In 2006, Community Foundations grew their assets by €31,655,461 (25%) to almost €160 million, of which over €6 million raised locally. The foundations received some 3,000 donations aggregating to €9,416,203, net of funds contributed by Fondazione Cariplo.
Accounting for 48% of the funds raised (€4,564,998) private organizations were the biggest donor to community foundations. Nonprofits donated over €4 million, accounting for 43% of community foundations’ donation inflows. This showed nonprofits fully appreciated the value of community foundations as drivers of third sector development within local communities and no longer feared them as a potential competitor as it had happened before their launch.
Donations to Community Foundations fall under two main categories:
• donations geared to increase the asset base (endowment);
• donations recognized in the income statement that can be used to fund projects, cover operating costs or increase the asset base.
Italian community foundations operate as philanthropy intermediaries for the purpose of either setting up endowment funds or gathering donations to fund socially useful projects.
Businesses too, proved their willingness to donate and contributed €1,250,041 choosing a donation option from the range made available by the foundations.
In 2006, Community Foundations extended grants mainly to projects selected via calls for proposals. This is how they identified 77% of the projects they funded, while the remaining 23% of projects received sponsorships, micro-grants, and contributions given as indicated by donors. Grants given to landmark and multi-year projects were very rare. Most of the projects were in the social and welfare area that attracted 42% of all grants, followed by arts and culture with 21.4% of grants, and, finally, civil rights protection that received only 0.1% of total grants.