6 Reasons Why a Golf Tournament is a Hole-In-One for Schools

An unfortunate reality in today’s world is the need for schools to fundraise to fill in funding gaps to ensure student success. Whether your school is raising money for playground improvements, computer upgrades, teacher wishlists, or just the general fund, you know it takes creativity and commitment to be successful. You also know the best fundraisers are those that appeal to both students and families and include ways to boost revenue.

If you’ve exhausted the same old, same old fundraising campaigns or are just looking for something new and exciting to engage students, families, and donors, a charity golf tournament is one of the best fundraising ideas for schools for you to consider. Here’s why:

1. You Don’t Have to Be a Golf Expert to Succeed

If you’re not a golfer or don’t know much about the sport, you might be intimidated by the prospect of planning a golf tournament from scratch. But don’t let that stop you! Golf tournament management software and tools exist to help you navigate the ins and outs of a golf event and are designed to help you handle the golf specifics. Plus, the golf staff at the facility you choose is there to help advise on time of year, day of the week, tournament format, and last minute details.

2. People Want to Play Golf

Golf’s popularity has soared over the past several years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, folks sought out a socially-distanced option for recreation and many organizations looked for a safe way to gather while raising dollars. Golf was the solution to both! The surge in popularity looks to have staying power. In fact, the number of rounds played nationally is 13% higher than it was pre-pandemic. The lesson here? People want to golf, so capitalize on that desire to hit the links as a fundraising opportunity.

3. Golf Has a Ton of Fundraising Power

Charity golf tournaments have an incredible capacity for fundraising. First, golf events are uniquely appealing to sponsors, who are interested in the premium exposure they get to their ideal audience of potential clients and customers and brand lift of being associated with a worthy cause, like supporting your school. Second, your school expands your donor base to reach the golfer donor demographic. Why is that important? According to GolfStatus, the average golfer’s net worth is double the national average, making them high-capacity donor prospects. Finally, golf tournaments come with a number of options for boosting revenue (and adding fun and excitement). You might consider the following revenue boosters:

  • Selling mulligans (which are basically a “do over” on a shot)
  • Contests, like hole-in-one, putting, beat-the-pro, or longest drive
  • Live or silent auctions
  • Selling raffle tickets
  • On-course games

With the right event management tools, you can also make direct donation appeals throughout the event and have golfers make their gifts right on their mobile devices.

4. Golf Tournaments Are a Fun Community Event

Finding ways to nurture and grow your school community can be a challenge, but a golf tournament is a unique way to bring people together for a common goal and to foster goodwill. It’s a chance to bring together families, alumni, school staff, and local businesses to make connections and build a stronger and broader community. Golf events are unique in that they offer four to five focused hours on the course, ample time for school staff and leaders to interact with golfers and sponsors to thank them for their support of the school and for golfers to make memories.

Look for ways to reach out to the larger community to invite them to participate in or support your tournament. Market your fundraiser by sharing a link to your event registration website via email or social media, posting flyers around your school and in local businesses, and sending direct invitations to your supporters. You might also look for social media golfing groups and share information about your event to avid golfers.

5. Golf Tournaments Are Family-Friendly

Particularly for school fundraisers, it’s crucial to involve students, alumni, and families as much as possible so they’re compelled to get involved, make a gift, and invite others to do the same. The beauty of charity golf tournaments is that they’re engaging for parents, students, teachers, and the community, and there are a ton of options to make the event family-friendly and involve as many ages and skill levels as possible. Consider these ideas:

  • Offer adult/child teams, so students can play with a parent, guardian, teacher, or other adult.
  • Have a flight just for youth or combined teams to even the playing field and allow more experienced golfers to compete with each other.
  • Hold the tournament in the scramble format, which makes golf more accessible for golfers of all skill levels.
  • Consider a mini golf tournament or golf simulator event, which appeals to broader audiences and abilities.
  • Offer a golf clinic in conjunction with the tournament to help youth or other beginners learn and practice their golf skills.

6. Golf Tournaments Build Teamwork

Your school can approach a golf tournament as an educational and team building experience for students and staff. They’ll learn about fundraising, teamwork, and community involvement. Consider involving students and teachers in the planning process and asking them to volunteer to help set up and run the event. Or create student or staff-led teams that spearhead selling targeted sponsorships, creating on-course games, or getting donations for raffle prizes.

You might also try a peer-to-peer approach to supplement the tournament’s fundraising. Classrooms could compete against each other to drive monetary or prize donations ahead of the event. You could also ask families to get involved and work directly with their student or classroom to help promote the event and sell sponsorships.

Golf tournaments are an especially great fundraising idea for school sports teams. These students and families might jump at the chance to be involved in a sports-themed fundraiser—particularly if there’s a golf team at your school!

Final Thoughts

If you’re considering launching a golf event, start planning sooner rather than later. Think about your fundraising goals, then research and reach out to area golf courses to get pricing and potential dates. Get a tournament management software solution in place right away so you have a dedicated event website to use to promote the event, send folks to learn more, and start collecting registrations and selling sponsorships right away. With the right tools in place from the start, you’ll save time, reduce stress, and have a professional, lucrative charity golf tournament.

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