Strengthening Civil Society: Fondazione per il Sud as a Driver of Community Foundations in Southern Italy

Deborah Bolognesi, Emerging Leader, International Fellows Program ~ 2008




In this paper, Deborah Bolognesi considers the context, the strengths, and the challenges for the creation of community foundations in southern Italy. Giving a detailed analysis of the current Italian community organizations, this research seeks to investigate community foundations as a way to improve the philanthropy in Italy. The paper reviews the economic challenges that face southern Italy and the philanthropic organizations which operate there. Of special note is that nearly all the twenty-one community foundations in Italy operate in northern regions, as opposed to the poorer South.


Bolognesi focuses on the activities of the Fondazione per il Sud, a new grantmaking foundation committed to supporting the creation in southern Italy of social infrastructure and community foundations. The paper concludes with a series of recommendations for Fondazione per il Sud and similar organizations, including conducting detailed reviews of past practices, implementing a communication strategy to inform local people about the role of community foundations, and seeking partnerships with local leaders who have a proven track record of honesty and competence.


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