The DOEN Foundation celebrates 30 years of supporting pioneers

According to the American consultancy firm California Environmental Associates, the Postcode Lotteries are 7th in the top 20 maritime philanthropic funders for the period 2010-2016.

30 years ago, the Nationale Postcode Loterij in the Netherlands founded the DOEN Foundation to enable new, innovative initiatives to benefit from lottery funding.

Picture: Thuisgekookt, a platform to cook for neighbours in need, supported bij DOEN

The DOEN Foundation is set up 30 years ago by the Nationale Postcode Loterij to support small, innovative sustainable start-ups. Every transition starts with people with groundbreaking ideas. DOEN supports pioneers green, socially inclusive and creative society who are committed to a green, socially inclusive and creative society. They need help realizing their plans.

From the start DOEN offered different financial instruments: next to donations, also loans and investments. DOEN is one of the oldest partners of the Lottery, next to the three initial beneficiaries of the Postcode Lottery.  DOEN means ‘doing’ and is an acronym for Duurzame Ontwikkeling En Natuurbescherming, or Sustainable Development and Nature Conservation.

DOEN is the first Lottery Foundation of the United Postcode Lotteries. The Dutch success has led to the start of a Foundation in Sweden as well.  Svenska Postkod Stiftelsen was established in 2007 by Svenska Postkodlotteriet, the Swedish Postcode Lottery. Just like DOEN, the Swedish Postcode Foundation is not the final recipient of the funds, but rather has the task of delegating financial support to various types of projects.

30 Million euros
Every year, Nationale Postcode Loterij and VriendenLoterij donate approximately 30 million euros to the DOEN Foundation. This contribution is used to support between 200-300 start-ups in the Netherlands, India, East and West- Africa and the Middle East.  Since the start 30 years ago DOEN has supported over 6800 pioneers.

DOEN Participaties
Today, DOEN Participaties, the impact investment company of the DOEN Foundation, is the largest impact investor in sustainable and social startups in the Netherlands, with a portfolio of approximately 50 companies and funds. Impact is central to all the investments, and as an early-stage investor, DOEN takes a lot of risks.

Since 4 years, DOEN Participaties works as a revolving fund – this means that all the investments are financed by the proceeds of the investments company, so money raised from dividend, interest and exits.

Nursery room of the Lotteries
Over the past 30 years, many organisations that were initially supported by DOEN grew bigger and became beneficiary of one of the Lotteries. Well known examples are War Child, Commonland and Free Press Unlimited.

The coming years DOEN will continue its mission to support pioneers, thanks to the players of the Dutch Postcode Lottery and the Friends Lottery. This way together with its partners DOEN hopes to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable, socially-inclusive and creative world.

More about DOEN:

Fairphone: a phone based on fair trade materials
Fairphone is the first fair trade, modular phone. A group of designers wanted to raise awareness about conflict minerals and decided to design the telephone of the future: one that was based on fair trade materials, and modular design, so each part could be replaced separately.

In order to develop the idea DOEN supported the initiative with a grant from its creative program. In 2013 the social enterprise Fairphone was established. A few years later, DOEN Participaties became shareholder in Fairphone. In 2020 Fairphone doubles its sales regarding the previous year to almost 95.000 phones.

Of course, the modular phone has a lot of impact in itself. But what is even more impactful, Fairphone continuously strives to make the supply chain more transparent. This way, they force other telephone producers to do the same!


Fairphone: a social enterprise