Foundation

The foundation is common in the subsidised cultural sector. The statutes describe an objective that may not be aimed at the payment of the board members or founders without their doing anything in return. However, foundations are allowed to make payments of a non-commercial or social nature to third parties. Think of the many private funds. They often make payments to persons or organisations who work in the subsidised and/or cultural sector.

Who are involved?

The board runs the foundation. Employees, contracted parties, volunteers and/or trainees may perform activities for the foundation. The board can operate remotely but is in the last instance the decision-making body. The Dutch 'Governance Code Cultuur' is a useful instrument for good governance.

Who disposes of the capital?

A foundation may make a profit, but payments must have a non-commercial or social end in mind. The payment of a salary, fee or remunerations for expenses is not the same as making a payment.

Who is liable?

The foundation is a person at law. This means that members of the board are responsible for the foundation but are not personally liable. Creditors can lay claim to the possessions of the foundation, but not to the bank accounts or possessions of the members of the board. In the event of improper administration or mismanagement, however, the members of the board can be held personally liable.

It may be convenient for artists who perform with a theatre company, dance company or ensemble to be employed by a foundation. The foundation pays for the venue, pays the wages, and assumes responsibility for the deduction and payment of taxes and social security contributions. Applications for subsidies for performances are almost always done by a foundation. Foundations are also eligible for an ANBI status, thus making gifts fiscally attractive.