Fundraising in Japan

Japan seems like the perfect market for groups to do fundraising – from the outside that is. Over the past year no less than 4 international fundraising groups have contacting me about cracking into the Japan market.

They generally do not have experience in the Japanese nonprofit ngo market. Since Japan has such a broad middle class – it might seem that this would be the place for nonprofit work to be supported by the masses. Also maybe since there are so many Japanese people abroad talking about ngos and nonprofits it might seem that the market is matured and it makes it hard to see that these people are outliers.

I have finally started to hear more about professionalize fundraising here too. It seems like all nonprofit NGOs realize they need to get on the shtick and develop their supporter base and start actual having a staff person whose work it is to fundraise from the private sector.

Why has this idea taken so long to come to Japan?

* Orgs are small?
* Staff are too devoted to the cause?
* No one want to fundraise?
* Everyone hates to ask for money?
* No one knows how to fundraise?
* Groups are too unprofessional?

Is part of the problem the lack of focus on social mobilization – even advocacy groups are not mobilizing the masses into action. I am not sure how active your civil society can be without moving the masses to become members, write letters, volunteer at events.... What do you think?


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