Highlights

The Brackets For Good Highlights blog is used to showcase the impact our participating organizations and sponsors have on their communities, share proven nonprofit fundraising advice, and provide updates on our March fundraising tournaments.

Volunteer Run Organization with Successful Tournament Runs

Posted on December 20, 2016 by Jen Marcuson

 

First Book is a national organization that aims to close the achievement gap and attain educational equity, by providing kids, classrooms, and communities in need with books and educational resources. First Book Indy, the local Indianapolis chapter of the organization, is committed to providing access to new books for children in need in Marion County and the surrounding counties. This fully volunteer-staffed group has competed in three Indianapolis Brackets For Good tournaments and has raised over $13,000 for their mission.

Despite not having any full-time staff, no budget for promotion, and changes at the national level that resulted in retiring their local website in 2015, they have managed to successfully compete in the tournaments through good organization and planning, leveraging the skills and passion of their volunteers, and utilizing the resources of the national organization whenever possible.

Before the start of each tournament, the local group discussed the competition in their board meetings. Everyone on the board, comprised of about a dozen people, was involved in idea generation. A public relations team of two took over the plans for the social media aspect of the competition. One member planned and scheduled most of the posts, but input came from multiple members, such as the idea for their “unselfie” promotion, which featured facts about literacy. Material from the national website and blog was curated and repurposed for social posts. They also launched a giveaway for donors during a specific week of the tournament. Additionally, members used their own social media accounts to promote First Book to a wider audience and several different members attended BFG events.

They relied on the professional knowledge of their volunteers; their lead for public relations works in the field, and had experience with similar campaigns. They did their research with the content created by the national organization, and planned ahead for the “unselfie” promotion by taking several pictures of board members to use later in the tournament. The national organization also supported them by retweeting some of their Twitter posts and by donating to their giveaway.

Without spending any money specifically for the tournament, and by strategically using Facebook, Twitter, and e-newsletters, as well as leveraging the use of their board and personal networks, they were able to raise awareness about their cause and attract many new donors. Over their 3 years BFG, First Book states that 83% of the donors that came to them through the tournament were new to them. In 2015, their highest-scoring and furthest advancing year, First Book reports that they definitely saw additional benefits from advancing into the second and third rounds.

First book has succeeded by working together as a team and divvying up the tournament responsibilities amongst their members. Everyone in this group owns a share of the points they’ve scored, the supporters they have attracted, and the educational advancement of many children for whom the love of reading will serve them their whole lives.

Posted in Brackets For Good, Nonprofit Story


Tournament Competitors; Now Community Collaborators

Posted on November 14, 2016 by Jen Marcuson

logo-brackets-for-good-2016-twin-cities-1The final round of the 2016 BFG Twin Cities tournament came down to Spare Key and The Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association (LEMA). Spare Key is an organization that provides assistance to families in crisis with critically ill or seriously injured children. LEMA supports families of fallen law enforcement officers when they have lost their lives in the line of duty. Despite similar missions to assist Minnesota families in need, the two organizations had only a limited knowledge of each other’s work before they found themselves head-to-head, battling it out to become the first Twin Cities champion.

In what was the highest-scoring final round of all the 2016 city tournaments, Spare Key edged out LEMA to win, but their match-up didn’t end there. After the tournament, LEMA President Jeff Beahen reached out to Spare Key. In the spirit of shared excitement for the successes both organizations experienced, a dialogue formed about how they could leverage the momentum of the tournament and create a partnership.

spare-key-logoSpare Key Executive Director, Erich Mische, noted that many people on their Board of Directors had been involved in government and public policy and had the privilege of working with the men and women of law enforcement throughout their careers. Because of that body of knowledge, they were pleased to learn of the profound work that LEMA does on behalf of those who are committed to protecting and serving communities throughout Minnesota.

lema_logoJeff said on behalf of LEMA that while they didn’t know Spare Key before the tournament, the more they learned, the more interest they had in their organization. He noted, “toward the end, we mentioned that if we had to lose, at least it would be to Spare Key, as we admired their mission and their passion for those they served.”

The outcome of the conversations between the two organizations was the creation of a program to provide housing grants to Minnesota Law Enforcement families with critically ill or seriously injured children in the hospital. Spare Key designated their $10,000 prize from winning the tournament toward this program and LEMA donated an additional $5,000 to Spare Key to be used for the initiative.

Erich said, “we believe it has made many families who might not otherwise know of Spare Key aware of our program and services. Equally important, those families have shared information about our program to others which we believe will ultimately result in Spare Key being an important resource to law enforcement families who have sick and injured children in the hospital.” He added, “one of our strategic goals and objectives for 2017 is to increasingly highlight the relationship with LEMA and more proactively promote our program to law enforcement families throughout Minnesota.”

Jeff stated that the new relationship, “truly opened our eyes to the value of working with other non-profits toward common goals. We have a whole new approach to our marketing and branding after Brackets for Good, and we are so extremely grateful for this experience.” The feeling is mutual for Erich, who said, “we are privileged to have come to know the individuals leading LEMA, and the families they serve”.

Congratulations to both Spare Key and LEMA for this incredible endeavor. Friendly competition is an incredibly powerful force for GOOD. We look forward to seeing what these two champion organizations can do together in their community.

It’s Competitive Giving. Everybody Wins.

Posted in Nonprofit Story, Twin Cities | Tagged 2016, champion, Nonprofit Interview, Twin Cities


Get to know our 2016 Indianapolis Champion, The Joseph Maley Foundation

Posted on October 19, 2016 by Jen Marcuson

The Joseph Maley Foundation was ejoseph-maleystablished in 2008 with the mission to serve children of all abilities. They focus on disability awareness, adaptive athletics, youth leadership, and service learning. They are on track to impact more than 26,000 children with their programs this year alone. Bracket For Good is proud to have played a part in assisting JMF achieve their goals.

JMF has participated in three back-to-back BFG tournaments, advancing further each year. In 2014, they earned over $10,000 and advanced to the Supported Sixteen round. In 2015, they were our runner up, scoring over $75,000 – an impressive advancement! But it was in 2016 that they came out on top, bringing home over $85,000.

How did they do it? JMF reports that they employed three distinct phases in the 2016 tournament: Education, Gamification, and Targeted Messaging. First, they focused on educating their supporters on how the tournament works leading up to the launch and throughout the opening round. Next, they focused on the competitive aspect, emphasizing the fact that any gifts received through the tournament had the opportunity to translate into an additional $10,000. Finally, they closed the final rounds of the tournament with a targeted message, their #SpiritOf76 campaign. The foundation namesake, Joseph Maley, was born on July 6, 1990. They encouraged donors to give any iteration of $76 ($7, $760, etc.,) in celebration of Joseph and his legacy.

joseph-maley-foundationTheir tournament run was successful, not only in raising funds, but in attracting new supporters. In 2016, they received donations from 57 new, first-time donors. JMF plans to use the funds to make strategic additions to their staff, support their seven ongoing programs, and update the functionality of their website.

Throughout the entire tournament, JMF embodied the spirit of sportsmanship and a winning attitude by celebrating and cheering on other competing organizations in our community. In our eyes, this makes them truly a champion worth celebrating.

Posted in BFG History, Brackets For Good, Fundraising, Indianapolis, Nonprofit Story | Tagged Joseph Maley


TWIN CITIES: National fundraising organization activates new local donors, offers $10,000 grand prize to top Twin Cities nonprofit competitor in bracket-based tournament

Posted on October 14, 2016 by Jake Doll

Brackets For Good 2017 Twin Cities presented by Western Refining and Super America

Presenting sponsor Western Refining & SuperAmerica brings fundraising contest back to Twin Cities nonprofits for a second year

Calling all Twin Cities nonprofits: Charitable organization, Brackets For Good, again challenges your organization to friendly competition and a chance to win $10,000!

Indianapolis-based Brackets For Good hosts online, bracket-style fundraising tournaments every March in communities around the United States. Participating nonprofits rally enthusiastic donors to out-fundraise their opponents in order to advance. Through the excitement, localized marketing, and corporate involvement; nonprofits earn increased exposure, gain access to free fundraising tools, and are introduced to new donors.

In 2016, the Twin Cities tournament garnered 2,167 donations, 45 percent of which were first-time donations. Donors gave $281,184 total, and tournament champion Spare Key brought in $75,225.

Since Brackets For Good’s kickoff contest in 2012, it has raised more than $2.75 million for local charities. Due to the overwhelming success, the tournaments have since expanded from Indianapolis, Louisville, Ann Arbor, St. Louis, and Minneapolis and will break into several other markets in 2017, including Cincinnati, Miami, Denver, Nashville, Hartford, and Baltimore.

To participate, charities should register free at https://twincities.bfg.org/city by Oct. 28, 2016. 116 Twin Cities nonprofits have already registered to be considered to play in the 2017 tournament, which starts Feb. 24.

The positive impact of the Brackets For Good tournament on the Twin Cities-area is only made possible due to the support of local businesses dedicated to the community.

“It’s important to us that we have a positive and ongoing impact on the lives of our neighbors and provide meaningful support to the community at large,” said Matt Sieh, Food Service Manager, SuperAmerica of presenting sponsor Western Refining. Supporting Brackets For Good is a fun way for us to do exactly that. With a single investment in our community we support 64 nonprofits and help thousands of community members learn about and support the nonprofits that serve the Twin Cities area.”

Brackets For Good 2017 Twin Cities sponsors include: Western Refining & SuperAmerica, Legal for Good, and Lids.

“We’re excited to be returning to host a Twin Cities Brackets For Good tournament, co-founder Matt McIntyre said. “This past March, $281,184 was raised for nonprofits in the Twin Cities area. We’re confident this year’s tournament will be even more successful at raising awareness and funds for local nonprofits.”

For more information, visit https://twincities.bfg.org/city.

About BRACKETS FOR GOOD

Brackets For Good is an Indianapolis, IN based 501(c)3 charitable organization focused on activating new donors, and increasing awareness for other nonprofit organizations through competitive, online fundraising at no cost.

Media contact:
Jaymie Shook
317.602.7137 ext. 2066
jshook(at)bohlsengroup(dot)com

Posted in Brackets For Good, Twin Cities | Tagged 2017, press release, Twin Cities


HARTFORD: National fundraising organization activates new local donors, offers $10,000 grand prize to top Hartford nonprofit competitor in bracket-based tournament

Posted on September 28, 2016 by Jake Doll

Brackets For Good 2017 Hartford presented by Stanley Black & Decker

National fundraising organization activates new local donors, offers $10,000 grand prize to top Hartford nonprofit competitor in bracket-based tournament

Presenting sponsor Stanley Black & Decker brings fundraising contest to Hartford nonprofits

Calling all Greater Hartford-area nonprofits: Brackets For Good, challenges you to a friendly competition and a chance to win $10,000!

Indianapolis-based non-profit Brackets For Good hosts online, bracket-style fundraising tournaments every March in communities around the United States. Participating nonprofits rally enthusiastic donors to out-fundraise their opponents in order to advance. Through the excitement, localized marketing, and corporate involvement, nonprofits earn increased exposure, gain access to free fundraising tools, and are introduced to new donors.

Brackets For Good has raised more than $2.75 million for local charities since 2012. Due to this overwhelming success and popularity, the tournaments have expanded from Indianapolis to Louisville, Ann Arbor, St. Louis, and Twin Cities. This year, we are excited to continue growth into several other markets including Hartford, Cincinnati, Miami, Denver, Nashville, and Baltimore.

To participate, charities in the Greater Hartford-area and the surrounding towns can register free at https://hartford.bfg.org/city by Oct. 28, 2016. Fourteen Hartford-area nonprofits have already registered to be considered to play in the 2017 tournament, which begins Feb. 24.

The Brackets For Good tournament in Hartford is made possible by the support of local businesses dedicated to the community.

“Stanley Black & Decker is committed to building a better tomorrow,” said Tim Perra, Stanley Black & Decker, Vice President of Communications. “It’s not just the homes we help build with our tools, or the schools we protect with our security systems. It’s also a commitment to stepping up and bettering our local community, which has been an important part of our culture for nearly 175 years. Partnering with Brackets For Good is a fun and impactful way we can support 64 organizations that are serving the Hartford community.”

Brackets For Good 2017 Hartford sponsors include: Stanley Black & Decker, Lids, and Bloomerang.

“Brackets For Good exists because we believe that communities are strengthened when more people learn about and support local organizations that operate in service to the community,” said Reid McDowell, Partnerships & Marketing Director of Brackets For Good. “In both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, it’s clear that Hartford organizations are dedicated to the strength and health of their community. This dedication to the community is what drove us to expand to Hartford. I’m looking forward to a fun and impactful March.”

 

For more information, visit https://hartford.bfg.org/city.

About BRACKETS FOR GOOD

Brackets For Good is an Indianapolis, IN based 501(c)3 charitable organization focused on activating new donors, and increasing awareness for other nonprofit organizations through competitive, online fundraising at no cost.

About STANLEY BLACK & DECKER

Stanley Black & Decker, an S&P 500 and FORTUNE 500 company, is the world’s leading provider of tools and storage, the world’s second-largest commercial electronic security company, and a leading engineered fastening systems provider, with unique growth platforms in the Oil & Gas and Infrastructure industries. Well-known brands include: STANLEY, BLACK+DECKER, DEWALT, Porter-Cable, Bostitch, Facom, Mac Tools, Proto, Vidmar, Lista, and more. Learn more at www.stanleyblackanddecker.com.

Media contact:
Jaymie Shook
317.602.7137 ext. 2066
jshook(at)bohlsengroup(dot)com

 

Posted in Brackets For Good | Tagged 2017, Hartford, press release


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