There are many, often anonimous, people who make a donation to the FWO. Hereunder you can find some examples. Some didn't really happen, but are inspired on things that can happen in real life.
Rik Wouters (1882-1916) is the most well-known representative of fauvism from our region. In his short career he produced an impressive number of masterworks: his paintings and sculptures feature prominently in national and international museums and collections. Nel Wouters, who lost her husband aged only 34 to cancer, has been active all her life managing his artistic legacy. It was also she who expressed the wish to establish a foundation for scientific research into cancer, the disease that proved fatal to the artist.
For this, Nel Wouters contacted Simon Février, an industrialist and art lover, and friend of Nel. Février brought together thirty or so well-known entrepreneurs and politicians who in 1967 created the Rik & Nel Wouters Foundation with funds made available by Nel Wouters and the other members. Also after Nel Wouters died in 1997, Simon Février continued to manage the Foundation; the return on the capital allowed several major grants to be awarded to researchers active in cancer research.
When Février dies in 2004, another founding member, Louis De Grève, president of the Arbitration Court and father of oncologist Jacques De Grève, investigates whether the foundation could continue her tasks in a more structured framework. He conducts talks with the Fund for Research - Flanders on the terms of a possible collaboration. In 2009, the FWO takes over the management of the Rik and Nel Wouters Foundation and it awards every two years (taking turns with the FRS-FNRS) an amount of €5,000 to an outstanding cancer researcher. In this way, the memory of Artist Rik Wouters and his wife lives on.
Karla (73) and Wim (76) had lived a good life. She could look back on some fine moments in her teacher career. She vividly remembered many of the children's faces when she thought of their witty remarks during the language and math exercises. Wim, her husband, has also spent his all life in the education sector, albeit at a more academic level: he introduced would-be engineers to the secrets of chemistry. He was an anxious thinker, always busy with calculations, also after his active career. Until dementia hit hard: in the last five years his brain capacity declined. He passed away last year.
Today Karla knows that her husband had always wanted to donate part of their capital to research. She tells us with a melancholic voice: "My husband feared that, like his mother, he would be affected by dementia. He was still quite young when he made his will. In it, he made it clear that part of our money was to go to dementia research. Our villa in the Ardennes will be used for this purpose and has also been transferred to the FWO. I retain the usufruct for as long as I live. I find comfort in the thought that the proceeds of the sale of that nice villa will be used for research into the disease that became fatal to my husband."
After opening Wim's will, their notary immediately contacted the FWO. Together with the FWO, all the appropriate measures were taken. Karla: “I've included the same scientific research clause in my will. But the research fund will not be named after us. Wim and I always thought it better that donations to a good cause remain anonymous. But I can understand that others think differently.
Pierre and Nicole Steens-Vercraye have been living all their lives in the green Pajotten region, near Brussels. They have been retired for some years, but are still quite active. Pierre used to work as an accountant for a large hospital in Brussels, Nicole was a lecturer in art history at the Ghent Academy for Fine Art. With plenty of free time on their hands, they enjoy city trips and travels to faraway, exotic places. Not to spend days lying on the beach, but to learn and understand the customs of other cultures, as Nicole is impassioned by non-European art
Nicole and Pierre have no children, but many close friends with whom they share their passion. They have also carefully made their plans for the future. They know there will come a day when they be less vital or even be confined to bed. Pierre and Nicole have already made their sums, and have arranged for an adequate insurance plan and a little extra in case of emergencies.
They also know what will happen with their inheritance. Being childless, they have chosen for a so-called 'dual legacy' so that their nephew and niece can benefit from the proceeds of their house and their remaining capital. The dual legacy is shared with the Fund for Research - Flanders. This dual legacy approach offers quite a few advantage in the legal execution of the estate. As a public utility agency, the FWO bears a significant portion of the estate tax, so that the nephew and niece of Nicole and Pierre will hardly be taxed for their share.
It is no surprise that Nicole and Pierre have opted for this formula. They have always well informed themselves about the options with their notary. They have inserted a clause in their will specifying that the FWO may support research in the areas of art and anthropology. Pierre and Nicole are thus assured that their passion will, in a wholly unique way, continue to live on and that many people will continue to benefit from it.