An Indianapolis-based online fundraising organization is seeking to more than double its reach next year.
Brackets for Good, a not-for-profit that runs an annual tournament to help charities gain exposure and collect donations, is expanding into three new cities in 2016 and has another three lined up for 2017.
The organization started in 2012 in Indianapolis and launched in Louisville this year. To date, Brackets for Good has raised more than $1.3 million for charities through its March Madness-themed events.
Co-founder and Butler University graduate Matt McIntyre said the group has been able to add more cities because new corporate sponsors have been secured. In 2016, Brackets for Good will host tournaments in Minneapolis, St. Louis and Ann Arbor, Michigan, in addition to returning to Indianapolis and Louisville. In 2017, Brackets for Good plans to launch in Chicago, Cincinnati and the Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina area.
"It has been a word-of-mouth expansion for us," McIntyre said.
During the tournaments—which will take place next year from Feb. 26 to April 1 next year—charities earn points by collecting donations and advance through the rounds by raising more than their opponents. The winner receives an additional $10,000 from a corporate sponsor, which varies by city. Valeo Financial Advisors is the title sponsor for Indianapolis and Ann Arbor.
Not-for-profits must apply to participate in the annual competition. Brackets for Good is partnering with the IUPUI School of Public and Environmental Affairs next year to evaluate and select 64 not-for-profits in each city.
For the 2016 tournaments, McIntyre said more than 620 not-for-profits have expressed interest in participating. In the new markets, he said the goal is to get 80 charities to sign up and he expects to reach that level in all three cities next year.
McIntyre is the only paid staff member for Brackets for Good, but he expects that to change as the organization continues to expand.
He added that he’s also considering what Brackets for Good can do in the “off season” and would like to launch an online fundraising training program for local not-for-profits within the next year.
“Our specialty is online," McIntyre said. "We’ve got all the tools.