Planning amid uncertainty presents substantial challenges—especially for event fundraisers who must book venues, sign contracts, and send invites, all the while being ready to adapt with just-in-case protocols. Such is the current reality for many fundraisers heading into 2021 with mixed predictions for whether in-person gatherings will be possible and in what capacity. Given golf’s demographic and surge in popularity, golf fundraisers have emerged as an especially versatile and viable option. Now’s the time to start thinking about 2021 events, but how can you move forward while also remaining flexible and planning for the worst? Here are four simple, concrete, and free steps you can take right now to set your golf event set up for success in 2021.
1) Start with technology that gives you options.
Be sure the planning, communication, and golf event management tools you use provide options and flexibility. Consider that you may need the ability to change the format for the event (perhaps from a shotgun start to tee times); options for adding, editing, or limiting available sponsorships; the ability to easily manage players and teams and make changes in collaboration with the golf facility (even last-minute); and the option to limit the field size for the event.
You also may need to go virtual. The most successful virtual formats invite players to participate in the golf outing over an extended period of time and/or at multiple courses, using the right technology to facilitate registration, live scoring, leaderboards, and digital sponsorships. Players register online and participate on their own time, entering their scores into an aggregate online leaderboard. GolfStatus is an event management platform specifically for golf fundraisers, and it offers all of the above and more. If you’re with a 501(c) organization or organizing a tournament that benefits one, you likely qualify for free access to GolfStatus through GolfStatus.org and the Golf for Good program.
2) Launch an event website.
An event website gives supporters a place to find more information, register, and donate—and it’s a must in terms of time-savings and convenience for event organizers, boards and committees, the golf facility, and the players and sponsors supporting the event. The event website should be easy to navigate, clearly displaying available team packages and sponsorships so it’s easy to select and purchase them. When players and sponsors enter information online and remit payment right then and there, your team saves a tremendous amount of time that doesn’t have to be spent keeping track of registrations, payments, sponsor links and logos, and other key information.
With so much uncertainty, the earlier you launch your event registration website, the better. GolfStatus can build a free event website with only a few basic details (date, course, et cetera). The free website available through the Golf for Good program include setup, updates, and any assistance you might need from the team along the way. We build the site at no cost to qualifying nonprofits according to your specs, and can even help you embed the site into your organization’s existing website for a seamless experience.
3) Send save-the-dates.
It’s a good idea to send an extra save-the-date—even if it’s just a quick email to past and potential participants. You’ll want to get your event on the calendars of donors as soon as possible. It’s also ideal to get in front of sponsors early, especially new sponsors who haven’t supported your event in the past and often require more advanced notice in order to coordinate budget approvals.
With an event website up and running, your save-the-date notice can simply direct folks to the website for more information. Since teams and sponsorships can be purchased right then and there, some may even commit earlier than you might expect.
4) Plan on live scoring.
Whether your event is business as usual or must be modified substantially, live-scoring adds tremendous value. It’s touch-free, allows your organization to sell additional digital sponsorships, and lets you post real-time scores and final results online. Leaderboards are also a great way to make additional asks of online spectators and participants.
Players also love it! Many participate not only to support your cause, but because they enjoy the sport and want to compete. When players know their scores in real-time, and don’t have to wait around after the event for final results or receive them days later, it’s a better overall experience. The event becomes more engaging and competitive, making your donors more apt to support it—and your cause—again and again.
The right technology makes all of the above and more not only possible, but easier and less time-consuming. GolfStatus is designed specifically for golf events with all the minute details of the golf outing accounted for in a simple and user-friendly format, plus the backing of an on-demand in-house support team.
Through GolfStatus.org and our Golf for Good program, GolfStatus gives back to organizations large and small by making our technology available to qualifying organizations at no cost. In doing so, we’re honored to be helping thousands of nonprofits large and small tap into the incredible charitable giving power of golf during these strange and uncertain times—and beyond! Inquire online to learn more about the Golf for Good program and get qualified or contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402.413.9650.