Category Archives: Brackets For Good

Score BIG with Our Champ Coloring Contest

Posted on March 13, 2017 by Matt Duncan

Put your artistic skills on display and you could be one of five lucky winners to win $100 for your favorite nonprofit! Here is how you can get in the game!

Good luck #noluckneeded!



Posted in Brackets For Good

Inverse-Square joins Brackets For Good Community Partners Roster

Posted on February 25, 2017 by Matt Duncan

Founded in 2011, custom software development company, Inverse-Square is a dedicated Microsoft technology shop. Experts in C#, SQL, and JavaScript, Inverse-Square is exceptional at building software that makes business processes easier and more efficient.

In 2016, they started a Charity of the Year program and donated time to build software for Paws & Think, a therapy-animal organization dedicated to enhancing quality of life by using the power of the human-animal bond. This year, besides participating in Brackets for Good, they have chosen Indiana After School Network (IAN) as their Charity of the Year. This organization promotes afterschool and summer learning by connecting youth workers, partners, and advocates. Besides donating financially and fundraising for IAN, Inverse-Square also will provide 40 hours of service toward helping them with their software needs.


As a Brackets For Good 2017 Community Teammate, Inverse-Square is partnered with The Center For Leadership Development (CLD). This organization works to foster the advancement of minority youth in central Indiana as future professional, business, and community leaders by providing experiences that encourage personal development and educational attainment.

By day, “Team Awesome”, as Inverse-Square employees are known, solve client problems with efficient, practical solutions. The Center for Leadership Development prepare youth for the highest levels of academic achievement and career success. These two teams look ready to put the work in, score some points, and build leaders of tomorrow together!

Posted in Brackets For Good

Career Counseling Organization Ready for tip-off in Baltimore

Posted on January 31, 2017 by Jen Marcuson

Maryland New Directions (MND) was introduced to Brackets For Good last year when they received a postcard inviting them to check out the website. It didn’t take them long to realize the value the forthcoming tournament could bring, and they registered to be among the first competitors in the 2017 Baltimore tournament. 

Offering no-cost career counseling and job skills training, MND has been serving low-income Baltimore residents for 43 years. They offer a range of training services such as career assessments, mock interviews, one-on-one coaching, and job placement assistance. Being well-versed in professional skills development, it is no surprise that the team at MND has already huddled up and developed a full tournament strategy!

Development Manager Barbara Reed says that the team is busy “getting in game mode” for the upcoming competition. They have already warmed up by creating “Team MND” marketing materials, have drafted local businesses to support their tournament run, and are developing video clips. Most of their tournament playbook is top-secret, but Barbara revealed that they will roll out a “Jump Shot for Jobs” promotion. Everyone from volunteers to board members are being put through the paces in order to be able to spread the word, plan special events, and connect with their supporters.

Barbara reports that they have put the BFG website and locker room tools to good use in creating their game-plan. They have viewed the training materials, taken advantage of the available logos and graphics, and integrated the sample social media posts into their planned messaging. Barbara says that the provided writing samples help them to more clearly articulate what BFG is all about in a consistent manner. Ensuring that everyone is getting the same clear and concise message about BFG will help most effectively encourage their supporters to participate, both locally and across the nation.

MND changes lives through employment. Since 1973, they have worked with nearly 140,000 individuals. As they enter 2017, they do so with hopes to grow their newest Youth Opportunity work initiative, focused on unemployed inner city residents, aged 18-24. If MND was to secure the Baltimore Championship title, the funds would be used to support targeted efforts specifically for that demographic. No matter how far they advance, Barbara says that MND is looking forward to new donors, community support, and a great deal of fun. With only 24 days to go until tip-off, the MND team is in great shape and ready to score early and often!


Posted in Brackets For Good | Tagged 2017, Baltimore, Nonprofit, Nonprofit Interview

Introducing Champ: Our Warm & Furry MVP (Most Valuable Philanthropist)

Posted on January 27, 2017 by Rachel Purviance


A Beastly Blue Dude on a Soul-cial Mission

Not too long ago, an amazing thing happened. It was December and the snow was just beginning to blanket our headquarters in the heart of the Midwest. Our team was busy finalizing the matchups for our 2017 Brackets for Good tournaments, coast to coast, when we heard the familiar whoosh of our front door opening. Before we could even stop what we were doing, a furry blue dude took a seat and was headband deep in our non-profit online registrations. He studied the reports, analyzed the field of contenders, and made the kinds of observations that can only be described as philanthropic wizardry. P&Ls, organizational stability, potential impact. He could spot a Cinderella Story from a million miles away. Within minutes, the digital paperwork was flying through the Interwebs, our 2017 brackets were locked and loaded, and our mysterious blue guest let out a wonderful yowl that sounded sweeter than a Jim Nantz drawl. We finally mustered the courage to ask him his name. “Call me Champ,” he said. “You could say I’m on a soul-cial mission.” A soulcial mission indeed. It wasn’t long before we recognized Champ’s other talents as well. He seemed to hold a black belt in enthusiasm, and could rally support like nobody’s business. And of course, there was that beautiful, wonderful yowl of his. We spent the rest of the day on into the wee hours of the morning listening to Champ tell us about his journey from the Land of Giving, where he’d spent his youth honing his philanthropic chops. Realizing that his skills could be put to use in a wider world—where not everyone knew how to give or even what organizations they could give to—he said good-bye to the Land of Giving and tracked us down here at Brackets for Good where he hopes to help others discover the power of philanthropy. Champ will be working closely with our creative team at Lodge (and will even be bunking up at their Shop) and is committed to becoming the Most Valuable Philanthropist for all of our participating non-profits. We plan to have him canvassing the country, spreading the good word about the philanthropy’s role in today’s ever-changing world.


Invite Champ to your next charitable event! champ@bfg.org

Posted in Brackets For Good | Tagged 2017, Announcement, BFG17, Champ

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

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