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  • Writer's pictureThe MSG Team


It is that time of the year again, in which nonprofits start planning their golf outings. On average MOST golf outings make a net $5,000, according to Golf Digest. Of course some of you might be making $10k, $20k, $100k, and even more. So there are exceptions to that rule.

For those of you who seem to be around that $5k - $10k area though, let us share some thoughts on why you should NOT raise more money at your golf outing. Yes, we are being a little tongue in cheek when saying this but hear us out. When most organizations talk about raising more money at their next outing, can you guess how they want to do so?

If you guessed selling "games", then you are right. Mulligans, 50/50 tickets, string (look it up if you don't know), contests at as many holes as possible, etc. Before you know it, your organization is raising $5 here and there all day. Let us share a few thoughts with you before you choose to go down that path TOO far:

1) Having a few games is part of the fun. Putting contests, long drives, holes in one, 50/50 tickets, mulligans, etc . . . we have all seen them before. So seriously, go ahead a pick a few to do at your outing.

2) This is where we will hold up a stop sign though. Keep an eye on how many games you do. A handful is fine but when you start doing too many, then it starts feeling like people are being nickel and dimed for everything. What's next . . . charging $5 for square of toilet paper when people need to use the restroom?

When you consider most tournaments have 144 golfers at the most (with some exception), keep in mind that not everyone will want to take part in the games. After taking part in 3 games or so, golfers are going to start feeling a little fatigued if you keep asking to take part in ANOTHER game. Even if you did get 100 people to play ONE more game, what we are talking about? $500? Was bugging people and annoying them worth $500? What will those participants tell their friends when they get home do you think?

3) Consider this instead. What if you chose NOT to add that 4th or 5th side game, and instead took the time to build relationships with those golfers that day? What if after the tournament you were to exchange business cards with some of the golfers and set up appointments to meet? What if instead of annoying 144 people about ANOTHER $5, you were able to build a connection with only 20+ people BUT who each had the capacity to donate $100, $1,000, $5,000, or $10,000+ each?

When you think of it THAT way, was that extra game for $5 worth it?

------------ Midwest Studies Group connects nonprofits to their communities, by providing feasibility studies, annual giving studies, RD planning, strategic planning, and capital campaign support. Learn more at

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