Frequently Asked Questions

Caritas International Belgium Frequently Asked Questions

LEGACIES, DONATIONS AND TAX DEDUCTABILITY

When are my donations deductible from taxes?

You automatically receive a tax receipt if the total amount of your yearly donations is higher than € 40. This receipt will be sent to you in the month of February of the next year, just in time for your tax return. For example, if you make a donation to Caritas International in the course of 2019, you’ll get a tax certificate in February of 2020. As long as your total donation is less than 10% of your taxable income, 45% of your donation will be returned as a fiscal advantage. We’ll always receive 100% of your donation while you only pay a part of it.

I want to support Caritas International by bank transfer. What is your account number?

You can make a donation by transferring an amount of choice to the account number of Caritas International. Below you will find the necessary information:

Caritas International vzw – Liefdadigheidstraat 43, 1210 Brussels

IBAN: BE88 0000 0000 4141 – BIC: BPOTBEB1

You can also download a prefilled transfer form and send it to your bank.

Is it possible to make regular donations?

You can also support Caritas International by automatic payment. With a European direct debit you opt for the regularity and the amount of your donations. How is this possible? Just download the form, fill it in and send it back to us via post or email. We’ll take care of the rest with your bank. You can also make a long term donation using our 100% secure payment platform. Just to remind you, all donations you make in a year will be added up for your tax receipt. If you donate a minimum of 40 euros a year, you’ll automatically receive a tax receipt.

How can I include a donation to Caritas International in my will?

For more information contact Mr. Gonzalo Dopchie, confidential advisor for bequests to Caritas International. You can also reach him on the number 0475 76 10 00 or by email at g.dopchie@caritasint.be.

Which official information do I need to include Caritas International in my will?

Here you will find the necessary information to include Caritas International in your will:

  • Name: CARITAS INTERNATIONAL vzw
  • Registration number: 0410.644.946
  • Bank account: BE 41 2100 4714 7510
  • Address: Liefdadigheidstraat 43, 1210 Brussel
Is an online donation safe?

For online donations we use the services of the company iRaiser, the number one digital fundraising platform in Europe. iRaiser has years of experience and is completely secure -which is indicated by the “https” in front of the page address, and works together with Ogone, the expert in online payments. Online donations are therefore completely safe.

How do you ensure that my donation ends up in the right place?

Caritas is the Belgian branch of a network that is active in over 160 countries and regions. Our local partners are in close contact with the population and thanks to them Caritas knows that the aid goes directly to those who are the most vulnerable

We are committed to ensuring transparency. Each year an auditor checks and approves our accounts which are available on the website of the National Bank. In our annual report you can also find our annual account and more information about how your donations were put to use -they make a difference! We are a member of the association for ethical fundraising (abbreviated to AERF) which checks our commitment concerning fund-raising yearly. We have strict internal checks and procedures. Moreover, to be able to issue tax receipts, we have to meet certain requirements and demands of the Ministry of Finance. Our bills our also available on NGO-Open Book and DonorInfo.

Is it possible to financially support one specific project?

You can choose where your donation ends up. For an online donation you just tick off the box of your choice. For a donation by transfer, which you can find in our letters, it is important to state the structured communication that is mentioned on the transfer form. If you make a transfer without receiving a letter, you can always mention in the structured communication which country or project you want to support. Without a mention your donation will go to our emergency fund.

When will I receive my tax receipt?

Caritas International can supply tax receipts for gifts from 40 euros a year, either through one or multiple donations. This receipt will be sent out automatically in February of the year following your gift(s). If you make a donation during the new year’s period, your donation has to be in our account on the 31st of December at the last to be able to receive a tax receipt.

Does Caritas participate in door-to-door fund-raising?

Caritas International never goes from door to door, neither does it sell fundraising products, nor are there any people in the streets or supermarkets who make you sign a direct debit.

Is the fundraising of Caritas supervised?

We are committed to ensuring transparency. Each year an auditor checks and approves our accounts which are available on the website of the National Bank. In our annual report you can also find our annual account and more information about how your donations were put to use -they make the difference! We are a member of the association for ethical fundraising (abbreviated to AERF) which checks yearly our commitment concerning fund-raising. We have strict internal checks and procedures. Moreover, to be able to issue tax receipts, we have to meet certain requirements and demands of the Ministry of Finance. Our bills our also available on NGO-Open Book and DonorInfo.

DIFFERENT WAYS TO SUPPORT CARITAS

Can I do a fundraiser on my own for Caritas? How?

Anybody can do us a favour by fundraising for Caritas International. Some already do this using Facebook but beware, donations by Facebook aren’t tax deductible. The best way to set up a fundraiser for Caritas is by creating a profile on our new platform for personal pages, then simply choose one of the proposed “events” and create your own fundraising page. These donations are tax deductible. This is the link to our platform: www.action.caritasinternational.be.

Is it possible to volunteer for Caritas International?

Volunteers are essential to Caritas. To date, Caritas can count on the help of hundreds of motivated volunteers. They volunteer in our field projects or in our headquarters in Brussels where they have committed to helping asylum-seekers, refugees or the personnel of Caritas. Helping others is what drives them. Do you want to become a volunteer for Caritas? Complete this online form  and our team will keep you up to date on different projects close to you. For more information about volunteering, click here.

Does Caritas International send volunteers to foreign countries?

We never send volunteers to foreign countries. It’s our policy to work with local divisions of Caritas or other recognized organization in the field. Even though there’s no doubt that sharing ideas and skills between developed and developing countries is valuable, we also believe that members of local communities need to be educated and supported in finding their own solutions.

Can Caritas International help me transport (emergency) aid to certain countries?

No, Caritas International doesn’t have the necessary logistics to ship goods such as clothing, food or other products from Belgium to third world countries. These products are collected locally due to ecological, financial and practical considerations. We do advice you to contact our partner Wereldmissiehulp.

Where in Belgium can I make material donations (blankets, clothing, furniture, …)?

Certain partners can ensure that your donations end up with those who are most in need. For material donations in Belgium, contact vzw Convivial. This organisation collects everything someone might need when leaving a reception centre to lead a life in dignity in Belgium. To ship goods to foreign countries, contact Wereldmissiehulp.

I want to offer my house to refugees in Belgium. How do I do this?

Proper lodging is the first essential step towards integration. Therefore, Caritas has set up a network of partner landlords who are willing to rent their home to recognised refugees. You can offer a house by sending an email to proprio.solidaire@caritasint.be or by calling +32 2 609 06 54. More information about partner landlords.

I would like to apply for a job or internship.

We are always looking for new talent at Caritas International. To view and respond to ongoing recruitment announcements, please visit our “Job” section. To apply spontaneously for a position or an internship, send an e-mail with your CV and a letter of motivation to cv@caritas.be.

IN NEED OF HELP

I need help in Belgium.

Our team of experienced social assistants is available every day of the week in our offices in Brussels. They can offer you assistance in matters of family reunification, voluntary, the search for a place to live or medical support. If you are in a precarious situation as a foreign student or if you are a minor without assistance, you can also find help here.

Do not hesitate to make an appointment by phone at 02 229 36 11 between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm. You can also come to our offices without appointment on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30am to 11:30am and from 1:30pm to 3:30pm.

I am not in Belgium and need help. What should I do?

Caritas International unfortunately does not respond to individual requests for help from abroad. For all our work abroad, we always work in close collaboration with local Caritas. You can better contact the Caritas closest to you. To find their contact details, country by country, visit the Caritas Internationalis website: www.caritas.org.

I’m setting up a project abroad and would like the support of Caritas. How do I go about this?

We work closely together with the local Caritas organisations for all our work abroad. You can turn to the Caritas the nearest to your project. You will find all the information by country on the site of Caritas Internationalis: www.caritas.org.

They alone determine the local projects and then ask for support of Caritas International Belgium.

CARITAS AT SCHOOL

Do you have any teaching materials?

Yes, our offer of global citizenship education contains teaching materials such as the role play game “Inclu Acto” and the workshop “Between 2 Worlds” which revolves around refugees in Belgium where a refugee has the platform. We also guide schools with school projects and offer them the possibility to exchange letters with young Syrian refugees. Should you have a specific question or need more information, do not hesitate to contact our responsible for global citizenship education. Also have a look at our full offer of global citizenship education under the section “Education”.

Do you visit schools?

Yes, an employee of Caritas and a witness with her story about fleeing are able to give an info session, activity or workshop to students and/or teachers. For more information, do not hesitate to contact our responsible for global citizenship education.

About which themes do you provide educational materials?

Based on our work on the ground in Belgium, we first and foremost work on themes related to migration, asylum-seekers, and refugees. In addition, we can broach topics based on our international development work in the South (food security and agricultural development). Also have a look at the section “Education” to learn more about our specific offer!

How neutral are the workshops in schools?

Not a single workshop has the aim to enforce a certain vision. We mostly want to raise awareness and provide global citizenship education. This means that we equip teachers and students with handles based on which they can form their own opinion. We provide numbers and other theoretical facts and bring stories of people we guide in Belgium or abroad.

How can my school help Caritas?

Just by raising awareness about refugees and migration with one of our projects about global citizenship education, you are already helping us.

If you want to go the extra mile and take action, you can also set up a fundraiser with your class or school. Organise a concert, bake waffles, organise a sports tournament… Everything is possible! For more information about the practical formalities, click here.

I would like to work on the issue of migration and refugees with my school on long term. Can Caritas help me?

Most definitely, we regularly launch a notice for project for schools to guide them in elaborating a school project. In other words, we provide 360° guidance, adapted to the needs and desire of your school. You can always contact us with a specific question. Together, we’ll see what we can do for you.

I would like to connect my pupils with refugees. Is this possible?

Yes. Your pupils can sit down with a refugee from our workshop “Between 2 Worlds”, where refugees bring their testimonies in front of the class. We can also set up a meeting with asylum-seekers from our reception centres. To organize this, contact our responsible global citizenship education. Last but not least, your pupils can also contact young Syrian refugees in Lebanon by mail. For more information, click here.

Is it possible to visit a reception centre for asylum-seekers with my school?

Caritas does not organise visits to reception centres, but invites pupils and their teachers to meet refugees as part of a sensibilization project on the subject matter (workshop in the classroom with refugees, meeting with an asylum-seeker who is staying at our reception centre, etc.). You can contact our responsible for global citizenship education, to organize this.

COMMUNICATION AND EMAILS

How do I reduce the number of letters and magazines from Caritas International in my letterbox?

If you receive our mail twice or no longer wish to receive our mailing, send your request to infonl@caritasint.be. You can subscribe to our newsletter (in Dutch or French) as an alternative. This means that you’ll stay up to date with our work by email: less paper for you and expenses for us. You could always stay up to date about our projects through this website and our social media.

How does Caritas protect my personal data?

Transparency, safety and ease are the key words that sum up our personal data management. Caritas, as an international solidarity organisation, commits to not only protect immigrants and refugees, we also make sure that the rights of our givers, sympathizers and staff are respected: the driving forces behind Caritas. In our aim to achieve complete transparency, we established 12 privacy policies concerning the context in which the data has been collected. It’s very easy to exercise your rights and look at the privacy policy. A specific URL was created: www.caritasinternational.be/en/your-personal-data.

Whether you follow us by email, social media, our website or by making a donation, your rights are protected by our non-disclosure agreement. We make every effort to ensure that you feel safe while visiting and during interactions with our team.

I want to file a complaint.

Are you not satisfied with Caritas? Were you a victim or witness of inappropriate behaviour from an employee or volunteer of Caritas International Belgium?

Let us know by filing a complaint using the following email address or phone number: ombudsman@caritas.be – +32 476 47 23 23.

Your complaint will be handled with discretion and confidentiality.

TRANSPARENCY

Aside from free donations, are there any other organisations or institutions who finance Caritas?

Aside from donations from private individuals we are granted subsidies from the federal government, but also from different regions and the European Union. You can find a list of subsidies in our annual report.

Are Caritas International’s bills available?

Caritas provides detailed bills to the National Bank. They can be consulted online using our registration number 0410.644.946. You can also find our bills in our annual report.

Does a third-party check Caritas’ finances?

Each year an auditor checks our bills and sends them to the National Bank. The Federal public service Finance also regularly carries out checks because they give us the approval to send out tax receipts.

Our financial and operational data are also available through various portals such as the association for ethical fundraising (abbreviated to AERF), NGO-Open Book and DonorInfo, of all of which we’re a member. These bodies often check if we commit to our engagements, also concerning audit and bill check-ups.

How are the costs and proceeds of Caritas divided?

Each year we publish an annual report in which you can find our financial details. This includes the division of Caritas’ costs and proceeds. The digital version is available under “Publications” on our website. If you want to consult all the details, you can find them on the website of the National Bank using our registration number 0410.644.946.

Which are the decision-making bodies and who is part of them?

There are four administrative authorities at Caritas: a board of directors, general meeting, management committee and governing board. The mandates of these different organs are described in the statutes of the non-profit organization, published in the bulletin of acts and degrees which is available using this link.

On the 31st of December of 2018 the board of directors of Caritas consisted of: Frank De Coninck (president), Philippe de Dorlodot (vice-president), Dominic Verhoeven (vice-president), Bruno Aerts, Frans Cardyn (until the 28th of January 2019), Jan Dumon, Marie-Christine d’Ursel-ter Hark, Martine Jonet-de Bassompierre, Michel Kesteman, Marie-Paule Moreau, Marc Nuytemans, Hubert Sanders, Giorgio Tesolin and Bernard Woronoff

Of these aforementioned are Frank De Coninck, Philippe de Dorlodot, Dominic Verhoeven, Jan Dumon and Marie-Paule Moreau also members of the management committee. The director of Caritas International, François Cornet, is also a member.

He can count on the support of the management committee with Anne Dussart, Gilles Cnockaert, Florence Lobert, Hubert Thienpont, Eliane Vastenavondt and Bernadette Van Raemdonck.

PHILOSOPHY and deontology

What measures have been taken to avoid fraud, abuse, intimidation and other misconduct by volunteers and colaborators of Caritas?

Caritas has a zero tolerance policy towards infractions of the Ethical Charter and Deontological Code, which are applicable to all our collaborators and volonteers.

For many years, we have had procedures in place to prevent and detect such abuses, from the moment our employees are recruited and for the entire duration of their mission, in order to ensure the protection of vulnerable people who count on us.

Abroad, we mainly work with our local partners. When we do send out an expat, we systematically prefer the secondment of employees with their family members.

We also remind that since 2018, every person who has doubts about the integrity of Caritas Belgium, can file a complaint through ombudsman@caritas.be and/or immediately inform the civil authorities in charge. Every complaint is handled seriously and attentively.

Does Caritas International only help Christians?

Caritas International focusses on the most vulnerable people. In Belgium as well as abroad, people, who are selected based on vulnerability criteria without discrimination, are guided by employees of Caritas.

In sensitive situations such as the middle east, mostly in Syria and Iraq, Christian communities may receive special attention because they sometimes are victims of religious attacks. However, even in this case, the most focus goes to the most vulnerable.

The two main pillars in all individual work with special attention to the most vulnerable part of the population, without distinction based on origin, nationality, gender or sexual, religious or philosophical orientation and respect for the principle of human dignity of Caritas International are: Human rights and humanitarian work.

Do you have to be a catholic to work for Caritas International?

No, people who aren’t catholic but have the same vision, values and ethnical framework as Caritas International work for Caritas International work on different levels inside the organisation.

Why is Caritas International part of the consortium 12-12 and what's in it for Caritas?

Together with six other humanitarian organisations, Caritas International is part of a Belgian Consortium for Emergency Relief or the consortium 12-12. By unifying the communication to the general public and make contacts efficiently with the press and media, they attempt to encourage the population to be more generous and solidary at a cost that’s as low as possible. The total amount of collect money is then divided under the member organisations based on a predetermined breakdown. A little under 10% of the donations goes to Caritas International.

What do you do for the Belgian population?

Every NGO has a specific mission – that is complementary to its approach. The specific mission of Caritas International is to support the most vulnerable whether it’s abroad (through emergency relief and international collaborations) or in Belgium (support for refugees and migrants).

Inside the Caritas family in Belgium, Caritas Flanders is committed to those who live in poverty and finding structural solutions for these specific problems, mainly in the area of housing. In the context of the project Housing First in Charleroi for example, our organisations set up long-term solutions to homelessness.

What is the link between Caritas and the Church?

Caritas International strives for a world of peace, solidarity and justice where the dignity of each person is a fundamental value and the division of wealth is better. We draw our inspiration from the Christian vision of man and society, based upon the Gospel. We work without prejudice, without forming opinions and with pride over our diversity.

Caritas International is part of the catholic Church with offices in every diocese in Belgium. These work directly together with the parish communities. We are under the patronage of the archbishop of Malines-Brussels and the Belgian bishops. Our sympathisers. Are mostly part of the catholic community and congratulate us for our support to people of different religions.

As a member of the Church network of Caritas Internationalis, we have local representatives in 165 countries and regions worldwide. Caritas is the social branch of the Church that is able to reach people who need it most in regions where the structures of social protection and the government aren’t as strong or simply non-existent. We are part of one of the largest humanitarian emergency aid networks in the word and this way we support people who are poor, vulnerable and marginalised, apart from their race or belief, to build a world based upon justice and love.