How Justin's March Madness Bracket Raised $2,000 for Leukemia

Photo by bigcityal

Justin Goldsborough hates cancer. And he has plenty of reasons to hate the deadly disease.

One of his colleagues has an 18-month old who’s undergoing a second round of chemotherapy. One of his best friends from high school lost his dad to lymphoma during their senior year. And another friend lost his mom just a few weeks after doctors told her she was in remission.

Justin has had enough of cancer. But instead of putting a stake in the ground against the disease, he’s slam dunking his way past it with a March Madness bracket challenge for his colleagues and friends in Kansas City.

Here’s how Justin has raised over $2,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Kansas City.

1. Visit ESPN’s Tournament Challenge to start a group

ESPN makes it easy to start or join a bracket challenge. It takes just a few minutes to fill out your bracke,t and then compete against friends, family, and other fans.

“ESPN makes it so simple,” Justin explains. “You just fill out your brackets, and they [ESPN] take care of the rest. You can see which teams have won and lost, and who in your group has bragging rights.”

Justin’s bracket group message explains the fundraiser, and the suggested donation of $25 to participate.

You don’t have to use ESPN for your bracket challenge. Most of the other big-name sports websites, like CBS and Sports Illustrated, have bracket games. Or you can do it the old-fashioned way with pen and paper. But I promise it won’t be as easy and fun as doing it online!

2. Set up an event page on Facebook

Create a Facebook event page so you can connect with all your family and friends on the biggest social network. Justin’s Facebook event page includes a link to his ESPN group page and another link to his donation page.

3. Set up a donation page

Justin uses a donation page provided by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which makes sense for him as he’s involved in a ten-week competition that will crown the next man and woman of the year in Kansas City. However, if you’re supporting a different charity, create your own fundraising page for it.

Be sure to include a link to your donation page on your Facebook event page, and vice versa.

4. Promote the challenge through your other networks

Facebook is a great place to promote your bracket challenge, but don’t forget email and other social networks such as Twitter. Use everything you have to get the word out.

Justin also suggests adding some prizes to sweeten the pot.

“March Madness is about having fun competing against one another,” he says. “Anything you can do to enhance that excitement will just make the challenge better.”

Many of the people in Justin’s group are colleagues from the Kansas City Public Relations office where he works. While his March Madness pool isn’t company-sponsored, management is supportive of his office pool for a purpose.

“Having an office pool and a pool for charity are perceived very differently,” Justin says. “Doing a pool for charity just sits better with the boss. It helps a lot that she and just about everyone else in the office are big fans of the tournament.”