With March Madness right around the corner another, a tournament influenced by the recent success of Butler’s men’s basketball is taking shape.
Brackets for Good, an Indianapolis-based charitable organization, is starting its first bracket tournament March 5 with local non-profit educational organizations serving as the “teams.”
Butler graduate Matt McIntyre conceived the idea for the charity after witnessing the enthusiasm around Indianapolis surrounding Butler’s run to the national championship game last year.
“After the excitement during the tournament last year, we just wanted to give back that excitement to the non-profits in our state,” McIntyre said. “The timing was right with March Madness, and we wanted to turn the excitement of the tournament into something positive.”
McIntyre co-founded the organization along with Indiana University graduate Matt Duncan and Rose Hulman Institute of Technology graduate David Cornelius.
The contest involves eight Indianapolis non-profits matched up in a tournament-style bracket that takes place over three weeks. Each week, the organization with the most points advances to the next round like in the NCAA tournament.
For each dollar donated to the organization, the organization earns one point.
The winner of the tournament will receive an additional $5,000 that serves as the grand prize.
McIntyre said that the goal of the tournament is to spread the word of these non-profits around the community.
“The biggest thing for me, coming just several years out of school, is you’re just unaware of what non-profits exist, so we wanted to help raise awareness for these organizations,” McIntyre said.
Nathan Hand, vice president of marketing and development at School on Wheels, an organization that helps tutor homeless children in Indianapolis, said that his organization’s involvement in the tournament could help bring new volunteers to the group.
“I think it brings some awareness and introduces new people to us who also might choose to volunteer,” Hand said.
Another organization that is taking part in the tournament is the Orr Fellowship, an organization that provides post-graduate opportunities for graduates of Indiana universities.
Brandon Russell, marketing coordinator at WebLink International and current Orr Fellow, said that the contest is a good event for the Orr Fellowship to take part in.
“We like to give back to the community as much as possible, and we thought this would be a great opportunity to do so,” Russell said. “We are really excited about winning this thing and taking what we win and giving it back to the community.”
McIntyre said the idea would have never gotten off the ground if not for Butler.
“Without Butler, I wouldn’t have my connection to the other directors,” McIntyre said. “We wouldn’t have had the idea to do this without Butler.”