Public Benefit Organisation

Water Revolution Foundation is a Dutch legal entity called ‘stichting’, which is “an institution aiming to achieve a certain goal”. It may make a profit, but this profit may only be spent on its purpose.

Public Benefit Organisation (PBO)
Water Revolution Foundation has been granted the status of a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO). This is a non-profit tax designation in the Netherlands issued by the Tax Office in accordance with the general tax laws. Strict criteria have to be met. An institution can, for instance, solely apply for PBO status when at least 90% of the institution’s efforts are focused on the greater general good, described in its articles of association, beyond the interest of the sector it is operating in or that of the partners that are supporting the foundation.

Public Benefit Organisations (PBOs) are offered a number of tax advantages:

  • A PBO does not pay Dutch gift tax on gifts that the institution receives;
  • A PBO does not pay Dutch gift tax on gifts that the institution makes for the general good;
  • Both natural persons and legal entities making donations to a PBO may deduct their gifts from their Dutch income tax or corporate income tax;
  • In general, PBOs have an advantage when applying for funding schemes for their projects;
  • It ultimately increases trust in the foundation and its board by stakeholders.

In order to benefit from these advantages, institutions must meet various strict conditions to be designated as a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO).

  • The institution is not a company with capital divided into shares or another body that may issue participation certificates;
  • At least 90% of the institution’s efforts must be focused on the general good;
  • The institution and the persons directly involved with the institution must strictly comply with certain integrity and transparency requirements;
  • Directors and policymakers may not be able treat the institutions’ assets as personal assets, therefore they are not allowed to have individually a majority in the power of the institution;
  • A PBO may not retain more assets than reasonably required for the institution’s goals. For this reason, the institution’s assets must remain in balance with the goals;
  • The board of directors’ remuneration must be restricted to an expense allowance or a minimum attendance fee, thus no ordinary salary;
  • A PBO must possess an up-to-date policy plan;
  • The PBO’s operational costs must be in reasonable proportion to its total expenditure;
  • Funds remaining after dissolution of the institution must be allocated to another general good of which its objective is identical to the institution’s objective;
  • A PBO is governed through specific administrative obligations.

A PBO must publish the following items on its public website:

  • A clear description of the purpose of the ANBI;
  • Its policy plan;
  • The names and positions of the directors;
  • Its reimbursment policy for board members, committee members and management of the institution;
  • An annual report of last year’s activities the foundation, including a financial statement, balance sheet, profit/loss statement and projections for the next year.