It's hard wrangling donations and support from the same people year after year for your charitable golf outing.
First year of your golf outing, it’s like everyone was struck by the generosity bug. Aunt Sue’s making dozens of hand-crafted raffle baskets, friends you haven’t seen since college want to volunteer, and even the old crank bartender at the nearby tavern is offering half off appetizers. Roll into year two, and the enthusiasm is... well, less fiery, but still there.
BUT, lo and behold, year 3! Suddenly, the crickets are louder than your pleas, volunteers bask in your begging, and Aunt Sue’s baskets are now just three scratch off lottery tickets and a gently used ashtray.
Despite all the good you’ve done to date, you hesitate hosting another outing because you feel like a burden asking for donations and support.
You’re not a burden. In fact, you’re amazing! You just need to remind everyone of the point.
Golf is the main draw. The most time organizing the outing is spent on the golf. Everyone talks about the golf afterward.
But at the end of the day, it’s not about the golf at all.
Leading up to, during and after, keep reminding everyone why you’re all there. Paint a vivid picture of the challenge your charity event is focused on fixing. And, explain how you intend to direct the funds collected to help overcome a real, tangible challenge.
The better story you can tell, the more motivated people are to help.
Explain the impact your charitable golf outing has created as a direct result of everyone’s efforts over the years. And do so using numbers.
Make a big deal out of the fact that in 3 years you’ve raised $10,000, which has changed the lives of 20 families who really needed it.
Numbers make your cause real and tangible. And these numbers should be featured in pre-event communications, requests for volunteers, solicitation letters and invites to golfers.
Challenge extended. Set a fundraising goal for each golf outing, and set it 10 to 20% (or more) higher than the money raised the previous year.
Yes, you may not hit the goal, but everyone will know exactly what you’re trying to achieve and they can visualize how their contributions are leading to the success of the event.
The amazing part is, if people can see you getting closer and closer to your goal, watch how everyone steps up their game to get you over the threshold.
In a golf outing, a golfer’s entry fee gets them golf and likely food and beverages. That’s really all they need. For sponsors and corporate donors, you need to do a little more.
There are a number of opportunities to offer sponsors visibility throughout the event that don’t cost you anything. Consider placing logos and offers on table cards, cart fliers and drink stations. Call out who donated each raffle basket. Place sponsor signs on each hole.
This type of promotion helps the business who wants to support your cause make a legitimate business case for their donation.
So, the golf event is over and it was a roaring success. Let’s make sure everyone knows how much of a success!
Give golfers a sneak peek at the lives they’ve changed. At an outing I used to golf in (they don’t host it anymore), the funds raised went to buy Christmas presents for the families of those who lost a father that year. It was an ultra narrow mission, which was hard to visualize as a casual participant. But, the outing would invite the chosen family to the golf event every year and tell their story. I don’t think I ever left without red, puffy eyes. Everything became extremely real in that moment, and I felt great about my contribution.
In addition, after the money has been counted, email everyone about how much money was collected and exactly what you are going to do with it.
Always remember, you’re doing a wonderful thing. You’re not a burden. You just need to remind everyone of the amazing impact you’re having each outing.