Mapping Change and Ashoka Italy, in collaboration with ActionAid Italy, the Community Consortium Brianza, the Community Foundation of Agrigento and Trapani, and the Cassa di Risparmio Foundation of Ascoli Piceno, organized a morning of discussion on experiments and initiatives that have already demonstrated the possibility of overcoming the limitations of project-based calls for funding through experiences, problem sharing, and recommendations.
A moment of dialogue between some of the largest national and international organizations in the Third Sector to “raise the bar,” demonstrating the possibility of overcoming the limits of public and private project funding. An open and constructive debate on the crucial issues of the nonprofit sector today, organized by Mapping Change, Ashoka Italy, ActionAid Italy, the Community Consortium Brianza, the Community Foundation of Agrigento and Trapani, and the Cassa di Risparmio Foundation of Ascoli Piceno. The meeting took place on Zoom and was divided into five thematic tables as follows: How to build partnerships based on trust and common values for systemic change, not limited to individual projects? How to manage the balance between leadership/ownership of the participation process? How to obtain economic resources to start and ensure sustainability over time? And also, Co-design and business: how can the corporate sector play a central role in sustainability and the common good?
The goal of the meeting, as emphasized by the event’s organizers, was to gather shared testimonies in order to create a community of best practices capable of advocating at the national and international levels. Best practices that, starting from the local context, can become both universal and repeatable models.
Therefore, co-design plays a fundamental role and requires co-programming. “Co-programming facilitated by mechanisms, such as the Agenda 2030, thinking about staying in the processes of local development and considering that the relationship between costs and results is a false problem,” explained Fulvio Vincenzo of the Legislative Table of the Third Sector Forum.
Some of the most interesting best practices in the national landscape were then analyzed, experiences that highlighted “the importance of a territorial welfare where the public necessarily needs the Third Sector,” as recalled by Lorenzo Guerra, president of the Consorzio Consolida Lecco, with the role of organizations increasingly perfecting their project implementation.
The meeting also revealed the problems largely due to the effects of the pandemic, but also the capacity and vision to rethink the Third Sector with a different, circular economy. “There cannot be co-design if there is competition, and social enterprises cannot apply business economy models. The vocation of the Third Sector is unequivocal,” explained Carola Carazzone, Secretary General of Assifero.
Pursuing the common good has a specific direction: “Today, the Third Sector has the task of breaking out of its closed enclosures; rather, it is called to experiment with a new economic thought based on social cohesion, the exchange of know-how, research, and knowledge,” emphasized Gaetano Giunta, president of the Community Foundation of Messina. “We proclaim ourselves bearers of universal values and then compete over sponsorships, who takes the best designer, fundraising, but our ultimate goal is to pursue the good of a community,” added Maria Chiara Roti, General Director of the Ronald McDonald Foundation for Children in Italy.
“I think of an alliance of meaning, with different subjects, networks that bring together large and small associations, intellectuals, authentic bonds,” added Raffaela Milano, Director of Italy-Europe Programs at Save the Children. The fundamental role of Community Foundations was then highlighted, which from North to South of the country renew and effectively regenerate the role of the Third Sector. Because together, they can propose models of co-design and co-programming in a relationship of mutual trust. Thus, the Third Sector will have a single North Star to navigate together. Beyond the individual project.