After Nazi Past Revelations, Ikea Founder Doubles Charitable Giving
6:31 pm, September 18th | by Hillary Reinsberg
There was lots of talk last month about Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad having been a Nazi. With hard evidence laid out in a new book, it was hard for the 85-year-old to deny these former allegiances, so he did the next best thing: charity. After years of being fairly uncharitable for most of his life, Kamprad just announced plans to donate billions to the poor.
Following Kamprad’s orders, the Ikea Foundation will start doubling its annual charitable giving, spending over $150 million a year, The Telegraph reports. A large portion of that will go to a refugee camp in Kenya. The rest of the money will be given to global agencies like UNICEF and Save the Children.
As The Telegraph notes, the revelation of Kamprad’s Nazi past is certainly part of the motivation to spend more on charitable giving, but there’s more to it. In 2006, The Economist took a look at the Ikea Foundations’s finances, and found that the company was secretive about its money, and was designed in a way that funneled money into the Kamprad family bank accounts — and not so much into charities as the foundation moniker might indicate.
It’s hard to criticize billions of dollars going to aid, but it’s worth knowing there’s more to this story.