Something really cool is happening in Indiana. Besides basketball.
As anyone in the nonprofit world knows, there are TONS of well-intentioned and good-hearted people out there who are trying to do fun and innovative things to help causes and nonprofits. Problem is, they don’t always do their homework and their efforts don’t always help.
Less than a year ago, three guys got together and wondered how to connect people’s interest in sports, basketball and the fascination with filling out their brackets in March – with good causes. The result? A new, innovative web-based fundraising competition called Brackets for Good. $1 = 1 pt. Eight charities paired in three 1-week rounds, all organizations keep the funds they raise but the winner gets $5,000. As if that’s not enough, here are 6 reasons it rocks.
1. They did their homework
For a year now they’ve been playing with the model, the idea, the back-end of the system and every part of things to make sure it would actually help organizations and not be a hindrance to them. In speaking with them months ago, you could tell they were dotting their I’s and crossing their T’s.
2. Design, Design, Design
In today’s cluttered marketplace, to get noticed you need a solid design. Not just of the concept but the aesthetics including the logo, site, SWAG and more. The concept is easy to understand, easy to engage with and doesn’t distract the user with any unnecessary offers, suggested purchases, etc. You login through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google and you donate.
3. Their motivations are pure
The reason there aren’t any distractions in the user experience is because the primary and sole purpose of the entire program is to benefit organizations. From its early days, through today, they’re focused on being helpful. Not selling anything. Not collecting info for their own purposes. No disguised motives, just pure philanthropic awesomeness.
4. They put their talents (and those of their friends) to work
These guys are self-proclaimed nerds. They love basketball and they work for a great tech company, Bluefish Wireless (who supported the project with a $5k cash donation to the winning org!). They brought some friends together for web design and the finance side (they started their own nonprofit to pass funds through) and they went all ‘Captain Planet’ on the project. They combined their powers for good.
5. They’re piloting small
They built this entirely outside their normal day-jobs but if you push ’em, they’d love for it to eventually help a ton of people connect with the causes that need them. But they also knew how important it was to start small. This first tournament will help work out some kinks and improve things for the next go ’round. Keeping it manageable keeps it great at every level along the way.
6. AND 1! – The analogy works
Read through their site and follow their Twitter stream to see that they take the basketball connection to the house! Get off the bench, recruit your team, manage your playbook, and more. The language makes the concept sticky and brings out the competition in everyone.
So, before you fill out your own brackets, check out Brackets for Good and ask your friends to do the same. While you’re there, score some points for a team you like and follow the tournament action on Twitter. No matter what happens, some great causes win.