Philanthropy and Impact Investing

“Families learn more about long-term wealth preservation through giving than they do through spending or accumulating."
James E. Hughes Jr.

Increasingly, individuals are choosing to give back to society and destine assets to making the world a better place during their life and beyond. There are various ways to pursue social goals, each of which has different legal, tax and financial consequences for the donor or the donor's company. We have in-depth knowledge of laws on public benefit organizations (ANBI), international philanthropy, relevant estate law, and tax planning and can advise you on the right solution for your situation.

Where appropriate, we integrate advice on philanthropy in our advice on the continuity of family businesses and closely held corporations, family governance, estate planning and social enterprises. Family businesses that have been very successful across several generations all have a very strong family governance and are almost all involved in philanthropy. The business case of philanthropy is evident for wealthy families.


Our work in this area is based on the dissertation "International Taxation of Philanthropy", which was completed in 2007 and which, based on a functional analysis of American, German and Dutch law and tax law systems, proposes a solution to the problems of cross-border flows of funds in the philanthropic sector.

Our international knowledge enables us to comment on Dutch law in comparison with other jurisdictions and give cutting-edge advice on innovative developments, whereby we do not shy away from taking legal action on fundamental issues.

If you are considering starting an international philanthropic organization and would like to compare the Netherlands with other jurisdictions, click here to find out more about ANBIs.

Venture philanthropy and impact investing

Venture philanthropy is an umbrella term for the "hybrid" use of assets based on organizational models that serve social goals enduringly without dependence on donations or grants. Micro-financing is a familiar example. Franchise models and investment models (impact investing) are also applied with the goal of using tipping points to solve social problems on a much larger scale than is possible with pure philanthropy. Tax authorities in the Netherlands and elsewhere have difficulty distinguishing between venture philanthropy and for-profit initiatives, which often gives rise to disputes. Careful preparation and presentation are key to the success of these initiatives.

Shared Giving

We developed Shared Giving for individuals over 65 who do not want to set up a foundation but would like to contribute to a public benefit pursued by one or more ANBIs while optimizing their lifetime income at the same time and seeing the results of their contribution. This is a new, effective way of combining these goals.

Shared Giving was inspired by the long-standing practice of "planned giving" in the US and Canada, a form of giving that enables the donor to retain an interest in the assets without losing the tax benefits over the donated amount. See

"People who would like to donate more than a quarter million euro can use initiatives such as that offered by Stichting Gedeeld Geven ( A clever approach not only enables the donor to take advantage of all of the tax benefits of a periodic gift, the donor also receives 3% or more ‘interest’ over the donated amount. That's more than you get from a savings account." Aert-Jan Grotenhuis, Consumentengeldgids February/March2015

Dutch Bill on Transparency Civil Society Organizations

THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF OUR CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOM BY POPULIST SYMBOL POLITICS After several decades of research and practice in the non-profit sector, I have become deeply convinced that this sector forms the buffers of our democratic society based on the rule of law.


Enlarging Space for International Philanthropy Following up on her analysis on the topic in her doctoral dissertation, Dr.

Dutch foundations - ANBI or not ANBI With Brexit on the agenda, there is increased attention for the use of charitable organizations in the Netherlands.

Tax issues of public interest generosity In the annual book 2016/2017 of 'De Dikke Blauwe' in relation to Philanthropy, Major Donors and Social Enterprises, Ineke Koele has written an analysis (in Dutch) of the tax issues of public interest generosity.

Quote interview Family Wars As a specialist on Tax and Wealth Disputes, Ineke Koele has been interviewed by Sander Schimmelpenninck for the November issue of 'Quote'  on Family Wars.

The Dutch Private Foundation in comparison with trusts: for the same purpose but rather different Trusts & Trustees, Oxford University Press, February 2016, p. 140-145.  The Dutch Private Foundation provides an alternative paradigm for sustainable asset protection purposes.

Family Business Lasting Legacy Planning On Family Businesses and succcesful transitions to the NextGen through Lasting Legacy planning, Philanthropy Impact issue 7 2015

Mistake in Dutch Private Clients practice: the autonomy of parties revealed On the meaning of 'Mistake' in the Dutch estate planning practice in comparison with the Anglo American practice, Trusts & Trustees, July 2014

The Dutch Private Foundation: a robust but flexible tool in dynastic structuring The Dutch private foundation is a robust and flexible tool for managing private wealth.

International Charitable Giving Oxford University Press, 2012, author Chapter: the Netherlands

Ten Things on Philanthropy in the Netherlands Ten Things You (probably) didn't know about Philanthropy in the Netherlands, column by Ineke A. Koele in Philanthropy Impact Winter 2013/14