Tips for Improving Your Golf Tournament Fundraising | npENGAGE

Tips for Improving Your Golf Tournament Fundraising

By on May 12, 2014


Golf Tournament Fundraising

Hundreds of schools and nonprofits run successful golf tournaments each year.  But organizing a golf tournament takes a lot of time, organization and preparation.  Because tournaments are so resource intensive and require careful event planning, it is important that you raise as much as possible at your next golf outing.

Here are 5 tips for golf tournament fundraising (and how to raise more money):

1. Focus on Sponsorships

One of the most amazing things about great golf tournaments is their ability to bring in revenue from multiple streams, all from the same 50-200 golfers and meal attendees.  Golfers come to have a good time on what would normally be a work day, often on the company’s dime.  Use this to your advantage by maximizing revenue-producing opportunities.

The first focus for your school’s fundraising team and volunteers as you plan your golf tournament should be on sponsorships.  Many tourneys feature a title or presenting sponsor, a lunch sponsor, a dinner sponsor, individual hole sponsors, a refreshment station sponsor, a hole in one contest sponsor, and more.  While your event may not feature sponsors for each of these items, spend a significant amount of time finding larger sponsors for your event prior to doing any other fundraising around the tournament.

2. Focus on Foursomes

The second primary focus for your golf tournament fundraising should be selling foursomes. Foursomes can run from $500 – $4000 or more, depending on the event. Many times, businesses will cover the cost of a foursome for their employees as a sales and marketing or networking expense, but will limit the number of golf outings that the company will pay for each year. Thus, start selling foursomes early, to get your golfers on board before the corporate funding dries up.

3. Focus on Post-Golf Revenue

The larger your tournament is, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to raise a significant amount through post-golf fundraising. This is the fundraising that takes place at the cocktail reception and / or dinner after the tournament is over.  Many schools use these after-golf activities as an opportunity for a silent auction, live auction and / or raffle.  In many cases, the golfers will be in a good, competitive and lubricated mood at this point, and will gladly try to outbid each other or try to win raffle items.

4. Focus on Ancillary Revenue

Ancillary revenue encompasses all of the little “extra” fundraising opportunities you create during the day.  Be creative!  Some examples of things you can add include:

  • Putting Contest – $5 for 3 attempts to sink a long putt.  Golfers who sink the putt win $50
  • Mulligans – $5 for 1 mulligan ticket.
  • Rent-a-Pro – Have the golf pro out on one of the tricky holes.  Golfers can pay $10 to have the pro take their tee shot for them.

5. Create a Competitive Atmosphere

The best and most profitable golf tournament fundraisers foster a competitive atmosphere, both before and during the event.  Get people excited about the event by playing competitive businesses off of each other.  For example, if some of your foursomes are from real estate firms, use that fact to interest other real estate agents and firms to come and compete as well.  Offer a special prize for the top performing real estate firm, and talk up the competitive angle.

Similarly, you should try to get the competitive juices flowing during the actual event.  This will result in golfers trying to outbid each other on auction items, buying more raffle tickets, etc.

Holding a golf tournament event can be a lucrative fundraising activity for your school or nonprofit. Be sure to raise as much as you can at each event to leverage the time and energy you put into planning each affair.


Joe Garecht is a nonprofit fundraising consultant, author, speaker, and founder of The Fundraising Authority and The Non-Profit Fundraising Digest. He has been a professional fundraiser for over a decade, and during that time, has served as a development director, executive director, and fundraising consultant to numerous nonprofits and political campaigns. As the executive director of Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools (BLOCS), Joe led the effort to raise $50 million in endowments for individual schools, raise $4 million yearly in scholarship funds, and modernize the fundraising capabilities of over 175 parochial schools in the Philadelphia region. Joe is the author of How to Raise More Money for Any School, The Silent Auction Handbook, The School Fundraising Formula, and Raising Money Without Going Crazy. All four books are available on Amazon. For more great information on how to raise money, visit Joe on the web by visiting

Comments (2)

  • Trayson Evans says:

    I really like the idea to rent a professional golfer. Another activity I have seen is a club roulette. They spin a wheel to choose which club to tee off with. If they don’t like the club that they spin, they can pay a $10 fee to use their own club. The competition that the article mentions would help this be effective too. They don’t want to lose the game, so they pay to choose their own club.

  • Color Run Fundraiser says:

    Much like hosting a golf fundraising tournament, most fundraiser events takes a lot of time to prepare and involves careful planning for a successful execution. The number of sponsorships an event can get is countless and with these sponsorships, everyone present gets to enjoy the tournament. What a great read! Thumbs up!

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