Events Fundraising

How to Host a Charity Golf Tournament

charity golf tournament -Simplyk

If you are looking to host the first golf tournament for your charity or in need of ideas to improve your annual event, here are some important tips. Follow them and your charity golf tournament will be a day to remember!

Set a goal for the tournament

What’s better than supporting a great cause by having a fun day out on the greens? We can’t think of much else and we’re pretty sure your supporters feel the same! That’s why golf tournaments are such a popular way to raise money for charities. But how do you host a tournament that hits your fundraising goal and leaves your guests wanting to come back? You need to have the best practices amongst charitable organizations and focus on what matters: fundraising and giving your guests a great time.

To start planning your golf tournament, set a goal for what you want to achieve from this event. This will help you measure the exact amount you want to raise and guide you in many of your planning decisions. Your goal should be specific and attainable, but also high enough for a big fundraising event like this. Properly set your goal and implement it into your planning by following our steps to hosting an event

Choose your target golf players

charity golf tournament - Simplyk

One of the most important questions you need to ask is: who do I want to attend my event? If your fundraising goal is a bit lower, your tournament may be more of a family event, meaning guests will be paying out of pocket to attend. If you are going for a higher fundraising goal, you may be looking to attract corporate donors, meaning companies will be paying for the tickets. Your choice of guest will also depend on who your main donors are. For example, if you rely on many small individual donors from a close community, you will probably want to host a more family style tournament. However, if you rely on large company donations, your target guests will be corporate groups.

From there you can decide on the number of attendees you plan on having. A full course can take up to 144 players. Judge how many guests you think will make it, you can base this on your past events or by putting registration up early. This will guide you in the size of the reservation you need to make.

More research will be necessary to see if there are any other events that may be competing with your tournament. Look up other annual golf tournaments that occur in your area ! You don’t want to be on the exact same date as the largest foundation of the region. Choose a day that most  of your supporters are available. For example, May and September are often ideal because no one is on vacation.

Form a planning committee

To best organize your event, you’ll need to a core group of people to form a committee. The smaller you are, the better you can communicate and be consistent. From there, you can delegate separate tasks to others outside of this group. The committee could be made up of 5 people (this number will depend on the size of your event) that then rely on volunteers to expand their reach for certain parts of the planning. 

“It is desirable that the majority of people on the committee know the basics of the game, but there’s no need to focus solely on this. Having an array of individuals with different strengths is an asset. The committee should be made up of people who get along well and know how to work as a team. There’s no need to be a lot!”

Cyril Brossier, Organizing Member of Omnium Gabriel Dubuc

Designate members for:

  • Sponsorships (1-2 people)
    • This is a huge part of golfing events! It allows you to cut down your costs through cash or in-kind sponsorships and makes the experience more exciting for your guests.
  • Marketing and Public Relations (1-2 people)
    • Choose someone who is comfortable with promoting a more high profile event.
  • Data management (1 person)
    • Someone comfortable using computer programs to organize and store data, such as Word and Excel.
      • Excel or other spreadsheet softwares is a must for creating pivot tables and macros, which allow you to repeat complex actions on excel with the click of a button. Using these tactics to stay organized will help you save time and plan better. This could be for keeping track of registration, organizing seating for the dinner, tracking the budget and more.

Create a budget for the event

You need your budget to attain your fundraising goal or even surpass it! You’ll want to minimize your costs as much as possible. This can be done by getting sponsors. Create sponsorship packages with different tiers of perks. Make it clear what sponsors are getting for the different amounts they choose to donate. When outlining your budget, be sure to include:

  • The golf course
  • Food (will this be included in the golf club’s offer?)
  • Perks and goodies for guests
  • Alcohol
  • Any unknowns that may come up. We suggest you set aside a percentage of your budget for unplanned costs that arise later on.

Two members of the planning committee should be in charge of tracking the banking accounts for the event. Whether you already have a separate account set up for your events or you need to open a new one for the tournament, all payments made and received in the account should be monitored to make sure the budget is being respected.

You will also need to decide how much you will be charging your guests. Golf tournaments are within some of the pricier fundraising events for donors with higher ticket prices. It may come down to the type of deal you can strike with the golf course. Be sure to keep in mind the type of participant you will have. You can also do some market research to see what similar tournaments are charging for their tickets.

Choose a golf course

One thing that can make or break the success of your tournament is the golf course you choose! You want to work with one that understands the importance of your event, with staff that provides a great experience for your guests! If you can, try to choose a sought after course. This is especially important for more corporate tournaments. Again, the course you choose really depends on the type of guests you want to have, keep this in mind! It could be somewhere that is members only, which will create a unique game for attendees because they would not otherwise be able to play there.

Reach out to any contacts you may have on the boards of various golf courses. Ask about what they offer for fundraising events. Golf courses that host events often have employees dedicated to assisting you with your event, which will make your job easier!

What to consider when choosing your course

You’ll need to keep in mind certain criteria when researching the different golf courses available. You should consider:

  • Compatibility with your event. Does this course match the type of player you are trying to attract? For example, a more exclusive club may be suitable for tournaments with corporate guests.
  • Price. Does it fit your budget?
  • Accessibility. Is it close enough to the guests you want to attract? For some, making a long drive or having to book a hotel might take the fun out of their experience.

For some golf fundraisers, what’s most important is not choosing the greens, but the venue for the party afterward! This is where all of your guests will end up (keep in mind that some won’t be golfing and will only come for dinner) and where you will be having to create the fun! Your work is simple when it comes to the golf course, because your guests can entertain themselves by playing and the staff at the course will take care of the rest. At the dinner, you and your committee need to take the reigns and make it a party that your guests won’t forget.

If you’ve found a great golf course that doesn’t have the right venue dinner, you can always look elsewhere to have your evening celebrations. Try to find somewhere that isn’t too far from the course so that your guests don’t find it a hassle to travel.

When you’ve taken into account the golf course and the dinner, you will want to sign a contract with the golf course. This will assure that the event goes as plans and you settle on your expectations and the cost.

Establishing a contract with the golf course

In this contract, you’ll need to establish:

  • Date and tee time. Consider being flexible with these. If you are open to a date that is less busy for them because your attendees are retired, this may get you discounts or coupons for the event.
  • Course services: decide on what is included for each guest’s game. This could be balls, score cars, gratuities, etc.
  • Settle on the unknowns. When do they need your numbers by? Can they accommodate changes?
  • Costs:
    • Per golfer, including food and drinks
    • Decide when deposits and final payments are needed.
  • Cancellation and weather policies
    • This is especially important with the uncertainty of the pandemic. Make sure there is a clear understanding of their COVID-19 policies, in case further government sanctions are implemented, there is an outbreak at the location, you need to cancel due to the virus and more.

Getting participants to the tournament

Now it’s time to get your golfers to the event! Although not everyone plays, there are still many different actors you can target to come support your organization. Reach out and send invitations to:

  • Supporters of your cause
    • They want to support your mission, so they will participate in the event. This is where you can offer separate ticketing for avid supporters that don’t golf, such as tickets just for the dinner afterwards.
  • Avid golfers
    • They won’t look for an excuse to miss out if you tell them about the great day of golf that lies ahead. Be sure to sell it as more than just a normal day of golf. Tell them how they get to do what they love AND support a great cause. This will be a great opportunity to gain new donors.
  • Locally known personalities
    • How to make your event even more memorable? Get a local celebrity to attend! Reach out to some well known personalities in the area and let them know how they can come make a difference. If they support your cause, they will be able to attract donors that have the means to make large contributions. Reach out to athletes, TV personalities, musicians and more. Look out for those you know like to golf or who take part in many charitable events.
  • Younger people
    • For youth who may not be interested in golfing, offer tickets to the dinner afterwards. Add exciting activities like raffles, auctions, local bands and more, at a lower price. They may just hear about how much fun the day of golfing was and choose to pick up golfing for next year!

Our tip: Be sure to set incentives to get guests to buy tickets early! You will need to give a deposit and pay for the spots on the course, so you want to make sure you have a minimum of attendees. Offer early-bird prices or free raffle tickets (and promote your awesome prizes) so that people buy early. That way you can have peace of mind and your guests have it booked in their calendars.

Choosing the online platform for your tournament

Choose an online ticketing platform that fits your needs. You’ll want something that is customizable, so you can create different ticketing options. This will give your supporters the opportunity to contribute what they can. Set different ticketing prices with various packages. This could include:

  • Full cart
  • Half a cart
  • Individuals
  • Dinner tickets only
  • Donation amounts (for those who won’t be attending or wish to make additional donations)

Our tip: You might be unsure about the amount you can issue on your donors’ tax receipts because of the many benefits guests receive during the event. The Government of Canada provides a clear breakdown of what to consider when issuing tax receipts for your charity golf tournament. They use great examples to show what should be deducted from the receipt and what doesn’t need to be included. Be sure to check it out!

Most ticketing platforms will cost you 7% of the pricing. With the Simplyk ticketing, no fee is charged so 100% of what is paid actually goes to you.

Golf tournament Ticketing - Simplyk
Montreal Thoracic Surgery Foundation customized ticketing powered by Simplyk.

Creating more fundraising opportunities

Make your tournament even more impactful by adding additional opportunities to give. If they are original, it also make it the tournament more unforgettable:

  • Mulligan packages: Mulligans are “do-overs” for your golfers. Allow them to redo a bad swing and make packages for multiple mulligans. For example:
    • Mulligans for 5$ each or 5 for 20$
      • Create fun cards using images, golf puns or jokes to be given to judges when a mulligan is used by a player. These cards can also be labeled as raffle tickets, so if the player doesn’t use them all up on the greens, they have a chance to win a prize at dinner.
  • Skills contests: charge an amount to players to participate and have prizes for the winners. Be sure to have contests that reward all skill levels. Skills can be:
    • Chipping
    • Closest to the pin
    • Long drives
    • Ball in the pond (allows those with less experience the chance to win!)
  • Challenge your players to “Beat the professional” and charge an amount to participate.
    • Have a pro golfer or student-athlete set up on a hole. When players get to that hole, they can pay to challenge the pro. Have a prize for the winners, for example: 10 raffle tickets.
Other ideas to provide a great experience for guests:

Have a massage station: A full day of golf can sometimes be long and grueling on players’ bodies. They need to be able to finish their game and be ready for the dinner later that night! Set up a relaxation and massage station at one of the holes. Players can choose to get a massage instead of playing the hole. Contact a physio or massage therapist that you know and is willing to volunteer their time.

Have a refreshment/drinks station on the course: You want your players to stay comfortable and not take the game too seriously. It’s for a good cause after all. Set up a drinks and snack station about halfway through the course so players can take a break and unwind. Know a local distillery that needs publicity? Invite them to set up a stand and hand out their newest products for free.

Managing Volunteers for the event

You’ll need volunteers throughout the event to make it run smoothly. You’ll need to plan their tasks and schedules.

Set up at the golf course

Designate volunteers to set up for the day. The staff at the course can help guide you in how to set up, but be sure to prepare with:

  • A welcome committee. Designate a group of volunteers in charge of making sure the arrival of guests is well coordinated.
  • Tents to set up around the course for arrival and sign in, rest stations and fundraising activities.
  • Cash boxes for the fundraising activities. Identify volunteers in charge of supervising them.
  • Goodies for the golf carts. Set up each one so players have everything they need for a great game.
  • Placing signage. Since attendees may not know the golf club well, we suggest you make signs (include your organization’s logo for an added touch) to help players find their way around!
  • Any in-kind donations and labels for players’ lockers.

Preparing the dinner

The dinner portion will need to be set up and decorated so your guests have a great time. This is where you can designate a committee for decorations, a raffle, auction and any other fun activities.

Another important part of the dinner will be the seating for the meal. This may prove trickier than you might think, because additional guests are coming and golf quatuor may not be able to be seated together. Try to have friends and companies seated at the same table, along with large sponsors close to the main stage or dancefloor.

Fundraising activities

Have 2 volunteers for each game or activity set up on the course. Make sure there is one person supervising that all games are going well and that volunteers are being supported and receiving snacks, refreshments and shield from the sun.

Also have volunteers selling additional refreshments to players. Selling beer and other alcohol can be a great way to increase fundraising during the event, especially if an in-kind donation has been received from a sponsor.

Social distancing your golf tournament

With COVID-19, you may choose not to organize a regular golf tournament. A great alternative would be to have a distanced event! 

Have each golfer play at their own local course. They can tally up their score and share it online. Use an app like Foursum to track all the rounds and connect with other players. Use your platform to update how players are doing throughout the day. Have them send videos of their shots or pictures of their course to be shared with all the players! If attending a course isn’t possible, get creative and have guests challenge each other to play online golf on apps like Mini Golf King.

Host a dinner portion over zoom and reveal the scores and award prizes to the winners. Include an online auction or raffle to create more fundraising opportunities. Charge a rate for each participant, lower than the normal ticketing price. Get inspired by other online donation activities and good practices in our guide to virtual fundraising.

Now that you know how to plan your event, you can get to it! Keep in mind that you want to provide a fun experience for your donors, so it should be fun for your organization too! If you are having a good time, so will your guests. Don’t forget that the dinner is just as important, if not more important than the day of golf. This is where you can really focus on celebrating your cause and your donors as well as highlighting the great work you have done in the past.

Looking for more tips for your events? Check out our Latest posts.

COVID-19 Events Fundraising

Dealing with Event Cancellation during COVID-19

And other ways to improve your fundraising during this time.

In the first Konect Webinar presented in partnership with Una Buro and Phil, Simplyk’s co-founder François de Kerret discusses ways to deal with event cancellation due to COVID-19 along with some good fundraising tactics for the pandemic. These tips are based off expertise from nonprofits using Simplyk’s services. Watch the video or read more below.

Simplyk’s co-founder François de Kerret on dealing with event cancellation and more.

Adjusting your event to COVID-19

What events will be affected?

Organizing charity events doesn’t come without its challenges. However, COVID-19 is a challenge that no organization was able to prepare for. At this point, we know that all events from spring to fall have or may be affected by the pandemic. No matter what you do to adapt your strategy, you need to reach out to your community and keep communication open. Let them know how you will be proceeding for upcoming events. Will they be cancelled, delayed, or is it to be determined? Let them know as soon as possible and respond to any concerns they have.

What will your strategy be?

When looking at what to do about your events, there are three routes you can take:

Postponing the event
  • Postponing your event is a good option if the event is applicable to any time of year, meaning it doesn’t depend on the weather, other events you want to host or any other variable factors.
Keeping the event the same

Especially if your event is a few months away, you can maintain the date until you have a better idea of what the situation will be on that date. Here are a few tips if you choose to keep the date the same:

  • Set a deadline to decide if the event will happen. This way it is clear for you and the rest of your organization that a decision will be made on this day. It will allow you to keep preparing and also give expectations to everyone who depends on the event.
  • Communicate with your attendees. Let them know how you are going about the process, what you are planning and how they can adjust.
  • Give them the option to be refunded. Participants may not want to attend for various reasons, so you need to be accommodating to cancellations. Be sure to communicate clearly that you are accepting cancellations if you choose to do so.

Our tip: Whether you maintain the event or post-pone it, you can replace the registration with free pre-registration. Right now people don’t want to pay when they don’t know if the event will happen. It will give your participants flexibility, but also keep the date marked in their calendar.

online cancellation during COVID-19 Simplyk
Fondation La Fontaine added a pre-registration option for their upcoming event.
Cancelling the event Due to Covid-19

If you must cancel the event due to COVID-19, there are different options you can choose from to deal with ticket sales:

  • Convert the tickets to donations. For example, if cancelling a gala with tickets priced at $200, suggest your guests convert the payment to a donation and provide a tax receipt on the full value.
  • Propose credit for a future event. This way you maintain the funding and guests can look forward to a free entrance to your future event.
  • Cancel the event and refund the payment.

You may be wondering which option is best for your charity. Find out by reaching out to those who were supposed to attend your event. Call a few key participants to see what they think is best and what they prefer.

In general, 50 % of donors will ask for a refund, especially corporate donors. The bright side is the other half will want to convert their ticket into a donation!

Other strategies for your charity during the pandemic

There is still a lot of great work you can be doing right now, even if your operations have slowed down. You can start implementing creative ways to fundraise virtually or begin planning for the future! Here are some ways you can plan long term.

Contact your donors

Before you start on your new plan, you’ll want to do some research on what you should be doing during this time. Specifically, you want to know how your donors are expecting to interact with your organization right now. To find out, reach out directly to 10-20 of your largest donors. Really take the time to know how they are feeling and reacting to the situation. Your strategy will depend on them, so you need to know before you start planning new fundraising activities. For example, you might find out that your donors have more availability and are eager to participate with your charity online. This will let you know that you can focus on online events.

Start thinking longterm

Your activities may have ground to a halt because you just can’t do your usual programming. This could be the time to do that long term planning you’ve always wanted to do, but never get around to. Look 6 months to 5 years into the future. Where do you want your organization to be? How many lives do you want to have touched? Once you get a good sense of your long term goals. You can develop steps to slowly achieving them. You may want to adjust:

  • Your communications strategy. You might want to focus more time there or start using a new technology that will help improve it.
  • Your data use. Are you analyzing donor behaviour? Or what is really making your events successful? Take the time to see how you can use your data to get better results.
  • Your donation form. Is it the best it could be? Look for improvements you can make such as:
    • embedding to your website
    • adding clear and precise explanations of why donors should give (using examples with pictures and numbers!)
    • having a call-to-action
    • thanking the donor

This will prepare you for the next few years, so when things start going again you have that organized, and can focus on getting back up and running.

Our tip: This may also be a great time to work with consulting companies. Look out for some that have more time and are offering discounts for nonprofit organizations.

At Simplyk, we are constantly in discussion with organizations about the different ways they are adjusting to the pandemic. If you need advice on how your organization can adapt or if you have some great insight, feel free to contact us at .
Check out our Other posts related to COVID-19:

Events Fundraising

9 Steps for Hosting your Next Charity Event

Hosting a charity event is a great way to celebrate your organization. With 56% of donors worldwide attending events regularly, not only do events raise awareness about your cause, but they are super effective to raise money. It’s also an opportunity to bring your donors, board members and volunteers together while inviting others to join your community!

Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to throwing your best event yet.

1) Establish the event goal

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” —Zig Ziglar

To start, you need to set a goal for the amount of money you want to raise. Base it on what your organization is trying to accomplish in the future and how much you will need for your projects. Your goal should not only be about creating revenue. Your event is a great opportunity to build stronger relationships with everyone who contributes to your organization and to raise more awareness about your mission.

Think of it as a party celebrating all you have accomplished and what you are looking to do in the future. Write out your goals and employ them throughout the process of organizing the event. For instance, use them to emphasize the importance of your event when marketing it. An example of this could be:

Help us reach our goal of raising $100 000, so that we can double the number of meals we provide in 2020.

2) Make a budget

Once you’ve decided on a goal, outline how you are going to spend money to make it happen. To do so, you’ll need to set a budget and stick to it. To help you set the budget, identify what might limit your spending. It could be the amount of man power you have to organize the event, the venue you choose or the amount of people you estimate will attend.

Our tip: set your budget about 30% higher than what you think you will pay, because unexpected costs may come up!

The costs should include:

  • Venue
  • Catering
  • Vendors
  • Entertainment
  • Marketing
  • Decorations

Our tip: You can cut costs by using fundraising activities as your entertainment. Get creative with ideas that will have attendees entertained, and giving at the same time! For example, instead of hiring a band, you could have a live auction.

By using Simplyk’s ticketing, 100% of what attendees pay goes directly to your organization, we don’t take a cut or charge a fee. You’ll save on ticketing and transaction fees by using our platform.

Right now, it is difficult to know the future of in-person events due to the pandemic. That’s why it’s great to plan your event online. Learn more here about how to plan a virtual event!

3) Find sponsors

Boost interest for your charity event with sponsors. They can donate money or merchandise to help make your event a success! Who to reach out to for sponsorships:

  • Local businesses
  • Those with ties to the organization
  • Supporters of your cause
  • Companies offering something interesting for the event

Our tip: Always make sure to research that the company you choose to approach aligns with your values and mission. Your partnership should be purposeful, meaning you both strongly support each other’s mission and want to work together to further it. For example, if an organization works on research to end juvenile diabetes, they could look to partner with healthy food retailers.

What’s in it for them?

Companies will want a return on their investment, so craft a sales email explaining that supporting your organization is not only about getting visibility, but contributing to a cause that touches the community. Engaging in social responsibility is important to companies’ customers, creating good culture and attracting future employees. This is especially true for millennials as 81% expect the companies they support to have good social practices within their community (Forbes). The value your organization can bring is abundant and you need to demonstrate this! Outline it in your sales email by explaining how you can partner to:

  • Create volunteer opportunities for employees
  • Develop or add to their corporate social responsibility portfolio
  • Build sponsorships
  • Attract consumers
  • Attract top job candidates
  • Create networking opportunities

Create sponsorship packages

You should set up sponsorship packages, depending on what you need for the event. They should list what you are offering in exchange for the sponsorship gift. If you need cash sponsorships, create a package outline offering perks like: the sponsor’s logo on all event advertising, VIP tickets to the event, one piece of their marketing distributed to each guest. Set a price for each package. The more advertising and perks it contains, the larger the sponsorship amount must be.

Sponsorships don’t need to be made uniquely through monetary contributions. Similar packages can be made for in-kind sponsorships, meaning contributions in services or merchandise. These types of sponsorships can be especially helpful because they allow you to save on expenses. They can be:

  • Entertainment
  • Printing and distribution for advertising the event
  • Complimentary or discounted stays at hotels near the event
  • Electronic equipment for during the event
  • Catering

Identify items or services you’ll need to spend on. Then, select the companies you could get them from as sponsors to decrease your costs.

4) Choose your target audience and a theme

Before you choose what your event will be, you need to decide who you want to target as guests. Use your goal and budget for the event to guide you. 

What was your goal for the event? Decide who you need in order to reach your goal. This is the group you want to have at your event. In 2017, Canadians 65 and older represented 42%  of the country’s total donations, and also had the highest total donation amount per year (Statistics Canada). In the case that you are aiming to raise a lot of money, this may be the group that you want to target. If you have a different type of goal, for example attracting younger supporters in a new area, your audience might be young professionals in that area. 

If you have a lot of supporters, you can choose to target a different segment of them for each event you host. For example, you can host a golf tournament for your donors that are 50+ and a bar crawl for student donors. 

Make sure your target matches up with your budget. Using your current donation data, estimate the average donation you will receive from your target audience. Multiply it by the number of guests you plan on having. The total needs to match all of your expenses plus the amount you want to raise. If it comes out to more, that’s even better.

Now that you have your target, you can choose your theme. Use the intended guests to decide on the theme. Send them a survey about the type of event they would be interested in, or call the most important donors directly. Compile the ideas and make a decision with your staff, including your board.

5) Choose a date and venue

Once you have chosen your theme, you are going to need a venue and a date. What you should consider when choosing the venue:

  • Size and layout
  • Cost
  • Accessibility (for parking and public transport)
  • Amenities (lighting, sound, wifi, etc)
  • Licensing (alcohol, sales, lotteries)

Once you have found the venue that responds to all these needs, you can choose a date. It will depend on the availability of the venue, so part of the decision will be made for you. Make sure the date works for your guests. Don’t make it a weeknight, around holidays and other major events.

6) Set up your ticketing

Choose an online ticketing platform that fits your needs. With Simplyk, ticketing is simple and easy for you and your donor. Simplyk is completely free, which is great because we recommend you use a ticketing software that allows you to cut your costs. You should also choose a platform that has an automated communication system with guests, which Simplyk has too. This should include automatic tax receipts, scannable tickets and reminders so that you don’t have to spend time managing that.

Ticketing - Simplyk
Easily customize your ticketing needs with Simplyk.

7) Marketing your event

Marketing your event is crucial, because you want to get the word out to donors and possible attendees. Put in place a marketing strategy by focusing on:

  • Branding your event
  • Creating a social media campaign
  • Local advertising
  • Emailing

Create a brand around your event. Give it a catchy name, create a logo and incorporate your theme. Use a particular colour palette, font and a few images that represent it well.

charity event
Toronto Dance Community’s marketing for their event.

In 2018, 43% of people participated in charitable events because they heard about it on social media (Nonprofit Source). Use the material you created in branding to make social media posts and event posters. Be sure to post on all social media platforms, by scheduling frequent posts leading up to the date. Create material suited for instagram, facebook and more so that guests can share with their followers and you can leverage your community to get the word out!

Approach local businesses to display your posters. Although online advertising is great, your audience might respond more to learning about your event while out at their local coffee shop, library, restaurant and more.
Email remains one of the best communication tools you have with your donors. Create great campaigns for your events on email applications like MailChimp. Schedule initial emails explaining your event and showing off your branding along with follow ups, reminders and post event updates. It is also helpful to use a CRM to track how your emails are being received, the responses and more. Simplyk’s ticketing service integrates easily with any emailing application and CRM and will help make your email campaigns even easier!

8) Prepare for challenges

Things will go wrong at some point during your planning or even at the event. Expect a few bumps in the road so that you can prepare. When you find yourself in these situations, make sure to stick with what you know how to do to resolve the issue. Taking a risk may not be the best option. Be sure to clearly communicate with your donors if anything does come up.

Here are some things you should look out for:

  • Low ticket sales or overspending on budget
  • Being understaffed 
  • Lacking time

Handling budget issues

Low ticket sales and going over budget may be some of your biggest fears for the event. You’ll have to prevent this by planning well early on. Be extremely modest when spending, especially early in the planning process. Avoid making any changes to the event that will be costly. Make sure to drive ticket sales early on. You can create an ‘early bird’ special ticket price, giving those who buy early a discounted rate. It will need to be significantly lower than the regular ticket amount to incentivize your guests to make the decision right away, but not too low that it won’t create enough revenue for your mission. You can also reach out to those who have attended your events in the past, inviting them directly.

Make sure to really target your 100 most devoted supporters. When tickets go on sale, send them each a personal message or even better, give them a call. Use messaging like:

We are really looking forward to seeing you at the event.

We need your support to make this a hit!

Once tickets begin to sell, more and more people will want to attend through word of mouth. In your budget, underestimate the amount donors will give. If you end up receiving more than expected, it will be a nice surprise.   

Dealing with lack of staff

You don’t want to end up missing staff the day of the event. To prevent this, make sure you talk to all actors you are working with and know exactly what they need. For example, speak to those in charge of monitoring entrance. Have them tell you in detail what needs to be done and establish exactly how many people need to be working if the maximum amount of attendees show up. Make sure you do the same with all other groups involved, whether it’s the caterer, entertainment, security, setup crew and more. Have people on call, just in case.

Going off schedule

Whether it’s in the lead up or during the event, time is important! You don’t want to run out when organizing your event. You also don’t want to go off-schedule during it. Again, you need to prepare for this beforehand. Write out a detailed timeline months before the event, describing when you will take care of each of the steps listed above. Share this with everyone involved in organizing. Do the same to make a schedule for the event and make sure it is respected. A few minutes late after each part of the event can lead to it running way over time!

9) Follow-up after the event

Once the event is over you can finally take a breath. Congrats! Your work is almost done. Be sure to follow-up and send thank you’s to everyone who contributed to making it a success. This means all your attendees, volunteers, sponsors and staff. Attach pictures and a brief recap of how it went. Post on social media and include all the fun activities, reactions and pictures. And of course, don’t forget to celebrate how much was raised and how it will go to furthering your mission.

Looking for an amazing platform for your ticketing and registration needs? Simplyk offers free ticketing for your events, including features like customizable tickets, automated tax receipts, e-tickets, guest management and more. Learn about it by visiting
COVID-19 Donations Events Fundraising

Virtual fundraising and social distancing – a guide

Your organization needs donations, even during COVID-19. Here’s how you can do it fundraise virtually.

With fundraisers and activities cancelled by the pandemic, it’s time to be innovative to make up for missing funds.

Donors still understand that your work is important, especially during a time of crisis. This article presents ideas for virtual fundraising events, with suggestions for the right technology and partnerships, to ensure that your fundraiser is a hit!

1) Remote Dinners

This option is proving popular, with many organizations such as Parkinson Quebec launching remote dinner events. Here are our tips for making sure your virtual dinner is a real success:

Using basic technologies

The most frequent choice is to use a video conference solution such as Zoom, with a ticket office for NPOs such as Simplyk (a free ticketing platform). Eventbrite or Paypal can also be used if you are indifferent to fees. The direct connection is easy to set up, so that each participant is registered for dinner on Zoom as soon as they have registered on Simplyk!

Who’s cooking?

Once you’ve decided on the theme of dinner, here are four innovative ideas to make your donors feel invited to dinner:

  • Ask someone to do a cooking class. Why not a guest chef?
  • Send standard boxes ready to cook. The ingredients and recipes are already in the box, and you can partner with Quebec companies like Cook-it or GoodFood.
  • Team up with a local restaurant that delivers. We know that local businesses have been massively impacted, so they’ll be happy to participate and be valued.

If it is the participants who are cooking, a competition might be the motivation they need!

Simplyk used to share offices with the Quebec meal delivery kit, Cookit. Contact us and we can put you in touch with them!

Propose a Zoom call, with a theme and dress code

It is very easy to provide a background for participants. With zoom, you can even send images to participants so that they choose the one they prefer. (Zoom fund ideas here)

zoom virtual fundraising event

If you combine this with a dress code, your participants will feel like they are all together at an event!


  • Small breakout rooms can be organized in Zoom, so that your participants can network in subgroups.
  • Many artists, especially those from the radio could be willing perform.
  • Involve your board, your volunteers and all of your collaborators! You can join an auction! (see example 3)

Any other ideas? Write to to share them! She’s our specialist. To start, create an account on

2) Sporting events

Obviously it is difficult to organize a race or a walk during this time, but rest assured, there are solutions! It’s still possible for all of your donors to walk, run or exercise at home!

The application Strava allows everyone to track their activities, such as distance travelled on by walking, running or biking, the time spent doing yoga, or even the workouts completed. Set up a Club on Strava in just a few minutes to gather your donors and launch challenges.

Strava virtual fundraising event

With Simplyk, each participant can make a virtual fundraising campaign with a donation objective and an exercise goal too! It is 100% free of charge and easy to set up.

Questions about this? Contact the sports events expert or create an account at

3) Auctions and how to organize them

There are two innovative solutions for remote auctions which ensure that 100% of the donations come back to you at the end, giving you another option for virtual fundraising.

The first is to make an auction where each person raises the bids on Zoom. At the end you put the final price into your Simplyk ticket office and the winning bidder pays online! You can also use online auction platforms if you are ready to take on large fees.

Dwight Schrute of The Office, after mistaking an auction for The Price is Right

The second is to make a silent auction off of goods donated! This will require a bit of work in adapting the number of donations to be auctioned and their value, but here is the idea:

You present an object with emotional or artistic value, and each person makes the donation of their choice to the organization. The person who makes the largest donation receives the object, and the others receive tax receipts!

Your donors will enjoy the game, but are there primarily to support you.

Any questions about this? Contact the auction expert or create an account at

4) Other ideas!

  • Organize free activities and propose that donors support you with a voluntary or suggested contribution. The results are always impressive!
  • Organize a fake radio show with a real presenter.
  • Have a board game evening on
  • Organize a virtual fundraising garage sale. Each of your donors sell stuff they no longer need on Facebook or on Kijiji, and profits goes to the organization! (Be sure to remind your donors to respect social distancing guidelines when delivering the sold items.)

5) Cultural organizations

Many museums and theatres use Simplyk, and sometimes feel that, because they are not on the front line, they shouldn’t ask for donations. Yet, more than ever, art and culture are missing from our confined lives, and your donors and members are still out there.

Here are some actions implemented by organizations:

  • The Théâtre la Bordée offered a live facebook performance
  • A museum will offer donors dinner that includes a presentation of photos of works of art.
  • Another theatre is launching a podcast.
  • Finally, a museum will share archive images.

If you have financial needs, we suggest that you ask donors to make a contribution. You will be amazed by their generosity. Why? Because you offer quality 🙂

If your organization is in the cultural sector, don’t be afraid to offer voluntary contributions when you offer quality content.
Remember that your donors pay for Netflix etc … they will be ready to pay for your quality content.

Any questions?

You can create your campaigns in 5 minutes with Simplyk. It’s 100% free, meaning that all the donations you collect really go to your mission!

Contact us at !