By: Reid McDowell, Partnerships & Marketing Director of Brackets For Good
After helping Indianapolis nonprofits gain awareness, meet new donors, and raise $2,278,809 since 2012; 501(c)3, Brackets For Good, is adding a statewide Indiana tournament. Now, for the first-time ever, charitable nonprofits across the state of Indiana are eligible to participate in Brackets For Good Indiana, an online bracket-style fundraising tournament happening in March of 2018.
Brackets For Good helps charitable nonprofits use the power of sport to score new awareness and funds to support the GOOD they do in our world. Every March, 10s of thousands of community members learn about and rally behind charitable causes they care about in Brackets For Good tournaments. Nonprofits are evenly paired in friendly competitive matchups. Supporters cheer on and score points to help their favorite causes advance in the tournament by donating. $1 donated online equals 1 point. The nonprofit with the most points at the end of each round advances. The organization that has the game to make it to the end, receives an additional championship grant. Participating charities gain added awareness in the community, meet new donors, and keep the dollars raised, regardless of how far they advance. It’s competitive giving. Everybody wins.
Since the inaugural tournament in Indianapolis in 2012, $6.4M has been raised for nonprofits across the country. More importantly, 31.6% of the donations received by the participating nonprofits has come from first-time donors to those organizations.
The benefits to the participating nonprofits extends beyond dollars raised:
“BFG is one of the best things that has happened to our organization and there are countless ways that this tournament will impact our organization for years to come. This tournament is awesome, and for a little organization like mine, it gives us confidence and opens doors that might otherwise be impossible for us to open on our own.” - Leslie Harley, the Founder of Families For Hope, Brackets For Good Indianapolis 2017 Participant
“We saw some of our donors give more than they ever have before and new donors come to the Clinic through BFG! This is a great opportunity for our organization to be more relaxed in our fundraising activities. We provide legal services, that doesn't usually lend itself to goofy videos, competition, etc. So this is a great way to bring that side of our staff and organization out for the public to see.” - Kate Sudduth, Development Coordinator, Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic, Brackets For Good Indianapolis 2017 Participant
Beyond the fun and dollars raised, the movement is doing more for the sector than meets the eye:
- Capacity Building – Nonprofits’ ability to engage with donors digitally is becoming more and more essential. By participating in Brackets For Good, nonprofits gain access to free training on topics such as social media, donor stewardship, online fundraising, etc. In 2017 alone, nonprofits participated in over 350 hours of training with 1,661 lessons completed.
- Millennial Engagement – 36% of donations to nonprofits through Brackets For Good come from Millennials. Brackets For Good tournaments create a compelling way, for especially young people, to discover charitable nonprofits they didn’t know existed, find causes that align with their personal values, and contribute to the cause.
- Civic Engagement – In many cases, Brackets For Good tournaments create the initial relationship between a supporter and a nonprofit. Once the tournament is over, the relationship continues. Donors in Brackets For Good tournaments report being 38% more likely to volunteer with the organization they donated to; 53% more likely to donate with the organization again in the next 12 months; and 64% report feeling more engaged with the nonprofit they supported in the tournament.
The shot clock for Indiana 501(c)3 nonprofits to participate is ticking. Nonprofits have until the December 31st deadline to complete a 5-minute registration to be considered for the 2018 tournament which tips off March 2nd, 2018. Nonprofits can learn more and register at: https://indiana.bfg.org
About the Author: Reid is a cause marketer and social innovator that parlayed for-profit marketing experience into a pursuit to create innovative ways for people to learn about and support charitable nonprofits.