National

Yahoo Japan and Dentsu to launch auction-based fundraising service

by Masaaki Kameda

Staff Writer

Yahoo Japan Corp. and major advertising agency Dentsu Inc. will launch a new fundraising service in November, aimed at helping projects raise cash through the sale of used items.

Hotel Okura Tokyo will be the first to get on board, auctioning off hundreds of pieces of furniture and equipment from a building that has closed for a rebuild. The money raised will benefit a charity the hotel supports.

“Reuse” is the key word in the new service, named reUfunding, and which launches on Nov. 4. The organizers term it a form of crowdfunding.

“Our crowdfunding is different from conventional ones in that people can support the project initiator by making a social contribution at the same time,” a spokesman for Yahoo Japan said Wednesday.

ReUfunding can work in one of two ways. One is that project initiators sell off used items through Yahoo Japan Auction and people who want to support their projects tender bids, the spokesman said.

“We recommend project initiators to put up items that they have cherished,” he said.

The other is that people donate their own used items and agree to have the proceeds contribute to the project.

“Our crowdfunding contributes to a recycling-oriented society by promoting reuse. It also supports the dreams and future of project initiators,” the spokesman said.

Eligible entities will be corporations and organizations, he said, although a wide range of projects will be accepted, including social work and event planning.

To kick off the service, Hotel Okura Tokyo will take part to the benefit of its “Hotel Okura Tokyo Charity Project for Music.”

The iconic hotel, whose main building closed in August for reconstruction, will sell off used furniture and equipment, according to a hotel spokeswoman.

The proceeds will support the activities of El Sistema Japan, which promotes music education in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, and Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture.

“We aim to share visitors’ memories and to make a social contribution” through the upcoming crowdfunding service, the spokeswoman said Wednesday.

From Nov. 4 to Dec. 20, the hotel will put up 343 items, mainly furniture from guest rooms and restaurants, she said.

Items will include a set of dining table and chairs from a royal suite as well as single-seat sofas and armchairs from guest rooms.

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