Donor Data & the Golf Fundraiser (sponsored)

Why Golfer & Sponsor Data is Especially Important & How to Collect It 

Quality, complete donor data is imperative to a nonprofit’s fundraising efforts. Donor data is more than just contact information; it allows organizations to track what’s important to their donors and reach them with messaging that resonates, helps development teams hone in on targets for major gifts, provides insight into which outreach efforts are working and how well, and allows organizations to segment supporters in ways that maximize fundraising outcomes.

The benefits are numerous; yet there seem to be key areas that escape the data capture and tracking mechanisms of even the most savvy, data-centric organizations. In particular, while the golf outing attracts a crucial demographic of high-capacity donors, existing and potential corporate sponsors, and their contacts, it’s quite common for those supporters to go unidentified. This is especially true for organizations benefitting from events run by third parties. Here’s why that data is so important and how you can collect it.

Why Golfer Donor Data Matters 

The basic reality is this — you can’t use information that you don’t have. If your golf event participants aren’t in your donor database, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to steward potentially major donors over time. Demographically, golfers tend to be affluent, with a net worth over $768,000 and an annual household income more than double the national average. In fact, one in three golfers is a top-level executive, so when these supporters tap into their personal and professional networks to field a team, your organization is exposed to even more high-capacity supporters. What’s more, event sponsors are ideal candidates for future corporate partnerships, offering the potential to become even more valuable to your organization over time. In short, capturing golfer donor data is just as crucial to outreach as it is to fundraising and donor stewardship. 

Data Collection Made Easy 

When this data is organized in one easily accessible place, you can be intentional about using it to maximize the value of your golf event, both to your organization and to donors. For example, when planning a gala, you would strategically group tables with sponsors who may form meaningful connections near each other, honoring the event’s title sponsor with premier seating. This is perhaps an even bigger consideration for a golf event, where many major sponsors are eager to talk business with complementary organizations over their hours on the course — making well-thought-out hole assignments (and an easy way to coordinate them) especially important. 

Well-thought-out hole assignments ensure that donors and sponsors form meaningful connections at your golf outing, making the event an important networking opportunity they won’t want to miss year after year. 

Collecting donor and sponsor data pertaining to the golf tournament is simpler than you might think — even if golf outings are run by third parties and essentially belong to your organization’s peer-to-peer efforts. It starts with online registration, which requires players and sponsors to fill in their teams (at the time of registration or later) and submit contact and payment information. Instead of tracking emailed signups or manually entering golfer and sponsor information from mailed registration forms into multiple spreadsheets that quickly become outdated, online registration happens without any additional work from you or your busy committee or volunteers. 

It’s especially important to consider the logistics behind data capture with golf events that include a virtual round or are entirely virtual (that is, those that run over an extended period of time and allow golfers and sponsors to participate on their own time at one of multiple courses). Due to their convenience and because there are fewer limits in terms of how many supporters can participate, these events can attract a lot of donors. You’ll need technology capable of collecting player and sponsor information for this unique scenario. 

When your organization is the beneficiary of one or many events hosted by a volunteer, business, or other third party, the process of gathering donor and sponsor data for these events is even more convoluted. Smart, nimble technology centralizes these events into a single platform, while still allowing them to run independently and at the organizer’s direction. This gives you the best of both worlds as a beneficiary: others raise funds on your behalf and you’re still able to capture data for longer-term donor stewardship initiatives.

Use Data to Your Advantage 

While attracting new participants is important, repeat attendees, sponsors, and donors are typically more engaged and more generous than new participants. When you have a strong handle on who’s attending your golf outing (whether for the first time, year over year, as part of another donor’s foursome, or in some other fashion), you’re better able to keep the event going successfully. Re-engaging with participants who have missed a year can also be an effective way to attract active supporters to your organization. 

The right event management platform will be intuitive enough to collect basic information without frustrating or overwhelming registrants (leading them to abandon cart instead of following through with their registration). An intuitive golf event management system makes it easy to export event data and seamlessly add it to your organization’s CRM alongside source codes, tags, or other batch notations that further segment the data. This information can then be leveraged with the other relevant donor information in your CRM to make meaningful and timely asks, including donations, support for other events, and invitations to future golf events. It’s also a good idea to use unique identifiers for folks participating in virtual golf events, as these individuals might be more interested than others in more avant garde and innovative future fundraisers. 

Where to Start 

Whether your golf fundraiser is right around the corner or months away, there’s one simple, impactful thing you can do right now to make sure you’re ready to capture and capitalize on the data it produces: Launch an event registration website and make sure it’s backed by a platform that can handle the nuances of capturing the golf event’s important donor data. 

Online registration is your best bet to easily capture and manage your event’s donor information, eliminating time-consuming, duplicative data entry. But because golf events have a very specific set of details that must be handled, it’s critical to choose a platform that’s built for the golf event. You’ll want tools and features to track golfer information, sponsorship levels, team pairings, and hole assignments so you don’t have to do all that work manually. Not all event management platforms can handle this level of specificity. Be sure the technology you choose allows for custom sponsorship packages and recognition, digital sponsorship exposure, and the ability to solicit online donations before, during, and after the event. Finally, it needs to have the capacity to easily export data so it can be loaded into your donor CRM for future asks and outreach.

GolfStatus is a golf event management platform built specifically for the nuances of the golf event, GolfStatus centralizes data collection across organizations’ golf tournament fundraisers as well as those hosted by members of their peer-to-peer networks (including corporate entities and passionate individuals). Access to this technology is available at no cost to qualifying nonprofits and organizers planning events that benefit them through the Golf for Good program. To inquire about this program and get qualified, click here.