Making Golf an Easy Fundraiser

I get asked about golf tournaments at almost every speaking event I do. (Full disclaimer: I have never used this product before, but it seems like an incredible and affordable solution.) Check it out and let me know if you have positive or negative feedback that I can share!! XO, Bridget


The benefits of a golf fundraiser are many, including being ripe with opportunities to make additional donation asks of participants, spectators, and other supporters before, during, and after the event. While teams and sponsorships will bring in the majority of the fundraiser’s revenue, there are multiple ways to bring in additional dollars by leveraging the generosity of golfers. You certainly don’t want to interrupt the fun of the day, so your asks should be strategic, well-timed, and not intrude on the golfer’s round. The key is to be equipped with a mobile-friendly event website with a simple and easy way to make a donation to the event. 

Here are six things to consider when making a donation ask at your golf tournament.


While some attendees may be loyal supporters of your organization, they often tap into their personal and professional networks to fill a team for the golf tournament, and these folks may not know much about your organization or what you do. Share an impact story at the tournament’s kickoff or post-event gathering, have a beneficiary on site to share their experiences, and/or set up banners or posters that describe the impact of what your organization does. Follow these up with an ask that helps attendees understand how their donation makes a difference.

Pro tip: Use your event website to tell your organization’s story with text and imagery. GolfStatus event websites include donation buttons right on the site’s home page (and on live leaderboards).


You need an easy way to get in touch with donors at the right moment during the fundraiser. The right event management technology will have built-in communication tools that let you quickly and easily communicate with event registrants without having to use multiple platforms. Determine when you will send messages and set a schedule for the day. At events powered by GolfStatus, a free live-scoring mobile app is used to track each team’s round. When golfers use their phone to enter their score, they’ll see the in-app and push notifications.

Pro tip: Be strategic about when you send messages. Don’t inundate golfers with emails or notifications or they’ll tune them out. Space them out and consider coupling them with important information and announcements.


A day-of fundraising goal can motivate donors to make an additional contribution to your cause. A well-timed update on the progress towards this goal reminds folks what they’re playing for. What’s more, when the overall event experience is top-notch, they’re even more likely to chip in to help you reach the day’s goal.

Pro tip: Make the goal something tangible that donors can connect with. For example, set a goal to raise an extra $2000 the day of the tournament, which will provide 10 underserved schools with new books or feed 200 shelter dogs for two months.


Set up a donation station at one or more locations at the golf tournament. It’s a good idea to have one in a visible (but unobtrusive) location near the registration area. Have volunteers at the station ready to talk about your organization and its mission, and help folks make a donation via the event website if they need it. You could also have a station at the turn or somewhere on the golf course. A par three hole that’s likely to get backed up is a great option—you’ll have a captive audience! If your event has a post-golf gathering, set up an additional station in the event space (near the bar is a good idea!).

Pro tip: Include a QR code on any flyers, posters, or handouts that links directly to the event’s donation page so folks can quickly make a contribution without hassle.


Anyone, anywhere can follow along with a tournament via GolfStatus live leaderboards. Share these links in the days leading up to the event via email and social media and challenge spectators to make a donation. Be creative and have fun with this! If folks are following a certain team, you could ask them to donate if there’s a birdie, eagle, or even a bogey on a specific hole or offer a prize drawing specifically for online donors.

Pro tip: Give social media shoutouts to those following along that make a donation, and be sure to follow up after the tournament with a thank you.


A common appeal at the end of each team’s round is to ask for a donation that equals their final score. So if they shot a 72, they would donate $72. Another option after the scores are finalized is to ask golfers to donate an amount equal to the winning team’s score—or even the last place team’s score.

Pro tip: If your event includes an awards ceremony, it’s a great time to make this particular ask. When you announce the winning team and score (or multiple teams and scores, if your event includes different flights or divisions), challenge attendees to get out their phones and donate the amount of the winning team’s score via the leaderboard.


It’s easy to collect donations when you have the right technology for your golf fundraiser. GolfStatus’s intuitive, full-service golf event management and fundraising platform streamlines the process. Its attractive event websites include online registration, the ability to collect donations, and secure payment processing. Qualifying 501(c) organizations and those holding golf tournaments that benefit one can get full access to GolfStatus’s tech—at no cost through the Golf for Good program. Click the button below to get qualified or email

8 Tips for Raising Funds in a Recession

We have been in a very positive economic ride since Covid in the fundraising space. A positive economic outlook brings donors to our doors in many cases. With the questionable outlook of our current environment, there are questions about the continued availability of funds from donors. What should nonprofits do?

1. Remain optimistic

Being positive will create opportunity in your organization. Every recession has an end date and some only last for 2 months. Think about what your organization can do to help those impacted. Be the organization sharing good news.

2. Cut expenses to strengthen your cash position

Fundraising during a downturn can be slower. Cut frivolous spending. Take a look at your wants and needs. In my office we are evaluating every penny we spend.

3. Be profitable

Look for events the are profitable and use this time to eliminate outdated or unprofitable activities.

4. Keep in touch.

There are hundreds of new and free tools to help you connect with constituents. They need and want to hear from you now. Let them know that you are serving your clients through these challenges.

5. Ask what else can we do

Are there other things you can be doing? Do you have extra office space you can lease? Do you have expertise in an area you can sell? Do you have team members that would prefer to be part-time? Are there things you can do that will help you accomplish your mission that are not in your mission.

6. Be realistic.

“Scale back ambitious campaigns, but don’t give up on them. To remain competitive in challenging times you must persevere. Remember your mission and vision are not any less significant today. Be sure to keep campaign donors and volunteers in the loop on any goal adjustments to avoid challenges down the road.” Nonprofit Times.

7. Get social.

We all know social media is where people are. Most people check some form of social media daily. Make it a point to share your good works and message in that space. In addition, advertising on social media is very effective and affordable. This is a great way to educate prospective donors and keep in touch with current ones.


No one wants to donate to an organization that might not be there next month, and no one wants to bail out an organization that is not making good choices. DO NOT ASK YOUR DONORS TO SAVE YOU. Make a strong conservative plan for your organization that allows you to be successful even if this recession lasts for five years. I always say, plan for the worst and pray for the best!

Good luck my friends, we can do this!!

Saying thank you before the year end cycle begins…

It is getting very close to year end giving campaigns. A very important step in that process is recognizing your donors and prospective donors before you begin another ask. Here are a few ideas for how you can say thank you to your donors:

Smaller Donors

For your smaller donors, I recommend a simple thank you note and social media post. I love custom thank you notes, but if you don’t have the budget for it, try something like these. They are super cute, and I love that they come with the envelope stickers. They make the note feel more special which is the entire goal.

Medium Donors

For your medium sized donors try something a little more special. I really love these little scented candles. You can have people on your staff or volunteers deliver them to your donors. They are very affordable, and deliver a very nice message of thanks. The gift is simply a nice leave behind, the important part of your visit is to see that person face to face and say thank you.

Large Donors

Your large donors require a bit more love! I recommend setting up time to meet with them in person to see what their why is for giving to your organization. Once you learn about the why, you can tailor your communications in your year end campaign around that message.

Here are few great ideas for thank yous at this level:

These are so cute and they are so cheap!!
My favorite is this journal and it’s so cheap!!
Love these!!

I love all three of these gifts. They are great for volunteers or donors, they have a very long life or they can be shared. My favorite is they journal because you can write a message in it to the person that they will see all year.

The gift is not the most important aspect of this exercise, so don’t get bogged down in choosing. The important part is that contact. Let your donors know that you are thinking about them when you are not asking for dollars. Let them know what is going on with your organization and the good work you have done this year. Let them know why they are important to you!

Share the successes you have had with thank yous below! XO!

Books Every Nonprofit Executive Should Own

If you are in the nonprofit world there are a few books that you should just own. Here are my top 3 books you should own and why. These three books will help you run your board, manage events, and motivate your staff and donors. Good luck and let me what you think of them!

  1. An essential guide to good governance for board leaders at all levels of experience and expertise This bestselling book for nonprofit board members and professionals offers an updated resource that answers the most-commonly asked question on board governance. The book covers such topics as board structure and process, board member recruitment and orientation, board-staff relations, and financial management. This new edition includes updated information on topics that have recently increased in importance including new Form 990; dealing with the financial crisis, risk management, and mergers. I refer to mine all of the time.

2. For event planners, there’s no such thing as a dress rehearsal! Any event you plan and stage is a reflection of your organization’s image — from the initial invitation to onsite operations. Whether you’re planning a product launch, conference, sales meeting, an incentive event, or a gala fund-raiser, remember that the magic of a truly memorable event is in the details, but so is the devil. Whether your event is for 50 or 2,000 people, whether it has a budget of a few thousand dollars, or hundreds of thousands, it has to be perfect. This unique book is loaded with practical advice on:

  • Choosing the best venue
  • Preparing and managing the budget, with sample costing forms included
  • Scheduling, staffing, and collaborating with other related professionals
  • Coordinating food and beverage, décor, entertainment, and themes.

3. Start with Why when motivating donors and employees. In 2009 Simon Sinek started a movement to help people become more inspired at work and, in turn, inspire their colleagues and customers. Since then, millions have been touched by the power of his ideas, including more than 28 million who’ve watched his TED Talk based on Start with Why – the third most popular TED video of all time.

Sinek starts with a fundamental question: Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over?

Start with Why shows that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way – and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with why.

Virtual Fundraising

In this environment, we have all been forced to become more virtual.  I recently worked with a nonprofit that did an online gala BC (Before Covid 19).  It was very successful. Now more than ever, it may be time to try it something like this at your organization.  Mobile Cause has put together a great info-graphic with a ton of wonderful ideas.

Take away: Stay Home, Stay Safe, & Get Virtual

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20 Tips for 2020!

I love the New Year, new ideas, new goals, new events, so much opportunity.  Here are 20  ideas/thoughts to help you make 2020 your best year ever.

Tech TIPS:

  1. If you are not already using it, sign up for Canva.  It is the best thing to ever happen to nonprofit marketing in my opinion.
  2. Check out they offer nonprofit savings on Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Cloud, Intuit QuickBooks. New and refurbished laptops and desktops, mobile hotspots, printers and more.

    Check out a how to video on You Tube.

  3. Create a Facebook ad for your next event.  The results are great, and they are very affordable.
  4. In this digital age, most people don’t have the time or energy to look out for a nonprofit to make a donation. Adopting mobile giving, allowing donors to give on the go, will make it really smooth and simple for them. You want to make it as easy as possible to give.
  5. Sign Up for the Donor Experience 101 Newsletter.  It’s a great way to keep up with new ideas, trends, and tips. Plus, I will post where I will be teaching so you can join me for new classes.


  1. Use your board to help you write thank you notes. It will make your life easier and your donor’s will love hearing from your board members.
  2. Ask your board members to bring you a connection to each meeting.
  3. Let a board members come into the office to shadow you and your team once a month.  It really helps them see how hard you work and what day to day life is really like.
  4. Make sure your board has the tools they need to be successful.  Do they need training, do they need collateral, etc…?
  5. Hold your board accountable.


  1. Ask for help!
  2. Be prepared.  There is nothing worse than having volunteers ready to serve with nothing to do.
  3. Create an assignment board.  Post things you need help with on it, so that your volunteers can easily pitch in.
  4. Educate your volunteers, make sure they understand their job and your expectations.
  5. Recognize your volunteers with a thank you at every opportunity.


  1. Evaluate 2019.  Did you accomplish your goals, is it time for a change?
  2. Set SMART goals to clarify your ideas, focus your efforts, use your time and resources productively, and achieve what you want in 2020.
  3. Set up time for you and your staff to brainstorm.  What would you do if you could do anything?
  4. Connect.  Make it one of your goals to connect with some new in your industry each month.  The fruit those relationships will bear is endless.
  5. Speaking Engagements – Sign up for one of my classes. They are full of ideas and always FUN!

I hope your 2020 is absolutely amazing!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

HELP! My Board is Not Engaged

Can you give me some ideas to help with my board, they just seem disinterested?  How do I get a more engaged board?  How do I get my board to do something?  When I hear that a board is disengaged or ineffective, I often begin with this question “how are your board members recruited?” You have probably heard fire fast, hire slow.  The board member selection process is the same.  The easier the process the less engaged the board member.  I recommend, a solid process, setting specific expectations, and diligent communication all designed to aid in the creation of a true partnership.
If you are having challenges with board engagement, it might be time to look at your processes.   Here are a few things to think about.
Do you have:
  • a board-skills matrix that can be used to align candidates with the competencies needed to balance your board?
  • guidelines for appropriate committee deliberations regarding confidentiality, rumors, and innuendo?
  • an application form for potential board candidates?
  • a sample matrix used to score multiple board candidates according to the skills, experience, competencies and geographical regions needed for your board?
  • a list of questions and a detailed guide to use when interviewing board candidates.
There are so many resources available to help with developing these processes.  This new book is one great resource, “Recruit the Right Board: Proven Processes for Selecting Critical Competencies.” In addition, I love almost everything Board Source produces.
Take-away: The time is now!  Everything in your organization begins and ends with a strong board.  Check out these resources, and if you still need help contact me.