Meet Omaze, the Celebrity-Endorsed Juggernaut That Has Raised Over $100 Million for Charity
Co-founder Matt Pohlson is just getting started.
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.
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