Interview with Brackets For Good on “BracketsForGood”
As BiddingForGood is chugging away with our office version of BracketsForGood, I received a comment on our blog from someone rather interesting. It was the co-founder of a nonprofit otherwise known as the “original” Brackets For Good. Go figure. After my initial panic that we had stolen a nonprofit’s name for our in-house (cause-based) gambling, I decided to check them out. I quickly learned that what they do is pretty fun and supports the fundraising efforts some great causes – just like us. My next move? Have a conversation with Matt McIntyre, co-founder of Brackets For Good.
Matt kindly informed me that Brackets For Good is an Indianapolis-based charitable organization which provides web-based fundraising support for nonprofits at no cost. Brackets For Good uses an online bracket system to help raise money for Indianapolis nonprofits. Nonprofits are matched up to “play” one another – earning points when people visit the site and donate. One dollar is worth one point and after each round the winning team advances to the next round. All participants keep 100 percent of the donations they receive and the overall winner receives an additional grand prize at the completion of the bracket championship.
Thought all you March Madness fans would like to see how my phone call with Matt went:
Kaijsa – Brackets For Good is an Indiana based organization. Are you planning on replicating Brackets for Good in other regions of the United States?
Matt – Yes. This is our first year running Brackets For Good, and our goal is to prove this concept can work. To do this we niched our initial tournament by only including Indiana based nonprofits with a focus on youth education. Since we launched in November of 2011, 30 additional nonprofits have already registered to be a part of our next tournament, and several of those are from other states – which is huge! In addition, we’ve raised over $10,000 and we’re only halfway through round 2 (aka the Philanthropic Four)!
Kaijsa – I see all nonprofits keep all their donations and that the winning nonprofit receives a grand prize. Where does the grand prize money come from?
Matt – The $5,000 grand prize donation comes from a title sponsorship we sought out. This tournament the title sponsor is Bluefish Wireless Management, an Indianapolis-based company that helps businesses design, deploy and manage wireless programs. Keep in mind that participating nonprofits keep 100% of the donations (or points) they receive each round no matter if they advance or not, so it’s a win-win for everyone.
Kaijsa – Brackets For Good should run an annual online auction with BiddingForGood to “sweeten” the grand prize. You can make the grand prize $50,000 or spread prizes around to more of the participating nonprofits.
Matt – That would be amazing. Where do I sign?
Kaijsa – You already seem to have proof of concept to continue your nonprofit venture. Will you be running Brackets for Good all year long?
Matt –We don’t know yet. The timing of March Madness adds excitement around what we do and we don’t want to lose that energy. There are only 6 of us right now running Brackets for Good on a volunteer basis. We all have full-time jobs and wanted to do something good in our spare time. Time will certainly tell.
Kaijsa- I have to ask. What was Brackets For Good initial response when you saw BiddingForGood “stole” the name Brackets For Good?
Matt – (he laughs.) Initially, our response was whether or not we should take it to “legal” and then decided it might be smart to see if we can partner up with BiddingForGood. (nice!)
Kaijsa- One final question. Who is your first pick in the NCAA March Madness tournament?
Matt – The Hoosiers. Naturally.
We here at BiddingForGood are glad to have the opportunity to partner our efforts with Brackets For Good. At the end of day, we are all in the game of helping nonprofits raise more money. Matt adds. “The concept is simple and completely focuses on helping local charities ‘webraise’, and increase awareness about their cause.
Brackets For Good launched in November 2011 and was co-founded by Matt McIntyre, Matt Duncan and David Cornelius. For more information or to help decide who advances to the finals visit www.BracketsForGood.org.