Witnessing the aftermath of the earthquake in Japan has been heartbreaking, but the human response – the calm bravery of the Japanese victims and the generosity of people around the world – has been genuinely inspiring.
At GlobalGiving, we‘ve been working hard to channel that generosity to the places where it can do the most good. Every week, we send the donations we’ve received (over $2 million as of today) primarily to carefully-selected local Japanese organizations. These groups are providing everything from mobile medical care, fresh food, tents, and portable stoves to childcare, radio equipment, and cell phone chargers. The needs seem to be endless – things I would never have thought to consider.
In return, we receive frequent reports from our nonprofit partners on the ground, updating us on the situation and their work. Aside from giving us information, they let us know that our work together is making a real difference.
The generosity we’ve seen isn’t just from the many thousands of individuals who support GlobalGiving organizations, but companies and employee groups who have been moved by the scenes of human need. These corporate contributions often match individual gifts, significantly expanding our ability to help. The companies matching employee donations include Dell, Nike, Gap, Hilton Worldwide, Discovery, Jefferies and Co., Capital One, Rosetta Stone, Sabre, LinkedIn, CARFAX, and Fandango. So far their employees have collectively donated more than $700,000.
Other companies are using their marketing power to get customers involved. Gap and its sister brands – Banana Republic, PiperLime, Old Navy, and Athleta – are promoting the GlobalGiving Japan Relief Fund on their websites. When eBay customers are checking out, they have the option to add a donation to the Japan Relief Fund. PayPal, an eBay company, has featured the GlobalGiving Japan Relief Fund on its homepage. Additionally, over 30,000 items have been listed on eBay GivingWorks to benefit the GlobalGiving Japan Relief Fund.
Gap has designed a limited edition t-shirt to benefit the GlobalGiving Japan Relief Fund. The Gap Foundation has made generous grants to International Medical Corps and Save the Children. Liquidnet and Gilt Groupe are matching donations, and LivingSocial has broadcast its Japan donation appeal to its entire subscriber base. Other consumer-focused campaigns include Hilton Central Europe, Travelocity, and Anime Matsuri.
It’s worth noting that all of these companies have long histories of charitable giving and socially responsible actions – they didn’t just wake up to international development and aid when the earthquake happened. And because many of them have worked with GlobalGiving to support development and small organizations around the world, we were able to launch their Japan efforts quickly. That was, obviously, critical to getting relief to those in need as fast as possible.
In all, we have been overwhelmed by the practical, compassionate generosity shown by people and companies we’ve worked with on this effort. Our work, and our gratitude to our partners and supporters, will continue as long as there are people in need in Japan (and around the world).