It took quite some time. Friday November 15, the bank account for Foundation XPLORid finally has been approved. YESSSSSS!! We have a bank account. Hopefully a lot of money will be donated to this account so we can help a lot of people during our world bicycle tour.
How did we do this?
We cannot be board members because we have to deregister ourselves from the Personal Records Database. That is required by law if you aren't in the Netherlands for more than 8 months. So we had to look for a board for our foundation. Who would like to be a part of this? Who can we trust? In the end we asked 2 good friends and Ben's youngest daughter to be the board of our foundation. We are very happy with this excellent team.
After a number of act drafts, we finally had a meeting at the notary with the 5 of us. On the spot it was decided to also refrain from the appointment as a member of the management board or authorized representative. The final act states that we are only the founders of Foundation XPLORid. The chairman, secretary and treasurer are responsible for the transparent progress and accountability of spending.
PBO (ANBI) status
Applying for the PBO (Public Benefit Organisation) status at the tax authorities wasn’t an easy task either. We were so disappointed when we received the intended rejection. We contacted the tax authorities directly how we could respond in the best way for them to still grant the ANBI status to our foundation. We gave it our best shot. We have provided evidence that we do not need the donations to the foundation to do the bicycle tour around the world. Our transportation is free and we sleep in a tent. In this way we do not have many costs. Staying at home is more expensive.
A requirement of the tax authorities is that 90% of the donations are spent on public benefit. We have described how we are going to do this. We will offer help on education, care and housing by financially supporting a school, hospital, care institution and orphanage. For example, if we come across a family with children who cannot provide education for their children, we will contact the nearest school, et cetera. In addition, we can still provide individual support for € 10,000.00 (10% of our intended donations) by getting groceries with people on the market, buying a goat, sheep or cow. The purchase of a new refrigerator or freezer. The repair of a bicycle, moped or car. Visiting the doctor or dentist together. Medications, clothing, shoes, a new roof. Help with starting a small business etc. etc.
All those rules for just wanting to help other people... We have had moments when we said to each other: “Let's forget about the entire foundation and just go cycling." We persisted anyway. Thinking of the great support projects that we are going to do. Of the contact that you make when you can help someone in such a direct way. Of the connections you get by contacting organizations such as schools, hospitals and orphanages. The happy faces we’ll leave behind as we continue our journey around the world by bicycle. Despite all the bumps we have not given up, as befits a true world cyclist.
The application for the bank account also initially failed. Triodos does not have enough international (partner)offices to serve us. The rejection of Triodos took a while. Before you can tell a couple of months have passed. We then chose to apply at ING. After the application it was quiet for a while. After a few weeks additional questions were sent to us. They were mainly about our stay in Iran. For several years, money laundering is quite an issue at some banks. Banks are also cautious about possible support to terrorists. ING is under the highest level of supervision. As a result, the procedures are stricter and we had to explain ourselves further. Iran is a transit country for us. We are not allowed to offer help there. After answering a few questionnaires and the necessary weeks of waiting, we were informed on Tuesday 12 November that the bank account has been approved. We were so happy! After almost 3 months we succeeded.
Now we can contact the media, network organizations, influencers and so on to officially announce our foundation. This resulted in getting on the frontpage of newspaper "De Limburger". We will give flyers to our relations and distribute flyers in the city. We are looking forward to all the reactions. We sent out the invitation for our fund raising party. We can hardly wait for our departure in April.
If you want to help us promote our foundation, don't hesitate to do so.
If you want, we can also send you some flyers to spread the word.
If you already want to make a donation, you can do so at:
Bank account number (IBAN):
NL81 INGB 0008 44 33 82