In early 2008 the Foundation’s Steering Board approved the Action Plan titled “Promoting social cohesion within local communities”. Fondazione Cariplo was prompted to take action in light of the emergence of new forms of individual uncertainties, the growing fragmentation within communities and social policies failing to meet community needs.
Thanks to their deep rooting in local communities, Community Foundations are key partners in the actions put in place to meet the goals of this Action Plan.
In order to fully deliver on the Action Plan targets the synergies of the different players are to be leveraged at best. Thus, the steering group drafted an ad-hoc plan called “Creating and strengthening the social infrastructure to facilitate the culture of giving”. The purposes of this plan are to:
- help Community Foundation become established as independent entities;
- provide assistance to foster the growth of individual Community Foundations;
- promote coordination between Community Foundations and Fondazione Cariplo to meet shared goals.
In 2008 the fundraising challenge target was hit by 2 Community Foundations, the Bergamo Foundation and the Como Foundation. These two foundations met the challenge target raising €5,160,000 and Fondazione Cariplo contributed over €10 million to them.
Of the 8 community foundations that missed the target, the Cremona Foundation and the Pavia Foundation began to catch up during the year and were granted €633,803 and €1,641,540 respectively. The 3 most recently established community foundations initially were slightly behind in terms of achieving their fundraising targets but then caught up. Specifically, the Verbano-Cusio-Ossola Foundation hit the target while the other two came pretty close. Under the 2008 challenge, requests to double the amount were accepted for a total of €8,315,123, up 85% over the prior year. The substantial increase was largely due to the community foundations’ fundraising abilities. In particular, the Bergamo Foundation achieved outstanding results as during the year it raised €1,798,399 for the challenge to grow its asset base.
Considering both endowment and utilizable funds, there was an about 26% increase over 2007, with about 3,800 donations aggregating to some €14 million versus 3,092 in 2007. This achievement was all the more remarkable considering the challenging economic environment.
The notable fundraising results had a positive impact on assets which grew by 11% to over €190 million. Endowment funds raised locally were up about 23% and surpassed the €55 million mark.
In 2008, grants exceeded €21 million, up about 10% over 2007. As to amounts earmarked for calls for proposals and to other projects, a total amount of about €22 million was earmarked for over 1,700 public benefit projects.