Calling All Course Baggers


Par Member
Premium Member
Apr 5, 2020
Sorry for the attention seeking thread title, but I'm glad you're here.

I'm helping with a campaign to build a new course in my area in Indianapolis, IN. Our campaign was accepted into a State-organized grant matching program called CreatINg Places. The program provides matching grant $ to Indiana projects that revitalize existing public spaces or create new ones, but the projects must first successfully crowdfund a sum (the "goal") in a 60-day campaign time period to receive the grant $ match. We are using an online crowdfunding platform called "Patronicity" to collect donations. We set our goal sum at $12,000, and our campaign ends soon on 1/21/2023.

As of this writing, we have successfully fundraised more than our goal amount, about ~ $14,500/$12,000, which means that we have qualified to receive the matching grant $ from the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority (IHCDA). We have a few days left in the campaign time period, however, so I thought I'd solicit a bit here. We are hoping to use the success of this campaign to lobby other organizations (namely, the disc-golf-averse Indy Parks department) to establish disc golf courses on their properties. Some non-local donors to the campaign might could look nice.

Here's the proposition: donate to our campaign and get your name (or any name/organization that you want to represent) on the course Welcome/Facility Map/Thank You sign. Then, after the facility opens, bag the course and admire your name. If you care about such sign-based recognition, you must choose the "Birdie Club" ($25), "Eagle Club" ($50), or "Ace Club" ($75) donor level on the campaign page and enter the Name that you would like displayed on the sign. If you want to contribute but do not care about the name-on-sign stuff, select the "Give $3 or more" donor level.

The project will be audited by the grant-giving organization (IHCDA), so you can expect your $ to be well-spent. We have 18 months after the fundraising campaign ends to complete the project, but we hope to open the facility in November 2023 with (at least) 18 baskets and tee pads available for play.

Course design is targeting ~ intermediate skill. Not a lot of distance (maybe ~ 285 ft. hole avg.), but we expect some of the green designs/ basket placements to add strokes. Course will be well-wooded, and there will be a good amount of elevation in play (for Central Indiana). There's a small creek on the property, too, that will add some water/OB danger on several holes. Primary course design by Indiana HOF-er Jerry Suiter (who's active on the course directory part of this site as indydiscgolfer).

Thanks for reading/considering. Feel free to ask questions.
Here's a picture of planned Hole # 3 taken yesterday about halfway down the fairway. We're almost done with initial cutting & invasive species removal for this hole.

Image weblink:


Here's a series of aerial images taken of the property:

Image weblink:

very cool, congrats! best of luck with the course installation
I'm curious how this is shaping up? With your campaign being accepted into the grant program, does that mean you had $30k to use on the course?

I'm really interested in the progress of everything.
I'm curious how this is shaping up? With your campaign being accepted into the grant program, does that mean you had $30k to use on the course?

I'm really interested in the progress of everything.

Hey thanks for the interest. My apologies for the response delay – been on a bit of a site-hiatus since the days leading up to the makeover because I am a curmudgeon.

The Platform

First, some background on the fundraising mechanism: Patronicity is an online fundraising platform that combines crowdfunding with grant seeking. It has developed formal partnerships with a handful of granting organizations and provides several administrative services in exchange for a fee (probably a % of the grant amount). These services include initial applicant vetting, relationship management, and disbursement of funds. Qualification guidelines vary per grant partner, but projects are generally oriented toward creating or improving community spaces, and applicants must be a federally tax-exempt nonprofit organization (or, must find one willing to accept project responsibility as fiscal sponsor and sign the grant agreement + receive funds).

Applicants are assigned a relationship manager and should expect to exchange a few email/phone communications with them during initial vetting. If the project sounds like it could be a fit, you’ll submit a more formal application with details like project plan, impact, budget, timeline etc. Patronicity sends to the grant partner and, if approved, you’ll be greenlit to begin the crowdfunding campaign. Campaigns have a maximum period of 60 days to raise the goal amount set in the grant application, and the grant match is generally dependent on meeting this goal within this period (varies by grant partner, though). The prospect of receiving matching grant $ attracts users to Patronicity’s platform, and the outcome of the crowdfunding campaign serves as shorthand for demand for and/or quality of projects vying for grant $.

The Funds

After being approved by the grant partner, raising the goal amount during the crowdfunding campaign period is the criteria for receiving the grant match. Campaigns can raise more than the goal amount, but the grant match is still for the goal amount. Campaigns that do not meet their goal amount in time generally do not receive a grant match. However, campaigns may still receive crowdfunds depending on the campaign type chosen (All-or-Nothing vs. Keep-it-All – impacts whether donor credit cards are merely authorized or authorized & processed).

Price-setting for your goal amount can be a significant decision, based upon both estimated project cost and fundraising ability. For our goal amount, we waffled between $10K & $15K before deciding to split the difference on the safe side at $12K. We raised ~ $15K during the 60-day campaign period (11/23/22-1/23/23) and qualified for the $12K matching grant from the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority’s CreatINg Places program.

In exchange for their services of webhosting + processing payments for your campaign, Patronicity collects 5% of total crowdfunds raised + 3% of all online credit card transactions. For online donors, a little blurb pops up at the end of the transaction asking if the donor would also like to cover the 8% fee. About 80% of donors did so for our campaign. Within three weeks of our campaign period ending, we received ~ $26.5K in funds ($15K crowdfunded + $12K grant – fees).

The fee structure is plenty fair; however, we originally misunderstood the structure as an 8% flat fee vs. the 5% total crowdfunds + 3% online credit card transactions. If we had known earlier in the campaign, we might have advised some of the larger, known-in-advance donors on offline cash/check transactions.

Is This Fundraising Platform Viable For My Course Project?

I hope so. Our experience with Patronicity has been extremely positive, and we are grateful for their work in developing the grant partnerships & streamlining the application process. However, with the platform’s emphasis on placemaking, most of the potential grant match opportunities are geographically-restricted and there may not be an existing partner in your region.

Patronicity was born in Michigan, and, as we all know, the Frisbee roots run deep in That State Up North. Indiana’s CreatINg Places program was one of the pilot grant partnerships for Patronicity, and they are second only to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation in project count and $ funded. There had already been two successful Michigan disc golf course campaigns when ours began for a course in Indiana, and there have since been two more in Michigan. All this to say: it was fortunate for our campaign that the fundraising platform was Michigan-based, that there was prior-experience with disc golf course campaigns, and that Indiana is more than fully invested in its CreatINg Places grant program w/ Patronicity.

Final fundraising notes: you shouldn’t expect to raise a lot of funds from random patrons stumbling across your online campaign page, or from a high quantity of small transaction patrons. Many of your large donors will need to be sought out/solicited and will likely come from stakeholders in your local disc golf community like Clubs, disc golf stores, and/or disc golfer-owned businesses. We had about 60% of our goal amount accounted for in handshake deals before our campaign period officially began. Our largest donors were HyzerGround (a local disc golf instruction-org. run by one of the course designers Kevin Gillon), the Indy Disc Golf Club, Hamilton Disc Golf Union, Rogue Discs, and two individual local disc golfers.
The Progress So Far

Upon evaluation in late Summer, we shifted our goal facility completion timeline to 2024 and prioritized “whole-assing” a 10-hole early access loop to debut on the original grand open target date. The woods are dense – beech-maple forest invaded by 30+ years of unmanaged bush honeysuckle and autumn olive – and the lovely little sloping hills carved out by the creek make ingress and egress challenging. The limiter has generally been labor power. So, instead of celebrating the grand opening on Veteran’s Day ’23 two weeks ago, we celebrated the half-opening by cutting the ribbon for this 10-hole loop of completed holes.

The weather was one of those gorgeous early November days with lots of crisp sunshine. About 75 people attended throughout the day, and it was a fun mix of VFW Members, campaign donors, and local disc golfers. The local chamber of commerce sent some representatives, and the VFW’s State Commander head honcho attended as well. We had it all – coffee, cookies, Zing minis + baskets set up around a F86 Sabre fighter jet and a tank, giant scissors. Course designers Jerry Suiter & Kevin Gillon led a hike through part of the course for interested attendees. One of the campaign supporters that I met at the event was the founder of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, which was cool, in part, because Jerry founded the Indiana Disc Golf Hall of Fame. Another supporter spoke about the art sculpture that she donated to the project (now guards entry into the woods-part of the course) and her organization, Veteran's Best Friend, which matches vets with pets. Lots of positive community interactions like that at the event.

The completed section of course is open for early access, but early access is by invitation only and generally limited to our campaign donors/supporters and volunteers that have come out to help.











Latest posts