Omaze.com Reviews

Omaze.com
( 13 reviews )
Website: www.Omaze.com

About Omaze.com

Omaze.com is the online home of Omaze, a company that says their goal is to make giving money to charities both fun and easy, no matter how much money you have to give. 

How Does Omaze Work?

According to their website, the creators of Omaze.com got the idea for their business when they attended a charity auction and saw their dream item up for a bid – attending a basketball game and dinner with Magic Johnson. Unfortunately the bidding quickly went so high that the majority of the people at the event were priced out of bidding, but it ultimately ended at $15,000.

This experience left the creators of Omaze confused. They didn’t understand this fundraising model, which was limited to a small number of wealthy people but which only ended up collecting $15,000 for a prize that they felt was worth much more. They decided to come up with a new model for charitable fundraising. 

The Omaze.com model “democratizes” traditional charity auctions by giving as many people access to their opportunities as possible, and they do this by pricing their donations to win once in a lifetime experiences for as little as $10. 

 

Their website says that because of this new and different crowdsourcing approach, people from more than 170 different countries have donated to more than 150 different charities, which they say drives up awareness for the charities and ultimately raises more money.  

Cost/Price Plans

As mentioned above, this website organizes charitable opportunities which people can win for a donation of as little as $10, but of course the actual amount of money which is required for each donation will depend on the individual fundraising opportunity. 

In addition, their website says that their company only takes 20% of the net funds that their website collects for their operational costs, and the other 80% of their funds go to the charities for which they are raising the money. 

Refund Policy

Because this company is collecting donations for charitable causes, it doesn’t appear that they offer their customers a standard Refund Policy at this time. If you do believe that you have encountered circumstances which justify your refund request, you should contact their Customer Service team as soon as possible so they can assist you.

Related:  Is Corporate Philanthropy Real or Are "Socially Conscious" Companies a Scam?

Customer Service Contact Info

Customers who would like to speak to their Customer Service team about their questions, concerns, or complaints can do so by submitting them directly to their website through their Support Center and Submit a Request link.

Reputation

This company does appear to have some vocal customers who have complained online about their website, and most of the complaints appear to be centered on a specific issue: the inability of this company to follow through on their promises to send customers donation awards. 

For example, people were told they would receive t-shirts when they donated certain causes, but the company never actually sent them their t-shirts, even after multiple emails were Customer Service promised they would. Prospective customers may see this as a small problem, or they may feel as though this an indicator of larger problems with this company.

Competitors and Alternatives?

There are actually a variety of services that use the crowdsourcing model to raise money for different charitable causes, as well as some options which auction off different celebrity experiences, so customers looking for alternatives to Omaze.com will have other options. 

If you have experience with Omaze.com or their products, please leave your reviews below.

Read Next:  Is Corporate Philanthropy Real or Are "Socially Conscious" Companies a Scam?

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13 ‘Omaze.com ’ Reviews
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Watch Out non US! MISLEADING!
August 31, 2021
Extremely misleading as certain countries are excluded from winning, but when you register, people from these countries are allowed to register, and the country name appears on the drop down under address. Only when you read the fine print you realize even if you did win and were allowed to register from a country excluded from winning, you are not eligible.

No trust
February 4, 2021
The weirdest thing is that almost all of the winners are from US states.. it's like only US citizens are eligible to win..then why does Omaze advertise everywhere?? No proof, no transparency, NO TRUST!!!

Louis F August 31, 2021

Extremely misleading as certain countries are excluded from winning, but when you register, people from these countries are allowed to register, and the country name appears on the drop down under address. Only when you read the fine print you realise even if you did win and was allowed to register from a country excluded from winning, you are not eligible.

Feels like scam
June 20, 2020
I donated to several charities. when I inquired: how exactly the lottery system works? Is it transparent? they said once they get winner they take 2 weeks in silent research to see if the person should receive the winnings, background check etc.that was already really strange. you could be a winner but may be you don't qualify alto you sent your money to them??.. hmmm. They stopped responding.I learned that here is no way to know how much they collect and what percentage goes to charity, NO way to know how they do the lottery....

stole credit card info
April 25, 2020
I donated for the raffle to Omaze and within a couple of hours my bank alerted me to a charge for $162 to chipotle which was not my charge. This was the only charge I made on my account before the chipotle charge. I believe someone got my # from this transaction. Then when you try to contact them there is no phone number. what the heck?!?

Scam
January 29, 2020
Profit for the owner not Charity

Michelle B April 25, 2020

I donated for the raffle to Omaze and within a couple of hours my bank alerted me to a charge for $162 to chipotle which was not my charge. This was the only charge I made on my account before the chipotle charge. I believe someone got my # from this transaction. Then when you try to contact them there is no phone number. what the heck?!?

Stuff
September 8, 2019
Responding to a note about getting the auction prizes. I have been delivered t shirts orders and other merchandise for donating. They screwed up once and ultimately made it right. It was a little sloppy on the service side but we were made whole.

Sean W November 16, 2020

fake account. Omaze is a scam.

Transparency standards of Omaze are unacceptably low for company working with charity organizations.
June 14, 2019

Transparency standards of Omaze are unacceptably low for company working with charity organizations. I was not able to find any financial reports or details about past sweepstakes.

I would like to know how much they had raised and transferred to each charity after each contest. What is their profit in comparison to money transferred to actual charity? The only number we have is: “… Omaze has given over $100 million to charity!” Since the company is running for more than 6 years, it was 16.7 million per year in average. I am wondering where exactly all this money goes. And I am even more concerned since I have found “Over $100 million raised to support charity” on the other page. “Why is that so important and what is the difference between “raised” and “given”?” - you would probably ask. Let us read their official statement:

“When you contribute $10 for the chance to win a celebrity experience (set visit, dinner date, tickets to a premiere, etc.), $6 is donated to charity, $2.50 on average goes towards marketing expenses and credit card fees, and Omaze nets the remaining $1.50. A $10 contribution for the chance to win a prize-based experience (like a car, vacation or tuition) breaks down as follows: $1.50 is donated to charity; $7 typically goes to sourcing and shipping the prize, covering the winner’s taxes, marketing the experience, and processing credit card fees; and $1.50 goes to Omaze. These experiences require substantially more resources to secure the prize and help spread the word.”

So, only 15% - 60% goes to actual charity. When you are in a not-for-profit sector nobody expects you to make money. Generally, we want charity to take money we made and deliver promise with as little overheads as possible. Unfortunately, this is not a strategy to get the best impact for your money. Omaze is bragging that their for-profit model enables them to expand marketing services “far beyond what’s usually done in the nonprofit space”, and therefore increase the total dollars raised for partners. Unfortunately, I have no data to prove whether it is true or not. As a financial professional I would agree with some of Dan Pallottas’s ideas. Yes, it is important to invest in your growth, but such growth should be measurable. I can not disagree that 90% of $100 000 is less than 60% of $500 000 ($90 000 vs $300 000), but 90% of $100 000 is more than 15% of $500 000 ($90 000 vs $75 000). At the same time overheads for non-profits becomes revenues if you are private for-profit organization. When you are getting fixed portion of the pie (15%) the bigger the pie - the better for you, but when you really trying to maximize benefits for charity partners it is not that easy. Due to decreasing nature of return, at some point, company would have to cut marketing spendings since they are not bringing positive return any more. It is clear conflict of interests for Omaze, and I would like to know how they are handling it.

And there is a final question for the company - what sort of business is that?

We can assume that this is some sort of marketing platform for charities, then why does it charge 60% of marketing budget ($1.50/$2.50) – that is insane. So, I would believe that Omaze is in lottery style business and using legal loopholes to run it. It looks like they need charities to make it more legit.

Kat June 20, 2020

This is so upsetting. All of the above and plus: I have written to Omaze, was just carious how transparent they lottery system is. Is it a 3rd party? no answer.... so they can pick whom ever they want...the only they they did write that after "picking" a winner they do a 10 days- 2 weeks of background check to make sure the winner qualifies. What is that mean? so you can be paying your money, lets say, they are doing a legit lottery system of some sort and they can still decide that you don't qualify (reasons?) never disclosed and you payed won but never knew you won... total scam. non profit is just used for they own gain.

Scott H October 10, 2019

Since they clearly refer to being a for-profit model, the listing in charitynavigator must be for a previous incarnation.

But, Anton's points about that model are still very relevant.

Scott H October 10, 2019

Anton, thank you for bringing these points up. I've been donating, but feeling uneasy with the lack of transparency.

Also, if you look them up on www.charitynavigator.org there is no information because of some loophole that looks suspicious:

"FILING REQUIREMENTS: 990 - Required to file Form 990-N - Income less than $50,000 per year"

This seems to mean that they claim to make less than $50,000 in order to avoid having their financials viewable. If someone can clarify that as incorrect, I would gladly stand corrected.

With such grand amounts boasted on the site, but no financials available on charitynavigator, it has to be sketchy.

Anton B September 01, 2019

I got your point, but Omaze is not a charity at all. This is for profit middle men.

Levi p September 01, 2019

What they get for "advertising" is what the buy to give away, not just ads. I ran a charity to give away a motorcycle for two years running. The first bike was our own expense, but after that we used a percentage to buy another for the following year. Thats how it is still non-profit. Now, some companies out there don't spend what they say, but still work the same way. Like if I said I was going to now give away a $11 000 motorcycle this year, but only spent $8 000. They still make you think they spent the 11 000 without directly lying about it by stating something like "win this $11 000 200HP bike" so it makes you assume they spent 11 000 on it. So this is kinda my fine print I look for before donating to a sweepstake charity.

And no I'm not siding with them, I'm just shedding some light whille reading reviews seeing who they are lol.

Sketchy Scam
May 31, 2019

Last year they “raised” $100,000,000 for charity.

According to their website that equates to:

$666,000,000 grossed

$466,000,000 spent on ads/prizes

$100,000,000 given to charity

$100,000,000 pocketed. I mean spent on running the lottery—I mean charity.

Lord know how much more since then.

Great Job
May 13, 2019
Keep doing what you do, I am a donator myself and although I have never won, I am ok knowing my donations are going toward a great cause. I will keep entering and keep crossing my fingers, (especially with the upcoming Lambo give-away) that I will win. Regardless, I will keep donating, because it is the right thing to do.

Lina T July 24, 2020

You need to stop giving them your money and support a charity direct and buy a lotto ticket . This is a con you will never win x am so sorry to say . Or this is a false review then I am right it's a con .

Legitimacy
April 30, 2019
I sincerely question the legitimacy of this website. I understand the intent; and that's great; however, do the "winners" ever get their "prize with the celebrity" and does the money collected actually reach the charity? Keeping 20% of the top seems rather steep for a charitable website - despite the best intentions behind it. I think I'll keep my money and hope to one day run into my celebrity; and if not, I'll admire them on the big screen, in the tabloids and on social media. I'll donate directly to their charities, or the ones they endorse with the sincere hope it is truly going to good use!

The greater good
March 26, 2019
I think it’s a great idea. People will give when there is a chance to gain and costs are not free. I’m guessing they have a big staff and website costs. Whoever is donating a Ferrari, Lamborghini is amazing. More money is going to charity now than before and that’s the greater good. They should be able to get the number down to 15 or 10% but in the end it’s still a good thing and a fun way to donate.Also it has created jobs which is great.

Omaze: Good idea but must be transparent
December 24, 2017
Giving people the chance to get some perks while donating is good but Omaze should be clear with their terms and conditions. I have donated via Omaze (I want to meet Matt Stone and Trey Park and John Oliver ;) ) but it was not clear whether the prize is eligible for people outside of USA (luckily they do). I understand that maintaining a website has its costs so Omaze should just say out right that they take a 20% cut for every donation.

Aimee B May 15, 2019

I agree with the transparency. Even if I don't win, I think an email should go out afterwards congratulating the winner, who has the right to stay anonymous but it would be cool if it were like from say, 'Tuscon, AZ' or some such.

More importantly, I'd like that email to say something to the effect of 'this campaign raised $X' towards this charity so that everyone is getting an after-action report.

And if Omaze doesn't want to be responsible for fulfillment of say a tshirt, then perhaps provide a code for a 'free shirt' to the donor for use in an online store, wherever the shirt is coming from, so you have power to submit your shirt request and get it sent.

Horrible scam
November 15, 2017

Omaze.com was started by two ridiculous guys who have never worked in their lives.

They are abetted by “stars” to get you to contribute to charity like

Autism Speaks or Veterans organizations by promising stuff like “George Clooney gives you compliments for 45 seconds” or “win a Valentine’s Date with Idris Elba" ($750000 raised..) HOWEVER these two twerps keep 20% of the donations! So they kept $150,000 for just the one Idris Elba deal!

Now they are doing Jon Stewart’s, Colbert’s, Seth Meyer’s “Night of Too many Stars” for autism. You can sit under Colbert’s desk, sit with Seth and writers for a meeting then 20% goes AGAIN to these twerps! So if $4 million raised, they keep $800,000 for one night! It should go to autistic adults NOT these jerks of Omaze!

These awful celebrities worth tens of millions of dollars should say up front that Omaze keeps 20% BUT THEY NEVER DO!

Karina C April 26, 2019

Is there any way to prove that these opportunities have been paid out? Anyone win any of these and can provide insight? Thanks!

Paul W December 29, 2018

Wow - i think that is one of the most eye-opening, informative Ted talks I've seen. Thank you for sharing

Gordon S October 16, 2018

https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pallotta_the_way_we_think_about_charity_is_dead_wrong?language=en

Sam K October 09, 2018

Most charities keep over %90 for profit, so %20 doesn't seem that bad at all tbh.

Larry S August 20, 2018

If Omaze was a total scam, couldn't the celebrities they use for photos sue Omaze?

Sean August 02, 2018

They have operating costs, you knucklehead. Do you work for free?

Angela A February 11, 2018

I agree with Holly everything takes work. At least you know the money that you want to send is going to an actual charity and not some internet scam artist that may or may not run away with let's say your iPhone!

Holly N February 08, 2018

They are upfront about the amount. All fundraising organizations take a percent for overhead, some as high as 40%. If you spent a full time job prepping events, maintaining online face, and even paying employees to help, you would understand it’s not feasible to give 100%.