Charity Golf Tournament Planning

By Chris Joseph

If you want to raise money for a worthy cause, consider a charity golf tournament. Golf tournaments build goodwill and bring positive attention to your cause. They do, however, require work and preparation. Recruit people with strong organization, recruiting and fund-raising skills to make the tournament successful for your charity and the participants.


Difficulty: Moderate
Step 1
Determine your goal. When raising funds for charity, determine how much money you would like to make. Your goal will help you determine your budget limits and how much you need to charge for an entry fee, as well as the number of players you need to participate.
Step 2
Develop a budget. Consider the costs of green fees, carts and use of the driving range, as well as the costs for food and beverage service, entertainment, insurance and prizes. Expenses for prizes should comprise about 10 percent of your budget.
Step 3
Make a schedule. Include a list of everything you need to do before the tournament as well as on the day of the event. Your schedule should list who is responsible for each task--making food and beverage arrangements, selecting the prizes and coordinating with the golf course-- as well as the date each is to be completed. Allow for wiggle room in case a task cannot be completed on time.
Step 4
Build a strong team. Recruit volunteers who are willing to help, have knowledge about golf and have the skills to handle the tasks (a financial officer or accountant, for example, to draw up the budget). Locate people who are passionate about your cause and are willing to dedicate their free time to the event. A key member of your team should be somebody with strong ties to the media.
Step 5
Choose a playing format. Although you can play an individual event, most charity tournament are team events. With players of varying abilities--including some who play golf once or twice a year--a scramble is the best format. Also called "captain and crew," the scramble gives all players a chance to contribute to the team. Each player on the team hits, but the team selects the best shot and each team member picks up his ball and moves it to the best shot, hitting from there. Create more interest by including side contests, such as the longest drive or a closest-to-the-hole competition.
Step 6
Locate sponsorship for the tournament, individual holes and any special contests. Having sponsors can make the difference between meeting your goal and barely covering expenses. In addition to corporate sponsors, try to get the tournament players to help. If each player in a foursome can bring 10 sponsors aboard who provide $10 each, the result will be an additional $400 per foursome. If your tournament has 36 foursomes, the additional revenue would be $14,400.
Step 7
Get the word out. For your tournament to be a success, people need to know about it. Prepare press kits and write press releases to send to various media outlets. Include information about your charity, as well as details about the tournament.

Tips & Warnings

Emphasize that charitable donations are tax deductible when recruiting golfers and sponsors. If your event will be played on an 18-hole course with a shotgun start, the most golfers you will be able to handle is 144, which is 36 groups of four or two groups per hole.

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