New charity golf tournaments are down, as are corporate
sponsorships. But non-profit organizations with longtime ties to
golf are finding new ways to reach the green.
In Calm Waters' annual spring golf tournament, the Oklahoma City-
based non-profit found it had the exact number of golfers signed up
to play at the same price as the prior years. Yet, faced with
weakened economic atmosphere, Calm Waters decided to drop its net
profit goal from $100,000 to $50,000.
"In the four years I've been at Calm Waters, we've increased on
our tournament every year," said Lisa Kibblewhite, development
director for Calm Waters. "This spring, we had the same number of
participants, but where we saw a drop was in sponsorships. We were
down $25,000 this year in the golf tournament sponsorships."
However, Calm Waters did reach its net profit goal.
"We had to work really hard for it this year," Kibblewhite said.
"But, golf tournaments are still effective for us. We netted
$100,000 the past two years, and more importantly, it gets our name
in front of people who normally would not know about us."
The charity golf tournament, once the cornerstone of fundraising,
has faded in popularity. Those who hold tournaments tend to be loyal
to the fundraiser, but other organizations are taking a different
approach to raising money.
Running to taste
For 31 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters Oklahoma, Oklahoma City
Chapter, has hosted The Taste Of Oklahoma City fundraiser as its
chief event. In 2008, the event raised approximately $90,000 while
this year's event, held this month, brought in more than $100,000.
"We consistently grow each year," said Kelley McGuire, area
director for BBBS. "We've never done a golf tournament in Oklahoma
City, but Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tulsa has, and it's been very
Members of the BBBS board in Oklahoma City currently are eyeing a
golf tournament, McGuire said.
"You have a different target market," she said. "You get some
people who don't like dress-up events and would rather participate
in a golf tournament. It's about getting people involved in what
they are interested in."
The Taste of Oklahoma City's popularity increases each year. In
2009, the event attracted 500 participants, filling 48 tables, up
from the 350 who attended in 2008.
"Where we did actually see a dip was in corporate sponsorships,"
said McGuire. "Some sponsors dropped out, although some new sponsors
joined in. We worked hard this year to get individual tickets sold
instead of so many corporate sponsorships."
Marathons and charity walk/runs are also on the rise. The
Oklahoma City National Memorial Marathon attracted 20,000-plus
participants in April.
According to Road Race Management Association, national
fundraising running events raised $714 million in 2006.
"The Oklahoma City National Marathon is our largest fundraising
event, and because of the growth in the marathon over the last eight
years, we have seen more than $1.2 million in contributions from the
marathon," said Kari Watkins, Oklahoma City National Memorial &
Museum executive director, in a recent news release. …