All Star Spotlight: Outreach International

Posted on May 26, 2017 by Reid McDowell


Outreach International Brackets For Good Highlight Reel

2017 will go down in the record books as a very special year for Brackets For Good. 2017 marked the first year that the fundraising madness stretched nationwide with nonprofits from 31 different states participating in the first-ever nationwide tournament, Brackets For Good USA. Additionally, the 2017 tournaments raised more money for charities than the previous 5 year history of Brackets For Good. To gain a unique perspective on the monumental year, we connected with BFG USA participant and world change maker, Outreach International who is working to ending chronic poverty worldwide.

What led you to register for the tournament?

Here at Outreach, we are always keeping an eye out for new experiences that allow us to share our mission, build relationships, and have fun doing both. When we heard about the nation-wide competitive giving tournament that is BFG, we just had to apply! The idea of being involved with organizations across the country was exciting and inspiring.

How did your team prepare for the tournament? 

LOTS of burpees . . . just kidding. Our staff loved preparing for this tournament; it was a new way for us to come together and engage with other organizations. We built a webpage specifically for the tournament and sprinkled the address throughout our electronic communications with supporters throughout March.

We also reached out to local Kansas City businesses, sports companies, and our beloved basketball-boosting fans for support in the competition. Although we couldn’t make it to D.C. for the pre-tournament Pep Rally, we held a viewing party in our conference room as our first-round competitor was announced.

Did you leverage the use of volunteers or board members for the tournament in any way?

Yes! We are fortunate to have an engaged, enthusiastic, competition-loving Board of Directors. We relied on them to spread the word throughout the tournament and recruit their peers to join our team.

What kind of response did you expect to see from the tournament vs. what you experienced? 

We were pleasantly surprised to see how involved donors were in BFG, both for us and for other organizations. We did not expect to have as formidable an opponent as we did, but were glad that BFG generated so much attention and raised so much money for many world-changing organizations.

Have you ever participated in any other ‘competitive’-style fundraising in the past? If so, what was that experience like?

This was our first time, but I don’t think it will be our last!

Did you use the funds you raised on a particular initiative or program? If so, what was it?

All the funds that we raised went into our General Fund – the contributions will go directly to our most pressing needs as an organization. In our particular area of concentration, unrestricted funds are a necessity, as the spectrum of countries, communities, issues, and initiatives related to our work make predictive budget allocations pretty tricky.  We’re thankful for the flexibility afforded us by these funds, and can assure you that they were used thoughtfully.

In your pre-tournament survey, your organization listed “Not Enough Fundraising Through Individual Donations” as limiting to your ability to serve your recipients. Did this tournament help you gain new supporters or funds?

Unfortunately, we did not gain any new supporters directly through Brackets For Good, but we did raise over $4,000 that we most likely wouldn’t have generated without this tournament!

Do you plan to register for next year? Any goals or plans that you’d like to share?

Absolutely! All of us enjoyed experiencing the intensity and excitement of the tournament, and have developed a taste for it. After being thoroughly routed in this year’s tournament, we’re keeping next year’s game plan close to the vest. Buckle up!

What did you learn being part of BFG USA? Any big surprises?

We learned that a little competition really does inspire our team! All of us had a great time psyching each other up for the tournament, and all our enthusiasm seemed to really invigorate our supporters, as well. The spirit of teamwork and the overall response of BFG donors were really wonderful, and we’re excited to be a part of the tournament again next year.

How do you plan to follow-up with both new and existing donors now that the tournament is over?

Once the tournament was over, we mailed a personal postcard to each donor who gave through BFG to thank them for their gifts. They’ve also been added to our list of supporters so we can keep them updated on all the promise and progress their gifts make possible!

Posted in Brackets For Good, Fundraising, Nonprofit Story