Why Businesses Give: A Case of Foundation’s Long-Term Disaster Relief
Yu Ishida*,, Aya Okada**, Daiki Ono***, Takayoshi Naganuma***, and Toshiyuki Takenaka***
*School of Project Design, Miyagi University
1-1 Gakuen, Taiwa-cho, Kurokawa-gun, Miyagi 981-3298, Japan
**Graduate School of Information Sciences, Tohoku University, Miyagi, Japan
***MICHINOKU Future Fund, Miyagi, Japan
While governmental agencies have provided wide-ranging support to help the public recover from the impact of the Great East Japan disaster, their efforts have not been all-encompassing. Meanwhile, non-profit organizations and foundations have played a crucial role in this aspect. This study highlights the significant characteristics of a foundation, “The MICHINOKU Future Fund,” which has provided financial support to children who lost their parent(s) in the 2011 disaster. The Fund is a compelling case in disaster giving. It has been receiving donations for ten years, even after the disaster, with a steady increase in contributions from corporations and individuals. Our study explores this extraordinary case and identifies factors leading to successful fundraising as they endeavor to rebuild the society in the aftermath of an untoward disaster. Given that around 70% of the donations that the Fund receives come from private firms, most of whom have donated multiple times, the study aims to understand why businesses continue to donate to the Fund. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 12 donating companies. From the analyses of transcribed interviews applying the grounded theory approach, we identified sustained donations from multiple aspects of the Fund that the companies found favorable, including the opportunity to provide continued support to children’s future and frequent reporting from dedicated staff members. The companies learned from the experience of disaster giving, and preferred to avoid providing one-shot support. This study contributes to the literature on disaster giving, particularly corporate donations in Japan, on which limited knowledge has been accumulated to date.
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