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.
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Who are involved?
The board runs the foundation. Employees, contractors, 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 has the capital to his/her disposal and is liable?
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 paying a settlement. Besides, the foundation is a legal personality with legal entity. 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.
Examples of the foundation
Many museums, (educational) institutions, venues, companies and ensembles in the arts and culture sector are foundations. Why? A foundation is a non-profit organisation and has a board. It’s therefore possible to apply for subsidies and the foundation is eligible for a public benefit organisation status (ANBI-status), as a result of which making donations to the foundation, is fiscally attractive for private persons. It can therefore be useful for performing artists to be employed by a foundation or to do an assignment for it.