On May 9, the Emerging Leaders Program held its fourth Kaiwa Series talk, titled “Tapping into a Culture of Giving: Making Nonprofits Sustainable” with guest speaker USJC Executive Vice President Fred Katayama (JALD ’23). Moderated by Aki Shibuya (Casey Family Programs, ELP ‘21), Mr. Katayama shared his thoughts on nonprofit giving and sustainability, taking us through a few episodes from his role at USJC as a founding Board Member and team lead for sponsor relations.
For Mr. Katayama, fundraising didn’t come so naturally. As a child, the thought of asking for money horrified him. He recounted a memory from his Catholic school days when his father took him to a local carwash to sell a box of chocolate bars for a school fundraiser and his dad ended up buying the rest of the box because he couldn’t sell them. During his time as a news anchor, Mr. Katayama served on nonprofit boards but he wasn’t allowed to fundraise because of a conflict of interest. Never did he envision a second career leading development efforts for a nonprofit organization. However, fundraising for USJC came naturally because he believed in the mission so much. Participants could sense his excitement across the Zoom screen as he spoke.
A few takeaways from the Kaiwa: live the mission and be helpful. Mr. Katayama and his team go the extra mile to get to know our sponsors at a personal level and facilitate people-to-people connections that add value to their lives by tapping into USJC’s vast community of members across the United States and Japan. At the end of the session, he encouraged participants to continue giving back by being present. Mr. Katayama also shared that one of the most impactful ways to support the Council are to introduce prospective sponsors to the development team and be ambassadors for the mission in front of people we meet throughout our lives and careers.
Thanks to both Fred Katayama and Aki Shibuya for their time, passion and expertise.
Kaiwa Series is an ELP-led initiative launched in 2021 to connect USJC’s ELP community with established leaders from USJC through meaningful conversations. The goal is to foster the next generation of leaders in the Japanese American community through shared insights, skill development, and new connections. Previous guest speakers include Board of Councilors member Kristi Yamaguchi (Always Dream), Candice Nakagawa (private wealth advisor), Staci Toji (Toji Law, ELP ’17) and USJC Board Member Sachi Hamai.
Thank you to Ryota Sekine (Radical Frontiers, ELP ’21) for the above photo and content!