Creatively Giving

Now call me selfish (only because I kind of am) but when I first heard about ‘support Japan’ and ‘donate to the cause’, I likened it to the Queen Mother asking for donations to help pay for the royal wedding. AKA I assumed Japan was a rich country that had many resources and adequate funding available. Also, being well known for efficiency and cutting-edge technology, would have the ravaged city back up and running within a few days or so. Maybe a week, tops.

Luckily, a well-informed friend – well – informed me that soon after the earth quake/tsunami hit, the Japanese stock market crashed and thus – money gone. Taking their word for it (because actual fact checking is lame) I’m happily on board this new donate-to-a-good-cause train.

As I have an event coming up (The Perfect Wedding Show) where we’re supporting Dress for Success Vancouver in a unique way (via a Wedding Show), I thought it’d be fun to showcase a few other creative  fundraising efforts around the city in support of Japan. Also, as always, since I do enjoy judging others, or at least criticizing their efforts, I’ve also decided to throw in some random grades for their money-raising campaigns.


Nelleytimes Presents: How well do you give ‘er?

I (heart) Japan

Jammin for my Japanese peeps? I'm in!

The funky nightclub Fortune Sound club had a wide selection of DJs (some with Japanese sounding names so I’ll assume…), throwing down the hits and playing all the hot tunes in support of Japan. Altogether making the ground shake for a whole other reason.


Notes: The feel good vibes and fun factor are through the roof. (Please note, extra points would have been granted had they sponsored a drink special like a cherry blossom surprise or a kamikaze kooler)

Japan Relief Walk of Hope*

Another (yawn) walk in Vancouver. From now till October, you can’t go for a Sunday stroll in the park or a jog on the beach without accidentally falling into a walkathon.This time it’s The Vancouver Japan Relief Walk of Hope.

However, this group is making a few creative changes to the traditional (yawn) walkathon. Organized by Vancouver based Photographer Christopher Pike, he and a group of photographers will be photographing the walk and posting images on flickr to keep the giving momentum going. To make the images unique, walk participants are encouraged to wear red and white coloured clothing (both Canada’s and Japan’s flag coulours, cool!).

Grade: B+

Notes: Another walk-a-thon= yawn. But great photo opportunities= yay! (I can’t wait till the pics are posted!)

*Still accepting donations via The Red Cross website. Donate now!

The Facebook Effort*

Then of course, someone had to invent some sort of facebook based invite/game for donations. In the same vein as the bra game (black & lacy)  or the purse game (I like it on the kitchen table) or even the drinking game (I’m a blueberry avocado pineapple spritzer, ha!), this new one had a few requirements of you too:

  1. Replace your Facebook profile picture with the UNITE TO HELP badge (see right)
  2. Copy and paste to update your status to: “UNITE TO HELP For Japan With Love. Get involved and donate @
  3. Share and invite your friends on Facebook and spread the word to donate. Every little bit helps!

What’s great about it: All in all a perfect viral campaign! (Viral campaign requirements: easy to follow; limited cost to user to participate; a high ‘feel good’ factor; desire to spread to others).

Also, people are used to this type of promotion and it’s nice to let the boys in on some of the fun for once. 😉

The big question: Although everyone is spreading the love, and changing up their profile pages, how many people have actually donated? Answer: over $66,000 raised to date. Woo! Go world!

Grade: A+

I would have given them a B if not for the fact that it actually worked and raised money for the cause. I respectfully ‘eat my shorts’.

*Still accepting donations via The Shelterbox website.

Street Teams

And then there was this fundraising campaign:

Strategically placed at the corner of a busy intersection in downtown Vancouver, most of their donations seemed to come via honks from cars: “Honk if you love Earthquake relief!” so I’m not sure of the cash value of that.

GRADE: A for effort!

Notes: Although I’d bet they raised very little actual cash but raised lots of Japan Relief awareness, it’s good to see the kids out there productively (if not effectively) trying to help.

Give it up

There are many reasons to donate your time and give money to a cause so if it’s not Japan Relief, then you need to find the cause that moves you and help them out in any way you can. Sure I donate to anyone who asks me and to many different causes (mainly for the tax credit) but mainly because it feels good (it feels especially good when you get the tax credit). So go forth, find your cause, start up your campaigns, and get people to donate. There’s no pressure to make it original or even to be creative, just a pressure to do something. And when you do, just remember one thing…

I’ll be judging!

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