Get Ready to Tee Off!

By: Katie MacKenzie, Project Coordinator

This year I had the privilege of attending a little golf tournament known as The Masters that takes place each year in Augusta, Georgia. For someone who is really not a sports person, I surprisingly really enjoy watching golf. I know. It’s weird.

The day that I attended this year was actually an official “practice round” day, so the true tournament had not yet started. But, going on a practice round day afforded me an opportunity to see something that I had never observed before at any golf tournament. While waiting at one particular hole for one of my favorite golfers to cycle through, I watched as one of the caddies, dressed in an all-white jumpsuit, sat on the green taking copious notes. He would move from one position to another, placing a marker down on the ground and then rolling three or four golf balls towards the marker. After each toss he would then jot down a few notes. This continued for about 10-15 minutes as he circled to various places around the green, and while it seems odd, I was quite fascinated by his process.

Maybe I’m slow on the uptake or maybe it is just because I’ve never been to a practice round to see the caddies do their work, but while observing this gentleman I realized that a caddy does so much more than just carry around a golf bag for their designated golfer. They go ahead of the golfer, preparing the green, conducting test runs of various scenarios, and doing as much background research as possible before the golfer ever tees off. Once their preparation and research is complete, they take their knowledge to the golfer so that he has the best chance of success for paring the hole or, hopefully, coming in under par – regardless of where the ball may land.

In fundraising, before we actually make the ‘ask’ or cultivate and solicit someone for a gift to our organization, we must first equip ourselves with the proper research and preparation. Like the caddy, we must determine what will be the most successful shot for a particular prospect or donor in order to ultimately get the ball in the hole.  Sometimes our ‘asks’ may land in a favorable position right on the green, and other times they may land in a trap or in another unfavorable condition. But, like the caddy with his detailed knowledge, and with the proper strategy in place regardless of our circumstances, we just need to regroup, rethink, and determine the next course of action to make sure that our ball goes in the hole with the greatest chance of success.

So do your research, work as a team, take the knowledge you have gathered and get ready to tee off!