Far and away your Sponsors are your top profit producing source for your event. While you are certainly aware of this fact, you have to admit that you and your committee have actually spent the least effort in this area than, say, gathering auction items. I would guess that you also have spent more effort on what to put in the goody bags. It is shocking that most know that what amounts to “free money” is always the most overlooked. Instead of putting together “Birdie Packages” or “Platinum Sponsorships” which really only give potential sponsors a reason to say “no”. Have ALL your committee get out and meet with all potential sponsors and simply ask them what they want from and for their sponsorship dollars. Get creative. You have dozens of things that you can have sponsored from scorecards to parking spaces. Water hazards, Jello shots, Hooters girls, hand car washes while your players are out on the course. Think outside the box.
- ENTRY FEE
Probably the single biggest mistake made at every event. The cost from the golf course for golf, lunch, dinner, tax and mandatory gratuity comes to $116.20 per player and your committee decides to set the outing cost at $120 because you either don’t want to gouge people or you fear that people will not attend if the price is too high. This is a fatal error. Besides giving you less than $4 profit per player, what happens if the weather is so bad that your event is cancelled? You still have to pay the course, but you only make $4 per player and everyone gets a rain check to play the course. Your fundraiser is ruined and all of your efforts have been wasted. You need to think of it another way. This is the single item that every participant will pay that absolutely guarantees you 100% participation, because they are there. In other words, not everyone will buy your mulligans, raffle tickets, silent auction items, play your games etc. You need to price your golf outing in anticipation both for the worst weather situation and for the possibility that your event will be inhabited by the absolute cheapest people on the planet. You need to make real profit on your costs from the golf course. It is your only 100% guarantee. Don’t be afraid to give your players a real VALUE and charge them for it.
Since your raffle table, more often than not, is filled with stuff that has been donated by potential sponsors that couldn’t or wouldn’t come up with a cash donation, you need to turn that donated “stuff” into cash. Your raffle and raffle ticket sales are your #3 largest profit source for your event. The problem that exists is that far too many events decide on a raffle ticket sale system that caters to the cheapest person at your event. In other words, you often see things like; $1 per ticket, 6 for $5, 12 for $10 or an arm’s length for $20. This is far too time consuming for your ticket sellers to handle and gives people too many confusing choices. Think about the great prizes you have assembled, displayed and how much time and effort it took to do. You don’t want to sell 20 people a single ticket for one dollar. You are better off selling that stuff on eBay. Sell all of your raffle tickets for one price. They can ONLY buy an arm’s length of tickets for $20, period. No discussion, no choices and it is far easier for your ticket sellers. You only have so many people in your group, either they buy $20 worth of raffle tickets or buy none at all. You will increase your revenue dramatically with one price.
- SILENT or LIVE AUCTION
If you get some really nice “stuff” donated, take it off the Auction table and use it for your live auction. You have to be aware of a couple of things though. First, a Silent Auction is for your Bargain Hunters who are looking to steal something at a discounted price from the rest of the people so you might not do as well with it there. A Live Auction is for the people who like to brag or who need the notoriety of the applause after the bidding has ended. We have all heard where table number three whispers, “Can you believe Jim spent that kind of money for those tickets?” “Well, if I had his money, I would burn mine. He can afford it, just keep clapping”. Know your people, choose the right type of auction and your event will do very well.
Most events believe that the bulk of their money comes from the games or contests that they have on the golf course. They could not be more wrong. First, imagine a total rain out situation. The only way that you are making any money that day is by following my advice from #1 & #2 above. Secondly, you will never get 100% participation in your games and contests, especially when you have corporate sponsors playing in your event and they have filled their “free” foursomes with people from the office as those people have no real reason to participate, are not golfers and often will feel a sense of entitlement as Title Sponsors and not believe they need to do anything else all day long to help your cause. Please note however, every single game that you have on the course and every single prize is something that you should sell to a sponsor ( #1 above). Secondly, as the day gets late, people will also feel tapped out and be far less likely to participate in any game that you have on the course, especially if that game requires any type of skill.