Todd Wagner first became a billionaire when he was Mark Cuban’s business partner. The two ran the startup Broadcast.com, an audio and video platform, which sold to Yahoo in 1999. When he accumulated this money, Wagner delved into the philanthropy sphere. He wanted to make good change in this world, so he started a foundation meant to help underprivileged children. The more time he spent giving money to nonprofits that were stunted technologically, however, the less enthralled with charity he became. Instead of simply leaving the philanthropic sector, Wagner decided to disrupt it. He began three online fundraising platforms, hoping to progress philanthropy into being technologically savvy for every need in the world.
Chideo is one such platform begun by Wagner. It is a fundraising website that supports a number of different causes, and is completely driven by content. Wagner’s hope with Chideo was that it would give anyone who wanted to broadcast a cause, celebrities and nonprofits included, a platform on which to spread awareness and raise money. It is interactive, and even has a connected application that can be downloaded on mobile devices.
Wagner’s second, partner platform is Charitybuzz, which is an online auction platform that exchanges experiences for funds donated to various charities. Many celebrities have affiliated themselves with this charity website, and several of the experiences being auctioned off involve spending time with actors and singers, or obtaining tickets to concerts. From VIP passes to television shows to complete festival experiences, this website is a hotspot for people of all ages, and ensures the money goes to a good place.
The third charity platform owned by Wagner is Prizeo, which is a sweepstakes-based website. People pay for a chance to win prizes, like a day spent with a celebrity, and know that their money is going to a good cause whether they win or not. Prizeo is the best platform on which to allow influencers to expand their charitable reach.
These three websites are for-profit companies, all contained under The Charity Network umbrella company. They are the perfect conglomeration of philanthropy and pop culture. Wagner is successfully disrupting the charity sphere because he is not just focusing on people who make a certain income. The Charity Network is meant to appeal to people of all ages, including millennials. This is accomplished through his focus on celebrities that are popular amongst younger people, and low-cost ways to donate. Wagner is truly an entrepreneurial philanthropist, and it will be interesting to see where he next takes his business experience.