Thirty families in the Netherlands gave a combined €246.4m to charity in 2015, the NRC reported on Friday.
Heading the NRC’s ‘Philanthropic 30 top’ list was the Brenninkmeijer family (C&A department stores) which accounted for €102.5m in charitable donations.
The list comprises the families which gave the most to charity from their own philanthropic foundations. The majority of these foundations are public benefit organisations (ANBI) which have special tax advantages.
Between 25% and 50% of the €246m the foundations gave away in 2015 was in a certain sense public money, in that the donations made use of the gift deduction and/or the exemption from gift or inheritance tax, the NRC said.
The tax office requires only that the foundations publish their income on the internet. NRC made use of that information to compile its list.
The Brenninkmeijers, who are worth collectively between €21bn to €25bn, operate 28 charitable foundations worldwide. The chief charities are religion (they are Roman Catholic), care and education.
Second is the Van Leer family (packaging) with €28.5m, followed by the Van der Vorm family (shipping – Holland-America Line) which gave away €24.9m in 2015.
Last month, Amsterdam’s VU University published a report which indicated that Dutch citizens gave at total of €5.7bn to charity in 2015.