Similar to a golf tournament or sporting event, charity events require extensive planning and strategizing. Lerner & Rowe Gives Back has gained recognition for its annual Charity Golf Classic over the years, a highly successful event that raises funds for multiple local charitable causes. In 2023, the organization raised over $1.13 million at the event and $3.75 million since its inception in 2013. With 11 years of hosting the tournament, the organization is no stranger to charitable giving, fundraising and hosting successful charity events.

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Here are seven valuable tips to make your charitable event a hole in one.

1. Shoot for Par: Set Specific Objectives

Before diving into the event planning process, it is crucial to define your objectives to be able to hit “par” for your event. Determine the purpose of your event and set specific goals based on the mission of your organization. Every year, Lerner & Rowe Gives Back sets a fundraising goal and identifies a list of organizations that align with the mission so that we can be sure the money raised is going to a cause we believe in.

 2. Early Tee Times: Plan Ahead, Budget Wisely

Booking an early tee time is common in the golf world, as many players want to make sure they have enough daylight for a full round or two—the same for planning an event. The best charity events are planned well in advance to ensure a seamless experience. At Lerner & Rowe Gives Back, we plan year-round for the Charity Golf Classic. Creating a detailed timeline for the year helps outline our key milestones, deadlines and tasks. Consider every aspect of event planning, including venue selection, permits, marketing, guest lists and entertainment. Additionally, establish a realistic budget that covers all necessary expenses while keeping in mind your fundraising goals. While you do want to make sure guests have a great time, you don’t want to spend as much money as you’re hoping to raise.

3. The Right Caddie: Build a Strong Support Team

The best players have a driven, smart team behind them, helping them strategize and play to the best of their ability. A successful event requires a dedicated and passionate team who share your vision and are committed to making the event a success. The annual Golf Classic is a testament to the power of our strong team, including volunteers, partners and sponsors. Open communication and trust is key when it comes to event planning. You want to be able to trust the people who are helping you plan so you’re not micromanaging every last detail. Micromanaging can waste your time and typically ends with more work in the long run.

4. Play for the Spectators: Engage with Sponsors and Partners

Raising money for a nonprofit or charitable organization is important, but event sponsors play a vital role in the success of any charity event. During planning, identify potential sponsors who align with your cause and reach out to them with a compelling proposal. Highlight the benefits they will receive from supporting your event, such as brand exposure, positive public relations placements and the opportunity to make a meaningful impact. With this year’s Golf Classic beneficiary, Phoenix Children’s Foundation, we were able to create a mutually beneficial relationship that elevates the event’s impact.

5. Swing for Social: Leverage Social Media and Marketing

Golf professionals often use different clubs, swings and strategies for different courses. The right marketing strategy is key when hosting a large charity event. From the power of social media to a compelling event website, your marketing strategy can make or break your event turn out. Leading up to the event, engage with your attendees, utilize local media relationships and focus on positive press to spread the word. The more people that know about the event, the more money you’re likely to raise.

6. Hit an Albatross: Create Unique Experiences

Much like watching a golf professional score a double eagle, guests want to experience something unique that leaves a lasting impression. From interactive games and live entertainment to exclusive auction items, providing memorable experiences will enhance attendee engagement, increase fundraising potential and guarantee future attendees. The Golf Classic incorporates various on-course experiences, including hole-in-one challenges, libation activations, food trucks and live entertainment.

7. Good Sportsmanship Show Gratitude and Follow Up

At the end of any sporting event, it’s the right move to shake a player’s hand. Charity events are no different. Be sure to express gratitude to all participants, sponsors, partners and volunteers who contributed to the success of your event. Make it a priority to speak with as many people as possible at the event and thank them for their attendance. Follow up with sponsors and provide updates on the outcomes of the event, showcasing the difference their contributions have made. Remember, a personalized thank you note can go a long way!

By following these seven tips for hosting charity events, you can create a memorable event that raises funds, increases awareness and unites your community in support of a worthy cause. Remember, with passion, dedication and a strong team, your charity event can make a significant difference in the lives of those in need.

Author: Jordan Moreno is a community relations and marketing professional in Phoenix, Arizona. With a background in nonprofit development and media, she combines her prior work experience with her passion for lifting the community as Director of Charitable Giving for Lerner & Rowe Injury Attorneys, spearheading Lerner & Rowe Gives Back initiatives. Lerner & Rowe Gives Back is a charitable organization founded by Kevin Rowe, managing partner of Lerner & Rowe, P.C. Lerner & Rowe Gives Back is a nonprofit organization dedicated to extensive and various community outreach programs. The nonprofit works to advance the missions of community organizations that serve children and families struggling from the aftermath of the recent economic downturn. The 2024 Charity Golf Classic will take place Friday, April 26 at McCormick Ranch Golf Club. To learn more or to attend the event, visit