6 Ways to Create Buzz Around Your Charity Golf Tournament

If you’re looking for a new way to raise funds, engage donors, and build connections, look no further than a charity golf tournament. Adding a golf tournament to your fundraising event roster is a win-win for your nonprofit and your donors—your nonprofit adds a reliable income stream and your donors get to support your mission through a fun activity. Get more golfers and sponsors to the green with these insider tips to create buzz and promote the tournament.

Why should my nonprofit host a charity golf tournament?

With the right tools in place, anyone can organize a golf tournament, regardless of their golf knowledge or experience. And fortunately for nonprofits, charity golf tournaments do much more than simply raise mission-critical funds. Besides the obvious fundraising power, golf events spread awareness about your organization, build and advance partnerships, and provide meaningful donor stewardship and outreach. What’s more, most charity golf tournaments are held in the four-person scramble format, which means golfers must tap their personal and professional networks to field a team—instantly expanding your donor base.

The golfer donor is a segment that nonprofits of all types and sizes want represented in their donor database. According to GolfStatus, the average golfer’s net worth is over $768,000, well above the national average. This demographic is one that sponsors are interested in gaining exposure to, which could add sponsor appeal to your tournament. A variety of industries align with golf event sponsorships, including food and beverage, healthcare, sports and fitness, home and financial services, luxury brands, and travel.

Tips for Marketing Your Charity Golf Tournament

1. Use an event website.

Using an event website for your charity golf tournament makes promotion simpler and easier. You can share pertinent information about your organization, what the tournament is raising money for, the event’s schedule, and more, plus collect registrations and donations and sell sponsorships. An event website also gives sponsors premium digital exposure every time someone visits the site to learn more about the fundraiser.

2. Leverage digital channels.

Your event website becomes the home base for marketing your golf fundraiser. Simply share a link to the site on all of your nonprofit’s digital channels—email campaigns, organic and/or paid social media, your organization’s event website, personal emails, even your email signature. Best of all, digital marketing is low or no cost, saving precious dollars (and time) on printed flyers and mailers, plus postage. If you decide to add direct mail to the mix, include a QR code for a quick link to your event website where folks can immediately register, become a sponsor, or make a donation as soon as they hear about it.

3. Use ChatGPT to help plan your campaigns.

ChatGPT is making waves in the marketing world for many reasons, not the least of which is helping streamline your workflows and marketing strategy. Use it in tandem with your event website and digital channels to plan your tournament marketing campaigns. Start with a prompt to create a skeleton sample golf tournament marketing plan that your team can further flesh out with your content, or verbiage for promotional emails. Alternatively, you could ask it to brainstorm outreach channels and digital campaign ideas.

It’s important to note that your team should always review ChatGPT’s output to ensure it reflects your brand voice and gives it a human touch that your audience wants to engage with. That being said, ChatGPT is a great tool to give you a starting point and make your marketing planning more efficient.

4. Partner with local influencers and celebrities.

Influencer marketing can be a valuable tool to spread awareness about your nonprofit and your event to new audiences who otherwise might not have known about it. Collaborating with influencers is growing in popularity due to each creator’s broad reach. Start by thinking about celebrities, influencers, or personalities your nonprofit already has a relationship with. Expand that list by adding prospects that are interested in your cause, passionate about golf, or located in your area. Local personalities are more likely to respond to inquiries, so keep that in mind when creating your target list. Once you’ve made contact, work together to outline a mutually-beneficial partnership. Perhaps in exchange for promoting your tournament on their socials and appearing at the event, they receive a complimentary team registration or two. Consider devoting a specific part of the event to the VIP, such as a hole-in-one contest hosted by them or a signed raffle prize or auction item donated by them. Highlight their presence in your marketing materials to get the most out of the partnership.

5. Tap into your networks.

Tap into your planning team, employee, and board members’ sphere of influence to get the word out about your golf event. Make it as easy as possible for folks to promote your event by creating branded promotional graphics, sample social media posts, and sample email text for them to plug in the appropriate details and share it with their contacts. Be sure to link back to your event website so people can get involved right away.

Social media is a great place to activate your support base as peer-to-peer marketers for your golf tournament. Create a Facebook or LinkedIn event and invite your contacts to attend, then encourage them to do the same. You might test different social media messaging tactics to find what works best for your organization and monitor engagement metrics such as shares, reposts, and likes, plus click throughs to your event website. Social media also aligns well with peer-to-peer fundraising if you’d like to add another revenue stream to your tournament.

Case Study: Annual Fleece & Thank You Golf Outing

Fleece and Thank You provides comfort, hope, and connection to kids facing illness and hospital stays and the families that support them. The Fleece and Thank You team has seen great return on investment (ROI) for their annual golf tournament fundraiser, which raises dollars to create fleece blankets for patients in area children’ hospitals. Beyond fundraising, Fleece and Thank You’s golf outing raises awareness about the organization and engages the right donors. Founder Nicholas Kristock says, “Golf is something nonprofits should have in their book. It engages a specific type of audience and reaching that demographic is a huge part of a golf fundraising event.” The golf tournament sells out on an annual basis and raises upwards of $30,000 for its work.

Wrapping Up

Once you’ve decided a charity golf tournament is a good fit for your nonprofit, get started by exploring golf tournament management software to streamline planning and save you and your team a ton of time. A golf-specific platform makes it simple to handle all the golf details, even if you’re not a golfer or don’t know much about the game. Set your event up for success by following the tips above to get the word out to attract golfers and sponsors to the tournament.