Another golf outing for a worthwhile charity did not happen, due to lack of participants. The bad part is that the charity/club do not want to give back the money, somewhere around $500/golfer.
This is a tough situation indeed. The club blocks the day based on getting 80+ golfers and then a few days before the charity tries to cancel due to a small number of golfers.
The solution? There's no easy answer, where all parties are made whole. Maybe all concerned should lower their expectations, in this economy, and take what they get without having to worry about minimums. Maybe cut back on the over the top amount of food for the buffet and maybe a few less amenities.
Case in point is the NY Islanders. They were having a tough season, with lots of injuries and in March made a great decision to lower all ticket prices to $20. They filled up the old barn and made lots of money on food and merchandise. A lot more than if they still had the 4,000/game.
Can charity golf outings learn from this example? I hope so. People are looking for value. Even at a golf outing held in a plush private club. When you deliver a product/service at a price point that the target audience perceives to be a good value, you'll get the golfers and their money for raffle tickets and auction prizes.