Posted on December 11, 2015
Square and Japan NPO Center (JNPOC)/TechSoup Japan are supporting “Giving December – a Month for Giving”(*1) in what is the first time for the donation initiative to take place in Japan. Over the period from December 1, 2015 (Tues) to January 31, 2016 (Sun), a special service will be provided allowing donations to five nonprofit organizations in Japan that are working on local issues to be made via credit card without incurring any fees. The hardware required to use Square, including Square credit card readers and tablet terminals, will also be supplied free of charge.
Compared to European and American countries, it is traditionally more common in Japan to pay by cash, even for large sums, but credit card transaction amounts in the country have been growing in recent years.(*2) Although more and more large-scale nonprofit organizations are accepting donations and membership dues via online credit card payments, few of the smaller ones working on more community-based issues are able to cope with such payments due to the complicated application process and high fees involved.
This is why, in tandem with the launch of Giving December, Square and Japan NPO Center (JNPOC)/TechSoup Japan have decided to provide their support, using the services provided by Square, for credit card payments made to five nonprofit organizations in Japan. For more information about this project, visit: http://www.square-blog.jp/square-for-nonprofits-2015 (in Japanese only)
In addition to being able to accept credit card payments for goods sold at charity events, etc., through this initiative, the recipient organizations will be able to accept membership dues and donations online, and it is our hope that this will lead to greater support for smaller-scale nonprofit organizations such as these.
The five nonprofit organizations that will receive support during this period are:
Asuiku (Grow the Future): Toyama Prefecture
Asuiku is a nonprofit organization based in Kurobe City, Toyama, whose mission is to support “all things related to personal growth.” Its activities include park design efforts done in collaboration with local residents, and ASTRUST, the group’s original, experience-based human resource development program.
For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/npoasuiku/ (in Japanese only)
SEIN: Osaka Prefecture
SEIN is a nonprofit organization working mostly in southern Osaka prefecture towards resolving local problems and achieving ideal communities through the voluntary initiatives of its residents. Its activities include running Community Cafe Pangea, a space that provides support for parents and their children in the local community.
For more information, visit: http://www.npo-sein.org/ (in Japanese only)
Toshima Kodomo WAKUWAKU Network: Tokyo
This nonprofit organization was established with the theme of child poverty in mind and based on the concept of the local community watching over and nurturing its children. It is engaged is efforts to create a space in the community for children and to provide children and their families with comprehensive support.
For more information, visit: http://toshimawakuwaku.com/ (in Japanese only)
Peace Jam: Miyagi Prefecture
Peace Jam is a nonprofit organization in Kesennuma City, Miyagi, and provides support for mothers and children. It runs a nursing space and kids’ room to help working mothers, and produces jams and baby-related goods. The sale of these items helps create jobs for new mothers.
For more information, visit: http://www.peace-jam.jp/ (in Japanese only)
Miyagi SELP Conference: Miyagi Prefecture
This nonprofit organization runs employment assistance programs to help improve the income of people who have difficulty finding general employment for reasons that include disability. Based in Miyagi, its activities include selling products made by the Employment Support Office for the Disabled, and planning and running various events and forums.
For more information, visit: http://www.miyagi-selp.org/ (in Japanese only)
Square was established in 2009 and is headquartered in San Francisco. It runs a credit card payment system in the USA, Canada, and Japan. Square Japan is the Japanese subsidiary of Square, Inc.
TechSoup is a program operating in about 120 countries around the world (HQ: San Francisco, USA) that mediates the donation and provision of computer software/cloud services, etc., to help nonprofit organizations reach their full potential. The TechSoup Japan office is located in JNPOC, and around 4,500 nonprofit organizations, public service corporations and social welfare service corporations in Japan utilize its donation programs.
*1: “Giving December” is a month-long initiative that focuses on drawing people’s attention to the act of donating and encouraging them to think about its importance and function, which may then become an opportunity for them to take action. Nonprofit organizations, universities, companies, government and international organizations have come together to designate December 2015 “Giving December – a Month for Giving.” For more information, visit: http://giving12.jp/ (in Japanese only)
*2: From Survey of Selected Service Industries of Ministry of Trade, Economy and Industry (in Japanese): http://www.meti.go.jp/statistics/tyo/tokusabido/result-2.html