In Siem Reap, Cambodia, numerous NGOs, community organizations, and nonprofits are providing services in the region. Consequently, there are always an exhaustive number of events and fundraisers occurring year-round that overlap with each other. While we believe that events are an important opportunity for us to raise awareness of PEPY’s work and expand our reach in Cambodia, we want to make sure we are offering events that are unique from other organizations.
One of our fundraising objectives over the next two years is to identify at least two signature events per year that help us connect to potential funders, network in the Southeast Asia region, and give us the chance to improve our skills in event planning, marketing, and management. With the support of our board member, Michael Papi, we decided to organize a golf tournament, an event we have never seen an NGO in our region attempt to do before.
In Cambodia, golfing is expensive and cost prohibitive for many of our current participants and alumni. Through this event, we planned to reach individuals new to PEPY, including government officials, corporate leaders, and ex-patriots. To make this event possible, we enlisted the help of Angkor Golf Resort and our event sponsor, IPS Cambodia, a real estate company with leaders who have connections in the golfing community.
We received prizes for the tournament from:
Additionally, our team connected with hotels, restaurants, and local companies to organize a coupon book for all the players during the weekend of March 4th. This was our first major outreach effort post the pandemic, and many new companies have opened this past year. This gave us a chance to meet with many new business owners and reconnect with some of our old friends. We are pleased with the many new friendships and partnerships we were able to establish through the preparation of the event.
By the end of our tournament, our team identified new potential donors, got the opportunity to practice our public speaking skills, and met with some incredible leaders that could participate as speakers and mentors in our programs. Overall, our team feels very optimistic about the event!
However, PUTT for PEPY was not without its challenges. We were not able to reach our target number of players for the event due to our limited connections in the golfing community and an emergency that forced us to change the initial event date. At first, we felt discouraged but wanted to make the most of the event and ensure that all the players had a great time.
Our new Executive Director and our team members spent time getting to know each event attendee and focused on being engaging hosts. As a result, we received a substantial donation from one of the players and received an offer from IPS Cambodia to partner with us to support our student’s professional development.
Without PUTT for PEPY, these new opportunities may never have presented themselves! In the future, we plan to continue working with Angkor Golf Resort and IPS to see if a 2nd PUTT for PEPY tournament will be possible and if we can assemble a panel of golfers to help us with recruitment. We would like to market the event in multiple countries and grow it into a massive tournament in the future.
For now, we would like to thank everyone who took part in the tournament and for helping us try an event completely out of our comfort zone. We have learned so much, are now more emboldened to try new things as an organization, and are looking forward to supporting the young people in our programs with our new community partners.