A two-week vacation in Sun Valley, Idaho. A three-night stay in a tropical villa in Belize. Seven nights in a cottage in West Cork, Ireland. Roundtrip airfare to Nashville and tickets to the Grand Ole Opry. These are only a few of the amazing experiences featured on The Charity Network’s online auction and sweepstakes websites Charitybuzz and Prizeo — with each one connected to a remarkable charity and worthy cause.
Modernizing Traditional Fundraising
Todd Wagner, philanthropist and former founder and CEO of Broadcast.com, launched The Charity Network in 2005 to address inefficiencies in traditional fundraising models.
“Todd decided to create a company that would provide a one stop shop for cause and help charities, celebrities and brands raise money for and awareness of causes in a more efficient and effective way,” Jan Friedlander Svendsen, chief marketing officer at The Charity Network, told RewardExpert.
Recognizing that his solution would require a multi-pronged approach, Wagner first created Chideo as a content hub for the production of original video for cause before acquiring sister companies Charitybuzz and Prizeo.
“We’ve recently acquired Global Philanthropy Group as well, which we’ve renamed Charity Network Solutions,” Svendsen added. Charity Network Solutions now functions as the strategic consulting arm of The Charity Network.
“Together, all of these companies work collaboratively to offer charities, celebrities and brands the most comprehensive 360-degree approach to fundraising,” she said. To date, the combined platforms under The Charity Network have assisted more than 4,000 charities around the globe in raising over $200 million in donations.
What does all this mean for philanthropic-minded travelers? Simply put, if you’re interested in truly unique trips or other experiences and want to do some good while you’re at it, Charitybuzz or Prizeo may have exactly what you’re looking for.
“Many people are going to take a vacation anyway,” Svendsen said. “You’ll find amazing experiences you’d have a hard time putting together yourself. It may even be less expensive than what you’d be able to put together yourself. And it will support a cause.”
Bid on Exclusive Travel Packages at Charitybuzz
Svendsen said that Charitybuzz bidders are generally high net worth individuals.
“They have a lot of money and feel like if they are going to look for an interesting experience or item, they’d rather do it in a place where they are also doing good by donating money,” she explained. “Others collect experiences, and Charitybuzz is where they find once in a lifetime experiences they can’t get anywhere else.”
As of mid-July, Charitybuzz featured more than two dozen travel-related experiences for auction including a six-night stay at the St. James’s Club Morgan Bay in Saint Lucia benefitting the Caribbean Tourism Organization Foundation and a seven-night alpine adventure at a chalet in the French Alps benefiting Hudson Stage Company.
Charitybuzz auctions off much more than travel, however. Donors can also bid on celebrity encounters, internships and professional consultations, sports tickets and memorabilia, music events, movie premiers and screenings, art, collectibles and more.
“We do themed auctions as well,” Svendsen noted. Past theme auctions have included Broadway, golf and tennis. “We’ll be doing Hollywood and fashion is also coming up,” she added. “And we do a big one for the holidays.”
Enter to Win Amazing Experiences at Prizeo
While Svendsen said the bidders at Charitybuzz tend to fall into the Baby Boomer demographic, “Prizeo is a platform that really democratizes the giving,” she noted. “People can give as little as $10 to enter a sweepstakes for a specific experience. A lot of the celebrities who participate in Prizeo sweepstakes are people who appeal to a younger demographic.”
Past sweepstakes prizes have included a trip to the 2017 Tony Awards, a Nashville disco party with actor Kimberly Williams-Paisley and musician Brad Paisley, lunch with actor Nathan Fillion, a trip to London to have tea with actor Cara Delevingne, and a weekend in Vegas with Britney Spears.
“Our current big campaign on Prizeo is an opening night at Hamilton with Lin-Manuel Miranda,” said Svendsen. “That’s attracting all kinds of demographics from kids to adults because he has such a broad appeal. It has probably been our most successful campaign to date and his fourth one in the last year. All of them have been extremely successful and have achieved not only a lot of their fundraising goals but also generated a lot of awareness for the causes he represents. The current one is for The Immigrants: We Get the Job Done Coalition.”
While Charitybuzz auction bidders must be at least 18 years old to register and place bids, Prizeo registrants can be as young as 13, depending on the nature of the particular sweepstakes. Visit www.charitybuzz.com/faqs or www.prizeo.com/faq for more information on the process.