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Who we are

Constanter is a private, independent
charitable foundation and part of a network of philanthropic organisations set up by the Brenninkmeijer family business owners in service of the common good. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to live with dignity, fulfil their potential and flourish.

Our Mission animation

Our mission

Working together to promote the dignity of the planet and its people

Our mission is to contribute to a better world where social justice and the dignity of the planet and all its people are respected and promoted. We advance this mission by enabling work in the areas of education, society, faith and climate, providing funds to other philanthropic entities and partners that support our aims, and by aiming to inspire and challenge existing industries to work together towards a climate-positive and inclusive economy.

Our values

Principle and practice

The way we work, invest and partner is driven by a strong sense of what matters in principle and works in practice. Our values are rooted in the Catholic faith and the business heritage of the Brenninkmeijer family business owners. We believe in listening and working collectively with those who understand the issues best – whether that’s experts, local communities or the people directly affected – to promote human dignity and strive for a more just and sustainable world.

  1. We’re committed to our mission, each other, and anyone whose life is affected by the work we do.

  2. By aspiring to act and think like entrepreneurs, we hope to find better ways to solve problems.

  3. Working together constructively and collaboratively in dialogue is the best way we know to address division in the world and help lift human dignity in all its forms.

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Our people

United in service

Everything we do begins and ends with people. Our Philanthropy Services team, Investment Office and Board work closely together, united by a strong sense of purpose. We want to bring out the best in one another, and believe what we’re doing is worthwhile, so we strive to work professionally and in deep trust in pursuit of our shared aim. It’s these relationships, built with each other and our network of partners, that change systems and lives.  

Adinda Karperien

Legal Counsel

At Constanter, we are uniquely placed to provide the critical expertise and innovation to advance our shared philanthropic mission. As a legal counsel, I help colleagues, partners and thought leaders turn ideas into actions. I am lucky to be able to do this with my amazing colleagues, who believe in the power of being a force for good.

Arnout van der Veer

Audit & Compliance Committee

Identifying and mitigating risk helps us to be a more dependable partner to the people and projects we engage with. We’re extremely rigorous because the work is so important.

Lindsey Matthews

Member of the Investment Committee

Investments don’t just provide the funding that enables Constanter to continue pursuing its mission; they’re an expression of that mission. The values that underpin the philanthropic work and investment decisions are one and the same.

Melissa Bank

Procurement and Contract Management Lead

Procurement in philanthropy needs to go beyond the fundamentals of cost, cash and quality. By connecting with people from all regions and sectors, I plan to factor in real value to society, community and the environment as meaningful return on Constanter’s investments.

Rita Renkema

Head of Office Operations

To work here is to work with and for people who believe that our daily activity can make the world a better place. I really like the fact that Constanter Philanthropy Services is a new team, and we are all putting our heads and talents together to create a successful support organisation.

Constanter Philanthropy Services

Enabling and enhancing

Constanter Philanthropy Services was purpose-built to provide Porticus, Laudes Foundation and other philanthropic organisations set up by the Brenninkmeijer family business owners the services they need to be focused and effective in their work. We believe that a professional approach to our philanthropic endeavours results in greater impact. Through global teams in HR, IT, Finance, Risk, Legal, Tax, Insurance, Facilities, Travel, Procurement, Security, Project Management and Reporting, we strive for collaborative excellence in every interaction. 


Constanter Investment Office

Active and engaged

The success of our investments is indispensable to our continued philanthropic work. We have a dedicated Investment Office which provides expert advice on our investment portfolio, seeking returns that don’t come at the expense of people or the planet, but rather positively contribute towards our mission. This team is instrumental in executing on the investment strategy. We work with outside specialists to manage individual securities and investments. By taking an active, engaged approach, we try to ensure our investments abide by the high ethical principles set out in our responsible investment guidelines. 


Constanter Board

Responsible and invested

Our Board is ultimately responsible for all Constanter’s activities across philanthropy, investment, and audit and compliance. It is supported by dedicated committees that it appoints to help it carry out each of these tasks. Members of the Board are not remunerated for their work in relation to these roles. 

Our governance
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A brief history of our philanthropy

1841

The seeds of our philanthropy

Constanter roots stretch back to 1841. The earliest records of C&A, the business set up by brothers Clemens and August, show that charitable contributions were made with the very first profits.

1950s and 1960s

Growing in the community

From humble beginnings, the tradition of private charitable giving and engagement continued quietly with descendants founding charities alongside businesses all over the globe. Local C&A staff would help manage donations as a side activity. Some of the largest foundations still in existence include Clementia Verein (est. 1949, Germany), Stichting Benevolentia (est. 1951, Netherlands) and Stiftung Auxilium (est. 1963, Switzerland). 

1956

Small businesses as a force for good

Argidius was founded by Arnold and Egidius Brenninkmeijer in 1956 to encourage entrepreneurship and help small businesses grow, create jobs and tackle deep-rooted poverty challenges. It continues to this day, helping entrepreneurs build viable businesses and contribute to the sustainable development of their communities. 

1963

The beginnings of a centralised approach

In 1963, the Brenninkmeijer family business owners appointed a full-time co-ordinator in Amsterdam. The boards of the nationally organised foundations started to meet regularly to exchange knowledge and experience. They invited experts to discuss key societal needs and opportunities for action. 

1995 onwards

Professionalising our approach

Porticus was established in 1995, bringing the regional activities together to coordinate and develop the philanthropic activities of the family business owners globally. Now operating from 14 offices, it advises and supervises grants and programmes serving human dignity and promoting social justice in over 135 countries.

2007

Addressing climate change and deforestation

Good Energies was established in 2007, working with Porticus to partner with organisations and social businesses that work to reverse climate change and mitigate its harm, especially to people who live in poverty. It supports programmes providing access to clean energy and protecting tropical forests. 

2014 to 2020

Inspiring fashion to be a force for good

C&A Foundation was launched in 2010 to contribute to a fairer and more sustainable apparel sector, and to help everyone affected by the industry to thrive. During the six years of its existence, it inspired the campaign for a clean, safe fashion industry; it revitalised the organic cotton sector; it collaborated in making supply chains more transparent; and it was the founding funder of Fashion for Good – the world’s first platform for collaborative innovation in sustainable fashion.

2020 onwards

Encouraging a climate-positive and inclusive economy

In 2020, Laudes Foundation was established to continue the industry-transformation work of C&A Foundation and expand the approach into other industries with an outsized negative impact on carbon emissions and social inclusion, specifically the built environment and finance and capital markets. Working at the intersection of business and philanthropy, Laudes Foundation is uniquely placed to influence Paris-aligned capital flows and challenge and inspire industry to harness its power for good. Its vision is one where global markets value all people and respect nature.  

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