To realize a sustainable society, the organizational foundations of NPOs/NGOs need to be strengthened in order to sustainably continue their activities as citizens trying to solve social issues. In 2001, Panasonic launched a support program for strengthening the organizational foundations of NPOs/NGOs as a central activity of its social contributions. We have continued to offer support in this regard since then.
The Panasonic NPO Support Fund is one of six programs that the Company organically operates toward achieving this objective. In order to ensure these programs are beneficial to local NPOs, we have programs that collaborate with NPO intermediary support organizations. Panasonic holds forums for strengthening the organizational foundation, pro bono forums, and marketing forums to disseminate information throughout society about these initiatives to strengthen organizational foundations and their benefits. Through independent efforts such as these, Panasonic aims to contribute to social change for the better through sustainable citizen activities and by finding solutions to social problems.
There are a fair number of NPOs, which pioneer efforts in country, and NGOs, which work in emerging and developing countries, that aim to solve social issues. The Panasonic NPO Support Fund is a program that supports the strengthening of the organizational foundations of these NPOs/NGOs by incorporating the opinions of a diverse array of objective third parties. We also offer assistance in the form of an organization health checkup that looks for problems in the overall organization and proposes solutions to them.
In 2013, a total of ¥29,970,000 was handed out in the form of grants to 20 organizations, including nine groups active in the environmental field and 11 groups involved in helping children. The forum to strengthen organizational foundations and the grants award ceremony held in January 2014 was attended by 120 people. Since the program was established in 2001, a total of ¥290 million has been given away in 239 grants. (Program collaborators: Eco Future Fund and Civil Society Initiative Fund)
Members from recipient organizations at the 2013 presentation ceremony
This program is a social contribution initiative where employees use their work skills and experiences to offer support to NPOs for the benefit of society as a whole. The aim of the program is to enhance the business development capabilities of NPOs working to solve social issues and magnify the outcomes of their activities. In fiscal 2014, 38 employees offered their services on a pro bono basis to four NPOs, helping create business plans and conducting basic marketing surveys. The Panasonic Pro Bono Team was formed exclusively for the employees that helped these four groups, which included an NPO active in areas hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake. In October 2013, Panasonic held the Pro Bono Forum Tokyo 2013 as an event to explain the potential and attractiveness of pro bono work. This event was planned to coincide with the International Pro Bono Week 2013, which was held for the first time in Japan. Approximately 160 people interested in pro bono work attended, including adults, students and NPO staff.
Since it was established in 2011, 81 employees have offered to work on a pro bono basis for 13 groups. (Program collaborator: Service Grant)
Supporting the efforts of the NPO Family House to build ideal housing
Marketing is an important activity for an NPO, and an instrument for achieving its mission, for acquiring donations, supporters and volunteers, as well as producing value for the services provided.
This program provides individual support and training in marketing to NPOs with the aim of enhancing their marketing abilities, sharing this know-how across their entire organization instead of having it center on a few individuals, and solving their own organizational issues. In November 2013, Panasonic held a marketing forum as an event for participating groups to present their outcomes. 135 people participated in the event. Since it was launched in 2008, the program has helped 51 NPOs brush up their marketing skills. (Program collaborator: NPO Support Center)
Participants in the inaugural orientation and basic training session
This workshop is held annually to coincide with the application period for the Panasonic NPO Support Fund, with the objective of increasing understanding of the importance of strengthening organizational foundations. Participants take lessons about strengthening organizational foundations, using case examples of groups that have had their organizational foundations strengthened through the Panasonic NPO Support Fund, and participate in workgroups to think more carefully about the organizational issues of their own groups. In fiscal 2014, 147 representatives from 113 groups participated in workshops held in five locations around Japan. (Program collaborator: Japan NPO Center)
A workshop held in Tokyo
In order effectively strengthen the organizational foundations of NPOs/NGOs, we believe it is necessary to encourage the strengthening of organizational foundations by having national NPO intermediary support organizations offer closer support to each local NPO. For this reason, we launched in January 2014 the NPO Support Enhancement Program, and provided training to staff at NPO intermediary support organizations. (Program collaborator: Japan NPO Center)
The inaugural training session
Panasonic offers e-learning courses about the basics of management for NPOs and social enterprises with the aim of providing education to NPO staff and personnel that support NPOs as the main part of its efforts to strengthen organizational foundations. In fiscal 2014, management classes were held twice and taken by a total of 119 people. A total of 538 people have taken the course since it was started in 2008. (Program collaborator: Public Resources Foundation)
The Panasonic NPO Support Fund for Africa is a part of our efforts to attain the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a commitment on the part of the international community. The program supports the strengthening of the public relations efforts of NPOs/NGOs active in Africa.
Countries in Africa face many social problems waiting for a solution in the fields of education and healthcare, as well as the problems of poverty and starvation. The Panasonic NPO Support Fund for Africa supports activities designed to spread a deeper understanding of the social issues in Africa and build awareness of NPOs/NGOs working to solve these problems. By describing the activities of each organization and spreading the word about conditions in African countries, the program aims to increase understanding among people, increase volunteers and supporters for the organizations, and strengthen their management foundations.
In fiscal 2014, ¥3,020,000 in aid was given to four groups. Since the program began, a total of ¥9,590,000 in aid has been donated to 12 organizations.
Road improvement work conducted by the NPO CORE (Community Road Empowerment)