And the 2013 Nonprofit Madness winner is…


We are excited to announce that Heart of Missouri Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is the winner of the 2013 Nonprofit Madness bracket tournament. They will be awarded $250 and an engraved award from The Rebecca Gordon Group on April 26, 2013 at Heart of Missouri CASA’s Mi CASA es Su CASA community dinner event at the Theta sorority house on the MU campus.     

casalogoHeart of Missouri CASA‘s mission is to train and support volunteers to be exceptionalvoices for every abused and neglected child in Boone and Callaway county family courts. Read more about Heart of Missouri CASA and their upcoming events in our blog post, or visit their website at:

Heart of Missouri CASA defeated Big Brother Big Sisters of Central Missouri in the Championship match with more than 54 percent of the vote. You can view all the results here.

Thank you so much to everyone who voted in Nonprofit Madness this year. We had such a blast putting it on and hope to do it again next year!

In case you weren’t following along the past two weeks, Nonprofit Madness is a 16 “team” tournament, matching nonprofits in Missouri against each other, head-to-head, NCAA bracket style. The winner of each head-to-head matchup was determined by online voting. There were four rounds of voting, each lasting four days, including the Sustainable 16, Impactful 8, Effective 4 and the Championship.

Other organizations participating in this year’s Nonprofit Madness included: Central Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Association, East Missouri Action Agency, Missouri Retired Teachers Foundation, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Missouri, Missouri Public School Advocates, Love INC, Heart of Missouri Girls on the Run, Missouri Health Care for All, The Child Center, Dreams to Reality, Catholic Charities St. Louis, Humane Society of Greater Kansas City, American Red Cross Heart of Missouri Chapter and Missouri Food Bank Association.

For more information about each of the participating nonprofits, please click here.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri

BB Andre LB Jaylon

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri, a mentoring program in Columbia, Mexico, and Moberly, holds itself accountable for children achieving measurable outcomes, such as educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors, higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships. Big Brothers Big Sisters pairs children ages 6-14 with screened volunteer mentors and supports these one-to-one mentoring matches as they enjoy activities in the schools and in the community.

The local agency serves 500+ children yearly and has a waiting list of 86. To learn more, enroll a child, volunteer or donate, visit or call 573-874-3677.


Currently they are gearing up for Bowl for Kids’ Sake – an annual fundraiser to be held Saturday, April 20th at Community Lanes in Moberly and Saturday, May 4th at Town and Country Lanes in Columbia. For more information contact You can also register for the Columbia Bowl for Kids’ Sake by clicking here.

Please support this great organization that is doing some fantastic work in Mid-Missouri!

You can also connect with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri on Facebook and Twitter.

What makes nonprofits special?

Joe and his Little Brother Ja’shaun at the Pumpkin Festival in Hartsburg, MO.

For anyone who has ever worked or volunteered with a nonprofit, you already know what makes them so special. When I (Joe) was working for Big Brother Big Sisters of Central Missouri, every hour of data entry and reference calling was always made worth it each time I met with one of my Little Brothers or matched a new Big Brother or Sister with their Little Brother or Sister. “Seeing the look on the kids’ faces” has become such a cliche, but those are the images that stick with you when you’re stuffing and attaching labels to the thousandth envelope of the day. They remind you why your organization is so special.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies’ Listening Post Project recently surveyed more than 750 nonprofits or various sizes and fields. They asked the nonprofits  to describe what makes their organization special. The report identified the seven most common values listed: 

  • Productive 
  • Effective
  • Enriching
  • Empowering
  • Responsive
  • Reliable
  • Caring 

An article about the report ties it to recent news about the fiscal cliff, writing:

This is a crucial time for nonprofits around the country. As the federal government moves to avoid the fiscal cliff, proposals to reduce or cap the federal tax deduction for charitable contributions have become an increasingly common feature of budget-balancing measures from both ends of the political spectrum. And on the state and local levels, governments are imposing new taxes and fees on nonprofits in order to make ends meet.

What one word would you use to describe what makes nonprofits special? Leave a comment below!