Giving Compass' Take:

• In this story from Philanthropy in Focus, Carola Carazzone shares how family philanthropy and community giving is growing in Italy.

• What resources could new philanthropists in Italy tap into? How might experienced philanthropists around the world help the Italian philanthropy scene become more efficient?

• For some tips on engaging next-gen philanthropists, click here.

Italy has some of the oldest institutional philanthropy organizations in the world ... But modern philanthropy is a different animal and new in Italy. Family foundations in Italy were only developed in the last 20 years. Community foundations (the very first one was established in 1999 in Lecco) and corporate foundations were also developed recently in Italy over the last 10 years. And I leave apart banking origin foundations that were established by law in 1999.

Many different reasons, including:

  • A rooted catholic culture upon which you should not show off how rich you are and even less the charity you do,
  • Fears about your wealth becoming of public domain (mafia, almost two decades of far-left wing terrorism kidnappings, have left scars that are still painful in the country),
  • Lack of fiscal benefits when you establish a philanthropic foundation/ trust/fund.

Italian foundations are often doing exactly the opposite of what grantees/civil society organizations need which is long term, reliable, unrestricted support.

In this kind of philanthropic context, at Assifero, we wanted to plan our impact and to make a difference, and the question we started asking ourselves as a philanthropic network was: how can we strengthen Italian foundations in contributing to the common good, to use better private resources for public good? How can we make Italian philanthropy more informed, more connected and more effective to build civil society and democracy and impact the achievement of the SDGs? How can we reimage ourselves as an association, as a network to move Italian foundations beyond grantmaking, and in the end, contributing to shifting the power towards social justice?

Read the full article about giving networks in Italy by Carola Carazzone at Philanthropy In Focus.