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How would you like to win a $4.3M home? How about a $40,000 vacation of your dreams? If that doesn’t sound appealing, maybe a brand new Tesla? Well, on the Omaze platform you can enter to win all of these items and more! But should you? Read on to learn more…
If you’ve spent much time looking for ways to make a positive difference in the world, or searched for large sweepstakes to enter, you’ve probably come across Omaze. Omaze.com is a company that prides itself in raising “over $150M to support nonprofits” by running sweepstakes for massive prizes.
When a user buys entries into a giveaway, a portion of the proceeds go to a specified nonprofit to help with everything from feeding hungry kids, to housing the homeless, to providing scholarship for family members of fallen veterans.
At first glance, Omaze is a fantastic way to make a positive difference in the world while potentially winning some large prizes yourself!
What is Omaze? An Omaze Review
Omaze frequently runs sweepstakes for large prizes — with current categories including Cars, Celebrity (experiences), Houses, and Travel. From $4M houses to $40,000 once-in-a-lifetime experiences, you can find and enter all kinds of incredible prizes on Omaze. It’s a lot of fun to explore the site and let your mind dwell on what you would do if you won any of these prizes.
Omaze has partnered with dozens of nonprofits and celebrity endorsers to help raise awareness and funds for a wide range of causes. Overall, this is a noble cause and a creative way to connect nonprofits with money.
But before you start paying to enter giveaways on Omaze, there are a few things you should know. First, only governments are able to run lotteries, where participants must pay for a chance to win. The frequently used alternative for businesses is a sweepstake. The thing is, sweepstakes have to legally be free to enter to ensure it’s not a form of gambling. Omaze has gotten creative to be able to charge people to enter these sweepstakes, without breaking the law (although there has been a recent lawsuit taken out against them).
This leads us to our first of two points:
Is Omaze Legit? Or is Omaze a Scam?
Omaze is a legitimate, incorporate business that operates legally within the US. So technically, it is not a scam.
That being said, it’s up to each participant to determine if they believe using Omaze is the best way to donate funds to a charity. Why? Because the nonprofit receives a very small percentage of the actual funds spent — with most going to pay for the prize and cover Omaze’s operating expenses.
While the terminology differs slightly between sweepstakes, here’s a statement explaining the use of funds from one of their House giveaways under the Fundraising Transparency section:
(b) Where your donation goes: For Omaze Owned Experiences, like this one, 15% of the total donations goes to the Designated Grantee(s) via a grant from CAF America. (If there are multiple Designated Grantees, then this amount is equally distributed to each). CAF America retains a small percentage of the total donations (less than 1%) to cover its own operating costs. Omaze uses the remaining amount to pay for the Experience costs, such as Prize costs, payment processing fees, and advertising to awesome people like you, and to cover our operating costs of providing and maintaining the technology and team that makes this all happen. Owned Experiences have higher costs associated with prizing and promotion, which is why a larger percentage goes to Experience costs.
In short, each of the giveaways run through the Omaze site typically offer 15-20% to the charity, with the remainder going to cover the prize and pay the Omaze team for running the sweepstakes. Omaze is making a significant amount of money by skirting the edge of legality when it comes to sweepstakes and giveaways law. But at the moment, they are 100% legal and legit!
Each participant must decide for themselves if the 15-20% contribution to charity is really worth the gamble, or if it would be better to give money directly to the charity and find other ways to enter sweepstakes and giveaways.
Which leads us to our second point:
How to Enter Omaze for Free: Enjoy Omaze Free Entry Options Instead of Chasing Down Omaze Promo Codes
As mentioned above, only the government is legally allowed to run a lottery. Meanwhile, while a nonprofit can sell raffle tickets, for-profit businesses aren’t legally allowed to require a purchase to enter any kind of sweepstakes or giveaways.
But there’s a way around this! Businesses can offer entries for purchases if they also offer a “free entry” option. In other words, I can give you one entry for every dollar you spend in my store, as long as there is a way for you to also earn entries by mailing in a postcard, sending an email, or otherwise interacting with my sweepstakes for free.
How does Omaze do this, by offering a small button under the entries purchase options that states “Enter without contributing”. if you click this button, you’ll be taken to a page where you can submit a form and receive 2,000 entries for free (a $150 donation value)!
A while back Omaze was required to make this button more prominent after being accused of running illegal lotteries. And they still try to highly discourage people from submitting this form. When you click through they will “encourage” you to make a smaller donation and they require you to wait 60 seconds between each form submission.
But still, because each giveaway is capped at 6,000 entries, if you’re willing to spend 3 minutes waiting, you can submit the free entries form 3 times and receive the full number of entries — valued at $450!
Obviously, if everyone ended up using the free entries option, Omaze wouldn’t be able to afford the prizes they give away. However, as an individual philanthropist, you could give $450 directly to the charity of your choice rather than gambling with $450 with only $85 actually going to a charitable cause.
Conclusion: With Omaze, the choice is yours
If you love the concept behind Omaze, then it completely makes sense to pay for entries — as you’re supporting a fun raffle while contributing to a variety of charities.
On the flip side, if you would rather enter to win a few prizes now, and give your money directly to charity, you can use the “enter without contributing” link to receive your 6,000 entries without paying a cent.
Regardless of what you choose, if you’re interested in a 100% free and fun way to enter sweepstakes for hundreds of prizes every year, check out mannafy.com and download our app! You’ll be able to quickly enter free giveaways with a swipe of your finger. No costs, no annoying spam emails from our sponsors. Check it out!