Rien van Gendt Lecture 2016 Foundations and Society: Sliding Panels


We are grateful to Fonds 1818 and Rien van Gent for giving us permission to reprint the write up of their 2016 lecture, considering the role of foundations in society. It resonated with us, and we hope it will do with you as well.

For more information please see the efc website: https://www.efc.be/news/rien-van-gendt-lecture-2016-foundations-society-sliding-panels/  

Rien van Gendt is a phenomenon. We, at Fonds 1818, got to experience that closely. For nine years he was a member of our governing board. He played an important role as chair of our Investment Committee. He was responsible for shaping the diversification of our investment policy. Under his guidance the foundation started with socially responsible investments. Rien did not limit himself to “accounting” or “financing”. At Fonds 1818 he was committed with heart and soul to philanthropy, which, in the Netherlands is still not a very well-known concept. Like no other he argued for philanthropy’s value in society.

Rien left the Fonds 1818 Board at the end of 2015 as his tenure came to an end. The Board decided to offer him a biennial lecture – called the Rien van Gendt lecture. This lecture will always address the societal value of philanthropy in its broadest sense. Naturally we invited Rien van Gendt himself to kick off this series of lectures. I have always appreciated Rien’s contributions in our board meetings. I hope you will do so too.

Changing role of foundations in society

Factors that are increasing the importance of foundations

Factors limiting the importance of foundations

Importance of partnerships

Despite changes in the world of foundations, certain essential features must be upheld


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