Advancing Philanthropy October 2020 - 60

Fundraising Through Crisis
AN EMPHASIS ON GOLF
With many major events canceled, golf has emerged over
the course of 2020 as one of few fundraisers that can,
in many cases, be adapted and remain safe. Meanwhile,
the golf industry has seen almost unilateral growth at
courses nationwide. In June, Bloomberg reported a 22%
increase in rounds compared to last year; in August, Golf
Digest reported a historic surge in golf equipment sales;
and Golf Inc. recently pointed to a sustained boom with
rounds up 14% in June and a substantial increase in
participation in youth golf programs.

organizers without the need for additional or duplicate
data entry.
"Instead of printing the paperwork, putting it in the
mail, hoping they got it, and then processing it after
waiting for everyone to return the form with a check-I
just sent everyone a link, and they registered and paid
online," explained an event organizer planning a major
event for a small West Virginia-based nonprofit.
Organizers have also adopted live-scoring technology
to sidestep paper scorecards, which eliminates yet
another contact point. Players instead enter their scores
into a mobile app that populates a live leaderboard for
the event-making it possible for events to go virtual

The right technology contributes to time savings,
better data management, and easier collaboration across teams
through all-around cleaner processes. The golf event is unique
in that its seemingly small details are essential.
"The golf fundraiser allows us to expand our donor
base because it's an event people love," said an executive
director at a mostly volunteer-run 501(c)3 whose golf
outings raise about $15,000. Indeed, many nonprofits
have capitalized on the opportunity to connect with
folks eager to get to the course-adapting their
upcoming outings to comply with safety protocols and
new rules from courses. In doing so, organizations,
players, and sponsors alike have shown a renewed
interest in golf events as a fundraising mechanism not
only in 2020, but beyond.

CONVENIENCE AND FLEXIBILITY
In an effort to eliminate as many touchpoints as possible,
organizations transitioned the event registration process
online. Using event management technology designed
specifically for golf outings, event organizers can
accommodate team and player registrations seamlessly,
and even list available sponsorships for sale. The benefits
here are numerous: Organizers eliminate the need to
create, print, mail and process paper registration forms;
the event becomes easier to market through digital
channels; interested players and sponsors can sign up,
commit and pay instantly and securely; and team and
sponsor information is organized and accessible to event

60	

Advancing Philanthropy	

in a fashion similar to the way walk-a-thons have been
held across disparate locations during this time. These
virtual events essentially stay open for multiple days or
include multiple participating courses, and give sponsors
extended digital exposure while also allowing players
the convenience and flexibility to participate on their
own time.

MORE OPTIONS FOR SPONSORS
Changes to the format and programming for golf events
also made it necessary for event organizers to think
differently about sponsorships-from exposure and
price points to overhead costs. Moving registration
online and collecting scores via a mobile app to facilitate
live leaderboards presents the opportunity for digital
exposure akin to professional, tour-caliber outings. In
fact, this approach extends to the sport's highest levels.
In May, when TNT committed to broadcasting The
Match: Champions for Charity, a televised event where
sports legends Tom Brad and Peyton Manning paired
up with golf greats Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods,
the event tapped Capital One as its presenting sponsor
with exposure that included live leaderboards. What's
more, digital sponsor exposure often requires minimal
overhead costs and logistics. It can also be leveraged by
October 2020 / www.afpglobal.org


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Advancing Philanthropy October 2020

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