FAQ (English)


What is the Mensa Foundation?
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 Netherlands or in collaboration with Mensa Foundations in other countries.

What does the Mensa Foundation do?
1) generate positive attention for best practices or special results of schools, universities or individuals, for example through our award program; each year the Mensa Foundation hands out three types of Awards;
2) draw attention to the gifted elderly through the theme “Gray Gold”;
3) setting up a Mensa chair (an endowed professor) “Giftedness at Work”
The Mensa Foundation also contributed to the creation of the book “Highly 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” etcetera.

What is your relationship to Mensa Nederland?
The Mensa Foundation was established by the Mensa Netherlands association during the Annual Business Meeting of members of this association on April 20th , 2013. The Mensa Foundation gives substance to the social face of Mensa. The main reasons that the then 4500 members of the Mensa association supported and voted for its establishment were:
1) responding more, and better, to a positive image of giftedness and social opportunities, giftedness is a positive attribute;
2) making the significance of very high intelligence visible, as being a quality for society as a whole;
3) a board dedicated to communicate to the entire society;
4) enable research and identify best practices to communicate the best of very high intelligence; and
5) an independent Mensa Foundation offers more and new possibilities for fundraising. Donations to the Mensa Foundation, for example, are tax deductible. Unlike an association, the Mensa Foundation has an extensive publication 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 Foundation’s actvities. Mensa members work together with non-members on the board and all the other activities of the Mensa Foundation. Everyone who participates has an affinity with our central goal: making better use of gifted talent for our society. If you want to do something, feel free to 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(1961). Our sister organization has been an important source of inspiration for the foundation of the Mensa Foundation in the Netherlands. The difference between the association and the Foundations? The associations of Mensa in NL and in the US mainly focus directly on the members and organize many activities for them. Both the Foundations focus entirely on the social, external promotion of the interests of gifted people. A board member of the Mensa Foundation 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 Foundation do for me?
The Mensa Foundation does not target individuals and does not promote interests or provide assistance to individuals. The Mensa Foundation 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. acquiring and disseminating knowledge with regard to high general intelligence (often referred to as giftedness);
b. advocacy for people with high general intelligence and encouraging 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
b. performing all further actions that are related to the foregoing 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 Foundation along various lines.
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 Foundation. You can also participate in regularly organized fund-raising dinners by the chair, a tombola, benefit auction. You can take an 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 Foundation an ANBI (a government recognized not-for-profit)?
Yes, from the moment of its establishment in April 2013, the Mensa Foundation has obtained 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 donation, the full amount is deductible. Ask penningmeester@mensafonds.nl Due to its ANBI status, the Mensa Foundation is obliged to provide full insight into activities and finances and publish it on their website.

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