Japan disaster relief has been a day and night job for us since March 11. Just over a month later, more than 44,000 individual donors have given over $4.1 million through our Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund, and an additional $975,000 is expected to head our way soon, in part from our corporate partners. These contributions are from existing partners like Gap (who unprecedentedly has been running GG banner ads on *every* web page of theirs) and eBay (where over 11,000 auction listings include us as a beneficiary of part or all of the sale proceeds) to new partners like Fandango, Hilton Worldwide, LinkedIn, Rosetta Stone and Travelocity. Here are our latest reports on the funds we have wired over to date from our Relief Fund, and a blogpost explaining our rationale.
We’ve received a fair amount of media around this, ranging from the US State Department, NPR, and Fox News. Over 80 people are using our fundraiser tool, the two most successful being Anime Fans Give Back to Japan, and Cheap Ass Gamer. I know these examples are a little comical, but they are also incredibly poignant for me. As I explained on our blog, I’ve been on the receiving end of such gratitude from Japanese friends, family, and Twitter followers who have all pointed out that it means a great deal to them to know that so many people the world over are coming together to help.
This disaster response exceeds anything we have seen at GlobalGiving for Haiti, China, Katrina, or the South Asia Tsunami. So it has required everyone on our team to put in nights and weekends to keep up–from the project team who have been staying up late or getting up at 4am to get in touch with organizations in Japan, to the tech team who have been fiddling with our servers to make sure that they didn’t crash. We saw some of the highest traffic ever at GlobalGiving during this time (40,000-55,000 visits a day 6-8x traffic preceding the disaster).
And we did this all without our marketing manager on hand–Alison McQuade had just left to join the League of Women Voters before the earthquake (although she was kind enough to take over our Twitter feed at 2am on Friday morning when Kevin went to sleep)–so we were running an intense social media campaign to replace her. It started with a targetted Facebook Ad, and elicited unprecedented responses from candidates. Another candidate leveraged her online presence to have her friends recommend them on Twitter using the #IwillLoveThisJob hashtag (it actually caused it to become a trending topic in Orlando, FL.) The approach got us out of the business of reviewing a pile of resumes and quickly showed us who was passionate and capable of doing the job. And it got us our newest Unmarketing Manager, Alison Carlman.