How To Run A Golf Marathon Fundraiser

Megan Donahue
Megan Donahue

A day on the fairway can be relaxing and fun, but if you’re planning a golf marathon fundraiser, “relaxed” may not be how you’re feeling.

Managing registration, figuring out the event details, and running a fundraising campaign all at once can be overwhelming.

And if your peer to peer fundraising software is clunky? You’ll probably jump right over “overwhelmed” and into “incredibly frustrated.”

If you avoid the clunky software problems, a golf marathon can be a great addition to your nonprofit’s fundraising calendar.

Peer to peer fundraising harnesses the power of your community to share your message and raise money on your behalf.

It appeals to modern donors, who want to be part of the change as well as give to it.

And it can be a lot of fun for your supporters.

What Is A Golf Marathon Fundraiser?

Golf marathons are peer to peer fundraising events. Supporters raise money, and those that reach a certain total are invited to spend an entire day golfing.

Unlike traditional charity golf outings, marathons go all day–100 holes is common.

David Cohn, Executive Director of The First Tee of Southeast Wisconsin, saw the potential this kind of event could have for his organization. The youth organization teaches kids character and sportsmanship through golf, so a golf marathon was a perfect fit.

He knew that mobilizing his biggest supporters to share the organization’s mission was paramount for continued growth.


The First Tee’s supporters came through. They passed their $40,000 fundraising goal more than a week before the event, then blew past their $50,000 stretch goal. By the end of the golf marathon, they’d raised almost $55,000!

Want to take your golf marathon fundraiser out of the rough?

Use CauseVox to streamline your event and raise more money with less frustration. Hit a fundraising hole in one!

How To Run A Golf Marathon

A successful golf marathon inspires supporters to fundraise, encourages them to reach their goals, and then finishes the campaign with a fun in-person event.

At each stage of the campaign, you’ll need to engage your supporters to keep them excited about fundraising.

1. Choose A Platform That Works

When you’re planning your golf marathon, your mind may immediately start thinking about courses, and weather, and available weekends, but your fundraising platform is just as important.

The wrong fundraising platform can ruin your fundraising, or at least make it unnecessarily difficult. Clunky software that makes it difficult to fundraise or donate is not par for the course–it’s a big problem.

Choose a platform that puts everything in one place. Don’t run event registration, fundraising pages, and donation processing on separate platforms–you’ll waste time and effort.

The team at The First Tee of Southeast Wisconsin chose CauseVox because they didn’t have time to waste.

“We knew we wanted to find an all-in-one platform that allowed our players to easily create and manage their own fundraising page while providing an easy way for their supporters to contribute to the event. CauseVox checked all of those boxes for us,” David says.

CauseVox’s personal fundraising pages take mere minutes for your golfers to set up. They can start fundraising immediately, without any hassle.

2. Create Fundraising Goals

You’ll be happy to know that you don’t need to recruit hundreds of golfers for a successful golf marathon. In fact, too many will slow down your event. No one wants to spend all day waiting to play, so keeping things relatively small will make the event more fun.

This doesn’t mean you can’t set a big fundraising goal, though. The First Tee of Southeast Wisconsin raised their $55,000 with 25 golfers. Small numbers of inspired people can raise a lot.

Since you won’t have a thousand peer to peer fundraisers, it’s important to establish a minimum fundraising commitment from each one.

Typically in golf marathons, each golfer must raise a certain amount to play. Encourage them to set their own higher fundraising goals, but requiring a minimum ensures that your organization doesn’t lose money.

Remember, you’re not requiring golfers to be able to donate your minimum all alone–they commit to raising it from their family and friends. Consider giving people options at different levels of commitment, like The First Tee of Greater St. Louis did.

The First Tee of St. Louis gave donors marathon and half marathon options.

By offering supporters a full and half marathon option, supporters can make choices.

Those who commit to raising more get more access to the course and two swings at the culminating shootout. People who want to make less of a commitment get less access, but can still fundraise to play.

Tip: Set a goal for the minimum amount of fundraises you want to participate in your event. Then, set an amount you want each fundraiser to raise. Multiply the number of fundraisers by the individual fundraising goal from each to arrive at your campaign goal.

ie. 20 fundraisers x $2,000 minimum raise = $40,000 fundraising goal

Then, cross-check this fundraising goal with the amount your budgeting to put on the event, also considering the number of hours it takes to organize the event. Make sure you’re raising enough for your event to be profitable, or you may want to go back and re-evaluate your fundraiser goals.

3. Show Progress And Impact

Raising money for the sake of raising money is boring. Raising money to make a difference is what gets supporters excited to fundraise and donate. Tell the story of your organization, and show your supporters the impact they’ll have when they donate.

Love Wins team page on CauseVox
A team for the Love Wins Charity Golf Tournament makes their appeal by talking about how many students will be served by anti-bullying programs.

Use a campaign progress meter to demonstrate how their gifts get you towards your goal. Tie every dollar you raise to an impact metric. People are more likely to contribute when the see the concrete results–575 program scholarships, 50 sets of clubs for kids, or 10 hours of course time.

CauseVox’s impact meter and campaign thermometer showcase progress.

4. Encourage And Support

Your golfers may have ambitious fundraising goals. Help them stay the course by encouraging them and keeping them up-to-date on the campaign.

David used CauseVox’s blogging tools to update his supporters as they reached campaign milestones. Once fundraisers had reached the campaign goal, he posted a celebratory gratitude message. Next, he rallied his community around a stretch goal.


Your CauseVox dashboard makes it easy to see how your fundraisers are doing. You get real-time updates, so you can reach out to encourage, congratulate, or assist in a snap.

5. Keep Fundraising At Your Event

When you pair your in-person event with online fundraising, it takes a lot of the mystery out of raising money. Rather than waiting to see how much you raise at event, you’ll know where you stand. This gives you the opportunity to target fundraising at your event, as well as beforehand.

If you’ve met your goal ahead of time, go ahead and set a stretch goal, like David and The First Tee of Southeast Wisconsin did. Reach out to supporters who can’t attend the event, and ask them to make a donation in lieu of attendance.

CauseVox is mobile-friendly, so you can keep fundraising at your golf marathon. Donors can give via phone or tablet to get you across the finish line during the event itself.

Golf Marathon Checklist

  • Choose a Platform

    • Research Platforms
    • Trial Platform
    • Sign up
    • Build Online Campaign
  • Set Goals

    • Event Planning:
      • Choose Event Date
      • Choose Event Location
      • Choose Vendors
    • Fundraising Planning:
    • Show Progress and Impact
      • Create an impact metric for the campaign ($50=1 scholarship, $100=2 hours of programming, etc)
      • Choose stories that showcase donor impact
  • Update and Encourage

    • Create weekly email to encourage fundraisers during campaign
    • Check dashboard for opportunities to reach out to fundraisers
    • Create blog updates to add to your CauseVox campaign
    • Post campaign milestones on social media
    • Encourage supporters to share posts
  • Keep Fundraising

    • Send a message with fundraising link to anyone who couldn’t attend the event
    • Bring a tablet for mobile gifts at the event
    • Create signage with your link at the event

Declutter Your Golf Marathon With CauseVox

Ben Hogan said that the most important shot in golf is the next one. Make sure you hit yours with CauseVox. We’ll make it easy for you to run a successful golf marathon with simple tools and a fundraising experience your supporters will love.

Sign up today and get started.

Learn more about running your peer-to-peer fundraising event on CauseVox.

Simplify and grow your fundraising

It honestly felt like using CauseVox expanded our team by another member.

    Easy-to-use Free to get started Cancel anytime
    Copy link
    Powered by Social Snap