No matter how meticulously you’ve planned your golf tournament fundraiser, the ultimate tell of success comes down to great execution on event day.
That’s why for any charity tournament organizer, it’s important to have a reliable and passionate team of volunteers on your side to help ensure everything runs smoothly from registration to your awards banquet, and everything in between.
Coordinating a network of volunteers is kinda like hiring employees for a business: it all comes down to attracting talent, utilizing their full potential and keeping them happy so they’ll continue to support you year after year.
In honor of National Volunteer Month, read along to discover the secrets to building and coordinating your charity golf tournament volunteer dream team, so you can make your event as successful as possible.
Finding & attracting charity golf tournament volunteers
Our #1 tip to finding more volunteers for your golf tournament fundraiser is not to be afraid to ask, ask, ask! You may be surprised how willing others will be to donate their time in support of you and your deserving cause. Read on to discover ways you can tap into your existing network of connections and expand your reach to connect with like-minded individuals.
1. Tap into connections
Your friends & family: Use your personal connections to your advantage! Family, friends or colleagues are often very happy to provide the support you need.
Your host golf course: Don’t forget that you can always tap into your host golf course’s networks to find more volunteers! They may already have a number of members or regulars who love to help out at the club. Even if this isn’t the case, they should be more than willing to post the opportunities on their bulletins for more exposure.
Your charity: If you’re raising funds for a charity organization, be sure to talk to them about their existing network of volunteers. This is your jackpot for individuals who are already passionate about giving back to your cause.
If you’ve exhausted your options with your personal connections and still require more volunteers, not to worry! There are plenty more options available for you to find the right volunteers for your event:
2. Use volunteer discovery websites
Did you know that there’s a breadth of volunteer connection websites available for you or your charity organization to post opportunities to support your event? See below for a few of our favorites.
- VolunteerMatch.org – Used and loved by charities like Make a Wish, VolunteerMatch is a great option for charity tournament organizers who are raising funds for a non-profit, school, Non-US GNO or other organization. Click here to see how the process works.
- Points of Light Engage – Register your organization on their website and you’ll be well on your way to connecting with great volunteers for your event
- Depending on where you live, there are likely some local-based digital volunteer bulletins like SparkOntario.ca or VolunteerFlorida.org, so don’t be afraid to do some searching!
3. Share the “why” behind your cause
No matter where you’re posting or sharing about your volunteer opportunities, it’s important to tell prospective volunteers a little bit about your cause and the impact that their support can have on the mission. If you can get them to care about your mission, asking them to commit their time will be that much easier.
4. Offer incentives and show your appreciation
While you can’t necessarily offer monetary incentives for your volunteers, you can always drive more interest by offering sponsor-funded gifts as a token of your appreciation for their efforts! This could be as simple as giving them one of your player Gift Bags, in-kind donations like a delicious take-home meal from your banquet caterer or complimentary tickets for your event raffle.
5. Plus ones welcome!
By simply encouraging your volunteers to engage their friends to come help on event day, your dream team can double in size before you know it!
Utilizing your volunteers on tournament day
Once you’ve gotten your team of event volunteers on board, it’s important to have a plan for how you’re going to assign roles to each individual, so you can keep them engaged and feel confident in knowing that every detail is covered on event day.
Key roles for your charity golf tournament volunteers include:
- Marketing coordinator: Marketing your charity golf tournament can be a big undertaking, and recruiting a volunteer or two to help you out is always a good idea. Provide them with our FREE Ultimate 1-Year Charity Golf Tournament Content & Communications Calendar as a framework for their promotion plan
- Golfer gift prep: Assemble your volunteers to help you stuff your Golfer Gift Bag before tournament day
- Course & banquet setup: You’re sure to need some help setting up sponsor booths, on-course signage, contests and everything that goes into your post-tournament banquet
- Tournament Committee Members: There are many larger commitment roles that are essential to the success of your tournament and can be an attractive opportunity for some of your most dedicated volunteers, read our full article on ‘Building Your Tournament Committee’
- Registration: Depending on the number of golfers registering in person, you should assign a few of your volunteers to help them get checked-in
- Bag drop: This role involves indicating where players should drop their bags upon arrival to the club and ensuring the correct bags are carried to the correct carts
- Golfer engagement team: These volunteers will be in charge of welcoming your golfers, helping answer any general questions and engaging them with fundraising activities like your raffle, contests and auction
- Spotters: This is an important role to cover if you’re running a hole-in-one contest, or any kind of high-stakes contest on the green. This individual would be in charge of ensuring contests are played fairly and watching for winners!
- Scorers: In times prior to having digital scoring technology available (such as Event Caddy Live Scoring from your mobile device), tournaments who used paper scorecards to track scores would need to have a volunteer or staff member dedicated to gathering and tallying all teams scores manually. Click here to learn more about Event Caddy Live Scoring, so you can put that volunteer to better use
- Forecaddies: The role of a forecaddie is to spot tee shots on difficult driving holes, so your tournament can continue running smoothly without being held up by lost balls
- Advocates or families from your cause: Individuals and families who have benefited from your cause or have a personal interest in your charity are your greatest advocates, and are great to include as a part of your volunteer team. Ask them if they would help you raise more awareness by sharing their stories at your banquet or closing ceremony
- Keynote speaker: If possible, choose someone of influence with a direct relation to your cause
- Social media coordinator: Choose a social media-savvy volunteer to help you post live updates throughout tournament day. If you’re holding any social media contests, put them in charge of monitoring entries and selecting winners
- Thank you notes: Writing thank you notes to each and every golfer can get tedious, quick! Have your volunteers help you out and they’ll be signed, sealed and delivered before you know it
Providing a great experience & retaining volunteers year after year
While your primary focus is likely to be on your golfers having a great time at your fundraiser, it’s just as important to give your volunteers a great experience that will make them want to come back to help next year. Here are some easy things you can do that will help you retain those top-quality volunteers.
On tournament day:
- Be organized! Make sure expenses are covered, expectations are clearly defined, and educate them well on Health & Safety
- Motivate them to bring their best by offering a “Top Volunteer” award you’ll announce at the end of the day
- Provide them with everything they need to stay comfortable throughout the day, e.g. water, snacks, sunblock and a ‘Volunteer’ t-shirt
- Encourage them to take regular breaks and have someone ready to take their place while they step out
- Do a special “thank-you” mention to your volunteers during your banquet speeches
- Host a memorable event: When your golfers are happy, your volunteers will be happy, too!
- Celebrate volunteer success stories and share “wins” highlighting the importance and contribution they make to your cause
- If possible, provide them with continued experience to connect with your cause such as coming with you to drop off the cheque, volunteering at the actual charity i.e. food bank or hospital, or putting together donation packages purchased from your tournament proceeds
- Continue to say thank you in different ways such as posting about your volunteers on social media, sending them a hand written card or giving them a special recognition by using our free Certificate of Volunteer Appreciation template:
While there can be a lot that goes into finding and coordinating volunteers, there’s no doubt that it’s always worth the effort. Because after all, they are the face of your event on tournament day, and can have a huge impact on it’s ultimate success.
With these tips and resources, you have the opportunity to build that volunteer dream team you’re imagining for your big day.
Happy National Volunteer Month from all of us at Event Caddy!