How To Plan Your First Golf Tournament
The first time you plan and implement any fundraising activity, there is a steep learning curve. Every event has intricacies that are not immediately obvious from the outside. A golf fundraiser has all the same planning issues as any other event, complicated by the structure of a tournament. Successfully using a golf tournament as a fundraiser requires considerable planning and close attention to an event timeline. Follow these five steps, and you will have a much easier time bringing your fundraiser to a successful conclusion.
1. Set the date. Early planning is critical for bringing in the most funds during the golf tournament. Start active planning at least six months before the event, and a one year lead time is better.
2. Put together a planning committee. No one person can successfully handle all the details of a fundraising event. Form a committee early and make sure that all tasks are assigned. It is important to divide areas of responsibility to best tackle every aspect of the fundraiser. Assign food and beverage to one group and sponsorships to another. Make sure that graphic design and event themes are decided early, to give the most time for marketing efforts.
3. Compile the invitation list. The earlier you know who is invited to the event, the earlier you can start planning for the final head count and event expenses. Invite at least four times as many people as expected to attend, and always offer a direct donation option. Some invited guests that can not make the event will still consider a donation.
4. Line up the headline sponsor. Even though some committee member will be responsible for general sponsorships, it is important for the charity to reach out directly to find a headlining sponsor. Sometimes the event host comes with an attached corporate sponsorship, but sometimes they are not able to offer that level of financial support. Line up the headliner as quickly as possible to make sure the financial backing is in place.
5. Get the invitations out on time. Sending out invites at least six weeks prior to the event is crucial. Late invites means lower attendance numbers, and with fundraising low attendance can mean lack of funding and cut-backs on services offered. Get the invites out early and leave time for follow-ups to the most important invitees.
If you follow these five simple steps, you give yourself the needed foundation for a successful fundraising event. Start early, get help, know your audience, pursue sponsors and invite early and often for the largest response to your fundraising golf tournament.