Running a successful Golf Outing
Golf Outings are a great way to raise funds for a local charity or community organization. There are close to one million golf outings held every year across the U.S. Golf Outings can raise a few thousand dollars to several hundred thousand dollars.
We have been involved in running several successful Golf Outings, with beneficiaries ranging from the local school to larger trade organizations. Your target audience is the key -- if it's a local event and you're looking to raise a few thousand dollars then that's perfectly fine. If you're heading up a larger trade organization then you may be more ambitious and look to raise several hundred thousand dollars. Either way, there are a few keys to running a successful Golf Outing which apply to both big and small events
The Basic Rule
Golfers have money, it's not an expensive pasttime but we all know it's also not cheap. Use this to your advantage--golfers will spend more if you give them more. Don't be cheap! Have really great prizes, give your sponsors something that is really worth the money, spend time on selecting an unique goody bag, make sure the food is excellent. A Golf Outing is a unique event, hook them once and they will return next year! And next year they may bring along more people if they had a fantastic experience previously.
Your Golf Outing Committee
We know it can be tough even getting a Committee together, but try and be a little selective. Committee Members that are well-connected will bring in players and sponsors. Have your Committee working together but also assign a role for each Committee Member: golfers, sponsors, marketing, operations, master of ceremonies, prizes and auction. The more "clout" your Committee has within the local community the more participation you will get.
Know what your Sponsors want
Let's face it, having Sponsors is a guaranteed way to make money. The price of any Sponsorship far outweighs the cost--so spend a little of that free money and make it really worthwhile for your Sponsors. For example, a $200 Tee Box sponsor deserves a little more than a simple printed 8 * 11 sign, tucked into a cheap sign holder. Spend a few bucks and get a nice signage for your Sponsors, they will appreciate it. And if you do it right you can re-use these signs next year!
I sponsored a hole in a Golf Outing recently. The Outing actually made the flag on the green with my company information on it! And after the Outing the flag was taken down, framed and sent to my company. Now that's a nice Sponsorship option!
Most Sponsors are looking for something in return--and this always means some sort of community recognition or some opportunity to make business contacts and ultimately get more business! If you are charging $1,000 for the Beverage Cart Sponsor make sure that the signage is classy and noticeable. Make sure that all Sponsorship benefits are clearly listed. If this includes Signage be specific as to where the Signage will be.
And here's a trick that we have used--always have a Tournament Sponsor and put a dollar value that you think is excessive. If someone signs up then great! Many Sponsors will look at the exceessively priced Tournament Sponsor and then go for the Dinner Sponsor for a few dollars less. But that's probably more than they would have paid if your didn't have the high priced Tournament Sponsor listed as an option. We have used this in many Golf Outings and it works!
Pick a great Golf Course
If you can, use a private Golf Course -- golfers will pay more to play a course they don’t normally get to play. Sometimes the familiarity of the Course works well for Outings--if you have a great golf then why change? But sometimes it's nice to mix it up a little bit. At least consider using a different course every few years--you may even get a better deal!
And as always, if you give the Golfers a great golfing experience they will pay more for that experience.
We understand that this all sounds too "business-like", but let's face it, when you are running an Outing you should be looking to maximize your revenue for your cause. The work is already being done, so why not really look at this like a small business? Here are some final thoughts:
- Wealthy Golfers. Good for your Outing--more raffles sold!
- Large and Successful Sponsors (and preferably local). Always remember, a Sponsor is looking for more business. Develop packages that give opportunities for your Sponsors to develop new business and contacts.
- Give Sponsors something of value. Consider letting Sponsors speak during the dinner, have special verbal recognition of your major Sponsors. Allow Sponsors to hand out flyers or brochures.
Looking for some great fundraising ideas?
We have put together a great article for all of your Golf Outing Fundraising Ideas
Trying to figure out how to run a successful outing?
After years of organizing and running Golf Outings, read our article on how to Run a successful Golf Outing
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