Golf is more popular than ever. Millions of people hit the links each year to spend time with friends, family, and colleagues, and often, to raise money for nonprofits and charities of all types and sizes. Golf attracts a particular demographic that typically represents people of above-average affluence—which makes them ideal potential donors. 

As with any donor segment, particularly one that you haven’t previously targeted, strategic outreach is crucial. Golfers need to be stewarded in a way that appeals to their interests and preferences. Start with these tips to help you connect with and build relationships with the golfer demographic to convert them into consistent donors.

Why Do Golfers Make Great Donors?

The golfer demographic is a crucial segment that nonprofits should have represented in their donor base. Consider these statistics from GolfStatus:

  • Over 50% of golfers are between the ages of 25 and 55, which represents several age groups
  • The average golfer’s net worth is over $768,000
  • The average household income among golfers is over $100,000 (nearly twice the national average)
  • 33% of golfers are top-level managers and decision-makers
  • 83% of golfers own mutual funds/stocks
  • 68% own their primary residence
  • 83% regularly take vacations

As you can see, in general, golfers have the means to donate. They also tend to be passionate about golf, which gives your nonprofit an advantage in targeting their specific interests. Let’s explore some ways you can resonate with golf enthusiasts through your fundraising strategy.

5 Strategies for Targeting Golfers

1. Host a Charity Golf Tournament

Nothing connects you with the golfer demographic more than allowing them to do what they love—play golf—in support of a great cause. Hosting a charity golf tournament is hands down the best way to engage golfers, connect them to your nonprofit’s mission, and raise money for your work. What’s more, golfers tend to tap into their personal and professional networks to field a team for your golf tournament, so your donor base grows organically. Post-tournament, you’ll want to add golfers to your donor database and steward them appropriately to keep them engaged with your organization. 

Charity golf tournaments are also great ways to build relationships with corporate sponsors. Businesses are often interested in reaching golfers, and your tournament is the vehicle for that outreach. Plus, you’ll lay the foundation for future corporate support. You might even pitch the idea of a corporate golf outing, which further engages the company, allows its employees to feel more fulfilled, encourages teamwork, and gives back to your nonprofit. It’s a win-win all around!

2. Incorporate Golf-related Components Into Other Fundraisers

While a golf tournament is the best way to connect with golfers and grow this segment, there are other options to reach those folks who might already be in your donor pool. Think about your slate of fundraising events and consider how you might target golfers. For example, you might consider a golf theme for your annual gala. If you have a live or silent auction, consider golf items such as clubs, apparel, or trips to exclusive golf clubs. If you hold an annual conference or in-person workshops, you could add an optional round of golf or trip to a golf simulator for participants. The goal is to help you identify which contacts in your nonprofit’s CRM are interested in golf and use that information to tailor future asks or invitations to attend fundraising events.

3. Leverage Golf and Sports Groups

Golfers love to connect with others who love golf. From online groups around a specific vicinity to weekly golf leagues, there are golf groups of all types across the U.S. that may have marketing opportunities available for your nonprofit. A simple Google search can lead you to groups, leagues, and even bloggers in your area that all talk about golf and are yet another pathway to engaging the golfer demographic. 

Another way to reach golfers is to tap into other sports-related organizations and businesses that have golfers in their target audience. Not only can these organizations be potential sponsors for a charity golf tournament, but they can provide an avenue to reach the golfer demographic. For example, post flyers for your golf tournament at local golf shops, sporting goods stores, or gyms, or consider sponsoring a partner nonprofit’s golf tournament to get access to their golfer supporters.

4. Engage Golfers Online

Digital channels are a great way to reach golfers. In an online world, meeting golfers where they are online helps create more engagement and connection to your nonprofit. Whether you’re promoting your annual golf tournament or other fundraising campaign or spreading awareness about your work, online outreach is a cost-effective option.

You might start by leveraging your nonprofit’s social media presence to reach golfers. Consider these ideas:

  • Paid campaigns. Throw a few dollars at a targeted campaign. Tailor the audience by choosing “golf” and “philanthropy” as interests, particularly when driving folks to your charity golf tournament. Narrow down the geographic area where your event is being held to further drill down and reach the right people.
  • Post golf-related content. While targeting golfers is key, it might be jarring to suddenly see golf content in your feed if your regular supporters aren’t expecting it. Find ways to connect it back to your work or fundraising campaigns. Be sure to lean into relevant social media trends and use golf-related hashtags. 
  • Collaborate with golf influencers. Start by looking for local golfers or local celebrities who golf to help spread the word about your cause or event. Scout social media for other golf influencers or golf bloggers who might have an interest in your cause.
  • Join golf groups. Seek out golf groups in your area on social media platforms. Share information about your golf fundraiser or other golf-related event and invite people to attend. 

Look for other digital channels, such as email, your organization’s website, and your golf tournament’s event website to help you reach golfers.

5. Personalize Outreach

Finding ways to reach donors with messaging that resonates can have a big impact on conversions. As you build your golfer audience segment, think through how your campaigns can reach them with golf-related messaging that spurs them to take action. Some personal touches that you can add to outreach materials that target golfers might include:

  • Golf-related branding and theming
  • Metrics from your charity golf tournament
  • Endorsements or messages from recognizable golfers 
  • Quotes from your beneficiaries sharing the impact of the charity golf tournament
  • Personal invitations to golf clinics, lessons, or exclusive rounds of golf for donors

Wrapping Up

If you haven’t targeted golfers in the past, now’s the time to strategize how you can fold them into your supporter base. A charity golf tournament is a natural place to start and effectively engage this demographic while spreading awareness about your nonprofit, but don’t stop there! Continue stewarding them with curated outreach and experiences that tap into their passion for golf and your cause.