social media, zynga, livingsocial, salty waffle, japan earthquake, social media making a difference, how much has been donated to japanWhen the devastating earthquake struck Japan last week, we wrote about how Causes was quickly moving to raise aid money for the relief efforts. In the few days since, several other social media related efforts have popped up to help raise money as well. The results are simply mind-blowing:

  1. Causes: Raised $228,000 so far on just the official Red Cross page for the earthquake. Other pages all over the site are also raising an unknown total for various organizations supporting relief.
  2. LivingSocial: The group buying site raised $2 million dollars in the last week in an effort to help Japan’s recovery efforts.
  3. SXSW: Fundraising efforts at SXSW started with a modest goal of $5,000. Officials haven’t released the final figure, but one commented that the original goal was blown out of the water in the first few minutes of the fundraising efforts.
  4. Zynga (Farmville/Cityville): Using their game platform built in Facebook, Zynga raised at least $1 million dollars in less than a day after the quake by offering virtual items for sale that benefited the relief fund.
  5. Texting: We couldn’t find a figure for just how much mobile phone donation has raised for Japan, but the sense is that it is quite a bit. When the Red Cross used the mobile campaign for Haiti, they quickly raised $4 million dollars. We wouldn’t be surprised, with more phone users now accustomed to text fundraising, to see that number topped in donations to Japan.

In total, the Red Cross has said they have raised and received over $10 million dollars for Red Cross Japan. It’s pretty easy to see the huge help that social has been in raising that money and though more difficult to calculate, the amount of awareness and easy access to donation sites social media has created is clearly playing a huge role in such successful fundraising.

Thanks to all that donated, individuals and companies alike, this has to be one of the most exciting ways to watch social media affect the world. Our thoughts and prayers are with Japan as they work to recover.