Brackets For Good raises millions for charities nationwide
March Madness is in full steam and so is a zWORKS startup whose mission is to use March basketball fever to help non-profits.
Brackets For Good kicked off in 2012 and replaced the term March Madness with Fundraising Madness. It started with an idea from locals Matt McIntyre, Matt Duncan and Dave Cornelius who worked at Zionsville-based MOBI. One tournament has grown to 13 different tournaments across the nation, four full-time and one part-time staff.
The basic setup pits charities of similar sizes against each other based on how much money they raise. For each dollar donated, the charities get one point. The charities go through a registration process in the winter then take part in a tryout in January.
The national pep rally was held on Feb. 15 at the Lids Headquarters here in Zionsville.
McIntyre said the overall goal is to help people discover and participate in philanthropy. His favorite part about BFG is the community they have built around it.
“Not only is it engaging new people but it’s reinvigorating non-profits as well,” McIntyre said.
He called zWORKS their home. It started as him and one intern.
Now, they have pizza and beer nights every Thursday at zWORKS in the fall and winter to prep for the March madness.
Over 2,000 non-profits have been involved. Last year’s Indianapolis winner was Brooke’s Place For Grieving Young People – based on Meridian Street near I-465. They raised over $92,000.
In the six years before the 2018 season, Brackets For Good had raised about $7 million for charities. They are currently in the “Engaged 8” round for this year’s tournaments. After the “Engaged 8”, they will compete in the “Philanthropic 4” and finally the Championship in two three-day competitions ending April 6.
Participating non-profits retain any donations whether they advance or not. Go to bfg.org for more information!
Getting to know Brackets For Good
The Brackets For Good mascot, Champ, lives right here in Zionsville.
zWORKers can relate to this one. McIntyre said when he first started, he pitched BFG to so many non-profits, other zWORKers could recite his pitch verbatim. “I was told I got loud in the phone booth,” McIntyre said.