History, vision & policy

Stichting Rotterdam is a Protestant Christian incentive fund for activities in the social and cultural sectors, founded by Hendricus Johannes Bonda (1898-1966) in 1955. In the years following the Second World War, Hendricus Bonda ran a successful company called Provimi which produced the animal fodder elements PROteins, VItamins and MInerals. In 1954 he created the holding company Industriële Beleggingsmaatschappij Bonda-Rotterdam. This was followed a year later by Stichting Rotterdam, which held half of the shares of the holding company. On 29 November 1955, Public Notary[1]  Warmenhoven in Rotterdam executed the articles of association of Stichting Rotterdam.

Why the foundation was created

In everything that Hendricus Bonda did, his faith and the church played an important role. He was regularly approached, in both the private and business spheres, by organizations and churches with requests for financial support. This gave him the idea of channelling such requests through a foundation. Two considerations were paramount here: the desire to create a clear structure and to ensure continuity in dealing with requests for financial assistance. Moreover, Hendricus Bonda felt that faith should influence society. He put this conviction into practice by providing support for Protestant Christian activities in the church and societal sectors.

The minutes of a meeting on 25 March 1971, a few years after the founder’s death, record the following statement about the foundation and its founder:

The foundation (…) is unique. It is almost never the case that someone in the course of their life sets aside such an important part of their fortune in order to serve church and social work, while themselves simultaneously living in modest circumstances. The foundation is able to exert a major influence for good.


Stichting Rotterdam, according to the intention of its founder, explicitly wants to be a fund of Protestant Christian signature. The Rotterdam Foundation grants financial contributions to churches, organizations, institutions or groups that develop activities in the diaconal or cultural field, aimed at society, not limited to their own group, church or community.

The conviction from which the fund works was expressed by the founder as follows:

As Christians, we must strive for justice for the benefit of our neighbor. Each person must exert his utmost efforts to prevent injustice and to fulfill his God-given mission.

Stichting Rotterdam is therefore happy to contribute to activities that seek to work in this sense. However, partly on the basis of its statutes, it is forced to impose certain conditions.


The core of diaconal action is service to others, countering exclusion and promoting participation in society.
Stichting Rotterdam has therefore set a number of priorities within its policy, it considers it important to contribute to:

  • Work for vulnerable groups such as refugees, (ex-)prisoners, the homeless and addicts.
  • The diaconal efforts of international and migrant churches.
  • Walk-in houses and similar initiatives
  • Debt and job assistance, meal projects, training or coaching refugees
  • Cultural activities, where culture is the tool for social inclusion
  • Research and teaching on diaconal practice by the Chair of Diaconate at the PThU
  • Funding of activities outside the Netherlands through a number of permanent/long-term partners.

Complete applications submitted in consultation with the secretariat are discussed by the board of Stichting Rotterdam. The board meets four times a year. Twice before and twice after the summer.

Key features support policy

Stichting Rotterdam concentrates its support on diaconal activities and provides financial support to;

Diaconal work among vulnerable groups such as refugees, (ex-)prisoners, the homeless and addicts.

Types of projects or programs include drop-in centers and similar initiatives, debt and job assistance, meal projects, training or coaching refugees.

Diaconal engagement of migrant/international churches.

Research and teaching on diaconal practice through the Chair of Diaconate at PThU.

Projects and programs supported by the foundation primarily aim to promote social inclusion and participation in society. The financial support involves executive, relief activities from a Protestant Christian church or organization, or explicitly supported in implementation by Protestant Christian organizations, with volunteers playing an important role. The majority of the budget is spent in the Netherlands. Funding for some foreign projects is through the World Council of Churches and through Church in Action. Most of the funding provided by Stichting Rotterdam is linked to programs or themes. A smaller part of the funding is linked to (short-term) projects. Some partner organizations will be eligible for organizational funding.

drs. Hendricus Johannes Bonda


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