Are you interested in organizing a golf tournament to raise money for a charity or non-profit? If so, outside sponsorship is the best way to generate the most money. Profits from entry fees, mulligans, raffles and silent auctions are also important, however they may only barely cover your basic costs or only raise a small amount.
Types of Sponsors Individuals, Families, Groups, Local Businesses, Corporations and even other Charities or Non-Profits are all candidates for sponsorship.
The number one reason sponsors support tournaments is their personal interest in the purpose or cause of the event.
Most tournament coordinators will have access to a database of volunteers and regular supporters to draw from, however it is important to advertise and network with similar groups outside of the immediate organization. For example, a non-profit dedicated to raising money for the rescue of Golden Retriever dogs might want to contact other rescue organizations in the area or advertise in local pet shops or even online dog lover forums. Many of these contacts will want to play in the event and some will choose to sponsor a hole. Local businesses are another good source of sponsorship. Again, consider approaching businesses that have a personal stake in the cause. Using the above example, you might want to contact pet training and lodging businesses, pet shops, grooming shops and veterinarians. Local businesses are always seeking opportunities to engage in the community as well as advertise their business. Always offer to include their promotional items in your player goodie bags. Larger companies and corporations are the best candidates for larger sponsorships since they have the means and many times, a yearly charitable giving budget. They are most likely to come in as Title Sponsors or perhaps sponsor the main tee prize with the guarantee that their logo will appear on each item. If you are able to get a larger sponsor, be sure to offer at least one free team entry along with the agreed upon marketing and advertising the day of the event.
Recognizing Your Sponsors Each sponsor is typically guaranteed written recognition in the print materials associated with the event as well as tournament day signage with their name or logo. The most common products used to recognize sponsors at the teeing area or green are Corrugated Plastic Signs, Hole Sponsor Banners, Pin Flags, and Tee Markers. Lunch, dinner or awards reception sponsors are best recognized with indoor signage such as a Full Color Digitally Printed Banner. Some of your sponsors may want to have their logo placed on a tee prize such as Golf Balls, Towels, Shirts or Caps. You might also consider awarding your large sponsors with a Glass or Crystal item that they can display in their office. Finally, always give your sponsors the opportunity to directly market at your event. They may want to set up a small table or tent at a tee box to give away their own items or perhaps hold a special contest.
Thanking Your Sponsors Make sure all your sponsors understand how important they are to the success of your event. A simple “Thank You” card or letter to each sponsor recognizing their personal contributions is extremely important. If your budget allows, consider including a small gift such as a gift card. Think about sending a gourmet food basket or a tournament souvenir to your larger sponsors.
Outside sponsorship is truly the best way to raise money and get “in-kind” donations for your non-profit. Be sure to allow ample time for your potential sponsors to make decisions as well as literature clearly outlining your fundraising goals, needs and sponsorship opportunities.