The Brackets For Good Highlights blog is used to showcase the impact our participating organizations and sponsors have on their communities, share proven nonprofit fundraising advice, and provide updates on our March fundraising tournaments.

Brackets For Good Orientation 2018 Recap

Posted on February 01, 2018 by Matt Duncan

We hosted our first virtual orientation for nonprofits to learn more about Brackets For Good heading into tournament time. Below you will find the recording of the presentation along with the complete chat thread from all attendees and our responses highlighted in BOLD. Looking forward to another exciting year of Fundraising Madness! 

Will we receive information about our donors through BFG? Address & contact?

Yes you will. In fact the donor details are quite extensive with name, email, address, sms subscription opt-in, school, company, board interest, volunteer interest and more! That will be covered a bit later in the presentation.

Thanks for the prompt response!

You’re welcome! Thanks for being part of Brackets For Good!

Did he say that we keep ALL the funds we raise? Doesn’t BFG get a percentage?

When do we find out who we’re up against in our market?

You are correct. Similar to most online giving platforms, Brackets For Good has a convenience fee to process credit cards and more. That all encompassing fee detailed here https://bfg.org/terms#gross-contributions is 4.7% + $0.30 for online donations and 7% + $0.30 for over the phone donations.

Will we have access to this presentation after this orientation?

The brackets and first-round matchups will be revealed for all tournaments during the national pep rally on February 15th. You can RSVP to attend that virtually here:https://bfg18nationalpeprally.eventbrite.com

thank you!

Yes, we will share a recording of today’s presentation on our youtube channel, which is loaded with even more great resources found at:https://www.youtube.com/user/BracketsForGood

can you tell us more about team sponsor ideas / opportunities?

What kind of events can you plan when you have only a month notice? Anyone who has done this before?

Can we have more than 1 corporate partner?

How and when will we receive the money raised through BFG?

Yes, more details about how to recruit and promote a “Community Teammate” (a corporate partner) will be shown shortly and made available in your Nonprofit Locker Room very soon.

Events like viewing parties, dinners, parties, your own pep rally, car wash, any ticketed event and more can all be possible. In fact, using current events as opportunities to raise support in BFG can be great too!

Can we use the brackets for good logo as part or our communications?

Cool – thanks viewer 102!

There is room for only one community teammate image, but if you’re able to put two logos onto that image you can recruit more than one. We view community teammates as an opportunity to forge or further any relationship you have with a corporate partner.

In terms of the BFG processing fees, will that be obvious to the donors when they make the donation or will that be taken out from the bank end? Example: A donor donates $25 to the nonprofit in addition to 4.7% + $.03 going to brackets for good for a total of $26.48. OR does the donor donate $25 and on the back end $1.18 goes to BFG and $23.82 goes to the nonprofit?

@Sydney Shearer, I believe you receive the funds when you’re eliminated or when you win the tournament.

You will receive the full some of donations raised in April shortly after the tournament concludes. We’re able to distribute funds faster if you enter your bank account information in your nonprofit locker room.

Yes! You can certainly use the BFG logo and all creative assets found in the “Logos & Graphics” page of your nonprofit locker room in your outreach.


if we hold offline events during tournament (i.e. bake sale) how do we go about using those donations to put in to our “account”? say we raise $250, am I able to just go in and donate that?

The Brackets For Good convenience fee will be paid by the participating charity after the donation as detailed here: https://bfg.org/terms#gross-contributions. We are hoping to add a feature where donors have the option to cover the convenience fee as part of their donation, but as of right now it will be removed from the donation total, so your example of a donor donating $25 and on the back end $1.18 goes to BFG and $23.82 goes to the nonprofit is correct. Of the $1.18 Brackets For Good pays the credit card processing expense of ~3%.

Thanks! Did that change from 2016 to 2017?

Our convenience fee modeling for our 2018 tournament is identical to what it was in 2017. Soon, Matt will cover one new addition, which is over the phone donations through the new Brackets For Good Donation Hotline!

Fantastic thank you!

Lost audio —  Is it me?

was our donor profile saved from last year?

The best thing to share with any new manager is a link to the 7 minute, virtual lesson under training camp. There is a ‘Brackets For Good 101” lesson found there.

Yes, donor profiles are saved from last year.

if we are returning teams, do we have to resubmit account information?

I’m sorry for the lost audio! You can dial-in over the phone with this: Dial: 1-860-970-0010

(Conference ID: 280-449-974)

You do not need to re-submit account information if you are a returning team; however, it would be great to double check all the information you entered.

Does the Donate Now widget work on Facebook and other social media sites?

Does BFG run similar similar programs at other times of the year?

what if an offsite event is not solely for BFG?  We have an event scheduled before we knew we were in the tournament. are those dollars eligible?

Great question! We have had people use the widget on various social media sites, but it has not been tested in detail by Brackets For Good. It’s original intent was to be embedded on your website. Please feel free to try (and maybe get a leg up)!

Brackets For Good is currently a March-only event. We have more programs we are working on to support the discovery and participation in philanthropy year-round, so stay tuned!

If you host a BFG event during the tourney are those funds considered benchpoints?

If the event is during the tournament, and you can prove that the donations collected were for your Brackets For Good participation then it will be approved as Bench Points.

Yes! Get creative with bench points. Think about taking checks from those supporters still afraid to donate online, a slam dunk jar at your reception desk, an event dedicated to promote your participation, etc… get creative!

are e-mail addresses kept with BFG for use only during the tournament?

Can we have a different partner each week?

Can we have more than one community teammate?

Email address are private to Brackets For Good and only used during the tournament. You can read more about our privacy terms here:https://bfg.org/privacy-policy

Yes! Good idea to have a new partner each week. You’ll be able to self-upload a new logo each week.

You’ll have space to upload one community teammate image. That said, the image could have multiple company logos on it if you choose.

can we get the text of this chat box conversation via email?

Terms for reference: https://bfg.org/terms

Great question! We will certainly try to copy and share this chat thread.

If you’re interested in a copy of this chat thread please email us at email@bfg.org and we’ll get it to you.

National Pep Rally RSVP: https://bfg18nationalpeprally.eventbrite.com

so if people or business want to donate via check we register those via bench points?

Yes. You are correct.

is there a convenience fee for bench points submissions?

GAME ON!  Pumped for 2018 BFG!

The schedule on my nonprofit’s page under emails & socials post is different than the one in the presentation

Yes, as it is still an online donation using your corporate card. We just need to verify the donation in order to allow the self-donated gift. All donations must be contributed online to count as points.

Game on!

ok, thanks!

Will we still get a bracket poster for participating this year? & t-shirts?

can you talk louder?

You are correct. The schedule there is a bit different as we are still working on the update. Here is the current schedule for reference:http://wp.bracketsforgood.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/2018_Schedule_R1.jpg

We are working on various announcements regarding 2018 posters and t-shirts


is there prize money for winning each round this year? or only the final game?

Where do we find the current matchups? Looking to see what day our round starts!

This year, the grand prize is the only prize money available. However, we say everyone wins because you can set your own metrics for success internally.


so only events/fundraisers that happen after march 2nd count for bench points?

How do we see the final prize money amount for our location?

Your first match up will start either March 2nd or March 9th depending on if you were awarded a first round bye. On February 15th, all brackets will be made available online.

Yes! Organize those bench point activities for after March 2nd. You got this!

How will we receive the community teammate info to share with potential partners?

Each tournament champion will receive an ADDITIONAL $10,000 courtesy of each tournament’s amazing presenting sponsor.


All Community Teammate resources will be available in your nonprofit locker room very soon. There will soon be a page titled ‘Community Teammate” under the “Playbook” tab

Thanks! Planting Possibilities is excited to participate — looks like we’re one of the few in NWIndiana :)


We will notify you via email as well.

Good Luck everyone and thanks for being part of Fundraising Madness!!!

Great info — we are first timers and pretty small. Excited to participate.

Small yet nimble. Use that to your advantage!

Thanks again everyone! We’re going to shut down the JoinMe! Good luck in 2018 and we’re thrilled to have you participate!

Posted in Brackets For Good

The Brackets For Good 2018 Season Calendar

Posted on January 29, 2018 by Rachel Purviance

Here is your Official Brackets For Good 2018 Tournament Schedule!


Want an even better way to make sure you don’t miss anything important in the Wonderful World of BFG? Add our 2018 Season Calendar to yours! Our BFG season calendar has all of the above dates on it, but we have also added some tips on when you should start thinking about and creating your strategy. Think of it as having Champ sitting on your shoulder giving you encouragement during your Tournament Prep Time!

Add the 2018 Brackets For Good Calendar to yours now by clicking the Google calendar image in the bottom right-hand corner of the calendar!

Posted in Brackets For Good

2017 MVP: First Time Donors!

Posted on December 27, 2017 by Jen Marcuson

This month we are looking back at the unsung MVP of the 2017 BFG tournaments: The First-Time Donor (FTD).

We logged a dizzying 31,898 donations throughout the 2017 tournaments from over 14,000 donors and across over 500 participating nonprofits. Over 8,600 of these donations came from donors who identified as not having ever donated to the nonprofit that they were supporting in the tournament before. These FTDs packed a big punch, scoring over 640,000 points across all tournaments at an average of 74 points per donation.


Who are FTDs?

First-time donors skewed female, Millennial and Generation Z aged, and came from far and wide, representing over 1,300 towns and cities, in every state in the union.  

2017 demographics graphic

Where did they score
Our new expansion markets faired the best with FTDs, with over 34% of the number of donations in the new markets coming in from FTDs. The veteran tournament still held strong, with 28% of donations registering from new donors. Even Indianapolis, our longest-running tournament, had a 29% new donor rate in 2017.

Younger nonprofits (under 10 years of operating age) fared slightly better than more established nonprofits in attracting FTDs in the tournament. These younger nonprofits collected 34% of their donations from new donors vs. 30% of longer-running nonprofits. Almost 10,000 transactions were processed from FTDs to these younger nonprofits, helping establish and support them both in the tournament and in their overall missions.

The top cause categories for the FTDs were Arts, Culture & Humanities; Youth Development; and Human Services, all top categories overall for BFG donors. The single nonprofit that collected the most individual FTD donations was Get Schooled, from the USA tournament, with 211 donations (or 21% of their total donation count) coming from new supporters.  The nonprofit that scored the most FTD points was Allied Arts, also of the USA tournament. Over $104,000 or 29% of all their points scored came from FTDs- and helped them secure the USA championship and the big $100,000 prize!

Brackets For Good 2017 tournament logos


When did they score?
The first round of the tournament easily leads the way with the highest number of first-time donations scored for nonprofits. With so many nonprofit competitors, it casts a wide net of interest and attraction for new philanthropists to get in the game. As the rounds progressed, the number of first-time donors decreased, however the amount those new supporters gave did not – in fact as the championship round heated up, rookie donors came in hard, with an average of $221 dollars raised per donation, compared to $46 in the first round.

rnd 1 vs championship rnd first time donor amounts graphic

There is no doubt that raising new awareness and support is one of our most important focuses at BFG. We are so proud of our amazing FTD MVPs and we cannot wait to see how many more we can help attract to your missions in 2018!

Posted in Brackets For Good, Fundraising, Nonprofit Story

Top 10 Reasons to Register for Brackets For Good

Posted on December 01, 2017 by Rachel Purviance


We miss watching Hoosier-native David Letterman and his famous Top 10 lists so we decided to channel our inner Dave by creating our own – Top 10 Reasons Nonprofits Need to Register for Brackets For Good! Why wait to get through the Top 10? Register now at https://bfg.org/nonprofits/registration!

We hope you enjoy!

10. Brackets For Good helps to raise awareness of all participating organizations by our own promotion of the tournaments. Through social media, advertisements, public relations and more, we’re working hard to bring more attention – and new donors – to your organization.

9. Brackets For Good provides a pre-written communication plan including press releases and email templates for board members, staff and volunteers, and your supporters. Also included in this communication plan are pre-written social media posts for those same audiences for pre-, during- and post-tournament. That’s right-we make it easy for you to put YOUR best effort on the philanthropic court!

8. Brackets For Good has created a free digital Training Camp to help you up your game in the tournament. Along with these free trainings is access to free resources as well as tools from our friends and partners. Quick training lessons help you understand and activate all the tools and resources you might not otherwise have access to!

7. Since our first tournament in 2012, Brackets For Good has an average of bringing in 31% NEW DONORS to organizations.

6. You only have ONE opponent each week! This piece of the strategy helps to align internal teams from board, staff, volunteers and supporters! Competition makes for stronger teams and playing in Brackets For Good is a sure way to get the team focused on all the good work you do, together!

5. From tip-off at 8 pm until the FINAL buzzer of the Championship round, the shot-clock is ticking 24 hours a day – this constant countdown drives urgency and action among your supporters. Did someone say BUZZER BEATERS!??!

4. Everyone is a player in BFG! One donor, one donation, one dollar can make all the difference!

3. A championship run in Brackets For Good is only 5 weeks long. These 5 weeks give you a unique opportunity to tell different stories from within your organization. Highlighting team members, beneficiaries, loyal supporters, programs, and impact stories of what you can accomplish together will recruit more people to join you and your mission!

2. Brackets For Good is “The Only Sport for Nonprofits” and is uniquely timed to capitalize on the Nation’s obsession with college basketball. Only our brackets help your causes to continue to do incredible work!

1. Brackets For Good is just FUN! The nature of competitive sport, the energy of the final buzzer, and the ability for all of us to participate in making a difference makes this a fundraising opportunity you can’t miss! Join Brackets For Good and together we can build a stronger community!

Okay, now we are 100% sure you’re ready to get in the game! Register for Fundraising Madness before the final buzzer sounds! https://bfg.org/nonprofits/registration

Posted in Brackets For Good

120 Days from the 2018 Tip-Off!

Posted on October 26, 2017 by Rachel Purviance

The BFG Coaches are busy prepping for the 2018 season! Matt & Matt are stretching their hammies in between sprints, Reid has been pumping the iron, Mo is busy calculating stats and Rachel is lining up her favorite cheers!

Rachel cheering

March 2nd will get here before we know it! We want to make sure that all of our Registered Nonprofits are prepared for their play in Fundraising Madness.

Here are some pro-tips to help get your head in the game!

– If you haven’t already, follow Brackets For Good on all our social media accounts. Leading up to and during Tournament Time, our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts will be your first stop for updates and scores. We’re also on LinkedIn and YouTube!

We have also added a Roster Page in your Nonprofit Locker Room! Check out this video to learn more about the Roster Page. Get in there today and start inviting folks to your team Roster!

If you are new to Brackets For Good or need some help getting your co-workers or board excited about BFG, share our Brand New Overview Video! This video should help explain how the tournament works and hopefully get your team excited! If they would rather have a physical document to look at, we have that too! Download here.

A few things to remember…

Just in case you missed our September Mini-Game with updates of things to come in 2018, here are just a few that we can share with you! We’re always working to make BFG better and we have some exciting things in the works but here are a few items we want you to know right now.

-Community Teammates! Community Teammates are now BFG-wide for 2018. We’re excited to share even more with you soon about Community Teammates but in summary, Community Teammates are a corporate partner dedicated to YOUR organization to help your cause in the tournament. Community Teammate relationships can take many forms whether that support is financial, promotional or both!

-Coming soon in the Playbook: We’ll be sharing easy-to-implement strategies to help you have a successful tournament run. Get pumped for those!

-Nonprofit Locker Room Under Construction: We’re also going to be re-organizing the Nonprofit Locker Room to make it easier to navigate and to create a better experience for you!

-We often get questions asking about how Nonprofits are selected to participate. If we could, we would love to have an endless bracket and allow everyone to participate! However right now we’re loving the setup of 64 teams competing. We have all the answers to your Bracketology questions right here.

Finally, we want to make sure that you’re aware of the Season Schedule update. We’ve pushed some deadlines back a bit and made our tournament start on the first Friday in March.

Here is your Official Brackets For Good 2018 Season Schedule!

2018 Season Schedule

Want an even better way to make sure you don’t miss anything important in the Wonderful World of BFG? Add our 2018 Season Calendar to yours! Our BFG season calendar has all of the above dates on it, but we have also added some tips on when you should start thinking about and creating your strategy. Think of it as having Champ sitting on your shoulder giving you encouragement during your Tournament Prep Time!

Add the 2018 Brackets For Good Calendar to yours now by clicking the Google calendar image in the bottom right-hand corner of the calendar!

Posted in Brackets For Good

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