In 1989, when the Berlin wall fell – and the EFC was created – I was 16.
I belong to the first generation of Italian young people who became massively passionate for Europe. Feeling a strong bond of solidarity, we discovered Hungary, Poland, Russia, backpacking with InterRail on a student budget. We were the first Italian generation studying abroad benefitting from the Erasmus programme and coming back to Italy with a profound awareness of the richness and diversity of the European culture and a deep-seated feeling of belonging.
In 1989, there were no “modern” philanthropic foundations in Italy. Using traditional taxonomy, family foundations in Italy developed in the past 20 years, as well as foundations of banking origin and community foundations, while corporate foundations developed in Italy in the last 10 years. Of course, in Italy we have a millennial old culture of giving and examples of five century old institutional philanthropy – with the richest families in towns like Florence, Brescia, Turin, and Naples giving money, real estate, art works, and jewellery to endow philanthropic entities to help the poor. But the concept of private foundations doing “strategic philanthropy” is – for several different reasons – relatively new and emerging in Italy.
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