By Jennifer Wemhoff, Communications Manager at GolfStatus – the leading event management platform for golf fundraisers.
Golf tournaments have an undeserved reputation of being outdated and not worth the effort. To be honest, without the right tools in place, they have been.
But today’s technology makes planning and executing a lucrative golf tournament easier than ever. So in short, yes—a golf tournament is absolutely worth it, especially when you have the right tech in place. Here’s why:
1) You’ll raise money and awareness.
Golf’s fundraising power is massive—the sport raises nearly $4 billion for charity annually. Nonprofits of all types and sizes can use golf as an effective vehicle to raise mission-critical, unrestricted funds. Best of all, golf tournaments come with a ton of options to supercharge fundraising, from donations to premium sponsorships to add-ons and extras that not only raise more but add fun and excitement to the event. What’s more, golfers tap into their personal and professional networks to fill their team for your tournament, which raises more awareness about your mission and subsequently broadens your donor base.
How Technology Helps: The right management platform will have fundraising tools baked right in. Use your event website to seamlessly collect donations during checkout, right from live leaderboards, and through a mobile app, and show your progress toward a fundraising goal. Digital exposure is huge when it comes to the most lucrative sponsorships. Getting tons of eyes on their brand before, during, and after the tournament means a high return on investment for your sponsors and more funds raised for your mission. Your event website is the chance to tell your organization’s story and help people understand what the event is supporting. Choose a provider that allows you to upload photos, videos, and customize text.
2) The right tools automate time-consuming tasks.
Golf tournaments have a lot of moving parts and important details to keep track of. If you’re still processing registrations, payments, receipts, sponsorships, and hole assignments manually and tracking everything on spreadsheet after spreadsheet, there’s a better way!
How Technology Helps: It all starts with an event website where golfers can register their teams and submit payment—all without you needing to do a thing! Automating registration removes a ton of administrative burden from you and your planning team. Plus, with the right golf event management software, golfer information gets dropped into the platform’s backend where you can manage teams, hole assignments, and other details. This makes it easy to collaborate with the rest of your planning team and even the golf facility by sharing access to the software. What’s more, you should be able to set up notifications so you know when golfers register, someone makes a donation, or a sponsorship is purchased. This gives you a jump on thank yous and sponsor outreach instead of waiting to do it in bulk after the tournament.
3) Your organization connects with the golfer donor.
The golfer donor is a key segment that should be part of any organization’s donor outreach and engagement efforts. Consider the following demographics:
- The average golfer’s net worth is over $768,000
- The average household income among golfers is over $100,000
- 33% of golfers are top-level managers
Of course, not every golfer falls into this bracket, but in general, golfers represent an affluent, influential audience. A golf fundraiser is the first step in converting golfers into regular supporters. When you provide a memorable experience and create a tangible connection to your mission at the event, they’re more likely to return year after year. Sponsors also want to reach this particular audience of potential clients and customers, which you can leverage to sell sponsorships.
How Technology Helps: Collecting accurate donor data is a crucial part of engaging with the golfer donor. This is easier than you might think! The key is secure, online registration that’s part of a management platform that can handle the unique nuances of a golf event and ensures no information is lost or overlooked. The registration process should be intuitive enough to collect basic information without frustrating or overwhelming registrants (leading them to abandon their purchase) and be easily exported to seamlessly incorporate into your organization’s CRM. This data tells an important story about who supports your organization through golf, at what levels, and during which years.
4) You build and strengthen partnerships.
Golf tournaments are unique in that they include four focused hours over the course of 18 holes. Take full advantage of this time to make connections with new businesses and individuals and reinforce existing partnerships. Be strategic when making your hole assignments—maybe you’ll want to pair the chair of your organization’s board of directors with a potential corporate sponsor or put your development director with a major donor you’ve been courting. Whatever the case, strategic hole assignments give your representatives several hours to make a strong connection. Be sure to follow up after the event with a thank you!
How Technology Helps: Businesses often use golf tournaments as a means to entertain clients, network, and reward and engage employees. So when your event runs smoothly and professionally, is well-executed from the moment someone registers or purchases a sponsorship on the event website to when they submit their team’s score via a live scoring mobile app, and folks have a great experience, you’ve already laid the foundation for a partnership. A technology platform built just for golf ensures all the golf details are handled appropriately. It should be easy to see your tournament’s field and easily make hole assignments that benefit your organization.
5) Help is available!
Nonprofit event planners are often intimidated by the prospect of organizing a golf event simply because they’re not golfers and don’t know a ton about the sport. The good news is that this doesn’t need to be a roadblock to a successful golf fundraiser! Plenty of event organizers don’t golf but put on a golf tournament that raises five, six, or even seven figures. You don’t have to be an expert to hold an awesome event!
How Technology Helps: The key here is a platform that’s built just for golf and can handle the golf specifics without workarounds and adaptations. Choose a platform backed by an in-house support team that’s available to answer questions and walk you through the software step-by-step, provide ideas and feedback, and assist your golfers and sponsors with any issues with registration.
No-cost Golf Event Technology
GolfStatus’ event management and fundraising platform is built just for golf events, handling all the golf-specific details and freeing up organizers to connect with donors and sponsors. Through the Golf for Good program, qualifying nonprofits (and individuals, businesses, and others holding golf events that benefit them) can qualify for no-cost access to the GolfStatus platform—including an event website, online registration, live-scoring, and much more—through the Golf for Good program. Plus, GolfStatus’ in-house customer success team is there to answer questions and help you have your most successful event yet. Sign up for a demo to get on board with GolfStatus for your 2023 event or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.