If you've peeked at the poll in the upper right, you probably saw that Architecture for Humanity was in the lead with seven votes. Search and Rescue Dogs made a strong showing through email and comments, but not enough to overtake the architects, so Justin and my donation will go to Architecture for Humanity. We encourage anybody reading this to donate along with us, either to Architecture for Humanity, to one of our three other candidates (Search Dog Foundation, Brother's Brother, or Samaritan's Purse), or to any worthy charity working in Japan. Here's the Charity Navigator advice page again in case you're trying to choose.
There's been some debate over whether or not Japan, as a generally developed country, "needs the help." Americans have donated around 1/3 of the money to Japan that they donated for Haiti. Well, we live here, and Japan's been good to us. We donated to Katrina even though it happened in the USA. So our money is going to Japan.
I can understand the logic behind not giving to Japan specifically - but I think a lot of people are really just using it as an excuse not to give at all. You walk past the person on the street with the Japan cup but then don't get online and give to an alternative cause. If Japan's relative wealth does concern you, why not take the money you might have given to Japan and donate it elsewhere? You could pick a charity like Search and Rescue Dogs, Doctors Without Borders, or Save the Children which does not commit to using all donated resources in Japan - that way, you're paying it forward to the next disaster. You could also donate to something unrelated to Japan - Architecture for Humanity is still raising money for Haiti, for example, and you can give specifically to that by choosing "Haiti Earthquake Reconstruction Fund" from the menu on the donation page. Just remember that it's hard times all around right now, and any money you could give would be much appreciated somewhere.