Brackets For Good is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that helps build awareness, raise funds, and expand marketing capabilities for local nonprofits through competitive, online fundraising tournaments.
- Every March, Brackets For Good hosts a single-elimination, bracket-style fundraising tournaments across the country that raise much-needed funds and awareness for nonprofit organizations of all sizes.
- Nonprofits wishing to participate in upcoming tournaments must register by the last Friday in October of the current year, at https://stlouis.bfg.org/nonprofits/registration. All registered nonprofits will go through the annual Brackets For Good selection process. More on the selection process is available at https://stlouis.bfg.org/selection_process.
- Brackets For Good hosts a pre-tournament Pep Rally (in-person and virtual), where selected nonprofits will learn key strategies for a successful tournament run.
- Participating nonprofits retain the donations raised and all donor information during the tournament, regardless of advancement. The tournament champion in each city will also receive a grand prize donation from the title sponsor.
- The six-round tournament takes place over five weeks beginning on the last Friday in February, with each of the first four rounds lasting a full week and the semifinal and championship round each lasting three days.
- The tournament begins with 64 charities, each paired in a competitive match-up against an opponent. Charities advance through the rounds by rallying enthusiastic donors to scoring more points than their opponent. Every $1 donated through https://bfg.org/ equals 1 point scored for the chosen charity. At the end of each round, the nonprofit with the most points in the individual match-up advances to the next round, the points are reset, and the fundraising continues until a champion is crowned.
- Until the Philanthropic Four round, nonprofits compete alongside similarly-sized organizations within one of four tournament divisions.
Participating nonprofits can expect and benefit from:
- EXPECT - Time Commitment: the extent to which each nonprofit participates depends on the strategy crafted; many successful organizations have produced unique videos, held contests, segmented their donor base, and delivered targeted social media campaigns. Success depends on actively engaging with the tournament, donors and effectively communicating the value your organization adds to the community.
- EXPECT - Marketing Support: participating nonprofits have access to a behind-the-scenes ‘Locker Room’, containing key marketing support such as sample promotional messages for email and web-placement as well as access to trackable graphics, BFG-sponsored media run schedules, and suggested social posts.
- BENEFIT - Share Your Story: organizations have the ability to share a highlighted story, volunteer and funding needs, photos, videos, and mission with the Nonprofit Spotlight feature as well as provide links to social media accounts and organization website.
- BENEFIT - Gather Valuable Data: nonprofits will have access to donor data from donors who have allowed their information to be shared. This will enable nonprofits to reach out and send customizable thank you notifications to their supporters as well as gain insight about new supporters reached. An optional memo line is also available at time of donation for nonprofits to track specific donation drives.
- BENEFIT - Promotional Support: through the promotion of Brackets For Good, which includes paid and earned media, social media, and sponsor-led promotion, nonprofits earn increased exposure and attract an average of 60% new donors*.
- BENEFIT - More Donations, Less Paperwork: All donations are handled through the Brackets For Good website. Donors receive instant, individual tax-receipts from bfg.org and nonprofits will receive a single check for their total raised at the conclusion of their tournament run.
The story about how we came up with the idea for Brackets For Good in April of 2011.
On April 4th, 2011, the entire state of Indiana was bleeding blue and white, and at this time, it wasn't for the Indianapols Colts. The Butler University men's basketball team had made it to their second national championship game in two years.
Matt McIntyre, a Butler Alumni (Class of 2006), invited Matt Duncan (yes, that's two Matts) over to watch his beloved Butler Bulldogs compete against the Huskies of Connecticut. As the game drew closer to the end, it became clear that Butler would not win – for the second year in a row.
The painful 53-41 loss finally soaked in, and ideas for lifting Hoosier spirits started flowing. The Matts, also marketing-minded co-workers, discussed how it was so powerful to see our city rally around Butler and the tournament. "I wonder if that energy and excitement could be bottled and put to good use", Matt mentioned.
Immediately after, an impromptu brainstorming session erupted and the ideas for doing good poured out. “What if we created an online bracket system that helped raised money for Indianapolis nonprofits? We are Hoosiers! Right?!,” exclaimed Matt. The idea was born and we knew just the guy to help build it.
Dave Cornelius, another co-worker and web-development guru, created and built the website challonge.com (aka “the ultimate source for tournament brackets”). We used this system in the office many times to help organize ping-pong and bubble hockey tournaments, so we knew it would be a good fit. He agreed to hear us out.
After countless lunch meetings at Amore Pizza in Zionsville, IN, all-day Sunday meetings, and some very late nights (a quick, heart-felt thank you to all of our wives), the three of us flushed out, founded, built, filed, and now support BracketsForGood.org.
The Brackets For Good team is comprised of the most philanthropic individuals we have ever met. This amazing team is doing what they love professionally for the communities they love personally. Without the help of key volunteers, Brackets For Good would not be able to achieve what it is accomplishing today and what it plans to accomplish in the future.
If you've got the itch to give back and think you have what it takes to start for BFG, please check out our volunteer needs.
Since March of 2012 through April of 2015, Brackets For Good tournaments have only operated for 22 out of those 260 weeks.
During those 22 weeks of tournament operations which span across the last five years, we have raised over $2.7M for local charities in Indianapolis, Louisville, the Ann Arbor Area, Twin Cities, St. Louis and Washington D.C.
Brackets For Good continues to expand our operations, please visit https://bfg.org/locations to see if we'll be in your community next!