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How do I organize a charity tournament to be a raging success?

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A 26 year old friend of ours had a stroke last month and is still in the hospital because the doctors still cannot figure out what is wrong with her. Her husband is now missing a lot of work to be with her and they have a son who is less than a year old. I was trying to think of a way I could help them out, so with her husbands permission I have decided to organize a charity tournament. I have the course and date planned already so now I need to start the process of gaining sponsors. If any of you have done this before could you please give me any tips and advice to make this a very fun and profitable event? Thank you for your time. 

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26 and a stroke? Holy smokes. Very sorry to hear that. 

I have no idea how to organize a tournament but I have played in my share. The best ones are scrambles where you can organize your own team. The outcome has rarely ever mattered to us as long as we were well fed. Find a local restaurant (usually a bbq place) that wants to help you out and give a discount for advertising and spend your money there. Everyone will love to come for a good meal. Some nice prizes and maybe a raffle with some local companies offering you something if you are able to convince them it is worth it to give something to the cause. 

Another thing I have seen work well is a silent auction at the end with donated items. I donated airline miles of which I have tons and 100,000 miles went for $205. Free gift for me and the cause got $205. 

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Try and get individuals to contribute.  If you have a hundred golfers each contributing a hundred dollars, that is 10,000$.  Easier sometimes than convincing a business to contribute say 5,000$.  The second thing is make it a fun family day with some events post the round.  Your spouse and kids will enjoy the day and you are more likely to spend some money.  Say a stall selling small knick-knacks or stuff for kids etc.

Sad that you can get a stroke at 26, but why can't they figure out what is wrong with her anyway

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Surprisingly, if you Google "How to run a charity golf outing" there are a lot of people with advice.  Some are trying to sell you something but it is a start.  There seemed to be quite a few decent ideas depending on the size and scope of the planned event.

My immediate concern would be complying with state & Federal laws related to charitable fund raising.  If you have a friend who is a CPA you might discuss the best approach.


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I have organized a couple of tournaments for my wife's charity.(juvenile diabetes). You already have the location so next would be going to the various local media outlets like radio, tv, news papers...etc. This gets the word out. Sometimes one of those outlets will help as it's great press for them. Great publicity is hard to find these days. They can also help with other sponsorships for your event. Get the right media outlet on board, and they can save you alot of leg work. They know how to do these types of things. Social media is a good place to advertise your event.

Next would be contacting various sporting goods outlets, golf shops, hardware stores, and grocery stores for freebees. Local beverage outlets should not be over looked . Surprisingly I have found that golf shops are at the bottom of the list when giving away stuff. Monies will be created fom selling raffle tickets for donated prizes. 

Depending on the size of your event, you might need extra folks to help run the gig. If you can get the extra help to work for free, thats great. If not, that money will have come from some where.

Your players will be paying for their golf. You want to get an agreement from the proshop on green fees. Then mark that price up a little to gain more revenue. ....if possible. 

You probably want to do the hole in one, longest drive,  and closest to the pin enticements. 

Also you might want to check for any permits, or licenses that may be needed by your local goverment entities. You should keep an accurate account of monies, and gifts and where it all went. This is for possible tax issues later on.

If you plan on selling alcohol at your event be very carefull that no one associated with your event leaves if too drunk to drive. They leave drunk, get in a wreck, and your butt might be on the line. 

Obviously the above seems like over kill, and all might not be needed depending on the size of your event.

Good luck on your endeavor. Hope your friend recovers 100%. 

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Great info so far and I really appreciate it. The chef at the course is going to cut me a great deal on an amazing dinner sonthat is checked off. I got a quote for hole in one insurance so we will probably do a decent sized cash prize for that. I hadn't thought of tax ramifications and permits so I will definitely be looking into that. I am going to ask a car dealership to donate a rental van so I can drive people home who maybe enjoyed themselves a bit too much. I have 4 months to pull this off so I will be talking to most every business in town to secure sponsors and raffle items. Please keep the great tips coming! I appreciate you all taking time from your lives to help me along.

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Note: This thread is 1887 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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