The Power of the Masses

When it comes to charity fundraising, big donations are wonderful. Wine and dine the rich and famous and then scoop up their generosity in a monetary form. But there is a reason why the phrase ‘Every little bit counts’ has pervaded society and it is shown through the new online fundraising method by Prizeo.

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Ever heard of Prizeo before? I hadn’t until earlier this week when I stumbled upon an article about entering the draw to win Zac Efron’s old car and it sounded pretty good to me. Upon further research, it turns out that this promotion is simply the latest campaign launched by Prizeo, an online charity fundraising platform.

It started with the simple premise that celebrities are great endorsers for charities. This has come about due to a number of reasons. There is follower loyalty meaning that celebrities’ followers are more receptive to ideas that come through the celebrity through their strong allegiance. There is the easy ability of brand transference as followers of a celebrity will easily transfer their following to a brand the celebrity supports. And there is the credibility of (most) celebrities which enhances an endorsement. All these factors result in a much better dispersion of charity brand awareness and support than many other strategies that don’t include the celebrity power.

Stemming from this idea, Prizeo has teamed up with a number of celebrities to run special campaigns dedicated to raising money for their nominated charity through the opportunity to gain once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

The experiences used so far are certainly powerful enough to encourage consumer participation and cover an incredibly wide array of interest areas. They include; a flight from anywhere in the world to hang out with Zac Efron and own his old car, the ultimate racing weekend with Jeff Gordon, Esteban Gutiérrez and Adrian Sutil, a Caribbean getaway with Lady Antebellum, the ultimate concert experience with Paul McCartney and a cooking lesson and VIP restaurant experience with Jamie Oliver.

Not short on celebrities, other campaigns have featured the likes of Paris Hilton, Mark Ruffalo, Celine Dion, One Direction, Hunter Hayes, Steve Nash, George R.R. Martin and Tiësto and supported many deserving charities from the Make-A-Wish Foundation to the World Wildlife Fund.

But there is a catch. This model is nothing like eBay. The amount of money you have doesn’t mean that you can easily outbid anyone for these special experiences. Think more along the lines of Kickstarter. Engaged audiences donate a certain amount of money to their nominated campaign and 90% of the donation goes to the nominated charity (with 10% going to Prizeo at the moment).

Donating certain amounts qualifies the donor for free prizes such as sweatshirts, hats, t-shirts, souvenir boxing gloves or signed headshots. These different amounts also result in a varying number of entries in the draw. At the end of the nominated time period for the campaign, a winner is simply drawn from all the donors who have given money to the nominated charity.

Utilising the positive relationship between celebrities and charities, taking on board the rewarding Kickstarter model and combining both of these with a raffle where any entrant can win in certainly a novel way of fundraising. This process has benefits for the rich who can donate large amounts for plenty of entries and a commemorative souvenir. This process also has benefits for the less rich who simply want to put them name in the draw to win ‘A (totally platonic) date with Kristen Bell’ as they are not turned away by bigger bidders.

And best of all . . . it is raising significant amounts of money for charity in a clever, online way that engages and educates audiences in a much more effective way than collectors on the side of the road.