TBA & Associates

Netherlands Foundation: Setting up a foundation in the Netherlands

Setting up a foundation in the Netherlands

If you’re looking to make a difference in society, setting up a foundation in the Netherlands can be a great way to achieve your philanthropic goals. The Netherlands offers a supportive environment for charity organizations and non-profit sectors, making it an ideal place to create a Netherlands foundation. With opportunities for volunteer work, grant applicationsfundraising events, and NGO partnerships, the non-profit sector in the Netherlands provides various ways to make a positive social impact.

foundation in Netherlands

But before you dive in, it’s important to understand the process and requirements for setting up a foundation in the Netherlands. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of establishing a foundation, the legal requirements, and the steps involved in the process. We’ll also discuss different strategies and resources available to support your foundation’s mission.

Key Takeaways

  • Setting up a foundation in the Netherlands offers opportunities to make a positive social impact in the community.
  • The non-profit sector in the Netherlands provides various ways to get involved, including volunteer work, grant applicationsfundraising events, and NGO partnerships.
  • Before starting a foundation, it’s essential to understand the legal requirements and steps involved in the process.
  • Having a clear mission statement, effective grant applications, and partnerships with NGOs can support your foundation’s success.
  • The Dutch non-profit sector offers networking and collaboration opportunities, which are important for establishing a foundation and achieving its philanthropic goals.

Understanding the Netherlands Foundation Structure

Before setting up a foundation in the Netherlands, it’s essential to understand the legal structure and requirements. One of the first distinctions to be made is between an association (vereniging) and a foundation (stichting). While associations are typically formed for social, cultural, or sports-related activities, foundations are generally used for non-profit organizations.

The legal structure of Dutch foundations is based on civil law and requires the involvement of a civil-law notary. The notary will draft the foundation’s articles of association, which outline the organization’s purpose, board structure, and operational guidelines.

Unlike associations, which require a minimum of two members, Dutch foundations can be established by a single individual or legal entity. However, it’s worth noting that once the foundation is established, the board must consist of at least three individuals, with no more than one member being a legal entity. The board members have the primary responsibility for managing the foundation’s activities and fulfilling its legal obligations.

Dutch Foundation Legal Structure

When establishing a foundation in the Netherlands, it’s crucial to ensure compliance with all legal requirements. This includes registering with the Chamber of Commerce, filing annual financial statements, and adhering to specific regulations on fundraising, grant applications, and volunteer management.

Role of a Civil-Law Notary

The involvement of a civil-law notary is a crucial part of the foundation establishment process in the Netherlands. The notary will guide the foundation’s founders through the legal requirements and ensure compliance with all necessary regulations. They will also oversee the signing of the articles of association and register the foundation with the Chamber of Commerce.

It’s important to choose a reliable and experienced civil-law notary who can provide legal advice and support throughout the foundation’s establishment and operation.

Benefits of starting a foundation in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has a thriving non-profit sector, making it an ideal location for establishing a foundation. Foundations play a crucial role in promoting philanthropy, enabling social impact, and driving community development initiatives. By setting up a foundation in the Netherlands, you can make a meaningful difference and leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.

One of the main benefits of starting a foundation in the Netherlands is the ample opportunities for philanthropy. As a foundation, you can support causes that matter to you, whether it’s education, healthcare, or environmental sustainability. By making donations or allocating funds for grant applications, you can empower organizations to make a positive impact in these areas.

In addition, setting up a foundation in the Netherlands can help you achieve significant social impact. By partnering with organizations that share your values and goals, you can work together to drive positive change. Through community development initiatives, you can improve the lives of people in the Netherlands and beyond.

Philanthropy in the Netherlands

Furthermore, establishing partnerships with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can be a powerful way to maximize your impact. NGOs have in-depth knowledge and experience in various areas, making them valuable partners for foundations. By collaborating with NGOs, you can access their networks, resources, and expertise, which can help you achieve your philanthropic goals more effectively.

In summary, setting up a foundation in the Netherlands offers numerous benefits, including the opportunity to engage in philanthropy, make a social impact, and collaborate with NGOs. By leveraging these advantages, you can create a foundation that reflects your values and makes a meaningful contribution to society.

Steps to set up a foundation in the Netherlands

If you’re interested in setting up a foundation in the Netherlands, there are several steps you’ll need to take to ensure smooth and successful registration. Here’s an overview of the process:

1. Choose a name and legal structure for your foundation

The first step is to choose a name for your foundation and decide on its legal structure. In the Netherlands, foundations are typically established as either ‘stichting’ or ‘vereniging’, with the former being the most common choice for non-profit organizations. It’s important to note that a foundation is a legal entity with its own rights and obligations, separate from its founders and members.

2. Appoint a civil-law notary

Next, you’ll need to appoint a civil-law notary to draft the foundation’s articles of incorporation. The notary will also handle the registration process and ensure that all legal requirements are met. It’s important to choose a notary with experience in the non-profit sector who can provide expert guidance on the best legal structure for your foundation.

3. Register with the Chamber of Commerce

Once the articles of incorporation have been prepared, they must be signed by the foundation’s founders and registered with the Chamber of Commerce. At this stage, you’ll need to provide details such as the foundation’s name, legal structure, and board composition.

4. Obtain a fiscal number and ANBI status

In order to operate as a non-profit organization in the Netherlands, your foundation will need to obtain a fiscal number from the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. You’ll also need to apply for ANBI (Public Benefit Organization) status, which will provide tax benefits for donors and allow your foundation to apply for grants from government and private organizations.

5. Meet reporting and governance requirements

As a registered foundation, you’ll be required to meet certain reporting and governance requirements, including maintaining accurate financial records and submitting an annual report to the Chamber of Commerce. You’ll also need to ensure that your foundation’s board is composed of at least three members who are independent and have no personal interest in the foundation’s activities.

6. Explore fundraising and volunteer opportunities

Once your foundation is up and running, there are many opportunities to get involved in the Dutch non-profit sector. You can apply for grants, organize fundraising events, and partner with other organizations to support community development initiatives. There are also many volunteer opportunities available, both within your own foundation and with other charity organizations in the sector.

Fundraising event

Setting up a foundation in the Netherlands requires careful planning and compliance with legal requirements, but the potential social impact and opportunities for philanthropy and community development make it a rewarding endeavor. With the right guidance and support, your foundation can make a real difference in people’s lives.

Key requirements for Dutch foundations

Foundations in the Netherlands are governed by laws and regulations set by the Dutch government. These regulations are aimed at ensuring that foundations operate within the confines of the non-profit sector, with the primary goal of achieving social impact and community development.

One of the most critical requirements for Dutch foundations is the establishment of a clear mission statement. This statement should outline the foundation’s goals, objectives, and activities in a concise and comprehensive manner. It should also provide a clear indication of the target audience and social impact the foundation aims to achieve.

To operate legally, Dutch foundations must also have a board of directors consisting of a minimum of three members. These members should be independent and have no personal interest in the foundation’s activities. The board of directors is responsible for overseeing the foundation’s operations and ensuring that it follows all legal and regulatory requirements.

Another crucial requirement for Dutch foundations is financial transparency. Foundations must keep accurate and up-to-date financial records and submit financial reports to the Dutch Chamber of Commerce annually. They must also have their financial statements audited by a certified accountant, and these statements must be made available to the public upon request.

Finally, foundations must comply with all Dutch regulations regarding grant applications and volunteer opportunities. They must ensure that all grant applications and volunteer opportunities are properly advertised and managed in compliance with Dutch law. This includes adhering to employment laws, health and safety regulations, and data protection laws.

non-profit sector

Overall, complying with the above requirements is crucial for foundations looking to operate successfully in the Netherlands. By adhering to these regulations, foundations can ensure that they operate transparently and ethically while making a positive impact on the community and the non-profit sector as a whole.

Supporting your foundation’s mission

To ensure the success of your foundation and its mission, it is crucial to have effective strategies in place for grant applications, volunteer recruitment, fundraising events, community development, and NGO partnerships.

Grant applications

One important aspect of foundation work is securing funding through grant applications. To increase your chances of success, it is important to research the available grants thoroughly and ensure that your application meets all the necessary requirements. Be sure to clearly articulate your foundation’s mission and how the grant will help further that mission. Consider hiring a professional grant writer if needed.

Volunteer opportunities

Volunteers can play an essential role in your foundation’s operations and help make a positive impact on the community. Ensure that volunteers are well-organized, have a clear understanding of their roles and tasks, and are recognized for their contributions. Consider utilizing online platforms to advertise volunteer opportunities and streamline communications.

Fundraising events

Fundraising events can be an effective way to raise funds for your foundation while also increasing awareness of its mission. Plan events that are creative, engaging, and relevant to your foundation’s cause. Consider partnering with local businesses or other organizations to increase visibility and support.

Community development

Community development is at the heart of many foundation missions. Engage with the local community to identify areas where your foundation can make a difference and involve community members in the planning and implementation of initiatives. Collaborate with other organizations and utilize social media to increase support and participation.

NGO partnerships

Partnering with other NGOs can provide valuable resources and expertise to help further your foundation’s mission. When seeking NGO partnerships, ensure that your objectives align and that there is a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities. Consider attending networking events and utilizing online platforms to find suitable partnerships.

Community Development

By developing effective strategies for grant applications, volunteer recruitment, fundraising events, community development, and NGO partnerships, you can support your foundation’s mission and make a positive impact in the community.

Navigating the Dutch Non-Profit Sector

The Dutch non-profit sector is a vibrant and diverse network of charity organizations, social enterprises, and not-for-profit foundations. If you’re interested in volunteering, fundraising, or supporting a cause close to your heart, there are many opportunities available in the Netherlands.

One of the key advantages of the non-profit sector is the range of volunteer opportunities on offer. Whether you’re passionate about wildlife conservation, helping the homeless, or supporting children’s education, there are many charities and foundations that rely on volunteers to deliver their services.

In addition to volunteering, there are also many opportunities to get involved in fundraising events. From sponsored walks to charity runs, bake sales to auctions, there are many ways to raise money for a good cause in the Netherlands. Fundraising events are a great way to bring people together and raise awareness of important issues.

Charity organizations in the Netherlands also offer many opportunities for networking and collaboration. By joining a professional association or NGO, you can connect with like-minded individuals and be part of a community of people working towards similar goals.

If you’re interested in starting your own foundation or not-for-profit organization, it’s important to do your research and understand the legal and financial requirements. A civil-law notary can help guide you through the process of setting up a foundation and ensure compliance with Dutch law.

Charity event volunteers

Overall, the Dutch non-profit sector offers a wide range of opportunities for individuals and organizations looking to make a positive social impact. By getting involved and supporting the causes you care about, you can help make a difference in your local and global community.


In conclusion, setting up a foundation in the Netherlands is a beneficial way to contribute to the non-profit sector, promote philanthropy, and achieve positive social impact. However, it requires proper planning and compliance with legal requirements.

Understanding the Dutch foundation structure, the benefits of starting a foundation, and the key requirements and steps involved in the process are crucial for success. By supporting your foundation’s mission through effective grant applications, volunteer recruitment, fundraising events, and partnerships with NGOs, you can make a meaningful contribution to community development initiatives in the Netherlands.

It is important to navigate the Dutch non-profit sector, network, and collaborate with other organizations to maximize impact. By following these steps, you can establish a successful foundation in the Netherlands that creates a positive and lasting social impact.


Q: What are the benefits of setting up a foundation in the Netherlands?

A: Setting up a foundation in the Netherlands provides opportunities for philanthropy, social impact, and community development. It allows for collaboration with NGOs and the organization of fundraising events.

Q: What is the difference between an association and a foundation in the Dutch legal structure?

A: In the Dutch legal structure, associations are membership-based organizations, while foundations are typically established for a specific purpose or cause. Associations require a minimum of two members, while foundations do not have this requirement.

Q: What are the key requirements for operating a foundation in the Netherlands?

A: Dutch foundations must meet certain requirements, including having a board of directors, fulfilling financial reporting obligations, and having a clear mission statement that aligns with their charitable activities.

Q: What steps are involved in setting up a foundation in the Netherlands?

A: The process of setting up a foundation in the Netherlands involves gathering necessary documentation, registering with the relevant authorities, and considering factors such as grant applications, volunteer recruitment, and organizing fundraising events.

Q: How can I support my foundation’s mission?

A: Supporting your foundation’s mission can be done through effective grant applications, volunteer recruitment, organizing fundraising events, and establishing partnerships with NGOs for community development initiatives.

Q: What opportunities are available in the Dutch non-profit sector?

A: The Dutch non-profit sector offers various opportunities for individuals to get involved, including volunteering with charity organizations and participating in fundraising events. Networking and collaboration within the sector are also encouraged.