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Reach Your Fundraising Goals with a Cornhole Tournament Fundraiser

Reach Your Fundraising Goals with a Cornhole Tournament Fundraiser

Cornhole is a popular pastime in Southern Ohio and Kentucky. The game also goes by the monikers of bean bags, corn toss, Indiana horseshoes, and soft horseshoes. The game has a history extending back over a century in Kentucky, but it originated in Germany in the 14th century.

Cornhole is a fun game for the entire family and people of all ages. Players use wooden boxes known as “cornhole platforms” and throw soft corn bags at them. It’s very similar to horseshoes

The game continues until a player reaches a total score of 21, making them the winner. Tossing a corn bag on the platform is one point, and tossing it in the hole is three points. The game has a fast pace, and the lead can change several times during the match. Most events feature a tournament-style setup between teams or individuals. 

Cornhole makes a great fundraiser. It’s a fun day out and suitable for indoor or outdoor locations. There’s no limit on skill, gender, or age, making it accessible to anyone. Nonprofit organizations can benefit from hosting a cornhole fundraiser, using it to boost their annual revenue collection and goals. 

Planning Your Cornhole Tournament Fundraiser

Setting Objectives & Goals for Your Fundraising Event

What are your fundraising goals for your tournament? Consider your fundraising activities for the year and how much you can expect to earn from each event. Your cornhole fundraiser should contribute to that overall target and make it worthwhile to host the event.

After calculating your target, take your average ticket sale amount and work it into your fundraising goal to see how many tickets you need to sell to make your cornhole fundraiser a success. Create a revenue thermometer or pie chart to track your progress to reaching your goal before and during the tournament.

Choosing a Date and Venue for the Tournament

It’s best to host your cornhole fundraiser during the spring, summer, or fall when the weather is warm. Since it’s an outdoor event, plan it for the drier times of the year to ensure it doesn't get rained on, ruin the day, or postpone the tournament. 

Review your event calendar and look for the slow times in your fundraising schedule. Hosting a cornhole tournament is a great addition to a fall festival. You’ll need a large event space for the tournament, but you don't have to pay for the venue if your organization is low on funds to execute the event. 

Hosting a cornhole fundraiser at a beach, park, school campus, church, or parking lot saves you on venue costs, lowering your event expenses. If you have the budget to rent a venue, consider the following spaces for your tournament. 

  • Convention centers.
  • Town halls.
  • Community centers.

Hosting the event at a restaurant or bar allows you to leverage the facilities, offering attendees food and beverages without relying on sourcing these facilities yourself. 

Establishing Budget & Fundraising Goals For Cornhole Tournaments

You’ll need to establish a budget for your tournament to ensure it's profitable for your organization and achieves your fundraising goals. Accurate forecasting of your event expenses is critical to ensure successful cornhole tournaments that drive revenue to your organization. 

Consider the venue costs and permits required for hosting the tournament. The biggest expenses involved with the event will be the venue costs and renting or buying the cornhole sets. You’ll need to have the budget to accommodate the purchase of food and drinks and how much markup you need to add to make the venture profitable.

Promoting Your Cornhole Event to Achieve Your Fundraising Goals

Creating a Marketing Plan for Your Cornhole Fundraiser

You’ll need to market your fundraising event to make it a success. The tournament needs people at the event to help you raise funds, so it’s useless if no one knows about it. Your marketing activities should include the following strategies to optimize your reach into the local community and drive attendance and sponsorship opportunities. 

  • Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
  • Drip email marketing campaigns.
  • Word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Flyers to hand out at local locations.
  • Radio and local newspaper ads.
  • Press releases in local publications.

It’s important to start your marketing campaign well in advance of the tournament date. We recommend starting at least four to six weeks out to raise enough awareness in the community to boost ticket sales and sponsor commitments. 

Utilizing Social Media Platforms & Designing Promotional Materials for Your Cornhole Tournament

Social media and email campaigns are the most effective tools for marketing your tournament to the local community. Use a free design site like Canva to create your marketing materials. There are dozens of free templates on the site to help you create impressive flyers and promotional materials for your tournament. 

The tournament's success relies on the presentation and appeal of your marketing materials. Keep the design clean and stick to the important information. Mention the venue, the date, the length of the tournament, and how to purchase tickets. 

Social Media platforms like Facebook come with built-in fundraising tools to promote your event and extend your reach. Start six weeks out from the tournament date and monitor ticket sales. If you need to boost sales, consider investing in a paid advertising campaign on Facebook to extend your reach. 

Partnering with Local Businesses and Organizations for Tournaments

Planning and running a cornhole tournament costs money. To reduce your fundraising expenses, consider partnering with local businesses and corporations. Your sponsors can donate equipment, volunteers, or money to help you cover costs. 

Reach out to other nonprofits and see if they want to collaborate. You can offer logo placements on your marketing materials or boards at the event to promote their brand and spread awareness of their business or organization within the local community. 

Branding opportunities cost businesses thousands of dollars every year. Offer sponsorship tiers to corporations, local businesses, and other nonprofits that suit their budget, drive sponsor engagement with your tournament, and raise more money to cover your expenses.

Registration and Participant Engagement for Your Fundraiser

Setting Registration Fees for Cornhole Participants

Registration of cornhole tournament participants can be done before or on the day. Nonprofits will charge a registration fee for individual players and teams. You can offer a discount for team signups. The average cost of a single-ticket entry is $20 and $40 for teams. You can charge $5 for audience tickets.

To boost revenue, give your participants the chance to make an extra donation on top of their ticket purchase. You can show the tax-deductible amount on the ticket to encourage participants to purchase a higher-tier ticket. Ensure you collect the donor's information to add to your database for post-fundraising opportunities. 

Online Registration Process on Your Fundraising Platform

PayBee allows you to set up an online registration form for your cornhole fundraiser. Create a ticketing form and sell tickets for players, teams, and the audience. PayBee offers nonprofits several features to raise funds and build strong donor relationships. 

  • Automatic ticket receipts.
  • Tickets displaying tax-deductible amounts.
  • Options for adding extra donations on top of the ticket price.
  • Set limits for ticket sales.
  • Collection of donor data.

You get an intuitive ticket creation platform with options for a custom ticket design theme. Connect people to the ticketing and events pages using automated QR code generation for your cornhole tournament fundraiser. 

Providing Participant Information Packets

After completing their ticket purchase, the attendees can download an information packet on the day's events. It can include match schedules and the layout of the event, including toilets, the food court, and audience seating. 

Encouraging Team Sign-ups and Sponsorships

Your event marketing should encourage teams to sign up for your tournament fundraiser. You’ll need to reach out to sponsors with an information packet on the benefits they receive for sponsoring your event, showing them the value of their commitment to your fundraising initiative.

Tournament Logistics and Setup

Equipment Needed for the Cornhole Fundraiser

You’ll need the following equipment for your cornhole tournament fundraiser. 

  • Cornhole boards. 
  • Professional, ACL-approved cornhole bags.
  • Pitch pads.
  • Scoreboards.

You’ll also need equipment for setting up the scoring towers and judging areas. Rent the chairs and tables you need for the event, or look for a sponsor to donate the equipment.

Cornhole is a popular pastime. You might find the equipment you need at a local hire shop. If there is nothing available to rent, you’ll need to purchase cornhole kits before the event to ensure you have the right equipment on the day. 

Organizations that need to purchase equipment should consider finding sponsors to fund the costs of the equipment. You can find cornhole kits available on websites. Ensure you leave enough time for delivery of the equipment before the event.  

Setting Up Cornhole Courts & Scoring Towers

Complete the setup of the courts and scoring towers before opening the gates and letting in the attendees. Ensure you have all the equipment you need for the event the day before to ensure nothing goes wrong on the day. 

It takes a significant amount of time to set up the scoring towers and cornhole courts. If you’re opening the gates at 9 AM, you’ll need to have your volunteers on-site at 5 AM to set everything up. It’s prudent to complete the set up the day before the event if the venue allows it. Delays in your setup on the day create a negative visitor experience.

Organizing Teams & Match Schedules

Attendees can organize teams before the event day and register online to participate in the fun on the day. Some people may arrive without a team and require assimilation into a team of other people. Your volunteers can assist them with finding the right team to match their age group.

Plan the match schedule well in advance. Consider the time it takes for the average game and provide leeway between matches for cleanup and resetting the court. You’ll need a head organizer to ensure everything stays on track and the games don’t fall behind schedule. 

Recruiting Volunteers for Your Cornhole Fundraiser

Volunteers are essential to ensure the smooth operation and management of your fundraising cornhole tournament. Some will need to understand the game, while others don't need any experience in the pastime to help out. 

Volunteers are necessary for managing and running the food court, judging the games, helping people with equipment, clearing the cornhole court after every match, and ensuring participants understand the time of their game. The volunteers will host your raffles and silent auctions. They welcome people to the event and ensure everything goes to plan to avoid problems. 

Running the Cornhole Tournament

Welcoming Participants

Your volunteers can welcome visitors to your cornhole tournament fundraiser at the gate and hand out schedules for the day's activities. Hire an emcee that hosts the event and welcomes participants as they arrive. 

Give everyone enough time to get to the event location and walk around to familiarize themselves with the area before starting the tournament. Wait around an hour after opening the gates before starting the event and kicking off the action for the day. 

Some people will have a delay in getting to the location; they might have something holding them up, and they don't want to miss out on anything. 

Managing Tournament Schedule

Your tournament fundraiser needs to run like clockwork. There should be no delays between games; every game should start on time. Failure to launch the game on time creates a backlog, affecting the user experience. 

Create a tournament schedule for the day and send it to players at registration. This virtual document is great for keeping things organized on the day. You can print off physical copies and give them out to players who register on the day of the fundraiser or before playing. 

PayBee has tools to help you create your tournament schedule and automatically deliver it to every attendee as they register online. Design a simple app to showcase the schedule and deliver results in real time as the day progresses. 

Scoring and Rules Enforcement

You’ll need volunteers to help you run the cornhole tournament. They should have the experience necessary to judge the event and uphold the rules. Your judges don’t need to be league players, but they should understand how the game works and how to score it.

Scoring the game correctly is important to the player experience. If they get it wrong, it could cause conflict with the players, ruining their experience. Provide a scoreboard that tracks the game. Make it simple for judges to run the gameplay and keep their eye on things by building a custom scoring tower. 

Providing Refreshments & Entertainment

Everyone needs food and something to drink at the event. Speak to local businesses and restaurants about sponsoring a food court at your fundraising event. Offer sodas and quick food like hotdogs and burgers. Give the kids a sweet treat with candy floss stations, and don’t forget the popcorn stand! Hire volunteers to run the refreshment and food stalls and save on labor costs.

Strategically place your food court to make it easy for attendees to get to it. Food courts can significantly boost revenues at your tournament fundraiser and help organizers reach and exceed their revenue targets. Sponsors are critical in this regard. For instance, a local supermarket might donate sodas, hotdogs, burger patties, and fresh rolls. 

A local catering company might sponsor a cooking station to make the food. Don’t hesitate to reach out to sponsors for assistance. Many companies get tax write-offs for their Corporate Social Responsibility programs. You don’t always need monetary donations; equipment and services are excellent sponsorships that add value to your tournament fundraiser results.

Fundraising Strategies During the Event to Raise More Money

Raffle Prizes and Silent Auctions

Raffles and silent auctions are great ways to raise more funds during the day's events. You could raffle off cornhole accessories, custom cornhole memorabilia, or other prizes like bicycles, gift cards, and high-value items like dinners at a local restaurant sponsor to drive more income at your fundraiser. 

Sponsorship Recognition

Sponsors help you reduce the costs of your logistics, promotion, and marketing expenses for your cornhole tournament fundraiser. So, they deserve special recognition on the day to ensure they feel they got value from sponsoring the event. 

Hire an emcee to host the event and have them thank the sponsors periodically as they make announcements during the event. Add the sponsor logos and basic information to the marketing materials and let the sponsors promote their branding at the event.

Donation Stations & Fundraising Challenges

Set up donation stations at your cornhole tournament fundraiser to drive more revenue from generous donors. Many people want to give to your cause but might not play in the tournament or feel like entering your raffles or silent auctions. Give them a conduit to make a contribution. 

Set up an online platform using PayBee to accept donations before and during the cornhole event. You can create a mobile app for the day that attendees use to get information on match schedules and activities. The app can feature a portal allowing people to make a donation at any time. 

Post-Tournament Activities and Follow-up

Thanking Participants and Sponsors

Your sponsors are critical to the success of your cornhole tournament and fundraising activities. So, don't forget to thank them. Use an automated platform like PayBee to issue thank you emails to your sponsors. Give them the opportunity to contact you with their thoughts on how you can improve.

The participants are the lifeblood of the event. Ensure you thank them using the same strategy as your sponsors. However, personalize the emails using your PayBee platform and take a less formal tone.

Assessing Fundraising Success

Organizers can assess the success of the event through several factors. Did you reach your fundraising goal? Did you raise the money you needed for your mission and charity activities? Did donors donate during the event or online before or after the fundraiser?

Did everyone playing in the event have a good time? Did your sponsors feel they got value from supporting your cornhole fundraiser? Did you provide an experience that attendees can talk about on social media to share the fun they had on the day? 

Sharing Event Highlights on Social Media

Social media offers the ideal platform for sharing the fun of the event with the world. It’s a great way to engage people who didn't make it on the day and prepare them for future events. Platforms like Twitter are great for sharing live commentary on the event's results and actions.

Instagram and Facebook make great platforms for sharing post-event highlights with the community. Show images of players winning their game and the winners of raffle prizes and silent auctions at the event to drive engagement online. 

Soliciting Feedback for Future Events

Feedback from participants is crucial to let event organizers know where they went wrong and what they did right on the day. Organizers can use automated software solutions and platforms like PayBee to contact attendees with a post-event survey. 

The organizer should consider the survey. They should ask questions about how they could improve the next event and ask for an overall rating of the attendees' experience. The organizer should make every effort to ensure the attendees have a great experience at the cornhole fundraiser and ensure a fun time for everyone.

FAQs Cornhole Tournament Fuindraiser

Q: How do I register for the cornhole tournament fundraiser?

A: The host of the event will set up an online platform for registration before the event and there will be volunteers to register players on the day and collect entry fees. 

Q: What are the rules for participating in a cornhole tournament fundraiser?

A: The organizer will clearly communicate the rules to the players and teams before and on the day of the event before the start of the games.

Q: Can I bring my own cornhole set to the tournament?

A: The host provides the cornhole boards, bags, and equipment on the day. You can bring your own equipment, but depending on the rules, you might not be able to use it. 

Q: Are there age restrictions for participating in the tournament?

A: No. There are categories for players of all ages, and there will be opportunities for kids, teens, and adults to join in the fun on the day. 

Q: How can I sponsor the cornhole tournament fundraiser?

A: Contact the organizer through their website or social media accounts to discuss sponsorship opportunities. It’s a community event, so sponsors can be local businesses or corporations invested in engagement with local organizations and communities. 

Q: Will there be food and drinks available at the event?

A: Of course! The event will feature refreshments, food, and entertainment. Not everyone attending will play in the tournament; some will just be spectators. Everyone needs something to eat and drink during the day.

Q: What prizes are available for winners of the tournament?

A: Winners usually receive merchandise as prizes. These could be donated or supplied by local businesses. Gift cards and food vouchers to use at the event are also options.

Q: Can I volunteer to help with the tournament organization?

A: Yes! Volunteers are vital to optimal tournament facilitation and a successful event. Most nonprofits have volunteer programs you can sign up for on their official website or social media pages.

Q: How can I stay updated on the tournament schedule and results?

A: Organizers can run live updates through their X account, providing attendees with the live schedule for cornhole games and results directly from the scoring towers.

Q: Can I still donate to the fundraiser if I can't attend the event?

A: Sure. Nonprofits can set up portals on their online fundraising platform, allowing people who can't attend the cornhole tournament to donate to the organization.

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