Increased tournament revenues and a matching grant from the John Deere Foundation allowed a double bonus on collected pledges among 464 charities in the Quad Cities (Illinois and Iowa) region. It was the second straight year that the event raised more than $6 million.
The 2013 John Deere Classic helped to raise a total of $6.32 million for 464 local and regional charities in the Quad Cities region of Illinois and Iowa, tournament officials announced last week at the John Deere Pavilion in downtown Moline, Ill.
A combination of increased tournament revenues and a matching grant of $250,000 to the Birdies for Charity Bonus Fund from the John Deere Foundation enabled the tournament to provide each participating charity a 10 percent bonus on the pledges collected—double the promised five percent. So a charity that raised $10,000 via the Birdies pledge program will receive an additional 10 percent, or $1,000, for a total of $11,000.
It was the second consecutive year the tournament helped to raise more than $6 million, officials noted. The 2013 total brought the total amount of charitable contributions provided to the community since the PGA TOUR first began its annual run in the Quad Cities in 1971 to more than $56.12 million
“For a tournament located in a community our size to be able to raise more than $6 million for charity two years in a row is an achievement everyone associated with the tournament can be proud of,” said Clair Peterson, Tournament Director of the John Deere Classic. “The final total of $6.32 million reflects the generous character of Quad Cities residents and that of our title sponsor, John Deere, without whom none of this would be possible. On behalf of all 464 charities, thank you.”
More than 20,000 local businesses and individuals donated to the Birdies program, it was noted. Following the announcement, officials distributed checks to charity representatives and members of the tournament’s Board of Directors personally delivered some checks to various charities. The balance of the checks will be mailed.
PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem expressed his admiration for the John Deere Classic, which is number-one among regular PGA Tour events in the amount of charitable contributions raised per capita, based on the Quad Cities region population of 375,000. This year’s charitable total of $6.32 million works out to $16.85 for each of the people living in the Quad Cities area. In addition, despite the Quad Cities’ comparatively small population, the John Deere Classic consistently ranks among the top five on the Tour in total charitable giving.
“The PGA TOUR would like to congratulate the John Deere Classic on another tremendous year of charitable giving in the Quad Cities,” Finchem said. “Everyone associated with the event—Deere &Company and other corporate sponsors, tournament staff and volunteers, and the fans who support the Tournament—are to be commended for their efforts in helping those in need.”
The total amount donated to the charities resulted from a highly efficient, three-pronged fundraising effort, tournament officials said:
• The tournament’s Birdies for Charity program enables individuals, companies, and foundations to pledge to a charity or charities of their choice, either for a minimum of one cent for each birdie recorded at the tournament from Wednesday through Sunday, or through a lump-sum donation. At this year’s tournament, 2,142 birdies were made.
• Because John Deere underwrites the administrative costs of the Birdies program, 100 percent of each Birdies pledge collected goes to each charity’s core mission rather than towards administrative, operational, or fundraising activities. Such costs typically range from three to four percent or more of revenue, officials noted.
• The Bonus pool consists of tournament revenues, direct donations and proceeds from special events. Each year, the John Deere Classic promises a minimum bonus of five percent with the understanding that a larger bonus will be paid, if possible, as it was this year.
“Every year, John Deere proves what an outstanding corporate citizen it is, and this year they ‘doubled down’ on that concept,” said Kristy Ketcham-Jackson, Director of the Birdies for Charity program. “Residents of the Quad Cities are fortunate to live in a community where the leading corporation also has a conscience,” Ketcham-Jackson added.
This year, Select Chevy dealers from the Quad Cities region provided a new car as a prize incentive to attract pledges to Birdies for Charity organizations. “Birdies for Charity is extremely grateful that this group of local Chevrolet dealers has made such a strong commitment to our program and to the hundreds of charities we serve in the Quad Cities and neighboring communities,” said Ketcham-Jackson. “The opportunity for Birdies for Charity donors to win a new Chevy adds an extra element of fun and excitement to the pledge drive and to tournament week itself.”
In 2013, Jordan Spieth won a five-hole, three-man, sudden death playoff to record his first PGA TOUR victory at the John Deere Classic, and earn an exemption to the British Open. Spieth went on to win PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year honors, finish seventh in the FedEx Cup race and earn two points as a first-time member of the Presidents Cup team.