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Make your event a success
Here are ten basic steps you can employ to help organize, promote and run a profitable fundraising tournament. Each event is unique in its particular goal, style, and financial expectations, but they usually have these items in common.
1. Establish Event Committees
Organizing your volunteer efforts into committees will allow you to accomplish more tasks in a shorter amount of time. Assigning volunteers to specific tasks such as web updating, sponsorships, event promotion and registration will increase your organization and reduce your workload.
2. Create a Website
Make website your first information resource for your event. From this platform you can refer all mailings, event inquires and questions. It allows you to distribute more event information and details than any brochure could hold, and can always be updated at any time.
3. Finding the Right Course & Price
Your first task to secure a course and a date. If you seek a private venue, expect a Monday date and reserve a year in advance. Privates usually have better amenities/facilities, but will require more (carts, meals, mimimums) thus demanding a higher price. A great venue will guarantee interest in your event, but not participation. Your first fundraising goal should be to fill the course. Pricing your event fairly will ensure better participation. Determine your out-of-pocket expenses (fees, meals, prizes, gifts). Then consider your market and price carefully. Mark-up the event fee, enough to make some money but not too much as to overprice your participants. Remember, event fees are not usually the best profit center for fundraising. Leave some cash in their pockets to spend on your more profitable items.
4. Promote Your Event
Get the word out as many ways as you can. Target your charity's contacts and mailing lists and the local community. Make sure you refer to your website in all promotional efforts. Start referral e-mail chains. It's FREE and will spread the word quicker and get more potential participants to your website faster. Reference your site in all e-mails, correspondence and confirmations. Driving traffic to your site will increase sign-ups, sponsorships and auction activity.
5. Seek Sponsorships
Sponsorships are usually led by businesses and corporations. A donation that can be used as a charitable tax-writeoff can benefit both you and the sponsor. Selling sponsorships to such items as the event name, tees, greens, awards, and dinners can quickly increase your profits for little overhead. Sponsorships generally receive recognition through signage, event premiums and ad books.
6. Ask for Donations
In-kind donations can greatly offset your expenses, allowing you to enjoy more profits. Some donations include food, beverage, event premiums and prizes. Also solicit donated items and services for auctions and raffles.
7. Hold Auctions/Raffles
Auctions and raffles can be the largest profit maker for any event. By soliciting donated items and services, any money received is 100% profit. Popular auction items include trips, dinners, professional services, golf outings, and sports memorabilia. Raffle items usually contain smaller prizes such as golf merchandise, gift certificates and premiums. Solicit items and bids online using your Auctions/Raffles page on your website.
8. On-course Games & Contests
Games of skill and chance on-course will add to your event's fun and profitability. 50/50 drawings, shot-accuracy and putting betting games are all very popular and highly participated.
9. Post Results and Totals
Thank participants for their efforts by posting the tournament and fundraising results. Everyone likes to see that the event was successful and reached its fundraising goals. It's a great way to say recognize to sponsors and participants and invite them back to the next event.
10. Prepare for Next Year
Start preparations for next year's event immediately by securing the date and course and archiving your website. Participants now know you have a website and will be more inclined to use it for future events. Simply archive your site and contact past participants when you have updated your event's information.
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