Key Factors for the Durability of Community Currencies: An NPO Management Perspective

Jeremy September

Tohoku University Graduate School of Economics and Management in Sendai, Japan;


This paper investigates key factors for the durability of community currencies (CCs) by conducting a comparative dual case study on two long lived CCs in Japan. CCs both in Japan and abroad have exhibited effectiveness in developing social capital however the literature reveals a lack of academic research on the management or operation of CCs. Therefore this paper aims to identify key factors for the durability of CCs that could contribute to the development of a best practices model for social entrepreneurs. A secondary purpose is to add to the English body of knowledge on Japanese CC systems. Two contrasting Japanese CC organizations that have operated for more than a decade are investigated in depth. This entailed gathering both qualitative and quantitative data from both organizations and analyzing the data within a Nonprofit Organization (NPO) management framework. The results reveal five key durability factors: creating value and utility for stakeholders, appealing to the local solidarity of businesses, the receptiveness of businesses towards CCs, partnering with a corporation or larger institution and solid organizational structure. The main implication of these factors is that successfully engaging external stakeholders is crucial to sustaining the operations of a CC organization.


Community currency, durability factors, stakeholders, best practices framework.

Article September

To cite this article: September, J. (2019) ‘Key factors for the durability of community currencies: an NPO management perspective’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 23 Issue 2 (Summer 2019) 17-34;; ISSN 1325-9547; DOI