Should golf be a bigger part of your nonprofit’s fundraising mix?

The pandemic’s restriction of large group events has made the past two years very challenging for nonprofits, so development leaders are looking for ways to improve their fundraising efforts.

Interestingly, one area of ​​growth has been fundraising for golf tournaments, which has increased for several reasons:

— Since golf is played outdoors, tournaments can easily be organized to allow for social distancing.

– The sport saw record rounds played in 2020, then continued to rise 5% in 2021, according to the National Golf Foundation.

After years of being managed manually or using very unsophisticated systems, online technology has emerged to streamline golf tournament fundraisers and manage golf-specific items such as hole assignments, match pairings, and more. teams, facility information and sponsorships.

— Golf remains a generally high-end activity with golfers with a median family income of $125,000 and high penetration of senior executives.

The Cameron Steinberg Foundation is an example of a small nonprofit that has successfully capitalized on these trends. The organization was founded by the parents of Cameron Steinberg, who died aged just two months of hypoplastic left heart disease. The foundation raises money to help other families dealing with congenital heart disease.

The Ohio-based foundation raised $30,000 at its first golf event of 2021 and was selected as the winner of a $10,000 donation as part of the inaugural Play It Forward campaign. After using inefficient platforms and systems to plan and run the tournament in 2021, the event turned into a online golf tournament management platform for the 2022 event, held on May 23, 2022, and raised $64,000, more than double the amount raised in 2021.

A more sophisticated and technology-based approach to managing the event has led to positive results such as the sale of more and more expensive sponsorships, a 50% reduction in administrative workload and better tools to promote the program and allow people to make direct donations, according to co-founder Sam Steinberg.

In 2021, the group was using Venmo to collect credit card payments, had to process cash and checks, and track everything in spreadsheets, which was a “huge headache,” Sam said.

A good way for nonprofits to determine if fundraising for golf tournaments might work well for them would be to look at this introductory guide.

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