Auctions and Raffles “The Number 2 Big Money Makers”

By Phil Immordino

If you are wondering how some groups are raising $100,000 to $300,000 with their golf tournaments, it is because of their auctions and raffles. It is very hard to make that kind of money with a golf tournament alone. Unless you have a Pro-Am or Celebrity Am with major sponsors and/or television, it is very difficult to raise big money. Auctions and raffles are the key to getting there. In many cases auctions and/or raffles will make more money than the golf tournament if they are done right.

Why Auctions With Golf Tournaments?
I know that auctions are very popular and many groups will host their auction with other functions. So why have an auction with your golf tournament? The main reason is that it gives men the opportunity to shop. You see, men don’t shop. They definitely don’t shop for sports memorabilia. Auctions give men the opportunity to buy stuff that they would not normally buy.

Plus auctions are a great mixer and time filler. You see many of your golfers will finish their rounds earlier than others. By hosting an auction you will give your golfers something to do so they won’t leave early and they will get a chance to mingle and get to know each other.

Most importantly auctions can generate big money. Handled properly you can take your event to the next level and raise major funds.

Acquiring Auction Items
The key to big money with auctions is big items. It is important to have many smaller items to fit everyone’s budget but the key is getting big items that people want. Some of the popular auction items include: sports memorabilia, trips, appliances, jewelry and rounds of golf. There are 4 main ways to get items for your auction.

#1. Get Items Donated. Obtaining items for your auctions is just like selling sponsors. You must contact companies that know you and/or have a passion for what your organization is trying to accomplish. You must offer these companies something in exchange. They all want more business, so if there is a way that you can offer them additional business, exposure and marketing, they are more likely to give you bigger and better stuff. Just remember that they get many requests every week.

#2. Buy Them. You can buy items at wholesale and sell them at retail and double your money. Many manufactures will sell you items from their warehouse and just need to cover their cost. But remember you must have a good cause.

#3. Packaging. Putting separate items together in packages. They have more value. For example if you get hotel rooms and golf donated, buy an airline ticket and put them together in a package. It will sell for more.

#4. Auction Companies. There are now companies that will give you sports memorabilia on consignment. This is at no risk to you. They will ship it to you at no charge. There will be a minimum bid on the item. Whatever money you get over the minimum bid, you will get to keep. This is a win-win for you. There is no risk. If you don’t sell it you just send it back.

The key to successful auctions is good items. Take the time to make your auction a priority. Have an auction chairman that focuses on the auction and makes it successful.

Tips to Remember
Having great items for your auction is the beginning, but there are a few things to remember to ensure your success. When doing an auction keep in mind these helpful tips.

Start in advance – Post your auction on your web site and promote it to others. Non-golfers may bid and win.

Have a professional auctioneer – They make the evening fun.

Accept credit cards – People will spend more.

Collect money that night if possible – Hard to collect after.

Get buyers contact information – Follow up with thank you letters.

Don’t have too many small and unwanted items – People will get bored.

Serve cocktails and food during silent auction – They will mingle and spend more.

End the evening with a live auction with the most valuable items – People will stay for the whole evening.

100 items or more bring in an auction company – They will pay for themselves with the time you will save.

Invite other people – Others would love to participate in your auction if you invite them to come.

Auctions can add a whole new dimension to your event. They are fun and your participants will love them if they are organized and the items are worth bidding. Take your event to the next level with auctions.


What is a Raffle?
“A means of raising money by selling numbered tickets, one or some of which are subsequently drawn at random, the holder or holders of such tickets winning a prize”. Okay so we all know that. So how can we make the most amount of money when producing one with our golf tournament? Let’s take a closer look.

Why a Raffle and Golf Tournament?
Raffles go great with golf tournaments because they add an additional element to the event that raises more money, adds excitement and makes more winners. Raffles can be big fundraisers. The more items that you have, combined with the value of those items plus the number of people buying them equals big money. We have seen groups make $100,000 and more with the right program.

What are the key steps?
1. Define the purpose for your event and cause
2. Check state laws in regards to lottery’s
3. Inform the committee of the details
4. Put together a time line and goals
5. Contact online service to sell more tickets
6. Start gathering prizes
7. Promote the raffle on your website and blast emails to golfers
8. Purchase the tickets with numbers and a place for contact information
9. Draw most of the numbers while golfers are playing
10. Draw for the 3 to 5 big items at the end of the awards ceremony

Types of Prizes
Use items that are less than $50 in value. Save the higher ticket items for the auction. Some great ideas for prizes are golf, dinners, gift certificates, tickets to sporting events, golf merchandise, services, etc. The main objective is that most people walk away with something.

Best Way to Sell More Tickets
There is a new online service that has proven to triple sales. It is called It allows your participants to buy tickets on their mobile phone.

Unique Ideas
Instead of printed tickets, sell numbered golf balls. There is a company called Ball Dropper ( that has a program to help you sell numbered balls and then drops them from a helicopter. It is unique and fun.

Helpful Ideas
• You can sell raffle tickets for $5 to $20 if you have a big grand prize
• You can host a 50/50 where purchasers can win cash ½ of the pot and the other ½ goes to the charity
• Sell tickets in advance on the website, list all of the items
• Blast email your whole database
• Let people buy tickets in advance
• Have fun bubbly people selling tickets during golf and the awards ceremony
• Include raffle tickets in the Super Ticket

Auctions and raffles are your key to adding some serious profits to the bottom line of your tournament and being able to write that big check for your charity. Creativity goes a long way in the items and ways that you market your items and involve more people in the opportunity to bid and purchase tickets.

Good luck with your next golf tournament auction and raffle and remember to contact us at GTAA for any questions we can help you with.