Graphic of a woman playing golf next to the title of the article.

Creative Marketing Ideas for Charity Golf Tournaments

As a nonprofit professional, you likely already understand the importance of marketing in collecting funds and making your cause known. From attracting donors and pursuing matching gift opportunities to promoting your services to your target audience, marketing is a key strategy for successful nonprofits.

Your nonprofit’s fundraising events are no different. Successfully marketing your fundraiser is crucial to the event’s success, not to mention positive fundraising outcomes, and gets your community excited about participating.

When it comes to your charity golf tournament, it’s important to cast a wide net to attract new supporters to your cause. Golf events have a unique appeal. The sport is more popular than ever, so getting the word out about your golf fundraiser lets folks know that they can play the game they love while supporting a great cause.

Ready? Start spreading the word about your golf fundraiser today with these five creative marketing tips:

Without further ado, let’s dive in with our first recommendation.

1. Use an Event Website

An event website for your charity golf tournament serves as the homepage for the event and where folks can go to find more information and get involved. Customize the site with pertinent information about your nonprofit, its mission, and what the tournament is raising funds for. It’s also a good idea to include the tournament’s schedule, recognize sponsors, and give visitors the chance to donate.

And if you’re going to incorporate matching gifts in your event strategy (which you should!), you’ll want to ensure your site is equipped with matching gift information, too.

Sample matching gifts page on a nonprofit website

Interested in learning more about how corporate donation-matching can play a role in your event strategy? Jump to the bonus section now!

The best thing about an event website is that it makes promotion as simple as sharing a link in all your online channels—social media, email campaigns, your nonprofit’s website, or even online ads. You’ll also end up saving a ton of time by collecting registrations and selling sponsorships right on the website.

2. Choose a Memorable Event Name

A catchy tournament name is a great way to brand the event and your marketing campaign. A tournament logo is another option you can leverage in a variety of ways to help connect folks to the event and what it’s raising money for. For example, use the tournament logo and its branding on t-shirts for organizers and volunteers, hole signage, banners, email campaigns, promotional graphics, giveaways, and more. Of course, it should be front and center on the event website.

Get your planning team, staff, or board together for a brainstorming session to settle on a tournament name that makes a lasting impression. Some ideas to get your creative juices flowing might include:

  • Swing Fore the Kids
  • Putts Fore Pets
  • Fairway to Heaven
  • Putting for Miracles
  • Teeing Up Hope
  • Holes Fore Heroes
  • Scramble for a Cure

If you’d rather stick to a traditional tournament name, such as a “Charity Golf Classic” or “Memorial Golf Tournament” that’s perfectly fine—but consider a specific tournament logo that makes your event stand out.

3. Incorporate Gamification Elements

Competition is a natural part of a charity golf tournament. You can leverage friendly competition in your marketing to help engage supporters about your event. In fact, integrating gamification into your golf tournament gets supporters and participants invested before they even tee off. Try these gamification ideas to get started!

Use a fundraising thermometer or donation tracker on your event website and in social media materials. Post updates and graphics in the days and weeks leading up to the tournament so people can see how their donation can help move the needle towards your goal.

Launch a contest to encourage people to recruit additional teams to play in the tournament. Not only does this help spread awareness about your tournament and cause, but you can stoke a little friendly competition by offering prizes to those who bring in the most number of teams. You might offer mulligans, raffle tickets, and drink tickets as prizes.

Implement user-generated content challenges. Leveraging user-generated content in your marketing provides a great opportunity to broaden your campaign’s reach. For example, you could have golfers share posts with a photo of their teams in the lead-up to the event and have social media followers vote on their favorite team names or costumes by liking, commenting, or sharing posts.

Add an auction to your tournament and promote it in your pre-tournament marketing. Silent and live auctions can certainly be competitive—in the best way possible—because they drive more dollars for your nonprofit. High-end prizes like a donated stay-and-play opportunity at a destination golf club get donors excited and engaged before, during, and after the golf tournament.

4. Collaborate With Local Celebrities & Influencers

Influencer marketing is another tool in your nonprofit toolkit to spread awareness about your nonprofit and your golf event to new audiences who otherwise might not have known about it. Plus, online channels have made it easier than ever to connect with celebrities and influences who can help amplify your event. Consider these options:

  • Local celebrities. You don’t have to have A-list celebrities involved to make an impact. Local celebrities, like the mayor, local news anchor or meteorologist, radio personality or host, community sports team, or well-known business owner, are more accessible and can add a draw to your fundraiser. It’s a win-win—you’ll get great exposure and they’ll be publicly associated with a great cause.
  • Social media influencers. Whether you’re connecting with influencers in the nonprofit sector, the golf world, or in your local area, you can improve your event’s visibility with social media partnerships. NXUnite’s list of nonprofit influencers is a great resource for learning more about the nonprofit influencer space.

Once you’ve made contact with them, work together to outline a mutually beneficial partnership. Perhaps in exchange for promoting your tournament on their socials and appearing at the event, they receive a complimentary team registration or two. Consider devoting a specific part of the event to the VIP, such as a hole-in-one contest hosted by them or a signed raffle prize or auction item donated by them. Highlight their presence in your marketing materials to get the most out of the partnership.

5. Leverage Cause Marketing With Corporate Sponsors

You might think of sponsorships primarily in the context of monetary donations. But in fact, you can leverage your corporate partnerships for marketing purposes, too. Cause marketing is marketing carried out by a for-profit business to advance a charitable cause or better society—in this case, your charity golf tournament.

Reach out to your nonprofit’s current corporate partners with a mutually beneficial proposal, providing positive exposure and outcomes for both parties. Your matching gift software can help here, too, when you use donor employment insights to identify top prospects for marketing partnerships.

Identify corporate partnerships with Double the Donation's top companies feature

Then, much like with influencer marketing, think of ways to sweeten the deal in exchange for their partnership, like offering a complimentary team registration for promoting the tournament to their employees or clients.

If leveraging corporate sponsorships isn’t an option for your nonprofit, you might consider offering sponsorship packages for your golf tournament that include cause marketing components. For example, a local business might underwrite paid social media campaigns or television or radio spots in exchange for exposure to your tournament’s field. GolfStatus recommends targeting businesses that are interested in getting in front of the golfer demographic. In either case, you should work closely with the sponsor or partner to determine how you can meet each other’s needs.

Bonus: Double Event Donations with Matching Gifts

As a nonprofit fundraiser, you’re surely looking to get the biggest bang for your buck with your upcoming golf event. Fortunately, integrating employee matching gifts into your overall fundraising strategy can go a long way. And there are a few key ways to do so. These include:

  • Matching event donations — Any gifts contributed above and beyond an event ticket cost or registration fee can typically be matched by individuals’ employers as usual. Just let your donors know that they should complete the matching gift request process for their company. You can even use a matching gift database like Double the Donation to supply supporters with employer-specific submission forms, guidelines, and more.
  • Matching the tax-deductible portion of event tickets — The cost of an event ticket or registration fee might be match-eligible, too! However, this process may be a bit more nuanced depending on the individual’s employing company. While the donation portion of the transaction (which is also the tax-deductible amount) will likely qualify for a match, the event’s fair market value will typically need to be deducted from the payment total.

Matching gifts for charity golf tournaments

Corporate matching gifts not only supply nonprofits and their events with an additional source of fundraising revenue, but they also incentivize greater individual generosity. In fact, Double the Donation studies indicate that 84% of donors are more likely to give if a match is offered (resulting in a 71% increase in response rate). At the same time, 1 in 3 donors would give a larger gift if a match were available, leading to a 51% increase in average gift size.

In other words, incorporating matching gifts is one of the best ways to supercharge your efforts and bring your fundraising event success to new heights.

Wrapping Up

Once you have a date and location locked in for your charity golf tournament, you’ll want to start planning your marketing efforts so you can start gaining traction as soon as possible. Your planning team should play a crucial role in marketing your golf tournament. You might even appoint someone to take charge of marketing efforts to ensure campaigns are moving forward. A robust marketing campaign is critical to the success of your golf tournament.

Uncover how to double donations for your nonprofit in our guide to matching gifts. Download now!