Apr 26, 2023

In Kyoto, thousands of red Torii gates cover the hillside of Fushimi Inari, Japan’s main shrine to the Shinto god of rice, sake and business.

The gates symbolise a transition – from the mundane to the sacred. 

But they are also a 1,300-year-old monument to fundraising.

Every gate represents one donation. The name of each donor and the date of the donation is inscribed in black ink.

Thousands of gates cover the hillside. Some stand alone; others stand in small groups. 

Some famously frame spectacular views; others sit modestly in quiet leafy hollows.

Senbon Torii (front cover) is the highlight of Fushimi Inari. Thousands of donated gates have been carefully placed together. They define a clear pathway through which millions of people have walked and wondered.


Craig Pollard lives in Auckland, New Zealand (and formerly in Okinawa, Japan).

When he is not looking after his two young children or on his paddleboard, Craig is the Founder of the Fundraising Radicals (https://fundraisingradicals.com) and lead tutor for the Global Radicals: Fundraising Leadership Programme.

Craig also guides international communities, charities and causes as a fundraising consultant, and is a Fellow of London’s Royal Geographical Society.

During his nearly 30 years in fundraising, Craig has worked with thousands of donors, fundraisers and nonprofits in more than 100 countries, mainly in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. He once spent a year cycling 17,000 kilometres from London in the UK to Cape Town in South Africa. Afterwards he was very tired.


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