Omaze Sweepstakes: Win Prizes While Helping Charities

What Omaze Is and How It Works

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 11: (L-R) Girls from Save the Children programs Breyanna Williams, Larissa Rodney, Aya Blanch, Save the Children Ambassador Rachel Zoe and President and CEO of Save the Children Carolyn Miles pose with shirts from Rachel Zoe's Omaze T-shirt Campaign benefiting Save the Children on International Day of the Girl on October 11, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for Save the Children)
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Image by Presley Ann © Getty Images

Have you heard about Omaze’s online sweepstakes and are wondering what the deal is? Is Omaze legit? Why do they collect money if they're giving away prizes, and where does that money go? Do people really win? Find the answers to these and other questions here.

What Is Omaze?

How would you like to get the chance to win a major prize or have a once-in-a-lifetime experience — all while helping a worthy cause? That’s the principle behind Omaze.

According to its About Us page, Omaze was founded to challenge the idea that charities shouldn’t market themselves like for-profit businesses do. Many charities rely instead on galas that are both exclusive and expensive to run to bring in funds.

Instead, Omaze incentivizes donations by giving people a chance to win prizes. By doing this, they open the doors, letting many more people can participate.

Founders Ryan Cummins and Matthew Pohlson wanted to take once-in-a-lifetime prizes that, in a typical celebrity auction fundraiser, only the rich could afford, and make them attainable by almost anyone, while simultaneously raising more money for worthy causes.

So How Does It Work?

Omaze works with celebrities and other organizations to come up with really exciting prizes. You enter to win those prizes by either making a donation or by using the alternate entry method, which is free. Keep reading for more details below.

How Much of Your Donation Goes to Omaze’s Charities?

Omaze is a "for profit" charity, and fundraising with them comes with high overhead costs. For prize-based giveaways with chances to win a car or a house, only a little more than a tenth of each donation goes to charity. 

However, Omaze claims that the higher level of donations makes up for this shortcoming. After all, 10% of a million dollars is significantly more than 60% of $100,000.

Omaze’s experience-based giveaways have significantly less overhead since the prizes don’t cost as much. They deliver about 60% of their donated funds to their associated causes. 

The overhead also means that charities don’t have to pitch in any money for the fundraiser; the giveaways are self-funded. Part of every donation that comes in goes toward the giveaway’s costs, including prize acquisition and advertising. So while the whole donation doesn’t go to the charity, the charity doesn’t have to spend money out of pocket, either.

What Kinds of Prizes Can You Win From Omaze?

Omaze doesn’t offer run-of-the-mill prizes. Instead, you’ll have chances to win unique experiences with celebrities, massive amounts of cash, or other big prizes like homes, cars, and more.

Some past Omaze giveaways have included chances to:

  • Attend the Game of Thrones finale with actress Emilia Clarke.
  • Win a Lamborghini blessed by Pope Francis.
  • Have your likeness drawn into an episode of BoJack Horseman.

How Do You Enter Omaze’s Sweepstakes?

The classic way to enter Omaze’s giveaways is by making a donation. Every $10 in donations made through the Omaze entry form will give you one entry. Donations are rounded up, so a $20 donation will give you two entries while a $22 donation will give you three.

Of course, you don't have to make a donation to enter; each giveaway also has a non-purchase entry method. To use it, scroll down the sweepstakes page until you see the “Free Alternate Method of Entry” link. Click on the link and follow the instructions for your free entry.

Entering through the alternate entry method gives you 200 free entries. Whether you use donations or the AMOE to enter (or a combination of both), each person is limited to one million total entries per giveaway.

When it comes to who can enter and how, Omaze has a set of rules for all of their giveaways, but individual sweepstakes can have exceptions or expansions to those rules listed on their pages.

For example, Omaze giveaways are usually open to residents of most countries, with the exception being countries that are embargoed by the United States. If more regions are restricted from entering, that information will be listed on the sweepstakes page.

Is Omaze Legit?

Omaze is not a scam — it's a legitimate company that really does raise money for charity while giving away awe-inspiring prizes. And the funds they raise are impressive. For example, in August of 2019 alone, Omaze raised over $1.2 million for 43 different charities.

There are, however, some important things to keep in mind. Omaze helps charities, but it is not a charity itself — it's a for-profit company. It keeps about $1.50 of every $10 donation as income and spends another part of each donation on marketing and other expenses. Plus, they also deduct the cost of the prizes from their donations.

Furthermore, Omaze’s documentation says that it is unclear whether you can deduct your donations from your taxes. Some regions won’t let you deduct a donation that you make in return for consideration, and a grand prize counts as consideration.

If you’d rather get a sure-fire deduction than a chance at a dream prize, donate directly to the charity you'd like to support.

On the other hand, if you like the thought that your good deed could also win you a prize like a Porsche with a trunk full of cash, Omaze is the way to go.

Do People Really Win Omaze’s Sweepstakes?

If you’re wondering whether Omaze’s sweepstakes are legit, rest assured those prizes really are awarded. And remember, although donations help good causes, they aren’t required to enter.

If you’d like to know more about the people who have been lucky enough to win Omaze’s fun prizes, check out their winners’ page. It not only includes the winners’ names but also photographs and descriptions of their experiences.

Current Omaze Sweepstakes to Enter

If you’d like to try your hand at being an Omaze winner, you can visit the Omaze Experiences page and see all of their current campaigns. Good luck!