How to Create Social Good with March Madness

March Madness. Each year I usually participate in several pools with friends from across the country. Creating a bracket is a bit of a challenge for me, since I hardly pay attention to college basketball at any point leading up to March. That’s definitely the case now, since I’ve had even less time this year to read anything about college basketball. Nevertheless, I’m really intrigued by two efforts to link social good with the hoopla surrounding the Tournament.

The first effort – Grant Madness – is sponsored by the One Percent Foundation, which promotes philanthropy amongst young adults who award grants to nonprofits through a collaborative process. Participants in Grant Madness contribute $10 per entry. The winner of the pool will be able to choice designate a $2,000 grant to a nonprofit with the second place finisher getting to designate a $1,000 grant.  Additional grants could be awarded if more people participate in the effort.

The second – Citizen Effect’s Brackets with Benefits – is sponsored by the Case Foundation, EdelmanFathead, and CrowdFlower. Similar to the One Percent Foundation approach, the funds collected will get designed by the pool winner to a project on Citizen Effect, a nonprofit helping people crowdfund philanthropic projects. To encourage additional participation, the Case Foundation will also provide a $500 matching grant to two group pools that have the most registered participants.

Both sounds like great efforts to encourage support to nonprofits creating social good while also giving us all a little fun. Now if only I could figure out which schools to choose in my bracket…


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