We provide programs and services that strengthen the organizational infrastructure of nonprofits, which is vital to the continuation and development of their activities. Many of the JNPOC’s programs–from NPO database service and technology donation programs to communication skills seminars and capacity-building training-support the infrastructure development of nonprofits.
We use a metaphor of “vessel” for nonprofit’s organizational infrastructure/capacity, whereas an individual project as a “cargo”. Even if “cargo” appears to be fancy, which might draw public attention and even appeals to fund-raising, an organization needs a constant watch to the “vessel” itself because without proper maintenance and mending, the “vessel” will eventually sink.
With the aim of promoting access to and disclosure of information about nonprofits, JNPOC runs and administers a searchable online nonprofit organization database called NPO-Hiroba that contains data for all “Specified Nonprofit Corporations” (approx. 50,000 incorporated nonprofit organizations) in Japan. The basic information of new incorporated organizations is added periodically, and with a unique ID & password, each nonprofit can add and update its organizational information, which promotes the visibility and accountability of NPOs.
NPO Hiroba (Japanese)
Partnering with the US-based non-profit TechSoup, JNPOC runs a software donation program and validation service called TechSoup Japan. The program provides software products and services to qualified nonprofits for a small fee so that these organizations can maximize their full potential with the use of necessary technology. Since its launch in June 2009, and as of March 2015, 12,538 donations to 3,339 organizations have been mediated, which amounts to a total market value of about ¥2,234 thousand (approx. $2.2 million).
With Dentsu, Japan’s largest advertising agency, JNPOC holds seminars (the Tsutaeru Kotsu, or Keys to Communicating project) specially made for nonprofits, in which organization members can learn communication skills. Using a custom-made textbook/workbook, participants learn from communication professionals about the basics of internal/external communication and practical knowledge, which are essential to increasing the number of supporters and collaborators and engaging in fulfilling activities. As of March, 2015, 113 seminars, tailored to the needs of different regions, have been held throughout Japan with a total attendance of 4,650 people.
Tsutaeru Kotsu (Japanese)
Collaborating with Panasonic Corporation, JNPOC holds workshops for nonprofits to strengthen their institutional capacity. This program’s unique feature is that the leaders and staff of nonprofits undergo an “organizational diagnosis” that identifies the problems of the organization and the specific areas of capacity building in need of further improvement. After the assessment, organizations formulate and implement their organizational strategy by incorporating the advice received from professional and objective third parties.
Local NPO support centers in communities across Japan provide services and seminars to local grassroots nonprofit associations and organizations. JNPOC believes that in order for these NPO support centers to play an active role locally, more organizational capacity-building opportunities should be provided. JNPOC holds staff training programs for newly appointed and middle-management NPO support center staff.
We offer similar learning opportunities for government and business sectors. With the aim of understanding nonprofits and civil society better and exploring cross-sector collaborative opportunities, JNPOC holds seminars targeted at newly-appointed local government staff in charge of the NPO division, as well as companies’ newly-appointed CSR staff.
Since 2010, JNPOC has been collaborating with the US-based nonprofit Give2Asia, which encourages and facilitates charitable giving to Asia by providing personalized services to donors and recipients. This collaboration opened up a new opportunity for Japanese nonprofits to obtain funds outside Japan. As the local advisor in Japan, JNPOC is responsible for grants administration, facilitating the donation process for Japanese nonprofits, and conducting research services when requested by Give2Asia. As of March 2015, JNPOC has mediated nearly 60 organizations (115 grants) for grant making, with a total grant amount of about $7,500,000.
JNPOC believes that nonprofit organizations or civil society organizations (CSOs) need to be held accountable to their own stakeholders about their accountability practices including financial oversight, transparency and information disclosure, public support and effective management. In 2016 JNPOC launched a bilingual portal site that introduces what practices exist in Asia-Pacific as well as within Japan’s nonprofit sector to ensure organizational accountability, which has not been well-known in the CSO community in Asia-Pacific.