormous difference,” Peters says.
PGA Golf Professional Shay Blechynden of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., has both participated and helped organize successful golf tournament fundraisers.
“The attendees always seem to have a good time, the charity receives much-needed funds, and the course improves its revenue stream,” Blechynden says of the benefits of this type of fundraiser. “The best part is the passion that people have for their cause.”
After speaking to Blechynden, Peters, and others to gain some insight into best practices, we brainstormed a handful of fundraising ideas for golf tournaments, both on and off the course.
Make the Pledge
One option for your golf tournament is to set up a golf-a-thon-style fundraiser where participants ask their friends, family, and other community members to pledge donations to your online campaign. Have pledge amounts vary depending on whether the participant gets a par, bogie, birdie or even a hole in one. The lower the score that participants receive at the end of the 18 holes, the higher a number of pledge donations participants will receive, so it adds a little friendly competition. The winner will earn bragging rights and a small prize such as personalized tees or a golf lesson donated by a local pro.
A Star on the Green
According to celebritygolf.com, there are 29 celebrity charity golf tournaments planned for 2015. Hop on the celebrity charity golf tournament bandwagon and bring some local legends of your own to the green. Ask local icons like your favorite news anchors and popular college athletes to participate as a celebrity in the tournament to add an incentive for community members to participate. If the beneficiary of your campaign can attend your fundraiser event and even play if possible, you can have them serve as the celebrity—after all the entire event is dedicated to them.
Mulligans for Money
In the golf world, a mulligan refers to when a golfer plays a bad stroke, but if they call mulligan they are allowed to replay the stroke without a penalty. Capitalize on this golf nuance and have participants buy tokens for mulligans through your online fundraising page. Traditionally, each person gets about one mulligan per round but since this is a fundraiser, pick a maximum amount to sell to each person, such as two or three, to supplement your cause. Participants are likely to purchase the maximum amount of mulligans you allow so that other players don’t have an extra advantage.
An entry fee isn’t the only way to gain online donations for your golf tournament. Throughout the event, you can hold various short contests that can bring in some bonus donations for your cause. Participants can enter each contest by purchasing a ticket through an online donation via their mobile device, so players can challenge each other on the course to spark some healthy competition.
Closest to the Pin
To successfully organize this contest you will need a pen, ball markers, and a tape measure. After a participant hits their stroke they should measure the distance to the pin and record that number and their name on the ball marker before replacing their ball with the ball marker. Once everyone has had their chance to hit, the ball markers will make it clear who the winner is.
For participants waiting to tee off, you can set up a putting contest to see who can successfully sink the longest putt. Make sure players measure and mark their places with ball markers so that if no one hits the ball in you can still determine a winner for being closest to the hole.
Many golfers are familiar with the phrase grip it and rip it, and this contest will test who can hit the ball the farthest. Each participant should receive a ball marker. Participants will be asked to write their name on the ball marker and to place it on the fairways where their ball landed so that you can determine who truly has the longest drive.
Inspiring Campaigns for a Cause
Fore 0ur Heroes
Each year, Gary Manley and Mike Pottorff, partners of a restaurant in Texas, organize a golf tournament and donate the funds to a different charity or family in need. This year, they have chosen to raise funds for The Staurolite Foundation, a small nonprofit based in New Mexico that hosts mountain safaris and hunting excursions for wounded veterans. Their campaign, Fund Our Wounded Heroes Mountain Top Safari Elk Hunt Trip, outlines how the opportunity gives veterans a chance to gain support and develop friendships with other veterans that have experienced something similar. Through crowdfunding, Gary and Mike have found a way to give back to multiple individuals in need by simply holding an annual golf tournament.
Tee Time for Judy
In memory of Judy Palmer, a beloved nurse, wife, and friend who passed away in 2012, her husband Skip set up a nursing scholarship fund. To raise money for the fund, Skip holds a golf outing each year in Judy’s memory. According to his current campaign, the Fourth Annual Judy Palmer Memorial Golf Outing, six girls have already been awarded Judy’s nursing scholarship. With an annual fundraiser event and campaign, Skip is able to memorialize his wife in a way that brings all of her friends and family together to celebrate her life and support a great cause.
Be a Caddie for Change
No matter what the players score in the end, a golf tournament is a win-win for everyone involved. It rallies a community together through sport, it gives people a chance to play on courses they may not have had a chance to experience before, and it raises money for a good cause.
Start your free fundraiser on YouCaring and augment your campaign with a rewarding golf tournament fundraiser.