One of my VWOs’ participants for Social Media Training approach me today for some advice on organizing a Charity Golf. Both her organization and herself has zero knowledge about golf. The draw to organize one is try something new besides organizing yearly movie events.
Here are my suggested approach:
This will need to be selected nine to twelve months in advance. Pick a golf country club that is willing to provide you with a concession for holding the event (discounts, etc); you will have some bargaining power as your event will promote their club. Agree on prices for two types of attendee. Firstly you will need to accommodate golfers; they will require breakfast on arrival, golf and dinner for the evening. The second attendee will be for the non golfers only requiring dinner. Use the golf clubs facilities in your planning of the event – their golf professional will be able to advise on scoring, set up of the event and team or individual games and they can organize scoring for the golf cards etc.
You will need helpers, both for planning and preparing for the event and on the day, so recruit early! You will need to get together regularly to brainstorm ideas, set a timetable for completing tasks and create a budget. From this you can determine your entry fee by what your target market can afford and plan your expenses around that, such as food. It will be a long day for the golfers so you will need to think about what food is provided in the cost, and when you will begin the day. Your venue will be able to provide guidance. Entertainment can vary but an after dinner speaker who will also compere the evening is ideal, as they can run an auction too.
Selling sponsorship can provide guaranteed income, prizes and promotional materials. The key to selling sponsorship is to convey that they are getting their money’s worth. You could design various levels of sponsorship:
• Title – company name could appear on all event marketing materials, tee sponsor signs and reception signs
• Supporting – company name could appear on all event marketing materials
• Hole in 1 – company name could appear on one tee; you could also offer this sponsorship to family and friends.
If you are employed by a large company you could start by asking them as well as local businesses, don’t forget to encourage them to enter a team. If you are mailing local businesses concentrate on industries that are linked e.g. Insurance, Legal, Property. You will be amazed at what a small local business world it can be!
The more exposure your tournament receives the more participants and sponsors you will get. There are many ways to market your event including local press, radio, websites (free listings websites), council run calendars of events, press releases, signs and banners (place these in highly visible areas), flyers and posters which can be displayed in offices, community halls, the venue, local shops etc.
Your invitation is your most powerful promotional tool so ensure it is appealing and contains essential pieces of information such as name of event, date, time, sponsors logo, entry fee, entry deadline, what’s included in the fee, prizes, participant(s) details, handicap etc.
A maximum of five or six items is recommended as people will lose interest after that. Ensure there are lower value items as well as one or two key prizes and make sure you choose a good auctioneer. Consider hosting a silent auction as well with smaller prizes where the items (or a description of the auction item) are placed on display throughout the evening, and guests write their bids on open forms next to each item. This continues throughout the evening, with each person bidding higher than the previous one – especially successful after a drink or two! Prizes you source could be signed sporting goods, golfing holidays, golf equipment however they can be non golf related too. If these cannot be donated don’t be afraid to ask for the items at ‘cost’ price.
MANAGING THE DAY
Don’t forget to pre order fundraising materials such as banners, balloons, collection boxes, paper work for the auctions etc. On the golf day you will need to register your golf teams, furnish them with score cards and a programme of events that should include an itinerary and a list of sponsors (speak to a local printers who may donate the programme), keep a scoreboard, ensure a timetable is kept too and ensure promotion of the fundraising activities is maintained.