My Letter to Mark Facebook at Facebook/Meta

The Board Director Training Institute of Japan has sent the letter set forth below to the Mark Zuckerberg,m CEO of Meta Plataforms, Inc. (Facebook), asking FB to make it possible for Japanese users  to donate to certified non-profits in Japan, rather than just the US, Germany, Denmark and many other countries that are listed in the current drop-down menu.  It would be very easy for Facebook to implement this change, because their drop-down menu for donations is linked to each country’s list of certified non-profits, and Japan’s cabinet office also furnishes a convenient web page (a “registry”) for purposes such as this.  It doesn’t make sense for Japanese users (say on their friend’s birthday) to be limited to donating on that friend’s behalf to a nonprofit in Luxembourg or Denmark or the U.S. (This is not to deny anything to charities in those countries, but rather, to state the obvious.)   We have also sought to contact persons in Facebook Japan’s office about this, but have not yet received any answer as of this writing (August 15, 2022).

=============================         July 27, 2022

Mr. Mark Zuckerberg
CEO
Meta/ Facebook
1 Hacker Way
Menlo Park, California
94025    USA

CC: copies also sent to
Director of Communications
Director of Fundraising Activities Team
Board of Director members via Corporate Secretary

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,

The Board Director Training Institute of Japan (BDTI), which I lead from here in Tokyo, is a “public interest” nonprofit certified as such by the Japanese government. We provide: 1) training about directorship and corporate governance in Japan; 2) analysis and information dissemination about corporate governance; and 3) structured long-term big data taken from three separate types of disclosure reports in Japan. These are our major activities as approved by Japan’s Cabinet Office.

For your information, “Public interest” nonprofit organizations (公益法人) in Japan must comply with stricter regulations than apply for 501(c ) 3 nonprofits in the U.S.  For instance, they are subject to periodic inspections, and must comply with detailed rules concerning such things as the use of funds, expense ratios, and special accounting principles. Based on the value to society of public interest activities and this “quasi-regulated” status, donors to “public interest” nonprofits receive significant tax benefits.

BDTI and other “public interest” nonprofit organizations in Japan would very much like to use Facebook’s fundraising function to gather donations from other Meta/Facebook users. However, this is currently not possible, because no Japanese nonprofits of our category (the highest category in Japan) appear on the list of country “registries” that determine the dropdown menu for fundraising recipient options that can be chosen from when users of Facebook’s user page wish to make a donation.

This is rather odd, because the list of certified 公益法人can be easily obtained at this web page of the Cabinet Office: https://www.koeki-info.go.jp/pictis-info/csa0001!show#prepage2 . I would be pleased to explain to your staff how this can be done, including downloading a CSV file list of certified organizations. I have already attempted to contact your firm’s employees here in Japan in order to alert them to this issue, and have used the feedback/help button in my account to do the same, but have received no response. Hence, I am writing this letter.

With great respect for Meta/Facebook’s efforts to contribute to society by offering a fundraising option, I would like to request (as a user) that your company include all (公益法人) of all types[1] as possible options in the dropdown menu to select recipients of donations via user accounts.

Thank you very much in advance. If you would be so kind as to introduce me to the persons in charge of such matters, we would be pleased to help work out any operational details.

Regards,

 

Nicholas Benes
CEO, The Board Director Training Institute of Japan
nbenes@bdti.or.jp
81-3-6432-2337

 

[1] There are two types, 公益社団法人 and 公益財団法人. I will be happy to explain such details.

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