The Triple C's

Creatively Collaborating for a Cause


Author

Jason Ellis

Jason Ellis

Founder, Fundbrackets.com

Now there’s an idea!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to make donations so large they impact a charity’s bottom line? You know, the way celebrities do? I don’t mean to discourage donations of smaller portions, but this is the obvious truth: charities can do more with a $10,000 donation than they can with a $10 donation. I think about this truth on a daily basis. In fact, it is this truth that led to the start of Fundbrackets.com. Let me explain.

My wife and I enjoy a good game show. One of our favorites is Hollywood Game Night, hosted by Jane Lynch. If you’re not familiar with the show, it’s a pretty simple concept. There are two celebrity teams each led by a non-celebrity player. Contestants, celebrity and non, compete in a series of mini-games to earn points. The team with the most point at the end plays a ‘get-me-to-guess-that-word’ type of game where the non-celebrity can win cash and the celebrities can earn a $10,000 donation to their favorite charity.

We would have many a late and lazy night enjoying a Hollywood Game Night marathon. It was in the midst of one of these marathons that I turned to my wife and asked, “Do you think we’ll ever be able to make a $10,000 donation?”. She responded optimistically with an “I think so” but little did we know, she would be pregnant with twins just 5 months later. After the big news, like most parents, our earnings beyond necessary expenses were set aside for the kids. I knew my wife’s optimism had not changed but, in my mind, a $10,000 donation resided in the distant…distant future. Then, the Fundbrackets.com idea hit me.

It was the year that Warren Buffet, Quicken Loans, and Yahoo Fantasy Sports hosted the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge. I love March Madness so naturally I participated. The perfect bracket was never an option but there was always the chance I could win one of the $100,000 prizes given to top brackets (SPOILER ALERT:  I did not come close to winning any of the prizes). The experience certainly got my wheels spinning. I began to wonder if sponsors would be willing to offer the $100,000 prize as a donation instead of a marketing expense. My excitement grew as I began to imagine what it would feel like to be responsible for a $100,000 donation. Forget the $10,000 donation…let’s go for the $100,000 donation! Moms, dads, college students, blue collar, white collar, ANYONE…could earn a large donation on behalf of their favorite charity! And it would cost them nothing! Now there’s an idea!

And so began our journey to create March Madness bracket events for charity. There is one more obvious truth: most individuals and families do not have an extra $10,000 available to donate. If this is you, welcome to the club… and it’s time to get excited because this club has an opportunity to impact a charity’s bottom line. All you have to do is fill out a bracket and hope you’ve chosen the correct upsets. Which 12-5 match-up will it be?

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