Money donated towards the people who suffered from the earthquake and Tsunami has been made, predominantly through “online” donations. Some charity websites have seen 15 times their normal annual donation level in just the 2 week period following the earthquake.
Some people have suggested that Japanese people are less willing to donate online when compared with western nations. Many charity websites looking for donations are coming up with new ideas to try to change this notion and to widen the charity market in Japan.
“Why not call this year the first year of online donation?” says Daigo Sato, executive director of “Just Giving Japan”, a nonprofit organization supporting charity websites attracting donations. This could follow on from the term “first year of volunteer”, which was coined when the Hanshin earthquake hit 16 years ago.
“Just Giving Japan” traces its origins back to the UK based website “Just Giving”, which launched 10 years. Its concept is to gather together donations raised by individuals who gain sponsorship from their friends/family and colleagues for individual causes, such as “stop smoking for 3 months”, or “running a full marathon” etc. Then by accumulating all the donations they can benefit a large cause, in this case the people in the Tohoku region.
It has already raised approximately 10 billion yen, from over 12 million people around the world.
The Japanese version only started in March, last year. The website raised 30 million yen in one year, but with the help of some celebrities and sports player, the website achieved approximately 500 million yen in the 2 weeks after the disaster. The money raised are going to be handed over to the organizations that provide, for example daily necessities, services for pregnant mothers and restoration of schools.