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Posts Tagged ‘Golf tournaments’

williamsAt the University of Illinois, two famous alumni athletes are making the trip back to Champaign to help with fundraising efforts at their alma-mater. Deron Williams and Steve Stricker will each give back to the university in the form of their appearances at major fundraising events this fall.

Williams will host the Illini Hoop Legends for Charity Dinner and Auction as well as a golf tournament the next day. Both events will feature well-known Illini basketball alumni with the focus of the event being on the 1989 team that advanced to the Final Four. With so many basketball legends in attendance, Illinois is certainly aiming to draw high-capacity donors to the events. Proceeds from the events will be split between the basketball program at Illinois and Williams’ local charities.

Stricker, in similar fashion, is working with his alma-mater to host the annual Stricker Illini Golf Classic. Like Williams, Stricker’s event will include a gala reception and auction in conjunction with the event in order to maximize the fundraising efforts. The tournament, which is so popular that it will certainly sell out, will have two waves of tee times, again offering many donors the opportunity to participate. All proceeds from Sticker’s event will benefit the Illini golf program.

Both of these events follow a successful formula: bring high-profile alumni back to campus, provide donors with first class experiences, combine the event with a dinner/auction, and make the event an annual staple in fundraising efforts.

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Stanford logoWith the fall sports season just around the corner, several athletics departments are generating excitement with football kick-off events. Dinners, auctions, and fall practices are all on the list of fun events for donors to attend in anticipation of the upcoming season. However, some schools take these events beyond football and embrace the other fall sports that many donors have a deep loyalty towards.

Stanford University: The Stanford volleyball team opened up their 2009 efforts with an open practice, chalk talk, and barbeque, all open to the public. While the practice and chalk talk (with head coach John Dunning) were free, the price to attend the barbeque was $20 per person with all proceeds benefiting Stanford volleyball.

Marquette University: The men’s and women’s soccer teams at Marquette are kicking off the 2009 with a soccer-themed Fan Fest. The event is free and will have skill stations, player autographs and photo opportunities. Food for the event will be provided by Qdoba. The players and coaches for each of the teams will be available to the fans for face-to-face interaction in a personal setting.

University of Northern Iowa: At the University of Northern Iowa the volleyball team is hosting a team golf outing with donors where all proceeds will benefit the volleyball program. Entry into the tournament is $40 per golfer includes green fees, prizes and special flag events. An after-tournament meal is also available to any donors that participate.

Many universities are realizing that fall kick-off events are not just limited to football, and that many supporters are incredibly loyal to other fall sports. In order to satisfy the needs of all donors, schools must consider how to cater to a variety of donors who follow all the university’s sports programs.

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DuelRivalries are one of the most compelling and exciting pieces of collegiate athletics, and several institutions have taken their rivalries to the next level. The University of Utah and Brigham Young University have instituted a tradition that has been mirrored by many others. An annual competition between the schools across all sports where the winner takes home the “Deseret First Duel Cup.” Each time the two schools play each other during the year, points are awarded to the winner and totaled at the end of the season. Only this competition goes one step further to directly involve their donors in the outcome of the competition.

The Deseret First Duel Golf Tournament is the first event each year in the competition, and plots the donors and members of the athletics department staff at each school against each other. This year, there will be 30 teams (60 total individuals) for each university that will engage in a “Ryder Cup” style tournament. The winner of the tournament receives points towards their school’s total and will raise their flag at the golf course for the remainder of the year.

This event highlights one of the very few ways a donor can physically compete for the university in a meaningful sporting event. At prices to play in the tournament over $100, not only does the event build pride among the donors and athletics staff, but it has the potential to raise money as well. If a reception dinner was held afterwards, the price to play in such an event could easily climb to a substantial number.

Athletics departments looking for new ways to invigorate their donor base and build pride among the department staff should look no further than this type of golf outing.

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