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Case Studies

Gap Inc.

The Challenge

Help Gap Inc., its customers, and its employees respond quickly to the Japan earthquake and tsunami

On March 11, 2011, the north coast of Japan was hit by a devastating tsunami after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake occurred 80 miles offshore. It was the largest earthquake to strike Japan on record, and millions of people were affected. In the aftermath of the disaster, thousands remained missing and more than 150,000 people were living in evacuation centers where they relied on the Japanese government and aid organizations for basic necessities and medical support.

Following the disaster, Gap Inc. was looking for a partner that would enable it to:

  • Immediately respond by contributing to relief efforts on the ground;
  • Engage employees and mobilize consumers in its response;
  • Facilitate the disbursing and matching of all disaster relief funds.


The Solution

A multi-platform consumer and employee-based campaign that raised money for relief

Gap Inc. responded quickly by implementing a multi-platform consumer- and employee-based campaign to raise money for projects supported by the GlobalGiving Relief Fund for the Japan Earthquake.

  • GlobalGiving handled Gap Foundation grants in response to the disaster.

    Within days of the earthquake, the Gap Foundation announced a $200,000 grant to the GlobalGiving Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund to support Save the Children and International Medical Corps, two nonprofits working to provide critical support on the ground immediately following the disaster.

  • Gap Inc. donated proceeds from merchandise sales and directed consumers to GlobalGiving's Japan relief efforts.

    Gap Inc. donated 100% of the proceeds from the sale of its limited-edition Japan relief t-shirts to the GlobalGiving Japan Fund. Additionally, Gap Inc. commerce websites, including Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime, and Athleta, posted banners linking to GlobalGiving for more than a week during March, making it easy for consumers to contribute to relief efforts.

  • Gap Inc. engaged its employees in giving back.

    Gap Inc. employees contributed to both large international relief organizations and local responders, and have their donations matched, through BeWhatsPossible.com. In addition to matching employee donations, the Gap Inc. Give and Get team made a donation for every employee who signed up for its March 17-20, 2011 sale to support GlobalGiving's Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.


The Results

Critical support for international NGOs and local Japanese organizations working on the ground to respond to the disaster was quickly available

Through GlobalGiving and in response to the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami:

  • Gap Inc. consumers donated more than $82,000 to disaster relief projects.

    The donations made by Gap Inc. consumers supported organizations such as Association of Aid and Relief, Association of Medical Doctors of Asia, Mercy Corps, Shine Humanity that provided immediate relief and led long-term recovery efforts.

  • Gap Inc. employees donated $126,000 to the GlobalGiving Japan Fund.

    Employees of all levels, including the founding family, took advantage of the opportunity to have their donations to help earthquake and tsunami victims matched. Their donations supported the fund GlobalGiving set up for local Japanese organizations on the ground to provide support and deliver critical supplies.

  • Gap Inc. and the Gap Foundation granted $378,000.

    Thanks to grants made by Gap Inc. and the Gap Foundation soon after the disaster:

    International Medical Corps helped improve on the ground communication between evacuation and coordination centers by distributing laptops, satellite phones, and walkie-talkies and supplies packaged baby foods and medications.

    Save the Children created child-friendly spaces in evacuation centers that gave children the opportunity to express their feelings about what they had endured under the supervision of caring, trained adults.


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