Online portal for Broodfondsen

What is a broodfonds/breadfund?

A breadfund is a cooperation among 20 to 50 entrepreneurs who support each other to cover the short term financial consequences of illness and inability to work. For a period of maximum 2 years a participant can receive donations which are sufficient to cover bread-and-butter costs, hence the name.

The difference with a classical insurance is that a breadfund is not anonymous and works on the basis of transparency and mutual trust. Each fund has a unique name that often reflects the geographic location or contains a pun on bread.

Some participants of a breadfund are elected as management of this fund. They play a role at the foundation of a fund and when making donations.

BroodfondsMakers Coöperatie in the Netherlands is the organization that controls and develops the breadfund concept and guides and supports the at present 125 funds during foundation and execution of the service.

2017: Now 300 funds with in total 13.200 members are supported.


Soon a need for a restricted website arose, to support fund management in their need for information, which went mainly by spreadsheets and email. The website should reflect the sphere and objectives of a breadfund.

For members

The portal shows transparently the state of donations. Within a fund this can be seen on name and amount, for all funds in total as a total sum. The financial situation must also be visible graphically.

Mutual trust is supported by a photo book where members can upload a picture of themselves and add some text and by a forum where they can post messages on common interests, both work related and private.

For management

Managing members use the portal among themselves, with the members of their fund and in their communication with BroodfondsMakers.

Managing members need a reliable information sharing with BroodfondsMakers who help them to enroll new members and to control their finance.

Managing members use the portal to make their annual budget and enter forecasts.

For BroodfondsMakers

In order to support funds, BroodfondsMakers need to see what a single breadfund can see in the portal.

The portal will be used to share information, documents and forms among themselves and with fund members and management.

Google Apps

In an early stage BroodfondsMakers chose for Google Apps because they have information sharing as a spearhead, which leads to the desired trust and transparency in information.

Because the number of breadfunds increases rapidly, scalability of this cloud service is a great advantage to keep costs at pace.

This cloud solution has state-of-the-art technology for security of online information with a Google-account.

Custom software from Forscale

Forscale - IT for Project Management - delivers both software products for project management as well as custom software based on the same Google technology.

Forscale delivered a custom solution to BroodfondsMakers which uses Google Drive as the central online file store.

Google Groups enables grouping of members to give access to the entitled files. Groups also delivers forums where fund management and members can discuss issues.

Google Apps Script is well suited to create standardized spreadsheets, based on information in BroodfondsMakers' database.

Google App Engine renders the site for the portal and gives with Google-account access to the required information.

2016: Due to stricter privacy legislation Google Drive has been replaced by Google Cloud Storage in EU.

Haiko Liefmann, BroodfondsMakers
Ronald Dahrs, Forscale
November 2014