Foundations in Italy: What Roles and Challenges?

Elisa Ricciuti, Alex Turrini

Foundations in Italy: What Roles and Challenges?
American Behavioral Scientist, Article first published online: May 8, 2018

https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764218773435


This article aims at giving a portrait of Italian philanthropic organizations, highlighting strengths, weaknesses, and challenges that philanthropy is facing in Italy compared with Germany and the United States. The article underlines the extreme variety of the philanthropic sector and suggests that Italian foundations still do not exist as a homogeneous group. Rather, as subgroups, some of them have a sort of strong institutional identity (i.e., foundations of banking origin), while others seem to behave very independently and are less open not only to public oversight but also to communication and peer collaboration (i.e., family foundations, private independent foundations). Moreover, the article suggests that the Italian foundation landscape is experiencing a transition toward new institutional regimes, which will be speeded by the capacity of gaining legitimacy and acting as a more unitary group. Opportunities for growth and access to new resources will be possible only if Italian foundations will proactively contribute to the reconfiguration of welfare systems.