There’s no doubt about it: A lot of time and effort goes into planning a golf event—any fundraising event for that matter. Golf is especially challenging in that it has a number of nuances that can complicate the planning process. For first-timers and seasoned golf event organizers alike, it can be a lot to manage. Technology is easing the burden, and organizers tasked with holding events large and small are seeing the benefits. Here’s a look at some of the common pain points and challenges event organizers are up against and how technology can help.
1) Cumbersome Registration Processes
Event organizers need an easy way to collect the right information with as little manual work and opportunity for error as possible. It needs to be easy for players and sponsors to commit and submit payment, and easy for event organizers to manage inbound registrations and sponsor information. When donor information is lost in the mail, buried in an inbox, or incorrectly added to a spreadsheet, organizations risk substantial logistical challenges the day of the event that can offend donors and make for an unpleasant experience. What’s more, golf event participants are often an affluent and influential group; players recruit members of their personal and professional networks to field a team, creating substantial opportunities for organizations to grow their donor base when this data is processed and handled correctly. An event website equipped with online registration and secure payment processing streamlines the entire registration process. Communications and marketing materials simply direct players and sponsors to the event website, where they have all the information and direction they need and can submit not only a payment, but also small details like lunch orders and t-shirt size in one place.
2) Siloed Information & Duplicate Data Entry
If you’re working on a team or delegating tasks across a committee, it can be especially difficult to collaborate and avoid duplicative work. Online registration makes it easy to collect information, but you’ll need an accessible place to store and manage that information in a way that makes sense. A golf-specific event management platform is especially important, allowing you to plan for the nuances unique to the golf tournament, including handicaps, team pairings, hole assignments, hole sponsors, leaderboard sponsorships, and other key details. Whether your team will complete some or all of these tasks or pass some or all of them to the staff at the golf facility, the ability to collaborate in real-time ensures that information is always accurate and up-to-date, and also makes it easier to delegate so one person doesn’t end up shouldering the majority of the workload.
3) All the Nitty Gritty Golf Details
It can be especially challenging to plan a golf event if you’ve never planned one before, and even more difficult if you’re not a golfer with a solid foundational knowledge of tournament play. Even the jargon can be overwhelming: formats, mulligans, handicaps, flights, team pairings, hole assignments, skins games. Oftentimes, the course will step in to help event organizers sort out these details, but key information can easily get lost or overlooked. Using an event management interface that’s designed specifically for golf keeps you on track to ensure that every piece of the puzzle is accounted for—even for those new to planning golf outings.
4) Scoring Challenges
As event organizers have sought to eliminate as many physical touchpoints as possible amid COVID, mobile scoring has been widely adopted as a replacement to paper scorecards. It’s a welcome innovation, as golf facility staff no longer have to process and enter scorecards by hand to tally final results and participants no longer have to wait around after the event for final standings to be posted. Live scoring also makes the round more fun and competitive because golfers can easily see where they stack up against other teams during the event.
5) Limited Sponsorship Opportunities that are Difficult to Sell
Sponsorships are often a key piece of fundraising revenue for golf events and technology can facilitate a number of sleek, high-end exposure opportunities. The leaderboard is perhaps the most substantial opportunity—as it’s a key focus of the golf event during and after the round. There’s also exposure on your event website and on the mobile scoring app players will use to live-score the outing. These are easy additions to your sponsorship offerings that require no merchandise orders, overhead, and lead time, and are particularly high-end.
6) Last-Minute Changes & Coordination with the Golf Facility
As is the nature of event planning, there will inevitably be last-minute changes. While players and sponsors are less likely to cancel if they have submitted payment at the time of registration, cancellations happen. This makes working in a real-time interface not only an advantage for event organizers, but for the golf facility, too. Golf facility staff must prepare team-specific details like tee sheets, cart signs, and other materials often the night before the event. When you’re working with information in real-time through a web-based interface, you can simply grant the golf facility’s staff access to the information they need, so there’s no last-minute email or paper shuffle to get all the right information in order.
7) Communication Challenges
Whether you’re communicating information about rule or format changes, trying to encourage participants to recruit their contacts to fill teams, or simply conveying pertinent information about a last-minute rain delay, communication surrounding an event can be challenging. Email lists must be updated regularly, and if someone is left off, the consequences can be major. Technology makes it possible to not only track player and sponsor information in one place, but to hit the easy button when it comes to communicating with participants in a number of formats. This includes the event registration website, where you can add information and directions quickly and easily, the ability to send an email to all current participants instantly, and options for in-app messages and push notifications for more time-sensitive or pertinent information such as weather announcements, thank yous, and asks.
8) Costly Service Providers & Solutions
Sure, technology is great and can add a ton of value, but at what cost? For many nonprofits operating on conservative budgets, it’s often not realistic to adopt technology—even if its benefits are numerous. The key is to leverage solutions that offer opportunities to bring more donor dollars in the door. If you can offset costs with more revenue, technology quickly becomes an opportunity—as opposed to an expense. It’s also a great idea to look for programs that offer special discounts or even free access to nonprofit organizations through programs aimed at giving back.
GolfStatus.org is a golf event management platform designed specifically to streamline and upgrade the quality of your outing while also saving you tons of time. In short, when you have the tools and knowledge you need to position your golf outing in the right light and with less and less overhead, the sky is truly the limit when it comes to outreach, fundraising, stewardship, growth, and the overall success of the event. Through its Golf for Good program, GolfStatus.org offers no-cost access to its technology to qualifying nonprofits. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and get qualified.