Applications in Non-Maritime Fields


Goals and Objectives of The Nippon Foundation

The Nippon Foundation is an independent, non-profit, grant-making organization founded in 1962. It was established by legislation for the purpose of carrying out philanthropic activities using revenue from motorboat racing.
The Foundation is providing aid to projects that fall under one of the following four major categories: 1) public welfare in Japan; 2) voluntary programs in Japan; 3) maritime and ship-related projects; and 4) overseas cooperative assistance.
Under the category of overseas cooperative assistance, we especially respect cross-border, transnational activities; local and regional undertakings that may fall outside the reach of the public sector or other donor agencies; and initiatives to tackle pressing issues and long-range or persistent problems that require prompt and systemized care. Grants are given to programs planned and conducted by overseas non-profit organizations in such areas as basic human needs, human resources development, and promotion of international cooperation.

Funding Areas

  1. Improvement of Basic Human Needs
    Initiatives to assist people throughout the world to meet their basic human needs, and to contribute to the improvement of human welfare through programs in such areas as healthcare, support of disabled persons and those who are socially vulnerable, agricultural development, population issues, community development, refugee aid, and disaster relief. Projects comprising novel ideas, approaches, and technology, as well as those that involve multilateral undertakings, such as south-south cooperation, will receive higher priority.
  2. Human Resources Development
    Initiatives to foster a new generation of professionals, scholars, and students with a strong potential for future leadership. We support training and educational programs designed and executed by non-profit organizations and institutions of higher education. Our intention is to promote the formulation of an international network of professional people with shared goals and concerns.
  3. Promotion of International Collaborative Undertakings
    Initiatives to foster cooperative approaches that meet the changing needs of the global community. We support cultural, social, and intellectual exchanges and collaborative undertakings which contribute to the development of greater mutual understanding and cooperative mindset in order to bring about social changes.

Basic Considerations

Due weight will be given to proposals which contain at least one of the following:

  • Pragmatic and realistic approaches to issues and problems
  • Potential for future development and self-sustainability
  • Far-reaching social and regional impact
  • Pioneering significance; creating new visions and acting as catalyst for positive changes and social transformations
  • A diversity of race, gender, ethnicity, social class, cultures and societies


Applicant Eligibility

Applicants for The Nippon Foundation's overseas grants must be non-profit organizations based outside of Japan. They can be local, regional or international NGOs/NPOs, and include educational and research institutions. The Foundation does not accept applications from, nor provide grants to, private individuals or for-profit organizations.

Proposal Eligibility

The Nippon Foundation's overseas grants support non-profitable and institutional initiatives. Any program that is already in its operational phase is not eligible for grant consideration. In addition, The Foundation does not accept proposals of the following nature:

  • Profit-making
  • Fundraising for general purposes
  • Financial assistance to individuals, such as through direct scholarships
  • Debt repayment
  • Activities of a religious or political nature

Lower priority is given to projects for which the following features or goals are the main objectives, and not an integral part of a broader program:

  • Construction or physical infrastructure development
  • Acquisition of real estate
  • Asset building
  • General managerial/overhead costs
  • Publications, films, TV or radio programs
  • Basic research
  • In-house training

Eligibility is not contingent on the amount requested. The Foundation generally accepts multiple-year project proposals spanning a period of less than five years, but they must undergo screening every year. In principle, indirect costs should not exceed 10% of direct costs. Resubmission of previously rejected proposals cannot be accepted.


When to Apply

There is no application deadline as such, and applications can be received throughout the year. However, since the screening procedures may take as long as five months, it is strongly recommended that applications be submitted at least half a year before the planned start of the project, or whenever the funding will be needed.

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted by mail; we do not accept applications by fax or e-mail. All materials should be typed in English and sent to:

International Program Department
The Nippon Foundation
1-2-2 Akasaka
Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8404

If you are not sure whether or not your proposal fits within The Nippon Foundation's guidelines, please send us an inquiry letter with the completed application summary form to the above address.

When applying for The Nippon Foundation's Overseas Grants, please make sure that all information is typed, and send one set of the following documents: 1) A cover letter, 2) an application summary form, 3) a project budget, and 4) a project proposal to The Nippon Foundation's Overseas Grants.

  1. The Cover letter The cover letter should be addressed to:
    Mr. Yohei Sasakawa
    c/o Social Innovation Program Division
    The Nippon Foundation
    1-2-2 Akasaka
    Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8404
  2. Application Summary Form
    Please compile an application summary form using the format stipulated by The Nippon Foundation, and attach it to the project proposal. The summary will generally be used for pre-screening. You may type out the requested information on separate sheets of paper rather than filling in the application form provided by us as long as you follow the same format. However, the Application Summary Form should not exceed 6 pages.
  3. Project Budget
    Please make sure to attach a project budget to your application. Please note that we only accept applications in Japanese yen, US dollars, or Euro. The Nippon Foundation recommends that applicants follow the format outlined in the Project Budget Form.
  4. Project Proposal to The Nippon Foundation's Overseas Grants
    There is no set format for project proposals.

If available, attach the following additional information:

  • The most recent annual report or information about the organization
  • The most recent audited financial statements
  • The organization's current budget
  • A copy of official documents certifying the organization's legal and tax status

All documents and questions should be sent to the International Program Department.

Application Form

Applications may be downloaded in either MS Word or Adobe Acrobat format. Again, however, please note that we do not accept electronic submissions. After filling out the application form, we ask that you please print it out and mail it to us.

Recent Activities

The Nippon Foundation is engaged in a broad range of support activities. Below are some of our major activities in recent years.