Fairway to Fundraising: Charity Golf Tournaments
The Arby’s Charity Tour, a series of amateur golf tournaments held throughout North America to raise money and awareness for local Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies, has generated more than $20 million in net proceeds since 1996. ACT Chairman Greg Hawkins notes that committee members need to understand their commitment to raising money for the event.
“Dollars are really the most important thing,” Hawkins says. “And so we look for a group of 10 to 15 individuals who are solely committed to raising money for that organization.”
Identify someone on the committee who will be the champion of the event — someone who can spearhead the fundraising, find top sponsors and who, on the day of the event, will pull it all together and ensure that everyone mingles and has a good time.
Finding a sponsor or co-sponsors needs to be one of the committee’s first goals. The best sponsors are those that deal with a lot of individual vendors and who can leverage those vendor relationships to encourage participation.
“What that does for you is gives you what I call reach,” says Michael Soderlund, a member of Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation’s board and the founder and director of the organization’s Fidelco Fall Classic, an annual charity golf tournament that benefits Fidelco, New England’s only guide-dog school.
The three-year-old event is a significant revenue generator for the foundation that raised $12,000 its first year and saw 60 percent growth last year, raising $20,000. The event is sponsored by Stanley Corp., makers of Stanley tools, a partnership that has connected the foundation to a host of other companies.
But sponsors are good for more than just green. Co-sponsors of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass ACT serve on the tournament committee and recruit teams for the event, serving as veritable ambassadors for the organization.
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