Over the past 25 years golf outings have become a staple for raising money for charitable, fraternal or non-profit organizations. Due to this success, golf outings have provided a ready source of business for most courses.
During the past 3-4 years, golf outings have decreased about 10%-15%, while the number of golfers participating in events has declined by about 20%. The general thought is that the decline in outings and golfers is largely due to the economic downturn and recession. While that may be the case, the need for fund raising remains at an all-time high.
So what is the answer? Should organizations scale back on their fund raising goals when looking at the power of golf tournaments or should they drop them all together?
The simple answer is no. Golf outings have their place and they will remain a great way to raise funds. However, when looking at funding raising options organizations need to broaden their horizons. One excellent option is a golf mini-marathon.
A golf mini-marathon would consist of 36-45 holes and would have 16-20 golfers. To begin an organization should determine their funding goal. Based on that goal the organization should set a minimum amount that each player needs to raise in pledges (golf marathon is very much like a walk- a-thon). The minimum should be set at a higher enough level to make a difference in the fund raising process and to get only the committed golfers to participate. On the other end, an incentive prize should be set for the golfer that raises the most money.
The Links at Northfork has become a premier course to hold golf mini-marathons since it has 18 holes plus a 3-hole practice loop. Organizations that choose the Links will have complete access to play 18 holes in the morning. The group will then be served a box lunch while they play 9 holes on the 3-hole practice loop. In the afternoon the group will play another 18 holes on the regular course.
What is the advantage of the golf mini-marathon v. a traditional golf outing? The biggest advantage is the fact that it only takes 16-20 players to raise significant funds vs. 70-90 players. Over the years I’ve been involved in golf mini-marathons that have raised as much as $20K net for charity, with only 16 golfers participating.
If you are interested in learning more or would like to host a Golf mini-marathon please email Mike Tozier at firstname.lastname@example.org.