King Baudouin Foundation – Successful Transatlantic Philanthropy

JULY 14, 2012  

Have you ever wondered how U.S. citizens are able to donate money to the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp and still receive a U.S. tax deduction? Or, how our Belgian friends can donate to the Gazette van Detroit and still receive a tax deduction from the Belgian Government? Or even how North Americans can donate money to help giant rats become heroes in Tanzania? The answer to all three of these questions is the King Baudouin Foundation United States in New York City (“KBFUS”).

The two-person Manhattan office of KBFUS, run by Belgian Jean Paul Warmoes, enables U.S. donors to support their favorite charities in Belgium, Europe and Africa. It is a fully fledged 501(c)3 non-profit recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Although the parent corporation in Brussels has existed for decades, KBFUS was established only a little more than ten years ago. From literally nothing in 2000, today KBFUS shepherds a flow of $13 million annually in non-profit dollars toEuropean and African non-profits.

KBFUS’ non-profit recipients are an interesting and diverse portfolio of entities. Of course the Gazette van Detroit needs little explanation to our readers: we are a U.S. 501(c)3 non-profit. Nor does the Red Star Line Museum – another client recipient of KBFUS but based in Antwerp. Many of not only the Belgian immigrants to North America but millions of other Europeans (including millions of East Europeans) boarded its ships in Antwerp for a new beginning in the New World.  Likewise, famous universities – such as the College of Europe in Bruges or the Vrije Universiteit Brussel – depend upon KBFUS for funds from American donors.

Some of KBFUS’ clients are a bit more esoteric than universities or museums. The HeroRAT Fund (see in Antwerp, for example, focuses on giant Tanzanian rats. Utilizing research developed at the University of Antwerp, HeroRAT addresses the terrible proliferation globally of unexploded mines. Researchers there discovered that the giant (2 foot long) Tanzanian rat has the right blend of intelligence and resilience to sniff out long-forgotten mine fields. Many of these cute, friskered rodents have been ‘adopted’ by KBFUS donors. And, no, they do not get blown up or otherwise killed, like some sacrificial suicide squad. Rather, they work in a team as the animal complement to their human handlers.

Although a Belgian Foundation, established by and with the late King Baudouin (his widow, Her Majesty Queen Fabiola still serves as honorary Chair), the King Baudouin Foundation is not Belgian-centric. In fact, many of its programs are outside of Belgium. More than 80 non-profits, from the Nelson Mandela Foundation in South Africa to the Institut Curie in France, receive KBFUS’ largesse. These entities are also in Italy, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Greece, the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, and (of course) Tanzania (remember our rats). In addition, KBFUS also receives gifts of artworks for various museums. Pharmaceuticals family heir Stephane Janssen, who splits his time between Arizona and Brussels, recently worked with KBFUS to donate paintings and sculptures to the Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels.

Today KBFUS’ Brussels parent organization, The King Baudouin Foundation, works with an annual budget of close to $85 million and oversees more than 350 dedicated pools of donor assets totaling $400 million. While donors’ liquid assets are managed by the 75 staff (and outside investment professionals) the KBF also receives donations that are not in the form of cash. The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur entrusted the KBF with rare, 13th century Mosan silverware.

So if you wish to donate money to any of these fine causes how do you do it? If you are a U.S. citizen interested in, say, making a tax-deductibledonation to the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp, simply send your check to:

King Baudouin Foundation United States (KBFUS)
10 Rockefeller Plaza, 16th Floor
New York, NY 10020


You can also call (212) 713-7660 or e-mail . Or visit their website at http://www.kbfus.orgFor our Belgian friends, the Belgian tax authorities allow any gifts above 40 Euros to be considered tax-deductible.  If you wish to make a donation to the Gazette van Detroit, please kindly wire your gift to Account 000-0000004-04 (King Baudouin Foundation, 21 rue Brederodestraat, B-1000 Brussels) with the communication “KBFUS-GAZETTE VAN DETROIT”. While we do not have any giant Tanzanian rats available for adoption, we are happy to name a few smaller ones in Detroit after especially generous donors!