New Brunswick has its own regulations for charitable gaming. At Simplyk, we strive to make your work simpler. We’ve broken down some of the regulations for online gaming in your province, so that you can easily set up a successful raffle or draw for your organization. Keep in mind that if you are looking to raise money through a prize draw, raffle, 50/50 or other game, you will need to follow the regulations imposed by New Brunswick’s Department of Public Safety, Gaming, Liquor and Security Licensing Branch and obtain a license.
Online sales, distribution and draw for charitable gaming
To conduct any of your charity’s lottery online, you will need to get approval from the branch during your application. Tickets must be printed and the physical copy must be distributed to the buyer unless other electronic methods are approved by the licensing branch, as outline in the terms and conditions. There are also licensed gaming suppliers that provide electronic methods for raffles.
Do you want to use Simplyk’s ticketing for your raffle in New Brunswick? We suggest you include this in your license application and get approval by the Gaming Department before doing so.
*This page is under construction. We add new information about regulations for the province as we get updated on it. If you have any insight on online charitable gaming in New Brunswick, feel free to write to me at email@example.com .
Newfoundland and Labrador has its own regulations for charitable lotteries. At Simplyk, we strive to make your work simpler. We’ve broken down some of the regulations of online gaming in your province, so that you can easily set up a successful lottery for your organization. Keep in mind that if you are looking to raise money through a prize draw, raffle, 50/50 or other game, you will need to follow the regulations imposed by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and obtain a license.
Online sales, distribution and draw for charitable lotteries
To conduct any of your charity’s raffle online, you will need to get approval from the branch during your application. You can read more about the rules and terms and conditions. No explicit regulations outline the online sale, distribution or draw of tickets.
Do you want to use Simplyk’s ticketing for your raffle in Newfoundland and Labrador? We suggest you include this in your license application and get approval by Service Newfoundland before doing so.
*This page is under construction. We add new information about regulations for the province as we get updated on it. If you have any insight about online charitable gaming in Newfoundland and Labrador, feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Nova Scotia has its own regulations for charitable lotteries. At Simplyk, we strive to make your work simpler. We’ve broken down some of the regulations of online gaming for you, so that you can easily set up a successful raffle or draw for your organization. Keep in mind that if you are looking to raise money through a prize draw, raffle, 50/50 or other game, you will need to follow the regulations imposed by the Government of Nova Scotia and obtain a license.
Online sales, distribution and draw for charitable lotteries
To conduct any of your organization’s raffle or draw online, you will need to get approval during your application. You can request to use electronic and online services. If you do, you need to explain why you are using these services. There is a section in the application reserved for this. The explanation could be, for example, that you want to conduct ticket sales, distribution or the draw online.
Do you want to use Simplyk for your lottery in Nova Scotia? We suggest you include this in your license application and get approval before doing so.
*This page is under construction. We are adding new information about regulations for the province as we get updated on them. If you have any insight about online charitable gaming in Newfoundland and Labrador, feel free to write to me at email@example.com .
Prince Edward Island has its own criteria for charitable gaming. At Simplyk, we strive to make your work simpler. We’ve broken down some of the regulations for charitable lotteries for you, so that you can easily set up a successful raffle for your organization. Keep in mind that if you are looking to raise money through a prize draw, raffle, 50/50 or other game, you will need to follow the regulations imposed by the Government of Prince Edward Island and obtain a license.
Online sales, distribution and draw for charitable gaming
To conduct any of your organization’s raffle or draw online, you need to get approval through your application. The government of Prince Edward Island has no explicit regulations that outline the online sale, distribution and draw of tickets. You will need to ask about it during your application.
Do you want to use Simplyk for your raffle in Prince Edward Island? We suggest you include this in your license application and get approval by PEI Justice and Public Safety: Consumer, Labour and Financial Services before doing so.
*This page is under construction. We are adding new information about regulations for the province as we get updated on them. If you have any insight on online charitable gaming in Prince Edward Island, feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Are you launching a new donation campaign? If so, you’re probably looking to make it your most successful one yet.
More than 80% of potential donors start filling out donation forms, but won’t complete them. Why? They struggle to fill in their information, get distracted, find the form too long and give up. Donation forms actually get your donors to give when they are simple and require the least amount of effort on the donor’s part. The number that measures if your form is performing well is its conversion rate. It is the number of donations over the number of visitors to your donation form.
Understand which types of visitors are more likely to donate
Pre-fill the form with donor information
Most of your donors are already in your database. So instead of asking them to fill in their information, you can send them a pre-filled form. By clicking on the link, the form will already be filled (they won’t have to type in any of their information). This means that all they’ll have to do is enter their card information ! Here is a pre-filled link for me, Rowan.
To get these pre-filled forms, you just need to add a few extra words in to URL you send to donors. Keep in mind that you need to use emailing systems like MailChimp, MailGun, SendinBlue or your CRM Emailer to be able to send a customized link to each donor.
To start, you’ll need past donor’s personal information such as their first and last name, email and address. You might have this information in your emailing system already. If not, you can easily import it.
To personalize the links in your emailing system, you will use the same principle that allows you to customize the first name when you send an email to multiple people. It usually looks like this:
Your donor then receives an email addressed to them. For example, your donor Peter will receive an email starting with:
In Simplyk, our donation form URLs are designed to be able to receive a parameter such as this first name.
This way, each of your contacts’ information is included in the link they receive. You will need to add this tag at the end of the URL :
“?firstName=Contact:First name .
For example, if you send a form to Peter, you will send:
Congrats! Your forms are pre-filled. By doing this, you are showing your donors you care about their time and you want their experience to be easy. Feel free to contact us if you need help with this type of advanced campaign.
Customizing donation amounts
Pre-filling your forms for each donor is pretty exciting, right? Well that’s not all you can do to provide a quick experience for your supporters.
You probably have very different donors in your database. There are small donors that give $ 20 from time to time, or larger donors that donate $ 1000 every year.
Isn’t it weird to propose the same donation amounts to all of them ?
You can’t create a thousand donation forms for a thousand different donors – but you can adapt one form to thousands of donors!
Like for pre-filling the form, you will need to add personalized tags into the URL.
To do this, you will add your donor’s donating preference to your email system database (with Simplyk, it’s easy because you already have a record of their preference in your spreadsheets, which you can upload directly to your emailing system or CRM).
Then, add the preference to your URL, just like the personal information. You can even select an amount that will be chosen by default with the “amount=” property.
You want to encourage your donors to give more than last year, so put your donors preference as the second option.
For the other amounts, you can create a formula in excel that calculates them based on the custom amount. Create one amount that is slightly lower and two that are slightly higher. You’ll can then make a custom tag in your emailer for each amount.
Through customizing the amount, charities using Simplyk generate 30% more revenue.
Understanding your donors – and how they donate
You probably have donors coming from your website, your newsletter and from social media. Wouldn’t it be helpful to understand what platform works best to encourage your donors to give? That way, you’ll know where to put your effort when launching a new campaign.
You can track where your donors find and complete your forms by adding a “UTM” code at the end of your URL. Each code will be different depending on where you are putting the form. For example you will add “?UTM_source=facebook” in the link you put on your facebook page. Another example is to add “ ?UTM_source=August-Newsletter ” to your link in your Newsletter for that month.
By using this method, you will be able to see in your dashboard if your donors give more through your website or through email, and you can compare the conversion rates for these different audiences.
Simplyk Tip: Whenever you are modifying the URL of your form, always make sure to test it! Paste it into your browser to make sure it works properly. For your email campaigns, be sure to send yourself a test email ensuring that the URL sections get filled accordingly and that the link directs to the proper page. Make sure that the information you’ve included in your link is properly filled out for each of your contacts, if not it could end up in a broken link.
And there you have it, three advanced techniques you can use to improve your donors experience and better understand them. This will lead you to a higher conversion and a bigger impact!
Are you preparing for your next peer-to-peer campaign? Do want to make sure your peer-to-peer fundraisers meet their goal? Participants who update and share their campaigns regularly raise 6 to 18 times more for their cause. So you need to make sure they do it properly!
Although eager to participate, your fundraisers will be unsure about how to run their own campaign. Providing them with a plan will give them confidence and prepare them for success, ultimately leading them to reach their fundraising goal. You want to make sure they:
Personalize their campaign
Explain their connection to the cause
Donate to their own campaign
Share with a friend, whether close or distant and include a personal message
Share again. Be sure to update when they reach milestones within the campaign.
Recap after the campaign has finished and thank their donors!
Create messaging for your peer-to-peer campaign
Before you ask them to follow these steps, make sure you create a great campaign yourself! You will need to write a description of your event that clearly outlines it’s goal.
Why are you asking fundraisers to help you raise money?
What are the donations going towards?
How will this make a difference in your mission?
Your fundraisers will be reusing your description, so make sure it is general and can be applied to their campaign.
If you are looking to start a peer-to-peer campaign for your organization, Simplyk has all the tools for you, and it’s free! You can customize your campaign, have multi-levels of donation campaigns, send automated tax receipts and more. Learn about our features or contact us directly at email@example.com .
Looking to fundraise for a peer-to-peer campaign to support one of your favourite causes? Your involvement will make a huge difference for the charity, because peer-to-peer campaigns are important for fundraising. 50% of organization’s revenue comes from fundraising when they incorporate peer-to-peer campaigns, compared to only 30% of revenue stemming from fundraising in charities not using peer-to-peer.
Easily set up your campaign and share it using Simplyk. Follow these steps to learn how!
Create your peer-to-peer campaign
Easily create your own peer-to-peer campaign using Simplyk. Go to the main campaign page and click on “Fundraise.” Then, choose to either create a team, join an existing team or fundraise as an individual.
Creating a team is good choice for a group of people fundraising together. This could be with coworkers, family, classmates, sports team members and others. You can then join the team and make your own page.
When creating your campaign, you will have to decide on your fundraising goal. Look at the original campaign’s goal and then think about how much of an impact you want to make. Take into account how many of your friends and family will donate and how much you will be donating yourself. Make sure your goal is realistic. If you don’t think you can achieve your goal, you won’t be motivated during your campaign. Make the goal within reach, but still a bit of a challenge. You want that feeling of accomplishment when your thermometer reaches the top! And don’t worry, you can always edit it later on.
Congrats! You have officially created your campaign. Now it’s time to personalize it. Once it’s created, you will receive a confirmation email, with a link to make your Simplyk account. On your account you will be able to customize your campaign page with a personal message, image and colour. This is an important step, because by personalizing your campaign, you demonstrate how important the cause is to you, which will compel your friends and family to donate.
Write your story
This part might be a bit trickier if you are not as comfortable with writing, but don’t worry, we have the tips to make it easier. First off, the charity you are supporting will have provided a message for their general campaign. It is important you incorporate it into your own messaging. It will explain exactly what the goals of the campaign are and what the donation will actually be going towards. Part of your work is already done!
Next, you need to explain why you chose to raise money for the cause. Use these questions to guide you:
When did you start supporting this cause?
How have you been involved with it?
In what ways does its vision and mission affect you personally?
What would it mean to you if your friends and family supported the cause?
Why did you chose your goal?
Our tip: Find the charity’s vision and mission on their website and read it carefully. The vision is what they are working to attain, as in once it is achieved they can close their organization. Their mission is how they are going to get there. Incorporate the two into your story!
Take time to answer each question in a few sentences. Then, put the sentences together and remove any redundancies. Make sure the text flows and is compelling. Have a close friend, who you want to convince to support your campaign, read it and give their comments. You will know your story is good if they are persuaded to donate!
Incorporate your personal text into the campaign’s original message. Remove any redundancies. Make sure it flows and that the goal of the campaign is still clear. And there you have it – a thoughtful personal message that will touch your loved ones and compel them to give!
Donate to your own campaign
There’s nothing complicated about this step. Before you ask others to donate, make sure you do so yourself. You are a leader, and here you can lead by example! The positive effects of this step are clear; those who donate to their own campaign raise about 10 times more than fundraisers that don’t.
Share your campaign
Now it’s time to get the word out to the whole world – or at least your whole world. Send a personalized message to all your friends and loved ones (using your story!). Let them know how much it would mean if they donated. Don’t be afraid to share with people that aren’t in your inner circle. It is for a great cause, so don’t worry about annoying anyone. If your messages are positive and confident, people will be willing to give. And of course, don’t forget to include the link for your campaign!
Share your campaign on all your social media platforms. Be sure to use parts of your personal story in every one. Adapt each post to the style of the platform. For example, you can make your post longer on Facebook than on Twitter. Or, edit your Instagram image to add text that makes the goal of your post obvious (you can do this easily using Canva, a free tool). Use the social media widgets on your campaign form to share it quickly!
Incorporate pictures of yourself in your posts that are related to the cause. They could include you volunteering at the organization or interacting with the beneficiaries of the organization’s programming.
Next, you’ll have to start the last step over again. Keep sharing your campaign on your platforms and sending it individually to your friends.
Check back in with those who said they would donate but haven’t yet by sending them a friendly reminder. Repost when the campaign is halfway over or when there is only a week or a day left.
Don’t be afraid of posting too much. Your friends may forget about your campaign. They will appreciate being reminded. Also, those close to you will want to support you and maybe get involved themselves. Your campaign may be so compelling that you convince some to start their own!
Celebrate your progress
Whether you make it halfway to your goal or reach it, be sure to celebrate! Congratulate and thank those that support your campaign when you reach milestones in it.
Post when you make it halfway to your goal. Post again when the campaign finishes, thanking all your supporters and mention the impact your campaign will have on the organization. For example, “We raised $100, which will provide 500 meals to children in need. Thank you for making this possible!”
Don’t forget to personally thank each of your donors. Like you did with sharing, send them each an individual message, email or give them a call. It will mean a lot and set the stage for your next campaign.
How you can make even more of an impact
If you are looking to fundraise for a campaign, but haven’t found the right one yet, be sure to visit our website. You can find ongoing campaigns to join and see past campaigns to get inspired.
Want to encourage your friends to fundraise with you? Share this guide to running a peer-to-peer campaign with them and use it yourself as a reminder of the steps to follow.
Simplyk is the only free fundraising suite in Canada. It is 100% free for organizations and offers donation forms, ticketing and more. Want to learn more about Simplyk? Visit the website or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Knowing the basics of online fundraising is important, but to make a campaign successful, there’s more you’ll need to do. After creating a donation form that converts, what’s next? We’ve compiled some tips for fundraising campaigns that you may not of heard before. We’ll dive deeper than what you find in your usual internet search.
Host a preview of your online fundraising campaign
Have a preview session of your fundraising campaign. This means showing it to your key donors and other close members of your charity. This will allow you to:
Fix any issues with the campaign. From missing information on your donation form, creating better messaging, imagery and more.
Raise money from the start. If your most devoted donors see it first, they will give right away, which will catch other people’s attention and encourage them to donate too!
Get feedback on how to share your campaign. Your donors have a wealth of knowledge and may just suggest a winning way to get the word out about your campaign.
Our tip: Do a preview when you have time, generally a few months before your goal must be reached. This could be when you are creating a campaign for next year’s project. Previews are not ideal for any campaigns that are urgent. For example, many organizations started fundraisers in response to COVID-19 and the effects it was having on their beneficiaries. In this case, you want to get your campaign out to your community asap!
Suggest donation amounts and explain their impact
Donors are more likely to give when they really know where their contribution is going. Using images and numbers help donors understand how their donation is really going to make a difference. List four different donation options and explain what each amount can achieve.
Our tip: Keep each explanation simple and don’t let it go over 1 sentence. If you present too much information, it can be distracting to your donors.
Ask for monthly donations during your campaign
Did you know that returning donors are 440% more valuable than one-time donors? That’s because they give 42% more than one time donors in a year. Even though it might seem like large one time donations are the most important, it’s actually smaller recurring donations that pack the most punch.
This means that you need to be focusing on getting recurring donors when you launch your campaign. Don’t be afraid to encourage monthly donations. Do this by mentioning it in your campaign messaging and making the monthly donation button obvious on your donation form. Even better, explain how monthly donations impact your charity, so that donors understand that their recurring donation can help you plan for the future!
Once you have returning donors, be sure to nurture them throughout the campaign and afterwards. 91% of organizations stop communicating with monthly donors after 3 months. You may think that by reminding donors that they are giving to your organization could push them to stop. That’s a mistake! If your donors choose to give on a regular basis, it’s because they want to keep up with what your organization is doing.
Don’t be afraid to illustrate the impact of their gifts continuously by sending monthly emails with examples of how their donations have made a difference.
Be consistent with your campaign material
Creating fun branding and marketing material for your campaign is a great way to get people interested. Include posters, videos and social media templates that supporters can share with their networks. However, you need to make sure that all your marketing material is consistent with your charity’s branding. Always use the same logo, colours and fonts. This will allow:
Your campaign material to be recognizable. Supporters will know its you (their favourite charity) right away!
Your organization to gain credibility. If your material isn’t consistent, your charity will seem unorganized, making people less trusting and less likely to donate.
Tip for online fundraising from an expert
When participating in an existing campaign, adapt the logo and imaging to your own branding. This can come up when you are collaborating with other organizations or fundraising campaigns. For example, l’Itinéraire adapted the GivingTuesday logo by integrating it with their own. That way their followers recognized them right away and knew they wanted to donate!
Alexandre Duguay, Community Manager at L’Itinéraire
Create a stunning image
Images can be shared easily and often speak louder than words. So, why not create a stunning, unforgettable image that will sensitize the community to your cause?
Yes, I know what you’re thinking: that’s easier said than done. But that’s ok, because as someone in the nonprofit sector, you spend your time ‘doing’ rather than ‘saying’.
You want your image to be moving and elicit an emotion and motivate its viewer to take action right away. Consider these options for your image:
A picture of one of the beneficiaries of your mission.
Volunteers working together towards your cause.
Art depicting your organization’s vision.
And other possibilities! Look within your charity’s work to find inspiration. What about your work motivates you and your colleagues? How can you capture this and show it to others?
Here’s an example a stunning piece of artwork raising awareness for the #blacklivesmatter movement:
If creating an image feels like too large of a task to take on, work with members in your community, like other organizations with similar causes to create one.
Use different online resources to retrieve, edit and format your imaging. We use these great free tools: Canva, Miro and Burst.
Involve your donors and staff directly in marketing
Having your community contribute to how you publicize your campaign will multiply the amount of people you reach. You might of thought of doing this before, but this time actually do it! When members of the organization and donors feel personally involved, they are more likely to work hard to make it a success. Here are some ways you can get everyone involved:
Have donors take a picture of themselves doing something that is related to your cause. Arrange the images into posters, share and tag the donors. For example, the Belgian charity Kom Op Tengen Kanker got donors to take a picture of themselves sticking out their tongue, in a campaign to fight child cancer. They then put all the pictures together to create a campaign post. Simple, yet impactful!
Make an open call for a supporter to contribute art for your marketing campaign. You can ask for submissions and then choose someone and share their work. The whole community will be eager to see the result and will be invested in sharing it with their network.
Have your staff pull a stunt. It could be anything to get your community excited. For example, rent a dunk tank and have a few people take turns getting dunked. Donors can be the ones throwing at the target to try to get them dunked. If you can’t have all your supporters attend, livestream it!
Use different technologies to leverage your cause
Charities are becoming more and more inventive with the ways they use different technology features for their campaigns. You can do it too! Here’s an example to get you inspired:
The Scottish charity Cyrenians created a chat bot named “Alex”, a fictional homeless man. The chat bot was open to anyone who wanted to ask questions about homelessness, in order to decrease the stigma on the subject. It addresses why Alex became homeless, his current living situation, his interests and his hopes for the future. The campaign was aimed at highlighting common stereotypes and shining a light on the reasons people become homeless.
Don’t have the resources for this type of campaign tool? Reach out to your community and ask for their expertise. Or create something on a smaller scale, that requires less technical work. For example, make a video with testimonies from those who benefit from your charitable efforts.
Technology offers so many possibilities for your campaign, make sure to seize them! If you have one great piece of work that can really grab the attention of your supporters, you won’t need to focus on marketing as much. Your community will catch on and share it with the world.
Highlight accomplishments during the campaign
You and your entire organization are working hard on your mission, so make sure to highlight your work. Emphasizing your success, whether big or small, can have a refreshing effect on your campaign! It may just be the last push your staff and supporters need to obtain your goal or to stay motivated for the next campaign. Be sure to celebrate:
When you make it to your halfway mark, let your supporters know the difference they’ve made so far! This will encourage them to keep pushing until your goal is reached.
Internally. Why not celebrating your team by providing lunch, a happy hour or a game night? Let your staff know how much you and your community values them.
Our tip: A great way to show your progress is by using a thermometer of the amount you’ve raised. With Simplyk, you can embed your thermometer directly into your website. Having it on your home page is eye catching and will get donors to help you make it to your goal!
By incorporate these 8 tips for fundraising campaigns into your usual process, your charity’s impact is sure to increase! Remember that you have built an amazing community that can use its creativity and skills to help reach your goals. Have other tips or questions? Write to us at email@example.com .
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
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
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?
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.
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.
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:
Half a cart
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.
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:
Closest to the pin
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org .