Fraternity Golf Tournament Fundraiser

Having a golf tournament as a fundraiser is a way to have a great time and fundraise a lot money for the fraternity.

You will first need to find a course to host the tournament. Find the cheapest local course you can find. Remember, it is a fundraiser. Keep your expenses minimal.

One key caveat to finding a course is to make sure they allow you to have a beverage cart. Often courses will not let you do this unless you pay a corking fee. Often that is a minimal fee. Again, be sure to run the numbers in accordance to the rules the course sets.

Next you will need to find people to play in the tournament. You need to create a buzz with your alumni. If you can get one or two influential alumni to take interest in the event, often they can convince others. Also, invite friends and family to the event. You really don’t care who plays, as long as a lot of people do.

Several days before the tournament you should have a good head count. Say you charge $20 over what the course charges you. Take half of that and buy prizes (if you can’t find local businesses to donate them). Do not focus on golf prizes either. Most people who will playing probably won’t be golfers and won’t be interested in a dozen balls. The event is supposed to be fun, and is going to be with friends and family. This is the perfect opportunity for gag prizes.

Now you have to focus on making serious money off this thing. Get people to sponsor each green, fairway and tee on the course. That will be 54 sponsors total. Contact your local Kinkos to have signs made to place on the course. Make it everyone’s responsibility to find sponsors. If you have 27 brothers, everyone is responsible for finding two. They can have their grandmother be a sponsor or alumni they are close with. They can have their Dad’s business or the local college bar sponsor. Charge whatever you think a reasonable rate is that they will pay. If you charge $25 a sponsor (which is on the super cheap end) – that is $1350. Take out $150 in expenses to make signs and you have a profit of $1200. That is a good return for minimal effort.

On tournament day, don’t forget to sell mulligans and red ball busters. A mulligan is a do-over and a red ball buster is an opportunity to hit from the girls tees. Offer this option for at least $5 a pop. That will net you a quick hundred or two.

Another source of funds is selling drinks. Have a brother and a pretty girl work the beer cart. Beer should cost you a buck or so when you factor in the cart fee. It should be no problem making a couple hundred bucks this way. Be sure to let everyone know that they need to buy the booze from you, and not the course. As always, remind everyone that you are in public and not to embarrass the fraternity. Remember the cost of a wrecked golf cart will ruin all the effort that went into the tournament.

Finally, set up a hole where you offer the golfer a chance to win $20 by placing a $10 wager. Make sure it isn’t too easy. You should get lots of takers.

All in all – you can turn a simple event into a serious fundraiser. And everyone will have a good time in the process.

5 thoughts on “Fraternity Golf Tournament Fundraiser

  1. Pingback: Fundraising Ideas « Epsilon Nu Tau | Nation's First Entrepreneurship Fraternity

  2. Yeah, I’ve run our golf tournament half a dozen times, and this is weak, sorry.

    Sponsors: We’ve never had fairway sponsors, but tee & greens yes. We have sponsorship levels, like $500 for gold, 250 for silver, 150 for bronze. Basically, gold sponsor gets just his sign (on yellow background) on the tee box or by the green & his one entry fee paid for, silver will be two different sponsors each with a full size sign (white background) on the tee or green area & their entry fee paid. Bronze is one full size sign divided into four blocks & their logo/wording goes in one of the corners, entry fee not paid.

    Title sponsor: that is the whatever golf tournament presented by XYZ company. Their name goes on everything & they get a foursome out of the deal. We charge 2500 for this. It’s usually covered by couple of alumni that work at the same company. They pay half & their company matches their donation.

    We also have diamond & platinum level sponsors. They get banners at the clubhouse & 2-4 players paid for. We charge 1500 & 1000 for those. Again that’s mostly a handful of alumni with matching funds from their employer.

    You might also talk to your athletic dept. I bet in exchange for a donation a couple members of the football coaching staff would come play a free round of golf. Your top couple sponsors will be a lot more excited about dropping that kind of money if they have 18-holes to BS with the football coach about how the next season is going to look. I bet if you look around you probably already have a few alumni making those kinds of donations to the athletic dept. If you can reach out to them to add the condition of some coaches coming out, then you just got it for free.

    Publish a program: It doesn’t have to be amazing. 4-6 pages done at kinkos is perfectly fine. Maybe the cover is color. It’ll cost very little to do. Our tournament benefits a scholarship, so we explain that & talk about the history of the event. We give the schedule for the tournament and the whole weekend. We explain the prizes, etc. The point though is you can sell adds. The top three sponsors are already going to get mentioned here. The title sponsor will have their presented by statement on the cover & logo in a bottom corner. Then give the whole back page to the title sponsor for their ad. The diamond & plat sponsors should get a half page each inside. Other than that, this is where you can sell $25-100 ads. Make sure to list all your sponsors by category. If it’s a corporate sponsor & one of your alumni who works there made it happen, put that person’s name in parenthesis.

    Do NOT buy prizes!

    When your members are out asking for sponsorships, that’ll go… would you like to pay 500/250/150 to sponsor a hole; if not then, would you like to buy an ad for 25-100 in the program; I understand you can’t give us any money, how would you feel about donating an item or gift card to our charity auction – benefits scholarship.

    Also ask alumni for auction items. A lot of them play at a golf course back home that may be willing to donate a driver or something, maybe their employer can donate something, or maybe they just got a cool Christmas gift that they really don’t want. I have baseball season tickets & normally donate my pair for 2-3 games in the season to be auctioned off. You can pull a couple of those items out to use as prizes if you want. Talk to the pro-shop at the course you are playing at. They will normally have a discount for participants and will donate you a couple gift certificates to use as prizes.

    BUT, for your big prizes, look into event insurance. There’s a couple companies out there that do this. It’s VERY inexpensive. This will be for your hole in one & long put competitions. It’s not a guaranteed prize, so this company is counting on the odds that no one will win it, but you’re able to say you can win a million a specific par 3 for a hole in one, with less prizes on the other 3 par 3s. And maybe a cruise or something on a long putt competition. They’ll offer just about anything you want and give you a price for it. You can figure out what you can afford to pay to determine how spectacular the prize is, but something like $1000 to be able to say you could win a million is a pretty big draw.

    The long putt competition is real simple. There’s a practice green by the clubhouse. you can buy-in at registration and putt from 40-50 feet. You get one shot, if you make it then you get a cruise or whatever. You can charge $10 for an entry & you’ll double your money above insurance cost. You’ll get people not even playing in the tournament that’ll do this. Only takes about 20mins.

    Both those events you probably have to video the shots for them to pay out, so job opportunity for a pledge & God help them if they miss a winning shot.

    Do your own research, you’ll find a handful of companies out there doing this. The one I use gives me a package deal on the two events and a certificate for a free golf club that I can put in a gift back for every participant.

    Like just about every fraternity event, make shirts that you sell for a $2-5 more than it cost to make them. That should be included with the entry fee & in their gift bag as well. Don’t make a bunch of shirts and try to sell them day of cause you’ll end up with a lot left over.

    You can talk to the golf course about selling food before/after the tournament. Our course won’t let us directly sell food, but they have food service.

    What we do is turn the clubhouse into VIP for our premium sponsors (250+). Before the start, the auction items are all set out in the foyer so everyone can see/bid on them, & breakfast tacos in the bar area for sponsors. After the start, then the whole clubhouse is closed except to VIPs. So, when a VIP finishes they can wait in the AC and continue to bid on items, there’s sandwich platters & drinks there for them. Then when everyone is done we announce the long-putt competition will be starting. When it starts we open the clubhouse up to everyone. After it’s over everyone comes inside & mingles around for a bit cooling off. We announce winners & hand out prizes, do a live auction of a few items, then announce the silent auction is closed (pick up sheets) & they can pay for their items outside at the registration table.

    It’s a lot of work, but we do a lot better than 1250. We pay for two 2500 scholarships a year out of that, and make a chunk above that to the foundation account that supports the scholarship. The chapter usually pays a lot of the setup costs and they get reimbursed plus a nice bonus of helping out. You should keep your ideas under control when you first try to run an event like this, but the potential for growth is pretty great once you get it established as an annual thing with your alumni, parents, & community.

    • Great input – this is definitely how you can put together a 1st class event. Remember that the effort you put into this event will equal the benefit you get out of it. If you are willing to go the extra mile like Dennis has described, there is no reason why you can’t make several thousand on your golf tournament.

  3. These are sound ideas up until the alcohol part. Two issues some to mind, one and probably the most important has to do with FIPG policies which apply to most National Greek organizations and apply to undergraduate chapters as well as alumni when at a fraternity event. So the purchasing of alcohol in bulk is an issue as well as selling. Creates quite a liability to the organization. This is best left to the 3rd party golf course which probably has a rule against alcohol being brought in anyhow.

    • Tom – you are probably right. This is done responsibly by a lot of different organizations at their golf tournaments and it is condoned by the course. However, you are right that there are probably some liability issues due to FIPG policies. If anyone out there decides that they would like to try this at their golf tournament, I highly recommend you contact your national headquarters and get their opinion before you start. Thanks for the comment.

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