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hivio 2016: How Radio Can Make a Real Difference in Local Communities


During this week of Thanksgiving (and in the spirit of giving thanks), I wanted to share with you one of the most important conversations from the 2016 hivio audio future festival.

If you’re a radio broadcaster, this will change the way you view contesting forever.

Ryan Cummins is the Co-Founder/Co-CEO of Omaze, a cause marketplace that raises money and awareness for charity by offering the chance to win once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Many of my clients know I’m a huge fan of what Omaze is doing, both in terms of its contributions to society and the elegance of its platform.

In just two years Omaze has disrupted traditional models of fundraising and raised millions for charity through campaigns ranging from the chance to appear in Star Wars: Episode VII, to riding in a tank and “blowing s**t up” with Arnold Schwarzenegger, to my favorite experience ever – the chance to fly to LA and raise a glass with George Clooney, whereupon he will compliment you for 45 seconds straight.

So what makes this different from any other “once-in-a-lifetime” prize contest?

Well, for one thing, every entrant is a winner. That’s because every donation goes to support a good cause.

Second, the platform applies Kickstarter-style mechanics, so you are rewarded with something progressively more desirable at each gift level. And note that in some cases “desirable” does not mean “expensive to produce.”

And third, Omaze is dreaming big – far bigger than the average radio station with its “we pay your bills” promotion. And in this world packed densely with media messages, the big dreams stand out a lot more than the promise to pay the rent.

Here are a few of the questions we tackled:

  1. What is Omaze? How does Omaze work?

  2. Why did you create Omaze?

  3. Why is it better than a straight contest? How important is the good cause to the success of the “contest”?

  4. How is this not an illegal lottery?

  5. What have you learned about participation in this? How does the combination Kickstarter / charity connection impact participation?

Ryan wraps up our time with a call to all radio broadcasters to make a real difference in the world. It’s a hugely inspiring session and the only one of the conference that led to sustained and spontaneous applause.

Please watch this video and share it with your peers.

And have a happy Thanksgiving.

Click here:

This is another of many videos I’ll be sharing from hivio 2016.

You’ll find them first here in this blog.


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