Partnership with Give2Asia will help steer the Club out of pandemic and secure its future as a defender of the free media
The FCCJ has partnered with Give2Asia as part of a year-end fundraising drive aimed at replenishing the Club’s pandemic-weakened finances. A non-profit registered with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Give2Asia allows tax-payers in the U.S., Australia and Hong Kong to provide deductible donations to recognized charities throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Starting October 16, donors have been able to provide financial support to the FCCJ through the following link on the Give2Asia website: https://give2asia.org/fccj/
First to take advantage of the Give2Asia vehicle was author and former editor of The Economist, Bill Emmott. A former treasurer of the FCCJ, Bill said he hoped that his donation of US$1,500 would inspire others to give as well.
As best-selling author and former member of the Club’s Board of Directors, Bob Whiting wrote for the FCCJ page on the Give2Asia website: “The FCCJ is unique in Japan in offering free access to all its news events to bona fide journalists regardless of affiliation and has advocated open access at exclusive press clubs and managed news events in Japan. However, demographic change, the collapse of the business model of the traditional news media, and most recently the Covid-19 pandemic, have affected the FCCJ’s ability to support the work of journalists and to advocate for open and equal access to information. The Club hopes to encourage financial assistance in the form of grants and donations from both individuals and foundations who share in its mission.”
Although no target figure has been announced as a goal, the Club is hoping the drive will help to top up reserves depleted by the resignation of Associate members unable to use the Club during the pandemic, when successive government decreed public health emergencies forced restaurants, including those run by the Club, to limit operating hours and stop serving alcoholic drinks.
However, funds obtained during the campaign are also expected to go to the Swadesh DeRoy Scholarship Fund, and to strengthen the Club’s ability to support the professional activities as well as the upgrading of IT technical skills of members.
Members are encouraged to contact former colleagues living outside Japan to make them aware of the Give2Asia link and to ask them to include the FCCJ in their list of year-end charitable donations. With regard to donations made in Japan, the FCCJ has been registered as a Public Benefit Corporation (koeki shadan hojin) so funds can be deducted from income when declaring taxes. However, to do so, an official receipt for tax deduction purposes must be obtained from the FCCJ office.
Donors who are especially generous will be recognized for their help by being designated as bronze, silver, or gold category benefactors. However, all donors can obtain satisfaction from knowing that their financial support is helping to keep one of Asia’s most vibrant and free news associations functioning at a time when several are struggling in the face of government suppression.