Private, grantmaking foundations – and, among them, foundations with a banking origin – are a fundamental resource to support the social, cultural, political, and economic development of a country. To fulfill their role, these foundations have to be free to deal with the needs unattended by the public administration, the market or other non-profit organizations or take a fresh approach to addressing the needs these entities have already tried to satisfy. A foundation cannot be called upon to act in place of government agencies by channeling towards them the foundation’s financial resources. The potential to innovate civil society represents a foundation’s strength and is the true contribution they can give to the country’s development.
It is precisely in this context that one should view the activities carried out by Fondazione Cariplo, one of the world’s main philanthropic organizations, which manages the assets gathered over 180 years by Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde to carry on its long-standing philanthropic tradition. Fondazione Cariplo aims at operating on the basis of the principle of subsidiarity, anticipating needs and fulfilling its special mission of being a resource that helps social and civil organizations better serve their community.
Since it was established in 1991, the Foundation has modernized itself to continue to pursue its philanthropic mission at best. Today, the Foundation is a modern-time organization with specific operational strategies, staffed with young, specialized personnel, equipped with the structures and the tools suitable to implement modern philanthropy initiatives, and to give ideas a future.
In addition to supporting initiatives carried out by other nonprofit organizations, Fondazione Cariplo devises and implements its own projects, convening partners and catalyzing resources.
Projects originated by the Foundation itself are managed directly by its staff. Because of their significance, originality or specificity, these projects are given special importance among the various activities carried out by the Foundation.
Reaching beyond grant-making, the Foundation proactively pioneers projects that promote innovationas well as solutions to problems not adequately addressed by other private or public players.