Tips & Guides
Golf marathon fundraisers are a great way for your nonprofit to leverage the power of activity-based, peer-to-peer fundraising to engage new supporters.
Also known as a 100 Hole Hike, a Golf Marathon challenges participants to devote an entire day to doing what they love, spending countless hours on the course with friends. Instead of registration fees, fundraisers commit to earning pledges and donations for every hole they complete during the marathon.
When you’re planning your Golf Marathon consider all the traditional elements of planning a regular golf tournament. Also take into consideration:
Since most courses are just 18 holes, golfers end up rotating through the course multiple times. This leads to a lot of Golf Marathons being limited to 40 - 70 golfers. Never fear, this limited number can actually be a good thing! You can use the limited capacity to highlight this event as being for a special group of golfers, your true champions, who will go above and beyond for the organization.
You can also set expectations for your golfers to fundraise a minimum amount. Pro-tip: think of your larger goal then divide that by the number of participants you plan to have. Then you’ll be able to identify the fundraising expectations needed for each golfer. Using Pledge It’s built in registration process, you can seamlessly have your participants secure their spot as a participant AND create a fundraising page within minutes!
While you know these golfers are passionate about your organization, they still might need some extra motivation to kick-start fundraising. Just like a live leaderboard during a traditional tournament, fundraising leaderboards can be a huge motivator. Everyone wants to see their name at the top. During the weeks leading up to the marathon make sure you gamify fundraising by highlighting who is actively raising funds (and more importantly, who is in the running to steal the #1 fundraiser's crown).
Also, consider other incentives that can be used to motivate fundraisers. This might look like gear from one of your sponsors, a special title for the top fundraisers, a large prize for any hole-in-ones (we recommend getting this insured), or any other special incentive that you can think of. Whatever your incentives might be, use the weeks leading up to the event to share messages that inspire, motivate, and excite your golfers. Here is a look at a short weekly email that First Tee Fort Worth sent to motivate their golfers.
Lastly, provide material that highlights your organization to participants for them to share when asking for support. Email templates, short videos, or impact stories can all give marathoners the confidence they need to take the first steps towards asking for support.
Planning for the event has taken months but the day itself will fly by. Future you will thank yourself for being well-organized beforehand. Many golf marathons actually see a large amount of fundraising happening during the days leading up to and during the Golf Marathon. Take Folds of Honor for example, over $40,000 of their total $75,000 was raised in just the last week leading up to and the day of their Golf Marathon!
The friendly competition on the course tends to transfer over to the fundraiser leaderboards as well. You can motivate your golfers by giving live updates when fundraisers take new positions on the fundraiser leaderboard throughout the day. If you happen to reach your overall fundraising goal, you should set a new stretch goal for the day of.
Another great way to celebrate participants is by creating branded signs for the event. Each participant can fill their own sign out with how many holes they played and a personal note. Snap a picture of them holding the sign so they can send that to their donors!
Whether you are a seasoned pro at hosting golf marathons or interesting in doing your first, every golf marathon is unique. The Pledge It team would love to connect and brainstorm ways to capitalize on your fundraising potential!
Published on April 8, 2022
by Suzanne Rupe