This is a guest blog by GolfStatus
When you’re in the thick of planning a golf fundraiser, you know that all the details matter, but sponsorships are especially important to maximize revenue and fundraising outcomes. The great thing about sponsorships for your golf event is that they are a win-win for your nonprofit and the sponsor: you benefit from more dollars raised for your mission and the sponsoring business gets a brand lift, an association with a worthy cause, and unique exposure to your tournament’s audience.
Keep these five strategies in mind when thinking about securing sponsors for your next charity golf tournament.
1. Utilize your network.
Personal connections make a huge impact in securing sponsors for your tournament. Start by brainstorming a list of potential sponsors and then reach out to your event planning team, board members, staff, or volunteers and identify who has a personal or professional connection they’re willing to leverage. It’s often helpful to create a list of talking points, templates for initial contacts (whether it’s by email or mail), or other materials to help make these introductions go smoothly and keep your messaging consistent.
2. Target the right businesses.
Approaching the sponsors increases the likelihood they’ll sign on to support your event. When finalizing the list of prospective sponsors you plan to reach out to, think about businesses that want to get in front of the golfer demographic or are related to the sport in some way. Some ideal sponsors include gyms, golf equipment or sporting goods stores, and even beverage distributors or retailers, car dealerships, and healthcare providers.
Be sure to pitch to businesses that are aligned with your cause in some way. Pet rescue? Look to vet clinics, pet food companies, pet boarding or daycares. Literacy organization? Think about bookstores, publishing companies, and businesses related to education. Assisting with home ownership? Consider hardware stores, construction companies, home improvement stores, and real estate or insurance agencies.
3. Offer multiple options for sponsorship packages.
Not every business is interested in committing to or has the budget for a top-tier sponsorship. Your nonprofit can effectively fill your tournament’s slate of sponsors by providing multiple sponsorship levels at varying price points. If you have a specific business in mind for some sponsorships, you could also create custom packages that are scaled down versions of higher-end sponsorships that might be a better fit for their business and budget.
Hole sponsorships are a great entry point for sponsors to get involved and support your cause. These are typically more affordable while still offering great exposure for the sponsor. Consider adding some mid-level sponsorships, like beverage cart, lunch, prize, or contest sponsorships, along with premium sponsorships, like presenting sponsor, technology sponsor, or eagle sponsor.
With each sponsorship, detail how you will recognize the sponsor’s support and what they get in return, such as an included foursome, their logo on the registration website and printed materials, the opportunity to speak or be onsite at the tournament to mingle with golfers, and social media shoutouts.
4. Collect and share data on sponsor impact.
Data can be your best friend in pitching sponsorships for your golf fundraiser. The following types of data are helpful when it comes to showing businesses the impact and tangible benefits of supporting your charity golf tournament:
The benefits of corporate philanthropy. More and more, people want to work for and do business with companies that prioritize philanthropy. In fact, according to Double the Donation, 93% of employees believe that companies must lead with purpose, and 77% of consumers want to buy from companies making the world a better place. This data illustrates the internal and external advantages for businesses considering charitable initiatives, which can include supporting your cause by sponsoring your nonprofit’s golf fundraiser.
Past sponsor ROI. If you haven’t done this with past tournaments or other fundraising events, now’s a great time to start! Send a survey to sponsors shortly after an event, within a few months, about the impact it had on their business. When at all possible, ask for quantitative feedback, such as new customers acquired, leads generated, and additional revenue realized to clearly show the ROI of the sponsorship. You can also ask for more qualitative data, such as brand perception and awareness.
Target audience demographics. Show the data on where your tournament’s audience overlaps with the target audience of the prospective sponsor and highlight this in your sponsorship pitch. Some data points to include:
Over 50% of golfers are between the ages of 25 and 55, the age demographic with the most spending power
The average golfer’s net worth is over $768,000
The average household income among golfers is over $100,000
33% of golfers are top-level managers
83% of golfers own mutual funds/stocks
68% own their primary residence
83% regularly take vacations
60% have purchased a vehicle in the last year
48% stay active and/or have a gym membership
77% have consumed alcohol in the last 30 days
5. Leverage online tools to engage and provide value to sponsors.
Nonprofit teams are busier than ever, so finding ways to increase efficiency and effectiveness are key. When it comes to your golf tournament, an event management tool built just for golf tournaments is an important piece of your tech stack. You can collect donor and sponsor information at the point of registration, sell sponsorship packages, process payments, and keep track of all the event’s information in one place. What’s more, you can provide premium digital exposure to sponsors, increasing the unique value of your event’s sponsorships and maximizing the ROI for the business.
Your organization’s CRM is another tool where you can track donors’ giving trends, pull reports to tailor messaging that resonates with audience segments, and create prospect lists for event sponsorships. Leverage these tools in combination with other digital avenues to identify, research, and even pitch to potential corporate sponsors. Professional networking sites like LinkedIn and other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram let you engage with brands and local businesses and find out more about their philanthropic priorities.
Wrapping Up and Next Steps
Your golf tournament’s sponsorships are likely where you’ll likely see the most revenue, so it’s important to be strategic in creating sponsorship packages, providing benefits, and making asks. Get started by brainstorming sponsorship package ideas and determining costs and price points, list them on your event’s website, then leverage your networks to start making asks. You might also reach out to vendors or current partners to build custom sponsorships that fit their budgets and needs. Set yourself up for future success by having a process in place to steward these sponsors before, during, and after the golf tournament. You’ll lay the foundation for future event support and a potential broader partnership.
Planning a charity golf tournament? Nonprofits can qualify for no-cost access to GolfStatus’ golf tournament management platform through the Golf for Good program. Get a free event website, exclusive sponsorships and add-ons, built-in fundraising tools, resources, and an A+ support team to help you along the way. Click here to find out more and get qualified!