The challenges fundraisers face in the months ahead present a complicated outlook—especially for those with budgets that rely heavily on event revenue. Will venues be open? Will supporters be willing and able to attend? Will it be socially responsible to host an event? These are questions with unpredictable answers, making time savings and flexibility more crucial than ever. With some modifications, summer and fall golf events can be a safe way to fundraise, but event organizers will need to make some important planning considerations on the front end. Here’s how to leverage technology to plan a golf fundraiser in these uncertain times.
Use an Event Website
Costs associated with designing, printing, and distributing flyers, packets, and registration forms are non-refundable expenses that can be eliminated by using an event website. As a nonprofit, you can get one for free through GolfStatus.org’s Golf for Good program. Promote your event through email, social media, and text messages by sharing a link to your website, where players and sponsors can register instantly.
The event website is also a good place to communicate any pertinent information, including cancellation policies and contingency plans. Be sure to collaborate with the golf facility to include information about any specific modifications that players will need to make for safety purposes. In addition to requiring social distancing, many facilities are eliminating paper scorecards, eliminating or modifying cart usage, and requesting that players leave the flag stick in place.
Eliminate Mail-In Registration Forms
Another key benefit of an event website is that it allows you to eliminate paper registrations and the costs and time spent printing, sending, and processing them. With an event website, players and sponsors can register online at their convenience. Plus, when you’re managing registrations from a web-based interface, teams, sponsors, and other information can be updated by your team or by the golf facility’s staff in real time.
Leverage Mobile Scoring
Mobile scoring is easy to incorporate into your event and a great way to eliminate the need to touch and pass paper scorecards and pencils among staff and players. Instead, players input their score from their smartphone (in the case of a scramble, one player per team enters scores for the team). Mobile scoring also offers the added benefit of live leaderboards, which players can see on their mobile device during the round.
Capitalize on Digital Sponsorships
Digital sponsorships prevent your organization from incurring costs associated with branded merchandise, signage, and other materials. They’re also easier to manage and update, can be added last-minute, and offer a high-end look and feel. Mobile scoring in particular allows event organizers the opportunity to sell a leaderboard sponsorship. This can be wrapped in with a title sponsorship or sold as an individual package, but be sure to list it as a top-tier offering.
At professional Tour events, the leaderboard is considered prime real estate. Including it in your sponsorship packages sets your event apart as a high-end outing, which also helps you attract high-capacity donors and supporters from their networks. With the right live scoring platform, you can also incorporate digital hole sponsorships that show sponsor logos, additional brand details, and website links. Unlike printed materials, if you decide to refund or transition sponsorship investments in the event of a canceled or rescheduled event, digital exposure helps you mitigate input costs while also delivering value to sponsors.
Use Web-Based Tools
A web-based event management platform keeps all the information you, your team, and the golf facility need in one convenient place. This is especially important with members of your team and volunteers more likely than ever to be working remotely in the time leading up to your event. Use a platform that allows you to adjust user access permissions, so you can delegate tasks to individual team members or staff at the golf facility quickly and easily. This also makes it easy to handoff information to staff at the golf facility at any time.
If you do have to postpone or cancel an event, be sure to communicate authentically and share your story. Let supporters know how important the golf event is to your fundraising efforts and annual budget. Don’t be afraid to make the ask for donations in lieu of committed registrations and especially sponsorships. Many businesses will have already budgeted for this support and may be more than willing to transition it into a tax-deductible donation. Then be sure to thank supporters publicly in social media communications, email updates, and wherever else is appropriate. This is an important expression of gratitude, but it’s also a way for supporters to reap some positive public relations and brand lift from their donation, making them more likely to continue to support your organization in the future.
Golf Tech for Nonprofits
A golf-specific event management platform not only offers these unique features, it makes quick work of team pairings, hole assignments, handicaps, flighting, and other golf-related tasks that once required days and weeks of prep time and tons of coordination with the golf facility. GolfStatus.org does all the above and more. A web-based golf event management platform, its features include a registration website, live scoring and leaderboards, digital sponsorships, and tons of other tools that help event organizers save time and remain flexible. GolfStatus.org makes its platform available to qualifying nonprofits at no cost through its Golf for Good program; click here to submit an inquiry and get started.