Fondazione Con il Sud was launched in 2006 to foster social infrastructure in Southern Italy, focusing on building up the intangible structures.
Fondazione Con il Sud was launched in 2012, as a result of the alliance between bank foundations and Italian third sector and volunteer organisations. It was created to foster social infrastructure in Southern Italy, focusing on building up and qualifying the intangible structures to promote development.
In particular, the Foundation encourages social cohesion programs in the South to foster their development. It does not intervene directly, but promotes initiatives of civil economy, the culture of donation, active participation in community welfare, enhancing local social and cultural resources, so that they are increasingly the driving force behind a development that starts from the territory.
In particular, the Foundation is committed to promote social cohesion paths, enhancing the ideas, energies and skills already existing in the territory: thanks to the resources distributed, these can gather around effective projects and actions, aiming to foster social capital development.
The most innovative tools utilised by Fondazione con il Sud are Community Foundations (CFs): independent registered non-profit institutions serving geographically defined territory, typically a city or a small territory. CFs have been absent from the Southern Italian panorama until 2009, when, with the pivotal support of Fondazione Con il Sud, the first five community foundations were established in Salerno, in Messina, two in Naples and in Val di Noto (Sicily).
During the first five years from the launch of a Community Foundation, the Fondazione Con il Sud provide financial support doubling the initial assets (with a minimum of €300,000 and maximum of €500,000) raised by the concerned communities.
Evidence of success
In 11 years, collecting the efforts of over 100 financing institutions, Fondazione Con il Sud has supported more than 1.000 initiatives, involving 6.000 different organizations, both non-profit, public institutions and individuals, more than 283.000 citizens, above all youths (40% minors), allocating 176 million euros.
Potential for learning or transfer
Community foundations (CFs) are instruments of civil society designed to pool donations into a coordinated investment and grant making facility dedicated primarily to the social improvement of a given place.
Over the past two decades, community foundations have become a global phenomenon with Europe playing a full part. Some 27 of the 50 European countries have community foundations. Distribution between countries is uneven with Germany accounting for 57 per cent of all European community foundations. Only 10 countries have 10 or more community foundations, which means that there is much scope for further growth.
In Italy, there are now 37 CFs. Only Germany and United Kingdom have more CFs. The model developed by Fondazione Per il Sud can be adopted to boost the dissemination of such a financial instrument in other European territory much less active in this field.
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