How to Recognize Large Donors at Charity Golf Events

By Richard Friedkin
Sufficient sponsorship is key to the success of a charitable golf tournament.
Sufficient sponsorship is key to the success of a charitable golf tournament.

Golf tournaments offer a way for charitable organizations to raise money. They do, however, require a lot of work, with many people contributing to the success of the tournament, including committee members, players and sponsors. Identifying and recognizing major sponsors is a critical element for realizing a fund-raising goal. A price list should be established for each category of sponsorship and used as a selling tool to bring potential sponsors into the fold.

The Title Sponsor

The tournament can be named for a sponsor. The sponsor is required to contribute the largest gift in order to have its name be part of the title. For example, if ABC Bank wishes to be the major sponsor of the tournament, it can be called the ABC Bank Golf Tournament for the Boy Scouts or whatever charity the event benefits. The required contribution is dependent on the charity’s budget, but it should be considerably larger than the next largest contribution. Such contributions are generally in the range of $5,000 to $10,000, but may be much larger. For example, many tournaments include a hole-in-one competition, with an automobile offered as the reward for scoring an ace.

Other Large Donors

Donors unwilling or unable to provide primary sponsorship can still be recognized. All golf courses have a number of par 3 holes on which there is the opportunity for a closet-to-the-hole competition. Similarly, a tournament may include sponsored longest-drive competitions on par 4 and par 5 holes.

Additional Donors

A minimum required contribution should be established for the recognition of other sponsors. For example, each of the tournament winners can receive a trophy or plaque named after a major secondary sponsor.

Name Recognition

Large donors should be recognized in the tournament program, describing the nature of their donation. Donors’ names can be displayed at the preliminary and post-tournament activities -- such as raffles and auctions -- on each golf cart, at the sign-in tables and at an after-tournament meal. Signs at each hole with a sponsor's name are usually sold separately. Sponsors can also be solicited to provide favors for the golfers, such as golf balls and gift packages on which the sponsor’s names can be displayed. Sponsors willing to contribute to a golf tournament do so because they want the name recognition. The more opportunities offered for such recognition, the greater the likelihood of the tournament's success.

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