Case Study: The use of Social Media to help Japan
After the Japan earthquake and tsunami hit, there were many support efforts made in trying to connect with survivors, and raise needed money for the aftermath of these disasters. Organizations, such as the American Red Cross, have come up with different campaigns and ways for people to donate. These methods, which focus mostly on social media, are a simple and convenient way for these organizations to spread the word, and for people to respond and donate.
Gaining as much support and donations through various means of social media.
Most of these methods are about convenience and simplicity-with just a few clicks, or a quick text message, it's easier for any person to raise awareness without much hassle or research.
Text to Donate
The American Red Cross launched a texting campaign for relief efforts in the Pacific region. Last year, the Red Cross was able to raise over $20 million for Haiti relief through simple text donations.
To donate to the American Red Cross for Japan Earthquake Relief, a person just texts REDCROSS to 90999. Each text provides $10 toward the Red Cross's humanitarian efforts. As of March 14, $1.1 million was raised through this service.
Donate via Facebook
Facebook is also another way the Red Cross has reached out. Through the fundraising project, "Help Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami Victims," on Causes, the Red Cross planned to raise at least $25,000 for relief efforts. They are now up to $277,995 with a new goal of $300,000, at the time of this publishing. This Causes campaign resulted in a peak in their donations and new members to their page.
Anyone logged into Facebook can donate anywhere from $10 to $500 to help Tsunami victims and their families.
Buy Virtual Goods
Zynga, owner of games CityVille, FrontierVille, and FarmVille, have partnered with another organization, Save the Children's Japan Earthquake Tsunami Emergency Fund, to get users to donate money through the purchase of virtual goods in these games and in others. For example, from the purchase of sweet potatoes in CityVille, radishes in FarmVille, or kobe cows in FrontierVille 100% of the proceeds will go toward Save the Children's efforts.
The gaming company has surpassed its goal to raise $2 million for relief efforts, and so far has raised $2.2 million.
Twitter is a great means of providing awareness and links to ways to help or different areas of information about the earthquake.
They provide hashtags to search for various information, including:
General earthquake information: #Jishin
Requests for rescue or other aid: #J_j_helpme
Evacuation information: #Hinan
Confirmation of safety of individuals, places, etc.: #Anpi
Medical information for victims: #311care
They also have a blog where people can spread the word: http://hope140.org/blog/?p=142.
Donate via iTunes
Apple created a simple donation page in iTunes that makes it easy to donate anywhere from $5 to $200 to the Red Cross with just a few clicks.
100% of the proceeds donated will go to the Red Cross relief efforts.
As of March 14, the American Red Cross has raised nearly $8 million to support relief after Japan's disaster with US companies also offering multimillion-dollar donations.
The campaign to raise money for Japan is on-going, and can be supported by different organizations. Despite what organization is chosen or which method is chosen, the money is important in providing much needed first aid, emotional support, and relief for all those displaced.
Published by The Fundraising Journal 2011
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