Hot off the heels of Samuel L. Jackson doing his best Walter White impression and raising $170,000 for Alzheimer's disease in the process, charity crowdsource funding company Prizeo is moving on to its next (hopefully successful) celebrity campaign. And it has plenty in the pipeline. (It doesn't hurt when two of your investors are William Morris Endeavor and Atom Factory, which manages Lady Gaga.)
Prizeo's first celebrity campaign was with English actor Steven Fry, back in the United Kingdom. To transition to the United States, Prizeo consciously used Jamie Oliver, who has a following on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. And it worked to the tune of $184,000 raised. Ninety percent of that goes to charity, 10 percent back to Prizeo.
Prizeo co-founder Leo Seigal estimated to TheWrap that his company has 15 campaigns ready to go in America: Alicia Keys just soft-launched, Muhammad Ali and Michael Phelps are coming soon.
Seigal does not shy away from the Kickstarter comparisons – he just focuses on the obvious difference, philanthropy.
"People love celebrities, that's not going to change," said Seigal. "People love winning stuff, that's not going to change. And people will always support charity."
The Reddit involvement was a big break for Jackson's campaign, where the vast majority of money came in thanks to the platform for Internet communities. As of this writing, Jackson's "Breaking Bad" monologue had just under a million views on YouTube.
That prize winner by the way? Tyler Walden of Portland, Oregon, who had this to say: "I have had many friends and families struggle with Alzheimer's and fully support the work the Alzheimer's Association is doing to improve life for those struggling with this disease. I've always been a SLJ fan and am mother @#$%@#$ excited to get to meet him in person!!"
Prizeo is not limiting itself to just celebs, either.
"We're not really a celebrity platform, we're an influence platform," said Seigal, who wants to expand into movie franchises, TV shows, sports teams, record labels, and so on. Anything, he says, that "has a fan base that can mobilize to raise money."