Category Archives: Indianapolis

Brackets For Good Indianapolis 2018 presented by Valeo Financial Advisors

Posted on May 14, 2018 by Rachel Purviance

Fundraising Madness for 2018 has come to a close – but we’re excited to share the impact that was made in the Indianapolis community this year thanks to the nonprofit participants, donors and Community Partners Lodge Design, FirstPerson, Barnes & Thornburg, Stanley Security and Valeo Financial Advisors. From all of us at Brackets For Good, thank you for your support!

Click on the logo below to read our 2018 Impact Report for Indianapolis!


Posted in Brackets For Good, Indianapolis

All-Star Spotlight: “Community Teammate”– Morales Group and Exodus Refugee Immigration #Dreamteam

Posted on August 28, 2017 by Jen Marcuson

Exodus Refugee Immigration Morales Group

Brackets For Good introduced a new strategic feature to the 2017 Indianapolis tournament: The Community Teammate. Designed to pair local businesses with participating nonprofits to help them increase their reach and strengthen their competitiveness in the tournament, the program raised the stakes and essentially created two teams carrying the ball for each nonprofit – but it didn’t mean anyone got any extra bench time!

One such partnership, between Exodus Refugee Immigration and Morales Group Staffing, was definitely a slam dunk. Morales, a staffing firm that focuses on the local immigrant population, has been recognized as one of the fastest growing Hispanic owned businesses in America and one of the best places to work in Indiana. Their BFG nonprofit teammate, Exodus, has been working to resettle refugees in Indianapolis for over 30 years. Pairing up for the tournament was a natural extension of their ongoing relationship.

The two organizations have been working together for many years, working to secure job placements for refugee clients. The desire for Morales to become a Community Teammate came out of the spirit of their Community Outreach program. Monique Charlebois, Director of Human Resources with Morales, stated, “We live our mission every day. We want to build better futures and we want to do that with our partnerships.”  Morales’ outreach includes financially supporting organizations in their community but also provides a deeper level of commitment and activity, including encouraging employees to do at least 25 hours a year of volunteer work, some of which is on company time. Cole Varga, Executive Director of Exodus, wholeheartedly agrees, “This organization walks the walk. They really care about this population.”

CEO Tom Morales said that when they signed up to be in the BFG Teammate program they specifically asked if Exodus had a partner. Once they were paired up, dedicated staff were assigned to work with the Director of Development at Exodus, Liz Standiford, and together they created a strategy with the ultimate goal of winning the tournament. They also wanted to ensure Exodus raised at least $35-$40,000, a huge increase over previous years’ totals for the organization, but a goal they surpassed, raising $44,000 and making it to the Engaged Eight round.

Amanda Franklin, Branding and Digital Strategy at Morales, revealed one in-house engagement tactic they used; the Lids Free Throw points. Earning $2-$3 just for filling out your donor profile was easy and they earned over $100 from doing that. She noted, “It was also a good opportunity for the staff to get a better understanding of what the tournament is about.”

The two organizations came together to create shared social media messages and strategized their Friday night round-end plans together. Each Friday, Morales, Exodus, or the unofficial third partner, Luna Language Services, hosted a party for staff, volunteers, board members, and friends of each organization. Morales hosted the first week, treating everyone to food, the live BFG feed, and a silent auction of donated goods to help raise more money to put toward the last seconds of the round. Each week as they progressed, video feed of the cheering partygoers would be shared online after the round close.

While they worked closely together, they did not work alone. Tom revealed that a key strategy was reaching out to other affiliated organizations, such as Luna. “Overall, we realized there was no reason not to share in the fun!” he added, “I’m not just talking about the financial piece. It was something very different, so that was the first step – how can we reach out and make it entertaining for everybody.” Monique confirmed, “We definitely strengthened our connection with Luna. For many of us that would go to the events, it was good to get to know other organizations that are also so passionate about this.”

Morales acknowledged that their round-by-round budget occasionally got thrown by the wayside due to the fierce competitiveness amongst the team. Tom said, “I honestly believe that had I been there during our final round, we would have gone over because I wasn’t going to lose! I think it’s really important to note, every time I did give, I didn’t feel like I was buying something. It felt like I was giving to something that was really going to be for the greater good.”

The two organizations share an easy camaraderie, joking back and forth about the tense end-of-round moments they shared. The tournament partnership played a role in creating this level of comfort. Monique commented, “Coming together on the Friday nights, and getting to know the team better, it was a lot of fun. We encouraged people to come by giving them volunteer hours for coming.” Cole agreed, “For some of our non-employment staff who don’t interact with Morales all the time, it was nice to have them here and give them a chance to interact.”

Amanda noted the importance of being invested in your partner. She said, “I don’t think it would have been nearly as successful had we been partnered with someone that we hadn’t had a relationship with. A lot of work goes in behind the scenes, and you’re working very closely together. I would definitely recommend that if someone is going to do this, they partner with someone they have a connection with.”

When asked if they would participate again, Monique was quick to jump in, “Absolutely we would do it again! It is such a great cause and it is so much fun. I would advocate for anyone being a teammate to one of the organizations. As soon as it was over, we were thinking about how we were going to do things differently next year. It was a great way to collaborate, be team players, and support a good cause.” Tom added, “Had the competition not been there, I don’t think we would have raised the same amount at all. I think it was the strategic, competitive component that really got us going.”

And of course, when asked about their Buzzer Beater strategy, everyone agreed… “We won’t reveal it!”

Posted in Brackets For Good, Indianapolis, Nonprofit Story, Sponsor Story

Brackets For Good Indianapolis 2017 presented by Valeo Financial Advisors

Posted on August 11, 2017 by Rachel Purviance

Fundraising Madness spread across the country in 2017 marking this our biggest year yet! Brackets For Good tournaments are a team effort. The tournaments help people in the community learn about and rally behind great local causes doing amazing work.

Check out our stats from the sixth tournament in Indianapolis! The report covers an overview of the tournament stats, the impact on participating nonprofits, donors and our partners, and you even get a sneak peek into what we are working on for 2018!

Thanks for helping build stronger communities through the power of Competitive Giving!

Select the image to download the Brackets For Good Indianapolis 2017 Teammate Report.

Indianapolis report

View the Full Report

Posted in Brackets For Good, Indianapolis

Brackets For Good 2017 Champions

Posted on April 20, 2017 by Jen Marcuson

The Brackets For Good 2017 Champions post-game press conference: get the scoop on all the game-winning plays.

Brackets For Good Champion check presentation April 12th 2017 at Indiana Pacer Home Game at halftime on halfcourt

🏆 USA (National)

  • Champion: Allied Arts
  • Raised: $440,004.83
  • Mission: Enriching Our Communities Through Advancement of the Arts.
  • How they lit up the scoreboard: “We had brand new donors, and that’s always great. We also had loyal donors, and we had corporate partners that gave more because there was this opportunity to double their dollars. Having that $100,000 prize out there as an opportunity really helped our corporate donors say, ‘let’s get in on this!’.”

🏆 Ann Arbor

  • Champion: Community Action Network
  • Raised: $42,706.44
  • Mission: Community Action Network partners with children, youth and families from under-resourced Washtenaw County neighborhoods to create better futures for themselves and to improve the communities in which they live.
  • How they lit up the scoreboard: “Brackets For Good gave us a way to reconnect with old donors and a way to connect with new donors to raise a lot of money for our organization when we desperately needed it.”

🏆 Baltimore

  • Champion: I AM O’KAH!
    Mission: The mission of I AM O’KAH! is to empower all youth to unlock their greatest potential: through mentorship, scholarships and programs that help them navigate through socio-economic barriers to success.
  • Raised: $30,477.03
  • How they lit up the scoreboard: “Brackets For Good increased our outreach to first-time donors and allowed us to spread awareness about the organization to people who didn’t previously know about us.”

🏆 Cincinnati

  • Champion: NS Cares
    Mission: The vision of NS Cares is to ignite progress and growth throughout the insurance industry through acts of kinds in our communities.
  • Raised: $37,402.93
  • How they lit up the scoreboard: “Brackets For Good not only brings in new donors and connects you to your current donor base but also connects you with other organizations you might not be aware of, and you might have future opportunities for partnership.”

🏆 Denver

  • Champion: Promise Ranch Therapeutic Riding
    Mission: Promise Ranch encourages individuals of all abilities, including Veterans, to reach their full potential by providing safe, supportive, and quality Green Care opportunities in our community.
  • Raised: $52,718.00
  • Game Winning Play: “The tournament created an intense amount of excitement within our community, with our clients, our volunteers, and also new donors. That was really amazing and thrilling for us.”
  • How they lit up the scoreboard: “This competition really gave us a chance to come together as a staff, with our board, and with our volunteers and clients, and build something from the inside out.”

🏆 Hartford

  • Champion: CMHA (Community Mental Health Affiliates)
  • Mission: CMHA is a leading provider of an integrated health and behavioral health care system for children, families and adults. By fostering improvement in the quality of life for their clients, CMHA contributes to the well-being of the communities it serves.
  • Raised: $53,883.78
  • How they lit up the scoreboard: “Brackets For Good was a huge team-building concept for our organization. It brought our organization together; it engaged our employees; it made us feel like a team working together for a common goal.”

🏆 Indianapolis

  • Champion: Brooke’s Place for Grieving Young People
    Mission: To serve people living with childhood grief through bereavement programs, advocacy, community education and outreach. Our vision is to ensure that no person living with childhood grief feels alone.
  • Raised: $91,460.74
  • How they lit up the scoreboard: “Brackets For Good created tremendous awareness about our organization and actually helped families find us who need our services.”

🏆 Louisville

  • Champion: Neighborhood House
    Mission: Our mission is to provide individuals with opportunities to enhance the quality of their lives. Our vision is to break the cycle of poverty for our children and families.
  • Raised: $71,148.83
  • How they lit up the scoreboard: “Brackets for Good is a tremendous way to raise awareness for your nonprofit and to really capture the energy going on around March Madness already. If you can harness that power for good and turn it into dollars, that’s wonderful.”

🏆 Miami

  • Champion: Holocaust Documentation & Education Center
  • Mission: To document and present an enduring, historically accurate record of the Holocaust through eyewitness accounts by Survivors, Liberators, Rescuers, and others who survived terrifying experiences, overcame fear and grief, and triumphed to live meaningful and productive. To teach people from all walks of life the universal lessons of the Holocaust, through thought-provoking exhibitions and insightful programming, illuminating the catastrophic ramifications of prejudice, racism, stereotyping, and bullying which tragically still occur today. This is accomplished through the cultivation of alliance and cooperation with individuals, organizations and institutions, locally, nationally, and internationally.
  • Raised: $32,414.25
  • How they lit up the scoreboard: “Brackets For Good really spreads awareness. It also boosts morale, donors become excited, friends want to get engaged, and everyone has lots of fun!”

🏆 Nashville

  • Champion: Cottage Cove Urban Ministries
  • Mission: To provide educational opportunities and training in the arts through the power and in the name of Jesus Christ.
  • Raised: $40,049.70
  • How they lit up the scoreboard: “The biggest thing for us was that it was a way to get more people involved early in the year when normally fundraising just doesn’t happen.”

🏆 St. Louis

  • Champion: Camp Jump Start
  • Mission: Camp Jump Start is a whole health summer camp dedicated to jump start kid success.
  • Raised: $106,088.43
  • How they lit up the scoreboard: “Brackets For Good gave us a great opportunity to engage all of our staff, donors, and volunteers in order to be a team. Everyone wanted us to win, round after round after round and it got everyone very engaged!”

🏆 Twin Cities

  • Champion: Ronald McDonald House Charities, Upper Midwest
    Mission: We, in partnership with our community, provide a comfortable and caring home-away-from-home that supports keeping families together and reduces stress during a child’s serious illness.
  • Raised: $64,190.07
  • Game Winning Play: “The social media presence has been priceless.”
  • How they lit up the scoreboard: “Brackets For Good is one of the best ways we’ve had to engage new donors or lapsed donors. The competitive spirit energizes not only our staff, but our donors as well as the philanthropic community.”

Posted in Ann Arbor Area, Brackets For Good, Fundraising, Indianapolis, Louisville, Nonprofit Story, St. Louis, Twin Cities

Welcome to the Line Up Birge & Held Asset Management

Posted on February 25, 2017 by Jen Marcuson

Birge & Held (B&H) is a national apartment real estate, private equity and investment firm located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Since 2008, B&H has acquired and currently manages over $350,000,000 in multi-family assets across the country. Through private equity and creative debt structures, B&H continues to grow its portfolio of assets and generate strong returns for its investors.

Birge & Held tugofwar6


B&G is dedicated to creating profitable partnerships with their stakeholders, an enriched work environment for employees, best in class properties for their residents, and opportunities for community involvement. They have a Community Service policy for all employees and encourage continuous philanthropic initiatives. In this spirit, B&G has generously signed up to be a BFG 2017 Indianapolis Community Teammate. They are partnered with the Humane Society of Hamilton County, our 2015 Indianapolis Champion!

We are excited to see what B&H and the Humane Society unleash in the 2017 tournament together.

Posted in Indianapolis

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