Golf Fundraising Ideas That Work

Golf Fundraising Ideas outlines some creative ways for your organization to make the most of a charity golf tournament or fundraising golf outing. Of course, the player registration fee provides a baseline for obtaining funds; however, there are plenty of opportunities to raise money before, during, and after the tournament takes place. We’ve outlined some of the best golf fundraising ideas here to provide you with interesting ways to help you exceed your fundraising goals.

Ideas for Managing Your Golf Tournament

Ideas for Managing Your Golf Tournament

Before you begin registering golfers and requesting online donations and sponsorship fees, you’ll want to create a plan of action for how you’ll manage your golf fundraiser. You may want to read How to organize a golf tournament for step-by-step planning guidelines.

You will also want to consider implementing golf tournament software to help you manage all the details of your golf tournament event including:

  • Online golfer and team registration
  • Team pairings and starting holes/time
  • Secure online payment processing
  • Sponsorship and product sales management
  • Detailed financial reporting
  • Free technical support and training

GolfRegistrations Offers the Industry Leading Software for Charity & Fundraising Golf Tournaments

GolfRegistrations Offers the Industry Leading Software for Charity & Fundraising Golf Tournaments

Golf Fundraising Ideas: Before the Tournament 

Golf Fundraising Ideas: Before the Event

Corporate Sponsorships

Reach out to the community and local businesses for golf event sponsorships. What a great way to start out on the right financial footing and raise money early on in the event planning process. By hosting a charity golf event that draws in businesses and influential community members, promoting cash and in-kind sponsorship packages should be easy. Sponsorship benefits may be outlined and packages sold securely on your golf tournament website.

Don’t forget that business sponsors expect something in return for their investment. Sponsors love golfing and networking too and will want to be included in the tournament. Our software allows sponsors to register their teams that are included with their sponsorship. As well, include sponsor logos on hole signs, programs, and all tournament promotions.

Golf Marathons

One golf fundraising idea is to host a Golf Marathon or golf-a-thon – a rather new initiative in fundraising golf tournaments that engages players in recruiting sponsors and donations. Golf marathons allow organizations to increase funds raised by having tournament participants commit to raising a certain amount of money through donations and pledges. Ask your golfers to contact friends, colleagues, and family members to solicit donations for their participation in your golf tournament. Each golfer can easily raise $500 or more by tapping into their friends and family and many golfers raise more. Often, the golfer is not charged to play in your fundraising golf tournament if they meet your minimum donation standard.

Golf Merchandise

If your organization created apparel for the tournament with collared golf shirts, hats, visors, golf balls, etc. (with sponsor logos), this is a great time to sell them. If you are using golf tournament software, you can sell your fundraising merchandise directly from your tournament website. If you don’t have your own items to sell, see if the course gift shop can set up special pricing for tournament attendees and give a percentage of sales back to your cause. If you are sending customers into their gift shop and encouraging sales, they will likely be interested in giving you a small kick-back. As well, you can offer golf club rentals for the tournament.

DoJiggy offers free online stores for nonprofit sales, if you want to set up a storefront and sell golf items throughout the golfing season.


Mulligans offer golfers an extra chance at a shot – and cost your organization nothing. They also make the tournament more fun! Creating mulligan packages for sale on your website and at check-in is a great golf fundraising idea utilized by many successful tournaments.

Private Golf Lessons

Some golfers take golfing more seriously than others that just want to have fun. Offer a private golf class with the golf course or country club’s golf pro, during the weeks leading up to the event to allow golfers to bone up on their skills. Work with the course to get special group pricing and sell the classes to raise money on your tournament website.

Golf Fundraising Ideas: On the Course

Golf Fundraising Ideas: On the Course

Fundraising Raffles

One way to make great use of your in-kind donations is to host a fundraising raffle. Reach out to the local community months before the actual tournament to get a variety of prizes donated. Showcase the items before the tournament starts so people can see the items they could win and sell the raffle tickets before they hit the course. Have raffle ticket sales also available on the course and conduct the raffle at the awards ceremony, following the tournament.

Cash-Bar Golf Cart

A great way to raise additional dollars is by hitting up golfers while they are on the course. The best way to do this is with a fully-stocked cash-bar cart! Load up the back of a golf cart with snacks, ice, and cold drinks, then drive the course and sell your golfers what they want. Cold beer and sodas are the best sellers but don’t forget to include snack foods like pretzels and chips. You may also want to add items like small bottles of sunscreen or hats and visors in case people forgot the essentials. And, don’t forget to send extra raffle tickets, just in case someone is in the buying mood after a great drive.

Golf Tournament Contests

Your golf fundraiser can also raise more money on the course by hosting golf tournament contests at different holes throughout the day. Some examples include: Closest to the Pin, Beat the Pro, Longest Drive, and Hole in One contests. Golfers pay to be part of the contest. These contests can really create a fun and exciting atmosphere for golfers and create a “buzz” during the day of the event as well as bringing in some bonus fundraising dollars. 

Request a quote here from our hole in one contest insurance provider.

Helicopter Ball Drops

Helicopter Ball Drops have become popular for fundraising golf tournaments. This is how it works – You sell golf balls for the drop on your website and at check-in. A helicopter (there are special companies that do this) then takes numbered balls, flies over the golf course, and drops the balls simultaneously at your target hole. The golf ball that lands closest to the hole is the grand prize winner. You can also offer additional prizes for 2nd place or even furthest from the pin.

Golf Fundraising Ideas: After the Tournament

Golf Fundraising Ideas: After the Tournament

Charity Auction

One great way to raise additional funds is to host a charity auction as part of your golf fundraiser. Since your golf tournament is bound to attract a number of attendees, a golf charity auction is a great way to earn additional funds. There are two types of auctions to consider – a live auction provides your organization an opportunity to auction large ticket items such as vacation packages and electronics. You can offer these with no up-front costs to your nonprofit organization with our No Risk Auction Items. Hosting a silent auction is often is a nice way to include smaller items that have been donated to your organization by sponsors and constituents. 

Be sure to create an auction website. Here people can view items and place online bids. This also gives supporters who cannot attend the physical golf tournament an opportunity to contribute to your cause. If you do choose to host a silent auction on-site at the tournament, you can use text to give or QR codes to continue auction bidding at the tournament. A charity auction is a very common golf fundraising idea (because it works!) and a great add-on to your post-tournament party.

Start a Free Auction Website

Golf Tournament Dinner & Banquet

Since golf outings usually attract a large number of people from your community, this is a fantastic time to host a dinner or banquet in conjunction with the tournament. For people not interested in the game of golf itself, the banquet provides another opportunity to raise additional dollars. Sell separate tickets for this event and provide entertainment, excellent food and drinks, a silent auction, and an awards ceremony. For the golfers, a banquet is a perfect time to wind down from the long day of playing golf. People are hungry, thirsty, and happy. They will enjoy the time to share the experiences of the day with friends and co-workers while finding out the results of contests and raffle prizes. This is also a great time to make any announcements about what your organization’s goals are, helping you spread awareness for your cause. Be sure to thank golfers, volunteers, and sponsors and highlight specific community members who made a difference. Which brings us to our final golf fundraising idea…

Don’t Forget to Ask!

Don’t assume that golfers know about your organization or have already been hit up for a donation. Many golfers may be part of a corporate team and haven’t paid anything to come to your tournament. You don’t want to bug your golfers, but you certainly want to give them every opportunity to make an additional donation to your organization.

Donation appeals can be made throughout your golf tournament:

  • Include a Donation request on your website’s golf registration page.
  • Post Development professionals at one of your holes or back at the clubhouse (with drinks!) asking for additional donations to be made on the spot.
  • Follow up the tournament with thank yous to your golfers and sponsors, along with a link to your organization’s donation website.

More Golf Tournament Resources

You may also be interested in these free golf tournament planning tools to help make your tournament a success: A comprehensive golf tournament planner and checklist, a Microsoft Excel-based budget, and a set of standard letter templates that can be easily modified for your tournament needs.

Whether you are planning a small or large fundraising golf tournament, we hope that these golf fundraising ideas and our golf tournament software will assist your non-profit organization with the important tournament details, allowing you to focus on a more successful golf event that raises more money for your organization. Good Luck!