Running a charity golf tourney |

Running a charity golf tourney

Raj Manickam
Vail CO, Colorado

Adding to the bottom line

Ensure the greatest percentage of the proceeds goes to the charity. Negotiate discounted green fees with the golf club hosting the tournament. The more money you can send to the charity, the better. Most golf courses have a set number of charity tournaments they’ll accommodate every year.

Preparing timelines

Allow ample time for a smooth event. Check the calendar for other major events planned on the same day. Your goal is to raise money and have fun, not create conflicts with other organizations.

Event sponsorships

This is the backbone of your fundraising efforts. Plan to have your tournament dates out early so your potential sponsors can budget their sponsorship dollars ahead of time. Securing sponsors to offset the cost of running the tournament should be a top priority.

Tournament software

Golf tournament software is available on the Internet. The software helps you keep track of your players, sponsors, volunteers and finances. Try the software at

Publicity and media

Talk to your local media: newspapers, TV, radio and cable company. Their exposure will help, but you still have to make countless calls to get people signed up for sponsorships, door prizes, volunteering and participating. Remember, until you actually get the check in the mail or hand delivered, you have not filled a spot. Once you have, don’t forget to acknowledge and thank them.

Door prizes and giveaways

Entice, entice and entice some more. The more you can give away, the better your turnout will be. And because enticing giveaways can quickly add to the cost of hosting the event, get the swag from sponsors who can’t give cash. Also get sponsors for the swag bags as well. Now, even the giveaway bags are free.

Stand out

Make your event stand out. Particularly as golf outings continue to grow in popularity, the more you make it a “want-to-come” event, the better off you are as far as attendance goes. Look for a sponsor that would pay for hole-in-one insurance. The prize could be a vacation or a vehicle.

Building a strong committee

Your charity event will require volunteers. They are your greatest assets. The beneficiaries of your event usually will lend a helping hand and participate in the planning committee meetings. As you get closer meetings should be held more regularly.

Providing food and beverages

Don’t be cheap. The last thing you want after a great event is for people to go home hungry. Throughout the event make sure you have enough to drink and eat. Get a cart or two, and drive around the range to deliver snacks and beverages, or have food and beverage stations placed strategically. Look for sponsorships for food and beverages.


Sending communication to golf clubs, businesses and personal invitations to players has to be done consistently until the tournament fills up. Make sure to follow up with a call or e-mail to remind players of the event date.

Event day planning

Have a couple of meetings prior to the event day to iron out all final details about who’s doing what and when. Assign volunteers specific tasks with timelines so the punch list gets completed.

Stay flexible and make everyone winners

Regardless of your beneficiary, an event is successful only if it’s fun for all. Take a lot of pictures. You will need them later for your website, follow-up coverage in your newspaper and other publications. At the end of the day, it’s all about having a good time for a good cause. Plan well. †

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