It is becoming increasingly popular for people to consider leaving all or part of their estate to a charity close to their heart. You may be considering this yourself as it can be a wonderful contribution towards the goals and causes you cared about in your life.

Leaving an inheritance to a charity with ANBI status in the Netherlands comes with some great advantages. These charities are exempt from inheritance tax which could otherwise amount to 30-40%. We regularly receive questions from prospective donors regarding inheritances and so here we have compiled some information about the choices you can make.

The Will

A will is always a necessity if you wish to leave an inheritance to a charity. This is drawn up by a notary. In your will you determine the distribution of your estate. There are two ways to donate to charity through your will: a bequest, or an inheritance.

A Bequest

A bequest is a gift which is established by the means of a will. It can be a fixed amount of money or an asset (like a house) that the charity will receive upon your death. You can also leave a charity a percentage sum of your estate. This is known as a percentage bequest. This can be a good option in cases where you are unsure what the value of your estate will be upon your death.

A certificate of succession

With this certificate you can make a charity an heir to your estate, alone or with others. The size of the inheritance entitlement of an heir depends on the total size of the estate and the number of other heirs. Together with any other heirs, the charity is entitled to the inheritance, which may also consist of debts. Charities will therefore always accept an inheritance ‘benefically’. This prevents them from being held liable for possible debts inherited.

Difference between a bequest and an appointment of heir

With bequests, the recipient has no say in the settlement of the estate, for example in the way a house is sold. With an inheritance, however, the heir takes the place of the deceased in the execution of affairs pertaining to the estate. Loved ones are often an obvious choice to name as heirs. There can also be good reasons to name a charity as a (co-)heir. For example, it can allow for the estate to be used in line with the values that the deceased cherished during their life.

Leaving an inheritance to Stichting Effectief Doneren

If you bequeath to our foundation, you can indicate which of our selected world problems you prefer to aid. You can indicate multiple choices. We want to use your legacy as effectively as possible at the time it is released. This is what our Doneer Effectief Funds are designed to do. A fund periodically determines which charities are most effective at that time. You can also donate a portion to our foundation. By supporting us, you help ensure that more and more people donate and bequeath effectively. 

The following example shows what the distribution of your estate among multiple option might look like.

It is my wish that Stichting Effectief Doneren use their acquisition from my estate as follows:
– For the Doneer Effectief Fund Poverty and Health …%.
– For the Doneer Effectief Fund Climate …%
– For the Doneer Effectief Fund Animal Welfare and Food Transition …%
– For the work of Doneer Effectief …%

Information for notaries

We have created a page for notary offices that may not be familiar with the work of Doneer Effectief containing information about our work.


If you would like more information, consultation or help in providing information to the notary, we would be happy to help. Our contact person is Andrea de Wildt, president of Stichting Effectief Doneren. She can be reached at

Let us help you get started

We are committed to making donating effectively as easy as possible for you. You are welcome to ask us any questions you may have.
Our service is completely free.

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