Stichting INGKA Foundation
The Stichting INGKA Foundation is a Dutch foundation founded in 1982 by Ingvar Kamprad, a Swedish billionaire and founder of IKEA, and his corporate attorney Linnea Walsh. INGKA is one of the largest charitable foundations in the world and used to be one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the world. The name "INGKA" comes from a contraction of his name, while stichting is the Dutch language word for foundation. The stated purpose of the foundation is To promote and support innovation in the field of architectural and interior design; however, the organization has recently expanded its philanthropic agenda to target children in the developing world.
The foundation owns the private Dutch company INGKA Holding, based in Leiden, which is the holding company that controls 315 of the 360 outlets of IKEA. INGKA does not own the IKEA franchise and trademark; these are owned by Inter IKEA Systems B.V. in Delft, also in the Netherlands, which receives 3% of all IKEA revenues in royalties. Inter IKEA Systems is owned by Inter IKEA Holding, registered in Luxembourg, which is controlled, in turn, by Interogo Foundation, a Liechtenstein foundation that is also supported by the Kamprad family (to the value of $15 billion).
In an explanation of IKEA's complex corporate structure, Ingvar Kamprad stated to the authors of a Swedish documentary that tax efficiency was "a natural part of the company's low-cost culture". Sweden had in 1982 very high Inheritance tax for larger fortunes, and the tax on the profit of selling stocks to pay for the tax was added. The foundation also provides an anti-takeover protection scheme for IKEA. The Dutch Tax Service at that time applied the "Institution for General Benefit" (algemeen nut beogende instelling, ANBI) status to the Stichting IKEA Foundation. According to the ANBI register in the Netherlands, Stichting INGKA Foundation lost ANBI status in 2010, but was registered as an ANBI from January 1, 2008 until January 1, 2010. Due to changes in Dutch tax law, Stichting INGKA Foundation does not currently hold ANBI status.
In 2011, the foundation reportedly donated 65 million euros; however, in that year plans were announced to increase the contributions to about 100 million euros per year, with 40 million euros over three years going to the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya—the rest would be split between UN agencies such as UNICEF, UNHCR and UNDP, and Save the Children.
In May 2006, The Economist magazine estimated that the foundation was worth US$36 billion, making it the world's wealthiest charity at the time; however, it also stated that the foundation "is at the moment also one of its least generous. The overall set-up of IKEA minimises tax and disclosure, handsomely rewards the founding Kamprad family and makes IKEA immune to a takeover.". Following the publication of the Economist article, Ingvar Kamprad went to court in the Netherlands to expand the goals of the foundation, whereby more money would be spent on children in the developing world. Prior to this, the foundation's articles of association limited the foundation's purpose to "innovation in the field of architectural and interior design" and it had given a relatively small amount of its assets to the Lund Institute of Technology.
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