Messages from Donors

We asked our donors in their 20’s and 30’s to tell us what makes them donate or why they donate. We hope that their messages will be inspiring to readers.

It is often said that the “donation culture” is underdeveloped in Japan, whereas in the U.S. it is common practice to give to alma maters and charities, often starting with a small donation of $10 – $20, and increasing the amount as his/her earnings increase. We hope these messages will encourage FUTI’s supporters to contribute and make the 2019-20 campaign a success.

FUTI Staff

Ms. Minami Goto

Film maker
UTokyo, BA, 2015; Columbia University, MFA, 2018
Ito Foundation U.S.A.- FUTI Scholarship (2016-18, Film/Creative producing, Master’s Program, Columbia University)

I have donated because …

When I was a FUTI scholarship student at Columbia University, I was supported by many of my predecessors in tangible and non-tangible ways. Since I like to support and give back to the younger generation, every year I give a small donation to FUTI.

As a student, I was encouraged not only by the financial support but also by many people who believed in the value of my pursuit and offered me guidance.

I cannot do much yet, so I want to start with what I can do.

My message to first-time donors…

I often hear my friends say, “Don’t you think donating is something that only rich people do?” or, “Aren’t you too young to donate?” However, I feel if you wait until you are older and able to save money, the changes you could have made in the meantime would not be realized.

“Donation” may sound like a big deal, but it is not. I would encourage those who have never donated to take the first step and donate, saying to yourself, “just a little, let’s try this year.” Let’s make the world better, together, step by step.

Tokuyou Li

European Investment Bank Tokyo Office
UTokyo, BA, 2017
FUTI Global Leadership Award (2015, Berkeley Summer School)

I have donated and would keep donating to FUTI because I have received more than I could gift back. In the past, with the support from the foundation, I had the opportunity to study abroad which helped to make who I am today. As a way to express appreciation for what the organization has provided me, would like to continue to donate. What’s more, even though I understand contributions that one can make in terms of its scale is very small and limited, but since I believe in by donating, you will be supporting young and talented leaders of next generations, and I would love to be part of that helping hands.

For those of you who haven’t donated before and those who are same generation with me, why don’t we take a little pose here to think about how grateful for each one of us shall be. It is older generations who have invested in a lot for us and I feel like it is our time to start passing what we have been given to next younger and talented next leaders. (And of course we are right in the middle of our career…!) I firmly believe one simple but strong way to do so is by donating to this organization. We see huge contributions that FUTI is making to expand potential for students. So why don’t you join to together strengthen this great momentum?

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Eri Furusawa

HR & A Advisors
UTokyo, BA, 2017; Columbia University, MA, 2018
Ito Foundation U.S.A.- FUTI Scholarship (2016-18, Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation)

Having received higher education in both Japan and the U.S. – the latter made possible by the Ito Foundation U.S.A.-FUTI scholarship – my donating to FUTI was not simply an act of giving back. While UTokyo is considered one of Japan’s most prestigious and competitive universities, the institution has much to learn from its global peers. I believe the most effective way to achieve this is through the exchange of students and researchers, and am hopeful that FUTI’s scholarship program will play a large role in enhancing the quality of education and research at UTokyo. Having met multiple FUTI members, all extremely passionate, driven, and thoughtful, I can confidently donate knowing that my contribution will be in good hands.

Translation by FUTI staff

Fumiya Uchikoshi

Princeton University, Sociology Department, PhD program
UTokyo, BA, 2015; MA 2017
FUTI Global Leadership Award (2016, University of Michigan ICPSR)

I have donated because the FUTI has made major contributions to the field of intellectual exchange on a global scale. FUTI supported my opportunity to study abroad, which was beyond my expectation. In 2016, I participated in ICPSR summer program in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Throughout the course, I was able to not only obtain skills in applied statistical methods and modeling in the social sciences, but also establish the relationship with students in this program who share the interests, some of whom I still keep in touch with today. I believe the experience moved my research forward.

FUTI’s commitment is not limited to scholarship opportunities: it also contributes to the generation of new scholars in many fields. Through continuous support and networking after the funding, recipients are able to maintain the connection with the FUTI and benefit from new opportunities that expand our capabilities. FUTI is a warm and inclusive community for the past recipients who live in the United States, where we exchange our ideas to make the world a better place. I hope that my small donation helps fulfill the mission and leads to the continuous development of the FUTI.

Importantly, FUTI is a non-profit organization. This means that our continuous support is essential. One of the fundamental principles of our society to thrive is mutual recognition and reciprocity. Regardless of our age, status, or other characteristics, our support will help the FUTI keep thriving. Support from young donors, who recently started their career, is extremely important, I think, for the further development of the FUTI. I appreciate the potential young donor’s generous mind to help this organization.