19 September 2019
The Italian Corporate Foundation
On September 18th, the Chiesi Foundation was in Milan to attend the released of the report on Italian Corporate Foundations. The research has been undertaken by the laboratory Percorsi di Secondo Welfare with the support of Fondazione Sodalitas and Fondazione Bracco.
The aim of the study was to explore the role of Corporate Foundations in the field of social and economic change providing a snapshot of recent trends and spot some of the latest evolution trends in the Italian Corporate foundation (Corporate F.) ecosystem. Furthermore, the founding aims at addressing the national knowledge gap that has been identified regarding the field of Corporate F.
The study defines a Corporate F. as a foundation that has been established by a company with a different and autonomous legal status, whose primary income is derived from corporate source and/or members of the board belong to the company.
In total, at a national level, the study registered 111 Corporate F. Gathering data from 62 Corporate F. the study was able to detect deep differences between territories. The 72% of Corporate Foundation are located in the Northern regions, in those settings where large and middle companies are situated. Looking at the type of Foundation, the research shows that the majority of Corporate F. are mixed (40%) while the 34% are operative and the 23% are grant-making. The operative Foundation are usually implementing their projects in partnership with organizations from the third sector, academic world, public administration or other philanthropic entities. The main sectors where Foundation operates are education, arts and culture, research, economic development and social cohesion. Moreover, the report deeply analyses the relations between the Corporate Foundation and the founder. This relation can range between independent foundations, which do not typically have input from the parent company aside from funding, and integrated foundations, which typically have strong and numerous links to the parent company. Those links go beyond financial support, indeed CorporateF usually share the same headquarters, expertise, administrative processes, etc. Partnership represents also a challenge for Corporate F., but at the same time, working together by sharing our assets, it is recognized as a necessary path to be undertaken to reach our goals. Another challenge affecting the philanthropy sector is impact evaluation. Although the 71% of Corporate F. state that they are implementing evaluation activities, only few are using effective and sophisticated tool for assessment.
The Chiesi Foundation would like to thank the Foundations that support the study and the one who professionally carried on the research. Once again, through data and research we better understand the dynamics, the context and especially the challenges of strategic philanthropy, a sector of great value and potential which is not properly recognized at a public level.
As a Corporate Foundation we look at these results to improve our strategy, enhance our project and reflect on our role in the complexity of nowadays society, being aware of our duty to strengthen our commitment to make real change and deliver the greatest social impact.