With the opening of this trading day, Net4kids celebrates that it has been working for fifteen years in a row for better living conditions for children worldwide. In recent years, the non-profit organization has devoted itself with great passion to the future of underprivileged children in developing countries, by connecting companies in the Netherlands with appropriate, concrete child aid initiatives in the world.
A business approach with emotional involvement appears to be a proven concept. Over the past 15 years, the nonprofit has helped 207,585 kids, and that number is steadily increasing.
15 years: with dreams come true
“Fifteen years later, we look back on so many dreams that have come true. It was not without a struggle, but we are proud that we have given so many children the opportunity to develop in a safe environment ”, says Anke van den Boog, director and co-founder of Net4kids. Van den Boog founded Net4kids fifteen years ago together with her husband Loek van den Boog because she wanted to be directly involved in child support and also wanted transparency about the destination of her investment. The couple also noticed that the impact could be greater by focusing on involvement from the business community. “Without an active social role for the business community, the social differences in the world will continue to exist, or even grow. While the business community has an enormous opportunity to make a difference, ”says Anke van den Boog.
Five times the impact
The organization focuses on children, mostly in developing countries, who live on the streets and do not have access to medical care, healthy food or safe shelter. Net4kids offers these children a future perspective on the basis of education. They work from the belief that children around the world are the next generation that we all have to deal with. In addition, the family of the helped children can piggyback on the opportunities that have been created for the child. So a win-win. Anke van den Boog: “We were innovative in 2003 and in a way we still are by linking companies directly to projects and being fully transparent about the destination of each donation. This method has led to great success stories. In fact, we now know that by founding Net4kids we have been able to help five times as many children than if we had only donated our money, ”says Anke van den Boog proudly.
Greatest impact with business
Pretty soon, the couple discovered that the impact of their organization could be greater by focusing on business. This target group wants to make a social contribution, but to projects that match their corporate DNA. Net4kids offers a solution with concrete projects and individual reports, which clearly identify where investment money ends up. From the start, the non-profit used the 100% model: all the money that came in went directly to the projects, all organizational costs were paid out of their own pocket. With the enormous growth of the last few years, this was ultimately not sustainable. “This was the most difficult decision we have had to make in the past fifteen years: letting go of this model,” says Anke van den Boog. She has learned a tremendous amount in recent years about how to create the greatest impact and this learning process never ends.
On to the next 15 years
Net4kids sounds the gong today to celebrate that they have been able to achieve so much over the past fifteen years together with companies for the children who need it. In the coming years, the non-profit will continue to work with great passion for the future of underprivileged children in developing countries. To increase the importance of the involvement of the Dutch business community and their employees, Net4kids also offers the Employee Engagement program. An example of this is the advocacy of social bonuses: rewarding employees with life experiences for doing good. The ultimate goal of Net4kids? "A society in which companies take responsibility for a better world by establishing a healthy organization that gives children the opportunity to grow up and develop safely." And with the sound of the gong on the Amsterdam stock exchange, Net4kids is entering the future.