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It is time for March Gladness 2017!


March Gladness 2017 is here! Last year’s tournament was really amazing, and this one’s going to be even bigger. This year there will be two separate brackets, one for college groups and one for charities. Together we can raise tens of thousands for charity all in the name of friendly competition!

What’s March Gladness?

March Gladness is our charitable homage to March Madness, the famous NCAA basketball tournament where 64 teams compete in a round-by-round bracket to decide the champion. Our version pits groups and charities on Tab for a Cause against one another in a competition to see who can earn the most Hearts for charity (and win some great prizes along the way!)

How can I participate in the competitions?

The selection process will last from now until March 11. There are two separate brackets. Here’s how you can participate:

  • The 32 most-submitted charities through this form by March 10 at 4:00pm PDT will get spots in the charity bracket.

How do I join a group?

To join a college group on Tab for a Cause, simply navigate to your dashboard and type your desired group name in the search field.

How does my group or charity win?

Just like March Madness, there will be multiple rounds, each one cutting the number of teams in half. In each round, groups and charities will be competing in a head to head matchup with another group to see who can earn or donate the most hearts on Tab for a Cause.

Ways to Earn Hearts

  • 1 Heart = Open a Tab on Tab for a Cause
  • 1 Heart = Use the Tab for a Cause search widget
  • 350 Hearts = Recruit a friend to Tab for a Cause


The winner of the college group tournament will get a scavenger hunt on their campus with over $1,000 in cash prizes. Last year’s scavenger hunt on Princeton’s campus was a huge success, so we knew we had to bring back the prize for another year!

We want all of the charities in the competition to come away with donations, so each round that a charity progresses will earn them a larger donation. 1st round exits will receive $100 each, 2nd round will be $200, then $400, $600, $1,000, and $3,000 for the winning charity!

To make things extra fun, the person who can best predict the outcome of the college bracket will get $100 to use on a Kiva loan!

Let the race to get into the tournament begin!

Join your school group on Tab for a Cause and make sure you’re in the top 64 come March 11! Please post any questions or comments in the comments section below and we will get back to you as soon as possible!

Dates to Remember:

  • March 1 – March 10: Selection Process
  • March 13 – March 17: First Round
  • March 17 – March 20 : Second Round
  • March 21 – March 24: Sweet 16
  • March 25 – March 28: Elite Eight
  • March 28 – March 31: Final Four
  • March 31 – April 3: Championship

-Alex and the Tab for a Cause team

Questions? See our FAQ page or comment on this post


    Hi, guys! Great idea! On the form itself, I think part of the explanation got garbled. You might have meant to say that we SHOULD use the full charity name! :-)

    Bear Down and tab for the University of Arizona Wildcats!

    • Alex Groth

      Thanks for catching the typo, should be fixed now! Happy Tabbing :)

  • Leopoldo Vargas

    This also apply for non-USA colleges?

    • Alex Groth

      Yup! There are a few international universities in the bracket!

  • Catherine Low

    Hi Alex, I have a couple of questions about the charity competition, as I would really like some highly effective charities (for example GiveWell recommended charities) to get these prizes, and to be on the usual list of charities for people to donate hearts to.

    Do the winning charity or charities get to be charities we can donate hearts to regularly (like not in March)? A friend thought that was the case, but I can’t find the information anywhere.

    I’m a bit confused about how the competition works for charities. Are the dates and description of the rounds the same for the charity competition? What happens in each round? Do we have an option in our tab to select our favourite charity of the list during each of these rounds?
    You have listed charity prizes of $100 to $3000 – do the also get the money from the hearts?


    • Brandon Martinez

      I would also like to know how this works. I am also interested in the details of how the charities are chosen in the charity bracket, in terms of who advances. Do we vote? Do the predictions influence who moves forward? I am also interested in seeing GiveWell recommended charities advancing in this bracket. Thank you.

      • Alex Groth

        Hey Catherine and Brandon,

        For the Charity bracket, the dates and rounds will follow the college bracket (though ending one round earlier). In each round, you will donate hearts to the charity you want to support, and at the end of the round, the charity that has received the most donated hearts will advance to the next round. Since these are all great organizations, even the charities that lose in the first round will still get money ($100). However, each round advanced will increase that amount.

        In this case, they will not get the money from the hearts (we are essentially dividing up the money that we expect those hearts to be worth ahead of time).

        As for the charity becoming a partner after the tournament, this is something that is dependent on the charity. Having a permanent charity partner requires some work from the charity as well, so both parties need to agree. Obviously, if we see huge community support for charities that we aren’t currently partnered with, we will do our best to get them on board.

        As for the predictions, they do not influence who moves on each round, it will simply be decided by how many hearts they have at the end of the round (this will be more clear once it is up and running).

        Hopefully that helps answer all of your questions!

        • Jill Lytle

          How do we donate hearts to charities that are not already one of the 8 that
          Tabbers can already donate to? Does having more Tabbers join a charity’s group help that charity? Or is it only hearts donated in their name? Thanks for the clarification!

          • Alex Groth

            If you join a charity group during the tournament, you will see a special page on your new tab that will include a “donate hearts” button directly under the charity name. If you use that to donate your hearts, they will go to the charity listed. Thanks!

          • Jill Lytle

            Thank you!!

          • Shayne Walton

            Hey Alex! I’m a little confused on how to find the charity group to donate for during the tournament. I’ve searched for them in the “Find A Group…” part of the Tab For A Cause page, but for some reason none of them are showing up (I’ve looked for UNICEF, World Wildlife Foundation, ACLU, and more). Is there a separate way I should be adding the group?

          • Alex Groth

            Hello Shayne,

            If you are already in a college group that is in a tournament, you will not be able to join a charity until after your college is out. You could also temporarily leave your college group to join a charity group. In either case, once you aren’t in a college group that is in the college tournament, you will see a different new tab page that will let you pick a charity to support.

            Let me know if that doesn’t work!

          • Joshua Anderson

            Just to clarify then, you can’t simultaneously participate in adding hearts to both a charity and a university?

          • Alex Groth

            Correct. At the moment it is one of the other. However, if you want, you can leave a college group, donate to a charity, and then rejoin the college group fairly painlessly

  • Felicia Grady

    Why does our school have negative hearts??

    • Alex Groth

      That would be a bug, sorry! Working on it…

  • From me to you on the lowlow

    Against Malaria Foundation and Evidence Action are two of the most effective charities in the world according to Givewell. Just a gentle nudge that if you donate your hearts there it will likely have a considerably greater impact than if elsewhere.

  • liv_rocks

    Hi! I was just wondering does each charity get a donation from the hearts donated to them as well as the exit prize?

    • Alex Groth

      Hello! The charities will get only the exit prize. We essentially guessed at what the heart donations would be during the tournament to set the prizes ahead of time. If the end total is wildly off, we may bump them up a bit. Thanks!

  • Daniel Powell

    Seems the old-ish link I received last Friday for my prediction on Challonge no longer gives me access to view (did not create an official Challonge account at that time). Did you ditch this platform (noticing you have some awesome, fancy chart directly on now), or did closing predictions simply make all of those inaccessible to those who only filled out the form? Would be nice to see how close we are in the event as the month progresses in case we didn’t print out after submittal.

    • Alex Groth

      The brackets should still be visible along with your own predictions through this link: (colleges) or this one: (charity). At the top of the page, if you click on “predictions” you should be able to see the rank of all the participants as well as your own results. Obviously, nothing will change until the first round ends on Friday though.

      • Daniel Powell

        Ah yes, perfect. Thank you, Alex.

  • trev

    Can I please check – if we donate hearts to a charity during this competition (one that is not on the normal list) our hearts do not give the charity money like they normally would? Instead it only adds to their “vote” tally, and the winner / loser gets the exit prizes specified?

    If the above is correct, is there a way I can donate hearts to a newly listed charity so that they just get my hearts worth of donations instead?

    If I give all my hearts to a charity for the competition, does that bring my hearts total down to 0? I’m trying to confirm if by playing the game we are choosing to give our hearts over as a “vote” as part of the competition, instead of donating the equivalent money of hearts directly to the charity.


    • trev

      I care deeply about giving to effective charities such as Mercy For Animals, Against Malaria Foundation, and Give Directly.

      If there is any possible way that at least one of those charities can be included as a regular charity option to donate to it would mean so so much!

      • Alex Groth

        Hey Trev,
        That is correct. Putting hearts towards the charities in the competition does make them votes for only the competition. At the end of March Gladness, we will look at support for the new charities to see if there are ones we can make full-time partners. The best way to increase the odds of that happening is to support them with your hearts and try to get your friends to support them as well!

  • Jordan

    Is there also a prize for the best predictor of the charity bracket?

    • Alex Groth

      Yup! Both of the winning predictions will get $100 Kiva Loans

  • NT

    I really like these competitions, but it is hard to find our if hearts still count as donations or not. After thinking they did and wasting lots of potential donations on charities that were doomed, I finally scrolled far enough down in this comment sections to find out that they were just votes and nothing more. For the next competition, could we please have a disclaimer in the main text that explains the distinction? I feel like I greatly misunderstood the impact I could have and acted poorly because of that. Thanks so much.

    • This article was pretty clear and easy to find, imo…

      • NT

        But it doesn’t specify that hearts used as votes will not also be donated.

    • Alex Groth

      Definitely understand that the heart system was a little unclear for this competition. In the future, we will try to provide a clearer explanation of how hearts work in competitions vs. normal usage. Thanks for your patience and for sticking with us!