So you want to organize a charity golf tournament and don’t know where to start? You are not alone! Golf tournaments are a long standing tradition in charity fundraising and have proven to be a successful option, however, planning takes time and knowledge. Whether you are a development director or a volunteer, the task of organizing a charity golf tournament may loom as a daunting fear; especially if you are unfamiliar with golf as a sport. Using a Golf Tournament Planner for your charity event can save you time and money, as you allow an expert in the field to set up the infrastructure and ensure your fundraising success.
Some of the areas in which a golf tournament planner can be of most assistance are:
• Connections for selecting a golf course.
• Providing outside services including online registration, marketing, and all pre-tournament management.
• Sourcing vendors and accessing Golf Marketplace items.
• On-site coordination, including parking services, golf bag handlers & caddies.
Experience is the key here. Perhaps the most beneficial element to using a golf tournament planner for your charity event, is that they can streamline the golf specific aspects of your tournament while allowing you and your team more time to concentrate on publicity and donation efforts.
Pat Lawson of the Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) took some time to share her experience as a charity golf tournament planner for the Southwest region of this 37 year old organization. She is responsible for at least four golf tournaments a year for CCI, as well as organizing fundraising tournaments for other charity organizations in the region. Although a golfer herself, Pat had no experience in golf tournament planning before organizing her first tournament nine years ago. Her hands-on learning curve has given her a down to earth understanding of what development directors or volunteers might miss.
Pat outlined three main areas in which using a golf tournament planner can make or break a tournament’s success:
• Timeline and connections
• Sponsorship management
• Dexterity with online registration tools
“The most important thing to remember is to be prepared!”, says Pat. Carving out a practical timeline may be difficult for the event planner who is not aware of specific details that pertain to golf tournaments. Six months is her suggested planning period.
Sponsorships are an essential aspect to a golf tournament, and are another opportunity for the golf tournament planner to come to the rescue. Pat normally works with a sponsorship committee consisting of members of the charity organization. Through her contacts she is often able to attract the larger sponsors. With CCI she has achieved a 75% return rate for annual sponsors through her fostered relationships.
Finally, a golf tournament planner may have extensive practice using online event registration and golf tournament software. Pat has teamed with GolfRegistrations for the past five years. She says the difference between running a golf course in the traditional, paper based way as opposed to using online fundraising software is “like night and day”. Pat participates in the GolfRegistrations partner program, in which she can manage all of her events through one dashboard.
The tried and true option of running a charity golf tournament can be a stable inclusion on your annual fundraising event calendar. Using a golf tournament planner can secure that stability even further. As Pat Lawson says in closing: “Trust in the planner!”