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  • Writer's pictureNonprofit Learning Lab

Why a Golf Event is the Ideal Fall 2021 Fundraiser

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

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Spring may have just sprung, but it’s already time to start looking ahead to fall. While restrictions on gatherings are beginning to loosen, social distancing is likely to linger. This puts nonprofit event organizers looking to plan fall fundraising events in a bit of a conundrum when it comes to gathering safely to hold a lucrative fundraiser. The answer? A golf tournament.

In general, fall is a great time for golf. Favorable weather, appealing course conditions, and lower facility costs make it an attractive time of year for a golf tournament fundraiser. Throughout the pandemic, golf has provided a reprieve for folks looking to get outdoors and safely participate in an activity they enjoy. And given the lingering uncertainty of the months ahead, the golf outing—with its outdoor setting and built-in social distancing—provides easy adaptability and flexibility. Here’s why a golf tournament is the best option for a fundraising event this fall (and how to get started at no cost).

The Flexibility to Change Course

Golf fundraisers proved their flexibility and adaptability over and over throughout the challenges of 2020. A few simple modifications, along with technology, made it possible to hold contact-free in-person gatherings and even virtual and hybrid tournaments. As we move closer to the fall of 2021, event organizers continue to need options that let them swiftly and easily change course last minute if needed.

One type of golf tournament, in particular, has seen a great deal of success among nonprofits—a hybrid event. With a hybrid outing, a traditional in-person tournament is held with social distancing and contact-free protocols built in to keep everyone safe with a virtual round that runs in tandem. The virtual option can be held over an extended period (the whole month of the in-person tournament, for example). This approach is advantageous for several reasons. First, it gives folks who may not feel comfortable gathering in a group, albeit safely, the opportunity to participate and golf a round in support of a nonprofit or cause. Second, technology makes it easy, low or no-cost, and risk-free. Since people play on their own time, you don’t incur the expense of renting a facility for the entire day. Live scoring technology is crucial; you’ll need a reliable platform that can aggregate scores from an extended outing at one or more golf courses.

Third, it’s a built-in backup plan. If things go sideways when the date arrives for your fall fundraiser and the in-person tournament has to be canceled, the virtual round can go on without missing a beat. Finally, a hybrid event lets you grow your fundraiser. If yours is a tournament that typically sells out or if teams are tied to sponsors, adding the virtual round lets more supporters, staff, and board members support your mission through golf.

Great Weather & Course Conditions

A fall golf tournament is a nice alternative to the summer months. Fall typically brings favorable weather conditions—the heat of the summer has passed, which means cooler temps that are perfect for golf. Add in excellent playing conditions—in some cases the best of the entire year—and golfers get a great day on the course at your tournament. You’ll want to keep the shorter days fall brings in mind when it comes to setting the tournament’s schedule and format to maximize playable hours, but this can easily be addressed with a shotgun start, a shorter nine-hole event, or a nontraditional format. Golf-specific event management technology will be able to accommodate these factors, making them a non-issue for holding a fall event.

Book a Great Golf Facility

You’ll want to try to hit the sweet spot of the “shoulder season,” that is, the time period between peak and off-peak times of year for the golf industry. This time period varies from region to region, but in general, courses are less crowded in the fall than they are during the height of the summer months. You typically won’t have to pay the high costs that come with events during prime golf season, and because courses aren’t as busy (including high-end courses), they’re more likely to give you a good deal to host your tournament as they try to bridge the gap between summer and winter. Golfers jump at the chance to play at a top-tier golf course, which helps attract new donors for your organization.

What’s more, fall presents the opportunity to approach sponsors who may have funds left in their sponsorship and donation budgets for the year. You’ll want to highlight the broad exposure and brand lift they’ll gain by sponsoring such an event. The right golf event management technology has premium digital sponsorship exposure built-in —from the event website to live leaderboards and mobile scoring, they’ll glean impressions throughout the tournament. If you opt for a hybrid event, sponsors will get the benefit of this digital exposure in addition to any on-course signage and traditional exposure from the in-person side of the overall event.

Add a Second Golf Event

Adding a fall golf tournament to your organization’s event lineup is a good chance to bookend the fundraising year. It doesn’t have to be on the same scale as a spring or summer tournament but opens the door to more supporters getting involved to champion your cause.

It’s easy to add a second event when you use the right technology that lets you simply copy a previous event so it’s basically set up and ready to go. A second event is also the chance to try out a hybrid format and add a virtual option. You’ll be able to see how your constituency and sponsors respond to the concept and if they’re willing to jump on board for this type of unconventional tournament for your main spring or summer golf fundraiser.

Start Planning

If you haven’t already, now is the time to start planning your fall golf event. GolfStatus’s golf event management technology makes the process simple and straightforward, with tons of time-saving and fundraising features.

Nonprofit organizations (or those holding a fundraiser that benefits one) can qualify for no-cost access to GolfStatus’s software through the Golf for Good program. Click the link below to get qualified or email us directly at



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