Date: December 05, 2016
Author: Paul Vardy

Club fundraising projects on the rise

More golf clubs are taking advantage of the Australian Sports Foundation’s unique tax deductible status to raise funds for a range of projects.

The new financial year has seen 30 new golf projects registered in five months across the country with fundraising targets ranging from $10,000 to $5 million.

In 2015-16, the Sports Foundation raised a record $32 million for sport via tax deductible donations, with golf bodies raising $6.6 million from 125 projects to be ranked third behind AFL ($8.5 million) and multi-sport organisations ($6.9 million) in funds raised.

“Golf has been one of the Sports Foundation’s most successful fundraising sports and more organisations within golf are recognising its importance as a revenue source,” said Sports Foundation Chief Executive, Patrick Walker.

“The beneficiaries of this amazing generosity are the countless numbers of boys and girls, men and women of all ages who are enjoying greater participation opportunities, improved facilities and equipment,” he added.

Marcia Wallis, who heads the Sports Foundation’s golf program, said clubs can raise money for a wide range of programs.

“For example, capital works projects and training programs are expensive to operate and if membership levels are declining, then clubs need to look at alternative revenue sources other than raising fees – and tax deductible fundraising projects in partnership with the Sports Foundation is one answer that should be explored,” she said.

“Headland Golf Club, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, has established a $5 million Future Fund for large scale intergenerational projects. Monies raised will be carefully invested and spent on large scale club projects when required,” she added.

Lancelin Golf Club, 140km north Perth, is looking to raise $100,000 to achieve its dream of a fully irrigated course with grass green instead of sand greens.

“We take grass greens for granted, but several clubs, particularly in regional or rural areas, are unable to provide grass greens for a variety of reasons,” she Wallis.

“The dream for a green golf course at Lancelin started in 2008 when a feasibility study was undertaken that showed a staged programme for our irrigation was possible.

In 2012, holes 10-18 were irrigated and in 2015 the remodelling of the tee boxes and green surrounds commenced. Late last year, club volunteers laid the first grass green which was followed by another eight greens last July,” she added.

On Sydney’s northern beaches, Cromer Golf Club is seeking to raise $250,000 to fast-track course improvements, including the upgrade of the bunker infrastructure and landscaping.

Elsewhere in Sydney, Roseville Golf Club is aiming to resource a junior and cadet teaching and development program and facility involving a structured teaching program. This includes teaching facilities, scholarships for promising young players, assistance with competition fees, travel expenses, specialised professional coaching, equipment purchase and sports science expertise.  

Walker said the potential for fundraising in golf is significant.

“The Australian philanthropic market is estimated at $2.5 billion, so sport as a whole is tapping into just over one per cent of this market,” said Walker.

“Golf attracts a more affluent income sector. Many club members have available disposable income to make a tax deductible donation for club-related projects.

“These new projects are just a small sample of the type of tax deductible fundraising projects available to clubs,” he said.

“Golf clubs typically rely on membership fees to operate the club and maintain the course and player facilities.

“Rather than introducing special levies on members, which can be unpopular, clubs can register tax deductible fundraising projects with us”, he added. “These can appeal to both members and a broader section of the community who may want to support improved local facilities.”

Golf clubs can offer donors a tax deduction by registered their fundraising projects with the Sports Foundation at