Do you want to drive more donations into your nonprofit organization? Get ready to tee up these golf fundraising ideas. With a swing, donors can engage in a fun and competitive day on the green — where everyone wins no matter what the scorecard says! We’re here to help you hit a hole-in-one with your fundraising initiatives. Tap into our favorite strategies for bringing success on the course (and off), so you can raise more than par each time around.
Benefits of hosting a golf fundraising event
Fundraising events are key to any nonprofit’s fundraising success, and golf tournaments can be a great way to engage current donors while attracting new ones. It is an opportunity to raise money and help build community, strengthen relationships with sponsors and volunteers, and create awareness for your organization. However, you must plan out your golf tournament carefully to avoid unexpected expenses and make the most of your investment.
More more information on planning a successful fundraising event, check out this article.
Here are a few ways to maximize donations and ensure your golf tournament is a rousing success.
Golf fundraising event ideas
Get reliable fundraising software on your side
When it comes to golf fundraising ideas, you’ll need more than fundraising goals and a course. Consider investing in nonprofit fundraising event software to ensure smooth operations, successful events, and maximum engagement from participants.
Fundraisers for nonprofits should also consider utilizing event software that offers comprehensive features like attendee tracking, online registration and payment collection, sponsor management, and real-time analytics. Your fundraising page will be invaluable for hosting information about your event and will allow you to collect donations and sell tickets with ease. MaxGiving is a great option that includes incredible bonus features such as a golf module to help you manage teams, hole pairings, and cart assignments with ease.
Sell mulligans or putting string
Who doesn’t love a do-over? For a small additional fee, offer participants the option to buy one or more mulligans as part of their registration package and redeem these for a do-over shot during the game. Selling mulligans is one of the most popular golf fundraising ideas because it helps add to your total donation amount and allows golfers to improve their scores.
Another fun way to increase fundraising revenue and help players lower their scores is to sell putting strings during registration. Essentially, teams can buy a piece of string or yarn of a certain length (usually sold by the foot) to help lower their score on the putting green.
For instance, if a ball is 3 inches away from the hole, rather than using another stroke, the player can cut off 3 inches from their string and place the ball into the hole. As they play, they will “use up” their string. Consider implementing a limit on the amount of string that each team can buy to avoid a “pay to win” scenario. You want to maximize donations but you don’t want opposing teams getting frustrated.
Pro tip: Sell these as add-on options they can buy when purchasing their golf tournament tickets. This helps boost sales and increase early donations.
Host contests on the green
Including plenty of fun activities on the course beyond the standard game of golf will be a crowd-favorite way to increase your donations. Contests such as closest-to-the-pin, hole-in-one, and longest-drive are great ways to keep participants engaged throughout your tournament.
Closest-to-the-pin: The player whose ball is closest to the hole after their first stroke wins a prize.
Hole-in-one: If any golfer manages to hit a hole-in-one with their first stroke, they will win a special prize that you can set up in advance.
Longest drive: Award the player who hits the longest drive on a particular hole.
Sell tickets to the extra events during registration and set up the putting green with small prizes and awards for the winners.
Pro tip: Using bid numbers, or golf numbers for players can help make it easier for them to participate in extra events, as you can charge their card on file. That way, players don’t have to worry about carrying cash or interrupting their game to make a payment. Utilize the power of your event fundraising software and make it easy for supporters to give at any opportunity.
Put on a fundraising auction
Adding an auction to your golf tournament is another great way to increase your fundraising efforts. Ask community businesses, partners, and sponsors for items to be donated, then set up a silent or live auction during the event — attendees will love bidding on everything from golf vacation packages to rounds of golf at local courses.
With the MaxGiving event fundraising software, you can offer mobile bidding, a convenient way for players to bid while they’re out on the course.
People like to have something tangible to remember the day. Consider creating branded merchandise to sell online or in person. Offer preorders of your branded merchandise so that participants can pick up their gear at the event. This will help you avoid overbuying and keep you from getting stuck with an abundance of unsold merchandise. Polo shirts, visors, golf balls, hats, and golf towels all make great fundraising mementos!
Insider tip: When creating the merchandise for your fundraising event, include the year on the design. That way, returning supporters will have a reason to buy more merchandise during your event next year!
Offer mobile donations
Offer an easier and faster way for donors to contribute by allowing mobile donations that enable people to give whenever they’re inspired. This is a great option for golf tournaments, as most golfers will have their phones on hand and can donate in moments.
Raffle a large prize
Raffles are a great way to boost your fundraising efforts. Get the participants and attendees excited about winning a big prize, like a golf lesson with a pro, or a set of high-end golf clubs, by advertising the raffle items ahead of time. Sell raffle tickets during registration or at the event.
Offer hole sponsorships for maximum fundraising
Another one of the best golf fundraising ideas is to offer hole sponsorships. Consider reaching out to local businesses and asking them to sponsor a hole. Set up a sign with their logo on the tee box or green, and give them exclusive recognition during the tournament — this could be in the form of announcing their sponsorship between holes or including a team to represent them in the tournament program.
You should also include their logos on your fundraising event page. The MaxGiving fundraising event software makes this easy!
Arrange a helicopter ball drop
This is one of the most exciting golf fundraising ideas you can use to make your tournament stand out from the crowd. Reserve a helicopter that will fly over the course and drop hundreds of numbered balls into the fairway — guests get to purchase a ticket for each ball they’d like to reserve, then wait for it to drop. There are many companies that offer this unique service, specifically for nonprofit event fundraising.
The ball that lands in (or closest to) the designated hole wins a prize. This is sure to bring plenty of excitement and draw serious attention to your cause.
Host a dinner
Plan a celebratory event after the tournament has wrapped up. This post-tournament event should be fun and interactive, providing plenty of opportunities for golfers to mingle and get to know each other and your cause better. Include plenty of options to donate.
You can incorporate drinks, live music, or appetizers as part of the dinner. This is a great time to host a live or silent auction with high-ticket auction items. To maximize giving for the event, bring in a professional benefit auctioneer and include a paddle raise.
Offer dinner-only tickets as an option during tournament registration. Many people who want to participate in your fundraising event may not be interested in the golf tournament component, such as spouses of golfers who played in the tournament. Selling dinner-only tickets will maximize your attendance and include interested sponsors who aren’t golfers.
“Sell” a pro golfer
If you have a pro golfer or celebrity who is willing to participate in your event, consider offering donors the opportunity to “purchase” their presence. Start your golf tournament event with a quick auction where attendees can bid on the opportunity to play with the special guest for the day.
By “selling” the presence of a pro golfer, you add some extra excitement and competition to your event and publicity awareness and donations. You can also use the celebrity presence as a marketing tool to drive advertising and help get more people interested in your golf tournament fundraising event.
Hit ‘em straight!
With a little bit of effort and planning, you can utilize these ideas to help you create a successful golf fundraising event and support your cause. Fundraising doesn’t have to be stressful. With the help of MaxGiving’s fundraising event software, you can easily manage your tournament from start to finish and “hit ’em straight!” Get in touch today to start your free trial!