Despite not having the funds to make large corporate donations, small businesses are rallying to do their part to make every dollar count.
Starting last week, the company has pledged to match employee donations to California-based charity called Direct Relief International, which spends an astounding 98.8% of its revenue directly on its charity programs, more than the Red Cross (91.8%), World Vision (88.3%) and other large charities.
Having launched the company’s fundraising initiative for Japan and past initiatives from Kiva to Mustache Movember, Vice President of Client Services Michael Block states the importance of leveraging small business to encourage participation on the individual level. Block states, “Wpromote has more money than any individual working here, so it is important for us to use work resources to mobilize people.”
For this particular cause however, more attention needs to be placed on donating to Japan.
According to Block, “There is this misconception that because Japan is a wealthy country that they do not need help. That could not be further from the truth because of the type of country they are. All their resources are imported. All of this could really affect their trade.”
He makes a valid point. Despite being one of the world’s wealthiest nations, the island country is not self-sustainable, as 60% of its food and virtually all of its natural gas and coal comes from imports. With much of their own resources and infrastructure damaged, Japan needs more outside assistance now than ever to distribute food and essentials to its population.
Because of the misunderstanding, however, donations in response to the tsunami have been lacking compared to money raised for the earthquake in Haiti. Other small businesses have recognized this and have also leveraged their resources to maximize donations through their employees and customers.
Online gaming studio Meteor Games LLC, for example, has been selling virtual cherry blossom trees for $7 on its Facebook game, Island Paradise, and donating proceeds to the Red Cross. Zmags Inc., a company that sells digital-publishing software, has created a free interactive e-book that tells the story of what happened in Japan and links this content to five charities. They are also matching financial employee donations to help tsunami victims.