Asian Community Trust (ACT) is Japan's first "fundraising type charitable trust."
Since its establishment in 1979, ACT has supported over 620 projects aimed at eradicating poverty and reducing the rich-poor gap, by more than 240 local NGOs in 14 countries/region in Asia through donations (trust fund) from Japanese individuals and/or organizations. As of March 2015, ACT has provided financial grants worth more than 715 million JPY.
ACT is one of the 500 charitable trusts in Japan.
A "charitable trust" is a system where donations from individuals, organizations and corporations aimed to contribute to the society are entrusted to trust banks, which in turn, implement charitable activities on behalf of the donors.
In ACT, donations (which form trust funds) from individuals, organizations and business corporations are securely managed by four trust banks (trustees) and, following the wishes of the donors as well as advice from experts, are used to support the projects of local NGOs and NPOs in Asian countries
Through this system of charitable trust, ACT is able to support various excellent projects at the grassroots level.
In developing countries in Asia, there are many organizations that implement good projects aimed at supporting people in need but are having difficulties raising funds on their own. By identifying projects with the potential to produce good results and providing them partial funding, ACT supports change in the society and the resolution of issues by the local people themselves.
ACT supports projects selected among proposals from non-governmental organizations and/or educational institutions in developing countries* in Asia.
The screening of grant projects is implemented by members of the Executive Advisory Committee who are specialists in the state of affairs in Asian countries.
By gathering such specialists with the knowledge and expertise, ACT ensures that your donations are put to good use.
*Developing countries in Asia (recipients of aid from the Development Assistance Committee (DAC)): Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, East Timor, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. ("Asia" as categorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Click to learn more about the structure of ACT.
By donating 10 million JPY (approx. 83,000 USD) or more, a donor can create a "Special Fund" where he/she can specify the name of the fund as well as the country/region or area that he/she wants to support.
Since there is no necessity to negotiate with government-related agencies to set up a special fund, a Special Fund can be created within 3 to 4 months just by concluding a contract with the trustee (a trust bank among the four banks of trustees of ACT).
Click to learn more about how to set up a "Special Fund."
Donations to ACT are managed and operated by four banks of trustees (Trust Banks, namely, Mitsui Sumitomo Trust Bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust Bank, Mizuho Trust Bank, and Resona Bank) in accordance to terms of the Trust Act of Japan. Rest assured that donations are in safe hands.
The overall financial flow of ACT is also being closely monitored by a trust executor.
Click to view the contact details of each Trust Bank.
ACT is recognized as an "Authorized Specified Charitable Trust"; therefore, donations and membership fees paid to ACT are tax-deductible under Japanese laws.
Click to read more about tax incentives in Japan.
Ms. Suzuki (right), Chief Program Officer of ACT
during the monitoring visit to
a project in South India
The Secretariat searches and identifies prospective grant projects that are consistent with the interests (target project/program area, country/region) of the donors. After the grant projects are selected by the Executive Advisory Committee, the Secretariat staff monitors the progress of the projects until their termination.
With more than thirty five years of experience, it can be assumed the most significant factors to bring about the success of a grant project are the flexibility of its support scheme as well as its long-term commitment. In ACT, one project is given an average of three years of grant support and each year, a staff member of the Secretariat visits each project in their respective country assignments to monitor the progress and check the implementation structure and approach of the projects. The Secretariat is also flexible and open to consultations with the implementing organization regarding the next step towards the improvement of the project.
The Secretariat which acts as a "bridge" between donors and fields is required to have the following important qualities:
1. The ability to consult with the donors and propose the most appropriate grant program
2. The knowledge of the problems and needs in the target country/region, and the ability to assess whether the local NGO possesses the capacity to make full use of its inputs (money, technique, goods, manpower)
3. The ability to check and assess whether the grant is being appropriately used and the project is producing good results (output/outcome) during the course of monitoring or after the completion of the project
The experienced and skilled Secretariat supports projects from start to finish ensuring the success of the projects; therefore making effective use of donations to ACT.