Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Have a Ball With a 50/50 Golf Tournament Raffle

Some ideas just work and work well. Charity fundraisers use them again and again;  but we're always looking for creative ways to put a new twist on an old idea. That's why when I heard about the “50/50 Golf Ball Drop”, I just had to share. Not only for you to use at your next golf tournament, but also to get you thinking creatively about every event you plan.

At a local nonprofit's recent charity golf tournament, they decided to sell numbered golf balls instead of paper tickets for the 50/50 cash raffle. Each ball sold for $10 and the winner received 50% of the funds raised from this raffle.

About 3 hours into the golf tournament, they hoisted the basket of golf balls high into the air over the practice tee hole. This can be done with the assistance of a local trucking company or ladder truck from the fire department. The balls were all simultaneously dropped to the ground. The winner is the ball that makes it into the hole first; so if multiple balls fall into the hole, the ball at the bottom wins. If no balls fall into the hole, the ball closest to the hole wins.

How fun is that to watch!

Here's a few administrative tips:

1. Ask a local driving range to donate the used golf balls.

2. Print one number on each golf ball using a permanent marker. Place them in egg cartons to keep track and ensure there's no duplicates. Keep a printed list of who purchased each number.

3. This particular organization used paper forms as they sold each raffle to record the name, address, phone number, and email address of the buyer. Just prior to the day of the tournament, they assigned each buyer their ball number(s) and emailed the numbers to the buyers ahead of time. Using this method means the buyers wouldn't have to be present to win.

When I first heard about the 50/50 Golf Ball Drop idea, I thought 'how fun to be able to hand the buyer their golf ball(s) when they buy into the raffle. They'll be able to hold onto them and possibly display the ball(s) on their desk at work as a constant reminder of the organization they've supported'. I was thinking ADVERTISING beyond just this golf tournament.

But, this would mean that every buyer would have to attend the tournament in order to participate in the ball drop. So as an alternative, if your budget allows, purchase a second set of golf balls printed with a Thank You from your organization. These can be purchased online for about $1.00 per ball and would be for the buyers to keep. The used balls donated by the local driving range are kept at your organization and these are the ones included in the actual ball drop.

This creative thinking should be applied to every event you organize. Take an old idea and make it new.  Relate it back to your event theme. It will keep supporters interested and your organization profitable.

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