Marriott Business Councils bring together hotel management and employees from across a region to network and work together to give back to the larger community. The Colorado Marriott Business Council has been active for over two decades, with a strong presence in the Denver area and beyond that engages Marriott hotel brands, its employees, and the community at-large.
Chad Conrad is the current chair of the Colorado Council and has been involved in its work for over two decades. “Marriott believes in taking care of its employees while also taking care of its community,” Chad says. At the national level, Marriott has been a banner sponsor of Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals for over 30 years. This support has trickled down to local and regional Marriott groups, including business councils.
For over 20 years, the Council has hosted an annual golf tournament to raise money for Children’s Hospital Colorado, the local CMN hospital. For Chad and Marriott employees from across the state, this support of Children’s Hospital Colorado has resulted in a meaningful tie to the community. He has been involved in the golf tournament since its inception and has seen it grow and flourish.
But as COVID-19 hit the tourism industry hard, hotels were short-staffed and the golf event was forced to be pared down. The Council lost several members due to layoffs and hotel closures, including those who helped Chad head up the golf tournament. “It fell 100% on my plate to make it happen,” Chad says. Though he didn’t necessarily want to learn a new platform or system, he knew in order to keep the event going, he needed to employ some type of technology to save time, automate processes, and make planning simple and efficient.
Turning to Technology
Chad turned to GolfStatus, the official management platform for golf events benefiting CMN Hospitals, to get the event back on its feet. “Since it’s been around for over 20 years, it was important to me to keep it alive,” Chad says. The switch to GolfStatus couldn’t have come at a better time—it gave Chad an easy-to-use, all-in-one solution to promote the event, register golfers, onboard and recognize sponsors, and collect funds.
GolfStatus’s partnership with CMN Hospitals helps event organizers—passionate supporters, hospitals or hospital foundations, corporate partners, businesses, or other volunteers—put on a golf tournament to benefit member hospitals. Because these events benefit a nonprofit, they qualify for GolfStatus’s Golf for Good program, which provides access to its full-featured golf event management and fundraising platform at no cost.
The GolfStatus team worked with Chad to build an event website where people could purchase team and sponsorship packages or make a donation with just a few clicks. When the tournament was organized by a larger planning team, one person handled all the money, processing paper registration forms and checks, sending receipts, and tracking payments. With a one-man show for this year’s event, Chad says the online registration and secure payment processing features were priceless. “I barely had to do anything with it,” he says, as the platform sends automated receipts upon registration and he could quickly and easily see who had registered in the software’s back end.
Chad used the platform’s built-in messaging feature to send emails directly to registrants, alerting them of updates and specifics about the event. He used it to share information about the day’s timeline, where folks should check in, and the included breakfast. Since all registration information is stored in the platform, there was no need for him to export email addresses into another service to send a simple email—it could all be handled within GolfStatus. “I don’t know that I can ever go back to how I used to do it!” Chad says.
The Impact of Golf Fundraising
Chad has seen the impact the golf tournament has had for over 20 years, not only for Children’s Hospital Colorado but for participating hotels. “So much business is done on the golf course,” he points out. “Whether you’re a good golfer or not, you can still make connections and do business while raising money and having fun.”
Chad has worked with a core group of vendors and partners to support the golf event over its tenure, but has continued to explore new sponsor support. “When we partner with a new hotel through the Council, it opens doors to a new set of sponsors,” Chad explains. The golf event’s website and accompanying free GolfStatus mobile app gives sponsors a ton of digital exposure for their investment, before, during, and after the tournament.
While the tournament attracted about half of its historical attendees, it still hit its benchmark goal of around $35,000 for the hospital, thanks in part to the time savings GolfStatus provided that allowed Chad to pursue new sponsorships. “We were thrilled about that,” he says. Chad says his number one focus is to bring the hotels together to raise awareness and funds for the hospital. “We could throw a dinner party or do something different but we wouldn’t have the success of a golf tournament,” he says. “A golf tournament has staying power.”
Golf for Good
GolfStatus’s Golf for Good giveback initiative helps nonprofits and those holding events benefiting them streamline their golf events to save time and raise more money. It starts with a free event website and no-cost access to GolfStatus’s platform for qualifying organizations and events. Get qualified here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.