Charity Golf Events and Finding Sponsorship

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    Nov 12, 2012
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A golf tournament is an effective way to raise money for worthy causes. Hosting a successful golf tournament, though, requires a lot of advance planning. One of the essential elements in a golf charity event is having sponsorship, and effective golf tournament planning process is essential if this is to be achieved.

Step 1 - Plan the Tournament First
Before approaching potential sponsors, develop a plan for the golf event; what are the main themes, and what charity or charities are intended to benefit? Where will the tournament be held? Will there be an awards ceremony or combined ceremony/banquet? What prizes are planned or desired? In addition to prizes for winning golfers, will there be door prizes? Will tournament participants be presented with amenity kits, such as personalized golf balls? Put the whole plan in writing.

Step 2 - Develop a List of Potential Sponsors
Once the charity to benefit is decided, and themes have been agreed upon, develop a list of organizations that best fit both. Development of the list should take into account the organization’s previous record in sponsoring golf charity events.

Step 3 - Approach Potential Sponsors
Once the list of potential sponsors has been developed, contact should be made and a meeting arranged to make the pitch. The key to a successful request for support is showing the organization what’s in it for them. Good community and customer relations is usually a good starting point, but if there is a specific or special link between the organization and the theme of the event, it should factor heavily into the pitch. If personalized golf balls are to be either prizes for winners or amenities for all participants, the sponsor’s logo on them is often a big selling point. In approaching decision makers within  potential sponsor organizations the best advice is to seek the help of your own or the charity’s network of contacts, if possible.

Step 4 - Get it in Writing
Once agreement for sponsorship is given, put the details into a written agreement. This protects both the event planners and the sponsors, and can prevent future misunderstandings.

Step 5 - Press Coverage
Contact local media, print and electronic, through a press release and invite them to do pre-event publicity as well as cover the event itself. Check in advance with sponsors before mentioning them in media releases, and ensure that they have no objections to media presence at the event.

Step 6 - Involve the Sponsor in the Event
It’s always a good idea to offer to have senior officials of sponsoring organizations participate in charity events, as participants and presenters of awards.

Step 7 - Take lots of Pictures
Arrange for a photographer to take lots of photos of the event, and make sure sponsor logos and personnel feature prominently in many, and provide sponsors copies.

Step 8 - Feedback and Thank You Notes
After the event, be sure to ask, preferably through the phone or in person, for the sponsor’s feedback on the event and send letters of thanks to all sponsors. If possible make the letters authentic by asking the persons who benefited from the event write the Thank You notes themselves. Such an approach will add a nice touch to your initiative. Additionally, include the pictures taken during the charity golf event.

Step 9 – Continuous Contact
It is important to underline that contact with sponsors of the event should not end with the Thank You note, maintain contact with the decision makers through newsletters (after asking for their approval, of course), through an occasional phone call or visits (on special occasions, like birthdays or if the organization appears in the newspaper, or if simply you drive by their establishment). This way, your chances that they will sponsor your next charity golf event increases.

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Tee Time Gifts is one of the top golf equipment stores that offers special options on personalized golf balls and other personalized golf gear. Besides the large variety of golf brands that one can choose from, we provide a discount for outfitting charity golf outings and the necessary golf tournament planning expertise to make an event successful.

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