At the service of social integration since 1972
At the beginning of the 1970s
the first American multinationals started to set up in Belgium. They brought with them a marked philanthropic spirit, typical of the entrepreneurial culture of their country of origin. From the outset, they were keen to contribute to the development of the local communities in which they were based. Soon, several "pioneer" companies (with the help of the American ambassador of the time and Count Boël) set up a fund to collect donations and select charitable projects. But, as an American executive expatriated to Belgium, the institutional and linguistic complexity of our country is enough to discourage the best intentions. It's not easy to choose from projects from all over the country.
Creation of United Fund for Belgium
This is how United Fund for Belgium came into being in 1972. Since then, the success of the formula has been unbroken. The Board of Directors soon looked for a solution to cover the operating costs of the asbl/vzw, so that all the money collected could be redistributed to Belgian charities. Martin Kallen, who has been a member of the Board of Directors for many years, had the idea of creating an endowment fund and providing the necessary capital to launch this initiative. The fund was not intended to be distributed, but rather to be capitalised and, as far as possible, to cover most of the organisation's operational expenses. In 1997, the Martin Kallen Fund was therefore created, with the unanimous support of the Board of Directors.
An unexpected donation
In 2003, United Fund for Belgium received an unexpected donation from a Belgian individual, which enabled the Fund, which had been very stable until then, to be relaunched. Since then, other important donations have followed and have favoured its growth. Specific fundraising events organised at the initiative of the members of the Board of Directors have amplified the process. Since its foundation, United Fund for Belgium has been a totally independent organisation which does not receive any subsidies from any official Belgian or foreign body. Its assets are professionally managed by Lombard Odier with the recommendations and under the supervision of the Finance Committee. Since its creation, United Fund for Belgium has allocated more than € 27 million to 2.900 charitable projects in Belgium.
A future-oriented association
Today, in 2020, it is a renewed team, with diversified and reinforced skills, and more motivated than ever, that is ready to face the new social challenges of the charity market in our post-Covid-19 society. In order to help associations, get through this difficult period, the Belgian government has put in place an exceptional measure. The ASBL/VZW, which has received the approval of the Belgian Government, can now offer its generous donors a tax deduction of up to 60% for each donation of at least € 40 made in 2020.
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