FAQ (English)


What is the Mensa Fonds?
The purpose of the Mensa Foundation is to acquire and disseminate knowledge related to high general intelligence (often referred to as giftedness), advocacy for people with high general intelligence and encouragement of special achievements by or for the benefit of people with high intelligence within the Netherlands or in collaboration with Mensa Foundations in other countries.

What does the Mensa Fonds do?
1) generate positive attention to best practices or achievements of schools, universities or individuals, including through our award program; each year the Mensa Fonds hands out three types of Awards;
2) draw attention to the gifted elderly through the initiative “Gray Gold”;
3) setting up a Mensa Chair (an endowed professor) under the research initiative “Giftedness at Work”
The Mensa Foundation also contributed to the creation of the book “High Giftedness for Dummies” written by Janet van Horssen, the “BPS Conference” for gifted students, the video project ‘Excellence under Conditions’ of the “Steunpunt Zorg & Onderwijs Friesland” and other projects.

What is your relationship to Mensa Netherlands
The Mensa Fonds was established by Mensa Netherlands during the Annual Business Meeting of members of this association on April 20th , 2013. The Mensa Fonds acts to fulfill the public aim, the external part of Mensa. The main reasons that the then 4500 members of the Mensa association supported and voted for its establishment were:
1) doing more to promote a positive image of giftedness and to improve social opportunities for the gifted: giftedness is a positive attribute;
2) making the significance of very high intelligence visible, especially as a positive factor for society as a whole;
3) forming a board dedicated to communicating to all of society;
4) enabling research and identify best practices to encourage the best of very high intelligence; and
5) an independent Mensa Foundation offers more possibilities for fundraising. Donations to the Mensa Foundation, for example, are tax deductible. Unlike an association, the Mensa Foundation has an extensive public disclosure obligation.

Do you have to be a member of Mensa to participate?
No, you don’t have to be a Mensa member to support the Mensa Fonds actvities. Mensa members work together with non-members on the board and all the other activities of the Mensa Fonds. Everyone who participates has an affinity with our central aim: making better use of gifted talented indoviduals for our society. If you want to initiate an activity, please contact us! info@mensafonds.nl

What is the relationship with the American Mensa Foundation?
The American Mensa Foundation was founded in 1971 from the American Mensa Association(founded 1961). Our American sister organization has been an important source of inspiration for the founding of the foundation in the Netherlands. The associations of Mensa in NL and in the US mainly focus the members and organize many activities for the members. Both the foundations focus entirely on the social, external promotion of the interests of gifted people, also the non Mensa-members. A board member of the Mensa Fonds the Netherlands participates as a jury member in the international scholarship program of the American Mensa Foundation and there is regular exchange of information about new developments in the highly gifted field and current activities.

What can the Mensa Fonds do for me?
The Mensa Fonds does not target individuals and does not promote interests or provide assistance to individuals. The Mensa Fonds has a broader social objective in which attention is drawn for people with a high general intelligence in the broadest sense. The foundation aims to:
a. acquire and disseminate knowledge with regard to high general intelligence (often referred to as giftedness);
b. advocate for people with high general intelligence and encourage special achievements by or for the benefit of people with high intelligence within the Netherlands or in collaboration with Mensa Foundations in other countries; and
c. perform all further actions that are related to the above in the broadest sense, or that may be conducive to it.

What is giftedness?
There are several definitions of the term “giftedness”. The generally accepted definition in the Netherlands that is also used by us has been drawn up by ir. Maud van Thiel:
A gifted person is a quick and smart thinker who can handle complex matters. Autonomous, curious and driven by nature. A sensitive and emotional person, intensely alive. He or she enjoys creating. Source: Delphi Model Giftedness © OYA 2008 From: M.B.G.M. Kooijman-van Thiel (2008), ‘Hoogbegaafd. Dat zie je zo!’, Ede, OYA Productions.

How can I contribute?
You can support the Mensa Fonds in various ways.
One-off financial donations are very welcome. We also have a group of ambassadors, the Club of 100 (Cv100). These are people who donate annually €100 and spend 100 minutes of their time promoting the objectives of the Mensa Fonds. You can also participate in regularly organized fund-raising dinners by the chair, a tombola, charity auction. You can take initiative yourself to raise money, e.g. a fundraising dinner, etc.

What percentage of my money actually goes to charity?
In 2019, the Foundation/raising percentage (the costs of our own foundation/raising compared to the proceeds thereof) was 0.5% (in 2018 3.5%). Our cost percentage remains well below the standard “CBF” maximum of 25%.

Is the Mensa Fonds an ANBI (a government recognized not-for-profit)?
Yes, from the moment of its establishment in April 2013, the Mensa Foundation has held the ANBI status. This means that donations to the Mensa Foundation are tax-deductible (above an income threshold), and the contributions we make to projects are untaxed. In the case of a written agreement on a regular 5-year donation, the full amount is deductible. Ask penningmeester@mensafonds.nl for more information. Due to its ANBI status, the Mensa Fondsis obliged to provide full insight into activities and finances and publish this on the website.

Other questions?
Send a message with your questions to info@mensafonds.nl