If your non-profit organization does not have an annual golf outing as a major component of your overall fundraising strategy, I would strongly recommend re-considering your plan.

While some may protest and claim that golf fundraising golf tournaments outings are a “dime a dozen”, I would argue that there are dozens of very good reasons why so many charitable organizations have gone this route.

Here are five really good reasons to consider hosting a golf event, or partnering with another organization to plan a golf outing.

1. The Earning Potential is High
The first reason your organization should have a golf outing is that these events are money makers, if they are done right. Golf outings are very well suited to these kinds of additional revenue streams.

Here is a list of eleven ways you can earn money at a golf outing:

  1. Golfer/team fee
  2. Corporate sponsorship fees
  3. Underwriting opportunities (meal, beverage cart, course fee, etc.)
  4. Merchandise sales (your organization’s t-shirts, hats, hoodies, etc.)
  5. “On the Course” contests
  6. Mulligan sales
  7. Raffles
  8. Auctions
  9. General donations
  10. Separate dinner tickets for those who don’t play golf but just come for the meal
  11. Revenue from an add-on of a walk-a-thon (held at the same time as golf outing and both groups come together at a shared banquet)

(In an upcoming article in this series, “5 Money-Making Games to Play at your Next Golf Outing” there will be details on some of these. This series is posted each Wednesday in July.)

2. People are Familiar with Golf Outings, So It’s a Natural Sell
Another reason that your organization should have a golf outing is because they have become so popular. As a result of this popularity, you will have an easier time convincing people to attend. Certain incentives like an awesome course, a good crowd to network with, the ability to win some cool prizes, and the chance to escape the office for a day are all reasons people will be very open to your invitation. Of course, people will also want to support your non-profit, as well.

When it comes to fundraising, it’s best to stick to known entities. For the creative people who run non-profits, I know it’s sometimes frustrating to do what everyone else is doing. Where’s the originality? Where’s the stamp of your own unique personality? “Everybody has a golf outing. How boring!”

While the spirit of this thought may have validity, the fact of the matter is that if you want to ensure you raise money, you should stick to the events that are proven to do that very thing. Golf outings are designed to do exactly this.

3. It Offers Opportunities for Golfers to Network
This reason can be a real selling point when you are trying to recruit teams to golf. Not only will your participants want to support your organization, but many of them will also look forward to networking with other golfers who will be in attendance.

I realized this point very early in my non-profit career. I would be making calls, trying to get folks to commit to playing in our outing, and more than a few people would specifically ask me if certain individuals had already signed up or if it was likely they would be signing up. I came to see myself as a kind of a golf outing match maker.

At the time, I was relatively young and working at a summer camp, and I didn’t realize it, but many of the campers’ parents were very aware of who the other parents were in the camp community. Our golf outing was the perfect vehicle for them to get to know one another and potentially create some new business connections.