Charities compete head-on in own version of March Madness

NEW BRITAIN — Sixty Greater Hartford area charities are competing for funds against one another in a “March Madness” style tournament that began Friday.

Brackets for Good, a charitable organization itself, is bringing the competition to Connecticut for the first time. It’s an online fundraising tournament where every dollar equals a point and organizations with the most points advance. The final champion will receive an additional $10,000 from Stanley Black & Decker.

Earlier this month, the bracket and first round match ups were revealed to the charities at Stanley Black & Decker headquarters in New Britain. Brackets for Good representatives were there to go over the rules and strategies to put charities ahead.

After only 3 days in the first round, nonprofits in the Hartford area have raised nearly $9,000, outpacing 8 of the 11 cities with similar tournaments underway this year.

Wheeler Clinic has already raised more than $1,000, and the Tunxis Community College Foundation has already exceeded $900.

“We think philanthropy should be fun. Philanthropy doesn’t have to be boring.  So most definitely people get drawn into the excitement and the competition. They want their cause to advance and win that additional $10,000 so they might give above and beyond what they maybe normally would have given because they want to see their cause advance,” said Reid McDowell, Partnerships and Marketing Director at Brackets for Good. “Each week starts new. The charities keep the money raised the previous week, win or lose, and then the winners get new opponents and start at zero for the new week and the new match up. Just as in basketball, every time you advance it’s a new opponent and you start even with a clear scoreboard. ”

The championship is at the end of March.

The following non-profit organizations are competing:

  • Access Community Action Agency
  • Achieve Hartford! LLC
  • Boys & Girls Club of Bristol Family Center
  • Capital City Education Alliance
  • Center for Children’s Advocacy
  • Channel 3 Kids Camp
  • Charities of Hope, Inc.
  • Children’s Law Center of Connecticut, Inc.
  • Circle of Care
  • Civics First, Inc.
  • Community Mental Health Affiliates (CMHA)
  • Community Partners in Action
  • Community Renewal Team, Inc.
  • Connecticut Concert Ballet Inc.
  • Connecticut Council for Interreligious Understanding
  • Connecticut Humane Society
  • Connecticut Rivers Council, Boy Scouts of America
  • Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF)
  • ConnectiKids Inc.
  • Covenant Preparatory School
  • Farmington Public School Foundation
  • Farm to Family, AKA Gifts of Love
  • Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Inc.
  • Friends of Holcomb Farm
  • Girls For Technology
  • Greater New Britain Teen Pregnancy Prevention Inc.
  • Hartford 2000, Inc.
  • Hartford City Mission
  • Hartford Food System Inc.
  • Hartford Performs, Inc.
  • Hartford’s Camp Courant
  • Home for the Aged of the Little Sisters of the Poor
  • Jordan Porco Foundation
  • KELLYS KIDS INC.
  • KNOX – People, Planting, Programs
  • Lao American New Generation Inc.
  • Leadership Greater Hartford
  • Literacy Volunteers of Greater Hartford
  • Literacy Volunteers of Central CT
  • Mandell JCC / Jonathan’s Dream
  • MARCH, Inc. of Manchester
  • MARC, Inc. of Manchester
  • Mental Health Connecticut, Inc.
  • Mercy Housing and Shelter Corporation
  • My Sisters’ Place, Inc.
  • New Britain Museum of American Art
  • Newington Children’s Theatre Company
  • Our Piece of the Pie
  • REACH Newtown Inc.
  • Riverfront Recapture
  • Shoreline Village CT
  • The Bridge Family Center, Inc.
  • The First Tee of Connecticut
  • The iQuilt Partnership, LLC
  • The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • The Mark Twain House & Museum
  • The Small Things
  • True Colors, Inc. Sexual Minority Youth and Family Services of CT
  • Tunxis Community College Foundation
  • Wheeler Clinic