chapter  17
Pages 15

The Dutch foundations (or funds) prefer a society in which they can operate independently from government and the market. Less regulation and autonomy are key issues. Out of the variety of roles foundations can fulfil, the most commonly accepted were those of complementarity, innovation and pluralism. The role of social change is considered for those foundations active in the provision of international aid. Regarding the foundations’ visions of society, most foundations saw themselves as fitting under the liberal or social democratic model. Thus, the outcome of the analysis suggests that they favour independence vis-à-vis state and society, allowing for a high level of autonomy for decision-making. Any forced regulation will not be appreciated: the majority of the foundations feel that they are highly capable of making their own decisions in a responsible manner. First, we provide a brief insight into the historical and legal issues underpinning the Dutch foundation sector, followed by the analysis of the roles and visions of foundations in the Netherlands. The chapter concludes by reviewing the pertinent issues and challenges confronting foundations in the Netherlands today.