Types and Fields of Grant-making Operations

[Group B] 771 foundations

Program Operations

The unit of grant-making operations such as grants, scholarships, awards is called the “program,” In order to get a more detailed picture, here are the analyzed programs in terms of types and fields of their operations of FY2012,

Programs are operated through different mechanisms, including: closed invitation, where the funding organization directly assigns beneficiaries or selects a limited number of applicants; and open invitation, where grants can be accessed by public without any set criteria, This study defines 4 categories: open invitations, limited invitations, closed invitations/direct assignments, and self-operated programs, For the analysis of the 2012 survey, those excepting self-operated programs were defined as the grant-making programs, the number of which was counted except those under suspension,

Total number of grant-making programs operated by 771 (Group B) foundations was 1,689 that makes every foundation provided an average of 2,2 programs,

By type, open invitations counted 1,054 (62%), limited invitations 510 (30%), followed by the closed invitations/direct assignments of 124 (7%),

Even in the open invitations, many set some criteria for eligible applicants: limitations on age, nationality, or residence area, This limitation mechanism, or specialization of the grant field, is employed so that limited resources can be utilized most efficiently, Giving priority to a set field is a reasonable and justifiable decision for foundations, and hence, limitation of applicants is different from open to the public foundations,

Classification and Characteristics of Programs by Type and Field

Programs are broadly classified into three program types: grant, scholarship, and award programs, The Center further divided them into 15 types and 11 fields,

Figure 7 shows the number of programs separated by the program type, The total of programs was 2,005, which exceeded the original count of 1,689 because some programs covered more than one type, Note that when a program fell into four or more types, it was classified as “unspecified,”

It is evident from this figure that the grants in research in science and technology were by far the largest in number, and the rest were distributed widely across the types of programs, Research and other research related grant programs were 820 (including travel grants for visits or invitations, grants for conferences and publications); grants for culture, health and welfare, and civic activities were 450 (including grants for a public performance, exhibition, program development, organizational management support, and equipment/facilities support); and scholarships were 440 (for Japanese students home/overseas, and international students), The proportion of these three was almost 2:1:1,

For the past 10 years until 2011, the proportion stayed substantially unchanged at 5:2:3, In 2012 basic criteria for grants remained same, being centered on the research sector, however, it is notable that grants for program development steadily increased reflecting the needs of time,

Figure 7, Number of Programs by Type [Group B] 1,689 Programs


Figure 8 shows the number of programs by field, Total number was 1,996, again exceeding the original figure of 1,689 because some programs covered more than one type, Note that when a program fell into four or more types, it was classified as “unspecified,”

Examined by field, “science and technology,” “health and medicine” and other fields of natural science came first as the main sector, Education ranked top; however, this is because scholarships (for Japanese students home/overseas, and international students) were counted in education category, Grant programs for school education and/or education research excepting scholarships amounted to 136,

The study demonstrates that the main stream of grant programs by Japanese foundations is to encourage science and technology as well as development of human resources, In fact, 664 foundations of [Group A] 1,590 foundations mentioned “science,” “technology,” or “development” in their statement of the “purpose of establishment,”

There was not a notable change for the past 10 years in the proportion of the number of programs by field,

Figure 8, Number of Programs by Field [Group B] 1,689 Programs