JNPOC strives to create, maintain, and cultivate partnerships and networks within the civil sector as well as with business and government sectors. JNPOC has an open network with local NPO support centers across Japan and around 60 major corporations among our corporate membership. The existing network is one of our strongest assets, and is often the basis for developing our programs.
Partnering with Sompo Japan Insurance, JNPOC has collaborated with local environmental NPOs/NGOs to implement the Save Japan Project throughout all 47 prefectures in Japan. The project aims to raise public awareness on the protection of endangered species. Our ongoing recovery effort grapples with the rapidly increasing destruction of endangered species’ environments. About 25,000 people have participated in 476 environmental workshops and events held across Japan.
Save Japan Project (Japanese)
Partnering with Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance, JNPOC has collaborated with the regional Environmental Partnership Offices (EPO) and local nonprofits to conduct eco-friendly events utilizing local natural resources. The events include: forest protection through shiitake mushroom making and creating art from junk objects discarded along the local shoreline. The project aims to foster a mindset of environmental protection and caring among children who will lead the next generation. A variety of hands-on workshops and events have been conducted in 16 areas, and the total number of workshops reached 58 in FY 2014. (*2)
Green Gift Project (Japanese)
Since 2007, with a grant from Sumitomo Life Welfare and Culture Foundation, JNPOC has been funding a collaborative project called the Dong-do-co Project that bridges local NPOs and local community centers for children (or jidokan). The project aims to provide space for these two different entities to stimulate each other, weaving the expertise of local NPOs into the spaces and networks of local children’s community centers so that these children can interact with a variety of adults in the community beyond the scope of their day-to-day activities in school and at home.
In 2018, 18 programs were implemented in 15 prefectures. The activities in these programs focused on children’s centers and the children getting involved in local issues, including hands-on opportunities for children from economically disadvantaged families, support for children with foreign roots, awareness raising for disaster prevention, involving children in community development, passing on traditional local culture, and getting in touch with nature.
Dong-do-co Project (Japanese)
While private companies have been committed to the social good through CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives, they are also seeking the possible development of products or services associated with the concept of CSV (Creating Shared Values), which pursues benefits for both the companies and the communities they serve. To be able to develop these products and services, corporation first needs to understand what the current social issues (or quadai in Japanese) are for these communities. Responding to such emerging corporate needs, JNPOC, in collaboration with Dentsu B Team and Japan Management Association (JMA), created a think tank called Quadai-Lab. JNPOC interviews active nonprofits to identify and collect frontline issues from them. These issues are then presented at a gathering session called Qross Session so that the companies in attendance can learn about the cutting-edge social issues and challenges and discuss possible solutions, which they can take away for their own program development. Topics such as children, food, and culture have been covered so far in these sessions, which have attracted a total of more than 400 attendees from 110 companies. Derived from Quadai-Lab, JNPOC has also conducted a food bank tour and a mini Quadai-Lab for individual companies.
In the midst of the fast-paced changes in technologies, strengthening the capacity of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) is one of the most pressing issues for nonprofit organizations as they try to make their organizational management more efficient and effective as well as implement strategic activities in pursuing their mission. In collaboration with forward-thinking nonprofits like Code for Japan and ETIC, JNPOC has attempted to develop the social sector version of a chief technology officer (CTO) and coined the term “social technology officer (STO),” where an STO is expected to be the advisory of IT management for nonprofit organizations which often lack IT capacity and IT-related human resources. JNPOC published a brochure for IT experts explaining the concept and how to become an STO and has also organized workshops to familiarize them with this new concept.
Partnering with Kao Corporation, the Project aims to facilitate a dialogue on environmental issues across generations, and raise awareness for future environmental protection. College students visit environmental groups engaging in forest-building and write an online article about the group and on their experience, which can be read here. Between2014 and 2006, approximately 90 college students have worked as news reporters and written articles about NPOs working on forest management.
Kao Minna-no-Mori-no-Oendan Project (Japanese)
JNPOC has created and facilitated an annual forum in which local nonprofits and local governments engage in inter-sector collaboration, allowing both to have a dialogue that transcends their respective sectors and promotes further participation in social and civic activities.
JNPOC conducts a meeting with executive-level directors of (private) nonprofit support centers across Japan every three months. This is an opportunity for the leadership to discuss and exchange ideas on issues of organizational strategy and management, and on topics and messages that NPO support centers must collectively convey to society. With participants from across Japan, the meeting is also a place where the people can discuss topical issues surrounding the status of nonprofits, such as NPO law and tax system changes and reforms, and take necessary collective action, such as submitting written petitions to the government.
JNPOC serves as the coordinating organization for a unique network called NPO/NGO Network for Advancing Social Responsibility, in which about 30 nonprofits members discuss, advocate, and engage with various social responsibility (SR) issues for the further improvement of the civil sector. The Network has held a variety of SR workshops and annual forums in addition to the monthly meetings. It consolidates the collective voice of NPO/NGOs and dispatches representative members to a domestic SR conference as well as an ISO26000 international conference.
JNPOC is conscious of the importance of developing a robust civic sector that is trusted among the citizens and is able to play its expected role in Japanese and global societies. This is why we have been hosting the biannual Civic Sector National Conference in which the leaders and future leaders of different types of nonprofits, as well as academics and representatives of business and government sectors, come together to discuss current and future issues in the Japanese civil sector.
The 2018 Conference, with the main theme as the Expansion of Civil Society and New Challenges, was held at the University of the Sacred Heart, Tokyo, on November 22 and 23 and had a total of 400 attendees including the speakers. In between the opening and closing plenary sessions, 15 breakout sessions were held under the themes of collaboration, evaluation, participation, infrastructure, and community. During the past 20 years since the enactment of the NPO Law, civic activities have expanded greatly and we believe that NPOs have created new values through their initiatives and in advocacy and cross-sector collaborations. The participants learned about the current trends and NPO initiatives across the country, including collaboration and program evaluation in the SDGs era and the use of dormant deposits.