Charity begins at the WTC

Charity begins at the WTC

Good causes are intrinsically linked with business through sponsorship, so it is only appropriate that the WTC is home to several charitable foundations.

Article source: WTC Today - Autumn 2018
Photo credits: Dutch Office Fund

‘Companies have a social responsibility to give something back to society,’ says WTC managing director Christiaan Huijg. ‘We want to contribute too, which is why we make office space available for a reduced rate, and use our facilities to help someone. And, of course, there are lots of companies located here who can contribute either with time and expertise or money.

... Being located in the WTC gives another edge to the organisation, Heleen says. It's a fantastic, vibrant place to be, and we are so grateful that the WTC organisation is an in-kind sponsor. At the same time, Heleen hopes more WTC companies will get involved in the foundation’s work. ‘We’re so close,’ she says. ‘And we’re very happy to organise a lunch to tell our story. It takes €4m a year to fund what we do, and we do all the fundraising ourselves. We welcome every form of help, from financial to volunteer teachers. People who are passionate about their jobs can transfer that to the younger generation.’

‘But being located in the WTC shows that Max Foundation is not a standard NGO. We take a business-like approach to making a difference,’ says Joke.

In another part of the complex is Max Foundation, which focuses its efforts abroad, namely in Bangladesh and Nepal, and is now poised to move into Ethiopia. The charity has been located in the
WTC since August 2016 and was founded 11 years ago by Joke le Pool and her husband Steven after their son suddenly died of a rare viral infection at the age of just eight months. The water, sanitation and nutrition crisis is the second biggest killer of children and a hidden threat for a healthy start in life, which is why Max Foundation chose WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) plus nutrition and safe motherhood as its focus in the poorest communities in one region: South Asia. The charity aims to change habits in the long run, with the help of people on the ground, and focuses on making the most out of every euro.


In fact, everything Max Foundation does stems from getting maximum value for money, which makes the foundation’s presence in the WTC even more appropriate. Joke is, however, quick to stress that the foundation is not paying Zuidas rent for its office. ‘But being located in the WTC shows that Max Foundation is not a standard NGO. We take a business-like approach to making a difference,’ says Joke.

The team is now working with other NGOs on multiple projects and is looking to start up operations in Ethiopia. ‘We are learning from them and they are learning about our innovative approach,’ says Joke. ‘We believe that you need to try, then you learn and you adapt.’ The move into Ethiopia, she says, is a case in point. ‘We want to be where we can have the biggest impact and you can’t ignore Africa,’ she points out. ‘We did a lot of research to find out where we can help with our approach, because we believe that the community itself has to be involved and be proactive. We came up with Ethiopia and we are now finalising our plan and looking for partners.’ The foundation depends on corporate sponsors and, Joke says, they are open to contributions from everyone. ‘There are lots of ways of helping,’ she says. ‘Of course we need money, that is easy, but people have all sorts of skills that we can use as well.’

Read the full article online at WTC Today.

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