Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5
Subscribe

Meet Omaze, the Celebrity-Endorsed Juggernaut That Has Raised Over $100 Million for Charity

Co-founder Matt Pohlson is just getting started.

By
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Matt Pohlson knew that after graduating from business school, he wanted to create a company that would impact the world. Even without a business plan, he passed on a lucrative job offer to pursue his passion.

“When you have $200,000 in debt and you turn down another job, you are scared,” Pohlson says. “But everything you want is on the other side of fear.”

In 2012, he and co-founder Ryan Cummins started Omaze, an online platform that raises money for charity by offering chances to win once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

To date, Omaze has raised over $130 million to support the work of more than 350 charities around the world. The company has supported causes like UNICEF, The Epilepsy Foundation and Kind Campaign, and it's provided hundreds of celebrity experiences, ranging from singing onstage with Paul McCartney to going behind the scenes at (and even making an appearance in) Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The company has come a long way since its first campaign: a guest judging slot on Cupcake Wars that netted only $748. Omaze has now become the leading platform for individuals looking to make a difference and nonprofits trying to raise major funding. The team is working to make Omaze the first for-profit company to give $1 billion to charity in a single year. 

“If you feel like what you’re doing is serving others, that’s your fuel for persistence,” says Pohlson.

In this episode of How Brands Are Born, see how a missed opportunity to meet Magic Johnson inspired Pohlson to change the way his charity operates.

How Brands Are Born is presented by Cardone Ventures, in partnership with Original Stories Media. Learn how Grant Cardone and Brandon Dawson can help your business transform and scale to 10X levels HERE.

Latest

How This Pregnancy Nurse Is Bringing Prenatal Education to Your Couch

A registered nurse and the founder of the Online Prenatal Class for Couples shares her advice for expecting parents.

The Co-Founder of a Diversity Recruitment Platform Shares How Her Company Is Helping Underrepresented, High-Quality Employees Get Hired

The CEO and co-founder of Joonko shares how her platform is helping companies automatically source underrepresented, high-quality employees and her tips for executives trying to improve their D&I efforts.

André Vener of Dog Haus on Effective Branding Strategy

Interview with Dog Haus partner and co-founder André Vener about launching successful modern restaurant brands, thinking outside the box, franchising, and scaling with ghost kitchens.

Top 3 Little-Known Productivity Mistakes

Are you struggling to stay on task? Well these three little-known mistakes might be tanking your productivity without you even knowing.

How One Startup Is Trying to Revolutionize the Low-Code/No-Code Industry

The CEO and co-founder of Zenity shares how his company is dedicated to governance and security for low-code/no-code applications.

4 Things to Do When You're in a Negotiation

The executive director and CEO of WIN Summit shares her advice for entrepreneurs looking to elevate their negotiation skills.

Matt Horn on Finding Purpose in Family and Flames

In-depth interview with CEO, pitmaster, and James Beard Award Nominee Matt Horn about growing his global food brand with social media, operating multiple restaurant concepts, and why he decided to "burn the boats."

This Entrepreneur Believes the 9-to-5 Work Week Is Dead. So She Created a Platform That Matches Talent With Project-Based Work.

The founder of NuuWork shares how her company will help people navigate the future of project-based employment.

How This Company Is Helping Ecommerce Brands Scale and Grow

The co-founder of 8fig shares how his platform is helping online sellers plan and execute their growth around their supply-chain needs.

Eitan Bernath on Becoming a Teenage Food Entrepreneur and Social Media Star

In-depth interview with cookbook author, food personality, and content creator Eitan Bernath about starting an entertainment career as a child, teaming up with Drew Barrymore, and building an inspirational business empire before his 20th birthday.

Ask Marc: Netflix Co-Founder Marc Randolph on Facing Challenges, Bringing on Co-Founders and Growth

In this episode of our new series 'Ask Marc,' the serial entrepreneur and mentor offers advice on how to get started.

3 Science-Backed Ways to Break Bad Habits

Become powerfully productive with these three patterns.

Meet the Co-Founders Making Conscious Shopping Easier

Goodbuy's Cara Oppenheimer and Cary Telander Fortin share how their browser extension helps consumers buy products with both their wallets and values front of mind.

Nina Manchev of Forte Tapas on Engaging Customers with Social Video

Interview with Forte Tapas owner and entrepreneur Nina Manchev about connecting with social media, learning to be confident on video, and appearing on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.

This CEO Believes We Need More Women In Crypto

Jaime Leverton, head of NASDAQ-listed Hut 8 Mining Corp., talks the future of digital currency with 'Entrepreneur.'

Discover Entrepreneur Series

Whether you need advice on how to get your business off the ground or you’re just looking for inspiration, our video series have something for everyone. Browse our library below to find a series that speaks to you and your interests.