Golf Tournaments: Case in Point
When the Arby’s Foundation first approached Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass, based in Lexington, Ky., about becoming a part of the Arby’s Charity Tour, the organization was skeptical and worried that the event would be too much work for not enough profit, and said, “No thanks.”
Arby’s re-approached the board and asked it to reconsider, saying it would guarantee that the organization would make $25,000 and the Arby’s Foundation would organize the event. All BBBS of the Bluegrass needed to do was work at getting local foursome teams to sign up. The organization agreed to give the event a shot and see what happened.
Its first event, in 1998, pulled in proceeds in excess of $30,000.
Thanks to the assistance of the local Arby’s franchise, the support of the presenting sponsor, Quantrell Cadillac, and the addition of Joe Gomes, who came on as executive director of the organization in 1999, the tournament was taken to a new level, to the point where now it consistently nets at least $70,000. The funds raised from the tournament have enabled the organization to create an endowment that now is close to half a million dollars.
“It’s been one of those things where we sit and laugh about it and say, ‘You remember when we told them no and they came back,’” Gomes says.
Gomes says one of the most important things that factor into a successful golf tournament is identifying someone who’s on the board or involved with the organization to be the “champion” of the event. For BBBS of the Bluegrass, that person was a board member who owns a local Cadillac dealership.
Gomes says he asked the board member if he could find a presenting sponsor for the tournament — a $25,000-a-year commitment. The board member came back to Gomes a week later and volunteered his dealership to be the sponsor.