Modern non-profit organizations in Taiwan did not begin to flourish until the Japanese introduced Western ideas of organizational culture. During a period when world nationalism was on the rise, Taisho Democracy era created immense debate and upheaval in Tokyo， Japan in general； thus，were created the opportune moment for Taiwanese cultural and social awareness.
The Formosan Association for Advancement of Science is an organization formed exclusively on the land of Taiwan. Its establishment was a direct consequence of the 1930s social movement in Taiwan, when certain nationalistically conscious Taiwanese persons strived to promote nationalistic awareness among “men of science.” Their achievement was the foundation of what is currently “Formosan Association of the Advancement of Sciences.” For eighty years, this association has been in operation despite without stable and secure financial support by affluent institutions; and，even though，many of its founding members have passed away, new members have always strived to serve country and society with unwavering dedication. The scientists who opted to found this association honored their pledge to pursue for truth, virtue and beauty are a rare bunch in any time or era. The Formosan Association for the Advancement of Science is the earliest Taiwanese academic society, and the only surviving association comprised of multiple academic disciplines. This association is a living symbol of the beginning of the Taiwanese modernity and non-profit organization. It historic presence is of especial significance in Taiwanese history.
The Taiwan Homemakers Union Consumer Cooperative is also an association rooted in Taiwanese society. While Taiwan was still under martial law in 1987, a group of housewives decided to respond to the rapid change which the Taiwanese society was experiencing, and took educational and environmental matters into their own hands. They pronounced brave slogans such as “dare to speak, quick to act, and strive to bear” to stir social awareness of their cause, and founded the Homemaker’s Union and Foundation in 1989. From 1992, they began to publish a series of propositions that called for consumer awareness on environmentally friendly industrial production reforms, with slogans such as “co-buy” to lead their initiative. In 2001, the Homemaker’s Union pushed for the establishment of a national co-op group called the “Taiwan Homemakers Union Consumer Cooperative,” of which cause was to promote a new form of cooperative consumer group that values environmental protection, restrains consumption, and supports organic agriculture.
The two non-profit organizations mentioned above form a spectacular contrast: their time-frame is sixty years apart; their gender disparity cannot be more extreme, with the former mostly male, and the latter female; their aims and functions are different, with the former primarily dedicated to science and theoretical aspects, while the latter focused mostly on economic and social matters; the zeitgeist from which the two organizations have sprung individually cannot be more different, with the former modernist, and the latter taking up a post-modern directive; and most interestingly, the former tends to be an aged bunch with a contracting membership and difficult financial fundamentals, while the latter has an ever expanding membership base and healthy financial statistics. Yet there are also homogeneous qualities between the two. For example, the rise of both associations is related to the Japanese response to social problems, and is derived from a deep sentimental attachment to the Taiwanese society and issues particular to the Taiwanese society. By comparing the two associations historically, and in respect to relevant historical and statistical data of other non-profit organizations, we can find the historical progress in Taiwanese non-profit organizations, and identify their practical and metaphysical role in promoting social change.