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Reel In Big Proceeds with a Fishing Tournament Fundraiser

Reel In Big Proceeds with a Fishing Tournament Fundraiser

A great way to attract fishing enthusiasts and raise valuable funds is by hosting a fishing tournament fundraiser. Tournaments can range from fishing for different species to kids tournaments to pro charity fishing events that attract anglers from around the country. It’s the perfect opportunity to get your community into the giving spirit, while creating an impact on a deserving charity.

Follow our simple guide on how to host a successful fishing tournament fundraiser and reel in big proceeds in the process.

What is a Fishing Tournament Fundraiser?

Fishing tournament fundraisers are charity events where anglers compete in catching the highest weighing fish in a given time. The participants can be individual fishermen or form groups to take part in the competition, where they win prizes for the heaviest catch of the day. These are great community fundraising events that often have the potential to pull in keen anglers from other regions.    

How to Host a Charity Fishing Tournament

A charity fishing fundraiser can be a great deal of fun, attracting fishing enthusiasts from all over the region or country. To ensure you pull it off successfully and create an unforgettable fishing event, it’s essential that you are organized in every aspect of your fundraiser.

To help you get started, we’ve compiled a seamless guide on how to organize a fishing tournament fundraiser in 6 simple steps.

1.   Get the Planning Team Together

Get the Planning Team Together

First things first, make sure you don’t try and go it alone when organizing your fishing tournament fundraiser. Take the time to gather a solid event planning committee that will handle the various planning tasks. Even if your organization is working with a professional nonprofit event planner, a committee is still needed to direct the planner’s activities. Determine your fundraising goals together and create a roadmap to get there.

When choosing your planning team members make sure to opt for people and volunteers with experience and contacts in the fishing field, as this will benefit your charity fishing tournament greatly. Don’t forget to start planning with plenty of time, preferably a year in advance. If you’re planning to make it a yearly fishing tournament fundraiser, consider starting 2 years in advance to get ahead.

2.   Fishing Tournament Logistics

Any event has it’s logistics, but this one is a big part of charity fishing tournaments. Take a look at a few crucial responsibilities that your event planning committee will need to undertake and a number of questions that you’ll need to ask.

Decide on Your Tournament Location

Will you decide to host your charity fishing tournament on a lake, at a reservoir, a river or stream, or even in the ocean?

Choose a Date and Time for the Fishing Tournament

Will your charity fishing tournament be on a Saturday, Sunday or an entire weekend event? Will the species of fish you’ll be fishing be spawning at the time of year you’re planning to hold your fundraiser? Be aware that some jurisdictions prohibit fishing for spawning fish in certain areas.

Familiarize Yourselves with the Venue’s Safety Rules, Boating Regulations, and Eligibility

It’s a wise idea to be in contact with officials in your jurisdiction’s fish and wildlife department and with the marina host at the tournament venue at all times during the event in the case of anything unforeseen happening.

Familiarize Yourselves with the Venue’s Safety Rules
  • Will there be any age restrictions?
  • How many anglers will be allowed per boat or team?
  • What are the boating and fishing regulations and jurisdiction in the location you plan to host your fishing tournament fundraiser?
  • Which permits and/or licenses need to be obtained?
  • Will life jackets be compulsory for all participants?
  • If participants are using their own boats, will they be liable for their own insurance?

Determine Which Species of Fish You’re Fishing

Will it be a single species of fish, a group of species or any game fish/sport fish that is available onsite at the charity fishing tournament?

Establish Your Charity Fishing Tournament Rules 

  • Which tackles and equipment can be used? How many rods will be allowed per person?
  • What are the rules regarding lures and bait?
  • What are the rules for transportation and release of the fish caught?
  • Where will the weighing take place and who will be in charge of that?
  • Make a list of agreements to establish fair sportsmanship and good conduct during the charity fishing tournament.

3.   Set a Budget and Fundraising Goals

Set a Budget and Fundraising Goals

Before you start organizing your fishing tournament fundraiser, it is vital to set clear fundraising goals by brainstorming both financial and non-financial aims. Bear in mind that you want to bring awareness to your cause, satisfy your supporter’s needs and reach or even exceed your goals.

Here are a few questions that might help you decide what direction you’ll take when planning your event:

  • What are you raising money for? Where will the funding go? A new library, medical equipment. It’s best to be specific here.
  • What is your target fundraising goal? You’ll need a fundraising budget to add in event planning costs.
  • What is your budget? Look for in-kind donations, but be realistic about upfront costs and how they will impact your fundraising event planning.
  • What are your non-financial goals? How do you want to boost audience levels and supporter engagement?

Don’t forget that when you are planning your budget, you need to consider the entrance fee for your charity fishing tournament. It’s important to price your event Price your event high enough to reach your goals but not be too expensive that people can’t afford to participate.

For more pro tips on creating a successful fundraiser check out our Ultimate Guide to Nonprofit Event Planning here.

4.   Create a Great Charity Fishing Tournament Website

It’s crucial to choose the best fundraising software to create an unforgettable and profitable fishing tournament fundraiser. The benefits of innovative and state-of-the-art fundraising software will boost your charity fishing campaign’s success greatly.  Here are just a few exciting features of our seamless fundraising software offer that will help you smash your fundraising goals:

  • Gamification tools like fundraising thermometers, virtual badges, and trophies
  • Mobile giving features like Text-To-Donate
  • Live Streaming

Don’t forget to keep in touch with donors through your personalized fundraising page and social media, providing important changes and updates to the upcoming event. Building strong relationships with your donors is an essential part of them returning year after year for future fundraisers.

Create a Great Charity Fishing Tournament Website

5.   Decide on Tournament Prizes and Look for Donations

Great prizes provide an inspiring incentive for your supporters to take part in your fundraising event. From luxury gifts such as boats to medium-level prizes such as fishing equipment and retail goods, to low budget giveaways such as gift certificates and gift baskets, they will all attract more participants to your fishing tournament fundraiser. Try to get as many gifts donated from local businesses, which will help defer some of your outgoing costs and offer valuable marketing for them.

Check out our guide on the Best 30+ Prize Ideas and How to Get Them Donated here.

6.   Recruit Great Event Sponsors for the Fishing Tournament

By reeling in corporate or community sponsors, you’re guaranteed to boost the success and outreach of your fishing tournament fundraiser. Sponsors help increase awareness of an event by promoting it to their employees and customers via social media, but, most importantly, they create a financial backbone by helping to offset event costs.

Companies seek a win-win relationship when investing in charity tournaments. So, explain exactly how sponsoring your charity event will provide value to the local businesses you are prospecting.

Recruit Great Event Sponsors for the Fishing Tournament

Look for companies that support your nonprofit’s mission statement and values and align well with the event you’re planning. For a charity fishing tournament, it would be great to attract sponsors from major sporting goods stores and fishing equipment manufacturers.

Here are some ideas on how to acknowledge your sponsors and thank them:

  • Highlight sponsors’ names and company logos on the event website.
  • Mention their product(s) or services on your fundraising website and social media.
  • Ask your sponsors if they would be willing to provide a gift voucher or gift basket, from their company, as a silent auction or raffle prize.

Check out our Killer Prize Donation Letter Template and Thank You Letter Template to get started.

7.   Promote your Charity Fishing Tournament Widely

Promote your Charity Fishing Tournament Widely

Promoting your fishing tournament fundraiser effectively is essential to achieving a successful campaign. If people don’t know about your charity event, no one will come! There are many ways, some of which are free or inexpensive, to create hype around your charity fishing event.

Here are just a few of our top ideas:  

  • Get online and use social media to advertise and promote your fishing tournament fundraiser. Set up a Facebook page and Instagram profile and start posting stories, photos, videos, and updates about your upcoming event to show your donors where they’ll be making an impact by supporting your cause. 
  • Advertise in fishing and sporting goods magazines. See if you can get your advertising spaces donated from the magazines in return for highlighting their company’s name and logo on your fundraising page.
  • Join social media groups for keen anglers and post your charity fishing tournament poster there.
  • Sell personalized merchandise on our free eCommerce stores beforehand and start to see people walking around advertising your event for free wearing t-shirts and basketball caps with the fishing tournament fundraiser’s logo on them.

Top Charity Fishing Tournament Ideas

Once you have everything in place to run a great charity fishing tournament, why not think about incorporating some extra events to raise money during the tournament? Consider adding a 50/50 Raffle or a silent or online auction to smash your fundraising goals and make a real impact on your community.

DoJiggy can help with our FREE fundraising websites!

Sarah Bender

About Sarah Bender

Originally from Surrey, UK, Sarah has worked remotely in various online fields for the last 8 years. Currently, she is focusing on writing blogs on online fundraising and special events for a UK audience. When she is not spending her days researching and writing, you can find her running around after her two highly active young sons which constitutes a serious workout program!

See other posts from Sarah Bender