Are you looking for new and creative ways to fundraise for your nonprofit organization? Perhaps by throwing a golf fundraiser to further engage your donors and volunteers and put the fun back into fundraising. Having a successful golf fundraiser provides participants with the opportunity to give to your cause and enjoy themselves out on the green while doing it. With the help of incentives and a winning game plan, that levels the playing field for both amateur and avid golfers, you can craft a recipe for success.
Golf fundraisers provide a great opportunity to engage sponsors and bring on new sponsors to raise more money and cover your costs. Allowing for sponsors to cover most of your golf event costs will provide you with the opportunity to optimize the amount of funds going directly to your cause. And the great news is that it doesn’t take thousands of sponsors to do this. You want to have a tasteful amount of strategically selected sponsors at your golf event. By ensuring this, everyone benefits, with your sponsors gaining optimum visibility. You can have a fairway sponsor, a signage sponsor, and so on, with there even being three sponsors per hole!
This blog will cover 10 additional active revenue boosters to help you significantly elevate your fundraising results and donor engagement with your next golf fundraiser.
Active Revenue Booster 1: Host a Great Event
The foundation of the success of any golf fundraising event is to host a great event. And it isn’t as easy as it seems. There are several essential elements needed to make the event high class and appealing. Some of these key elements are a compelling idea, excellent food and beverages, and careful selection of the course and venue that aligns to your event vision.
You also want to consider how accommodating the venue is and if it can help you bring your ideas to life. It’s also critical to take into consideration who you want to attend the event and what type of event it is. Think of a more serious approach vs. a flashy one (with circus-like sponsor attractions at each hole) when deciding what type of event, you are having. Finally, hosting a great event will make it much easier to have an even better event the following year, because your golfers and sponsors will more than likely want to support and attend it again.
Active Revenue Boosters 2: Appeal to Golfers of All Skill Levels
You will want to equalize the golfers any way we can. Some golfers will be at the near pro level, while others may not know the difference between a birdie and a bogey. For example, those who do not have a strong golf skill set will likely feel that they have no chance of winning a long drive contest. These types of skill contests only appeal to a small percent of golfers, whereas an accuracy drive is something that most, if not all, golfers participating can at least have a shot at winning. It’s no longer how far the golfers hit, but rather how close to a line (marked down the middle of the fairway) did that ball land. This type of setup evens the playing field for everyone involved, no matter the skill set, so that everyone has a chance to win. The point is, do what you can to give all your golfers a fair chance of winning a prize!
Active Revenue Booster 3: Cheating for Charity
In the golfing tournament arena, “cheating” can be a great equalizer. Especially when your event includes golfers of different levels, from beginner to expert, cheating truly levels the playing field. After all, everyone’s definition of success on the course is different.
There are many different ‘cheating’ opportunities that you can create. For instance, on a Par 5 hole, they can pay $10 or $20 to move up to the 150-yard marker. You can sell Mulligans for “extra” shots that don’t get scored. A pro-golfer might find that they want to spend an extra $10 or $20 to have a chance to retake their swing. Or, you can pay and have a pro take your tee shot for you. We call all of these types of ‘cheating’ opportunities active revenue enhancers, and it is all for a good cause.
Active Revenue Booster 4: Super Tickets
One way to significantly increase your revenue for your fundraiser is to sell super tickets. These tickets would be sold in advance or at check in and allow purchasers to participate in as many of the contests as they wish, rather than only selling individual tickets to selected contests. This increases your yield from each participant. Ideally these super tickets will provide great added value to purchasers by providing all types of bonuses, such as drink tickets, souvenirs, and more. These super tickets can be redeemed and used for many things and keep the golfers from digging into their pockets for cash to participate. Essentially, they have bought in once, then get to participate in everything you have to offer. Remember when Disneyland used to sell ticket books for the various rides? They made more money when they just charged one fee as a day pass to everything. That was a Super Ticket! These tickets can go for $100 or as much as $250 or more. You can also further elevate your raise from Super Tickets by selling a Super Ticket sponsorship for high visibility.
Super Tickets give the golfers the feeling that they are playing for free, as they’ve already paid for this super ticket at registration and allows them to focus on having fun and engaging in the event, as they will not need to worry about putting up money while out on the course. This makes them not only feel good about contributing to your cause, but also leaves them with a great feeling about the golfing event experience. you can even throw in a goody bag at the end of the tournament as an extra thank you to enhance this feeling.
Active Revenue Booster 5: Helicopter Ball Drop
The helicopter ball drop is another effective way to boost revenue and provides entertainment for all at the fundraiser. Golfers would pay to play and select a number, which is written on a ball. Golf balls labeled with numbers are loaded on a helicopter. Then, the helicopter would release the balls over a target. The golfer who purchased the ball associated with the golf ball that lands closest is the big winner. Some variations of this could be to drop the balls from a crane, or the top of a fire ladder truck. To inspire people to join, there could be a helicopter tour incentive. There can also be coupons for the helicopter business in the participant's goody bags, helping the company that sponsors the helicopter ride make money. The coupon could be for as little as 10% off or 20% off.
Active Revenue Booster 6: Win, Place, and Show Basket Raffles
Basket raffles are efficient and can have much success, especially if you leverage technology to conduct them via mobile phones. The entire bidding system can be done on the golfer’s phone, with the Text2Bid® mobile bidding platform. Instead of the traditional method of pulling a ticket out of a hat, this method seamlessly allows participation via phone and can automatically select a winner.
The technology raffle is effective as it cuts down costs for tickets and eliminates the hassle of manually handling all the event’s tickets. The electronic method also ensures that everyone has easy access to the raffle and can see who the winner is simply by checking their phone.
Active Revenue Booster 7: Secure Celebrity Attendance at the Fundraiser
To boost attendance at the event and thus, raise more money, it’s a good idea to have a celebrity or celebrities attend. It doesn’t need to be a golf star, or someone related to the game. If known by many, this person can attract a crowd and offer golfers a unique experience. Now, this is another reason why you do not want to overdo it on the sponsors. Celebrities are busy people and want to attend an event that is worth their time and first-class.
Securing a celebrity for your event is not as difficult as you may think. To do so, it’s important to put yourself out there and utilize connections. You’d be surprised at how people are connected through mutual connections, or even directly connected to celebrities. You can begin with your existing network, or you can take advantage of various websites and find Public Relations contact information for various celebrities. When you message the PR team, you can find out who is available and interested in golf. It also helps to add a personal touch when reaching out to potential celebrity spokespeople or sponsors. You want to stand out and show why your fundraiser (and your cause) are different and important. By the way, you can also offer the opportunity of having the celebrity play in one of your golf groups, and auction that off before the round as part of a welcome ceremony! See booster # 9!
Active Revenue Booster 8: Casino Hole and Other On-Hole Contests
A casino hole or on-hole contest can be another way of generating money for your cause. Golfers get excited about the competitive aspect of the contest and enjoy that they can compete for a prize. The prize could be something as significant as winning a car for a hole in one. In this scenario, a dealership would get involved and donate a vehicle to the fundraiser, typically by paying for the “hole in one” insurance. The dealer wins either way. If someone gets a hole in one the insurance pays for it and the dealer sells the car. If no one gets a hole in one, then the dealer gets great publicity for only the cost of the insurance. By the way, boats, motorcycles, jet skis and trips as well as golf equipment are also good hole in one prizes.
A Casino hole is simply a par 3 hole with a large circle painted on it. Golfers pay extra at the hole (or as part of their Super Ticket) to see if they can hit their shot to land in the circle. If they do, then they either win a prize on the spot (like a sleeve of balls) or they are entered into a chipping contest for a larger prize at the end of the day.
To boost revenue even more, the sponsor could pay more for the insurance than the car is worth. You can also have an eligibility requirement for qualifying to win the vehicle, such as purchasing a super ticket. If the winner does not do so, they can instead win a smaller or less expensive prize. This super ticket requirement will build an incentive to purchase more super tickets and thus, raise even more money at your golf fundraiser.
Active Revenue Booster 9: Fundraising Competition by Foursomes
By setting up many competitions by the foursome, golfers can get in the team spirit and compete together. Some of the foursome competitions can be on-hole contests, casino hole contests, and putting shootout contests. The winning team gets the prize.
In a celebrity event, golfers can bid on the celebrity they want on their team. You can have the top 5 highest bidding golf teams get a celebrity on their team. Doing this can increase funds raised as teams will spend $1,000, or more to play with a public figure in attendance.
Active Revenue Booster 10: Host an 18-Hole Auction
The 18-hole Auction can be a silent auction during a round where sponsors provide auction items designated by their sponsored hole. Instead of having this auction at the end of the event, you can have it set up and ready to go at the beginning of the event. The items will be on display and in the golfers’ minds as they play the round. While golfers play, you can also have them place a bid on the hole to deduct one stroke. If they win the item, incentivize them by having them deduct two strokes. This bidding is easily managed using Text2Bid and golfers even get a text message when they have been outbid so they can bid again.
By getting to deduct-a-stroke for bidding on selected items you enforce the equalizer and reward people for being a part of the overall fundraising, not playing golf. To further cover costs and let sponsors become a part of the competition, have them sponsor the auction items and provide them for the golfers. Not only do the sponsors get exposure, but you can provide them with a sponsor trophy for the sponsor of the item or items that raise the most money as a way of saying thank you.
For more information on these ten tips, to boost revenue at your next golf fundraiser, please watch our latest interactive panel workshop.
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