Operating and financial data



From the Twenty-fourth Annual Report, it emerges that at the end of 2018, the accounting assets of the Foundations of banking origin amounted to 39.6 billion euros and represented 87% of the balance sheet liabilities. Due to the negative trend in stock market prices, the composition of assets, which at the same date amounted to 45.7 billion euros, slightly decreased in comparison with the one recorded in 2017 (equal to 46.1 billion), since the total assets is composed for 94.1% from financial assets and only for 4.9% from movable and immovable property. On the other hand, in the area of ​​financial assets, fixed assets increased, going from 62.3% to 65.3% of assets, which brought to a reduction in the portion of instruments not immobilized from 28.3% in 2017 to 25.3%.

From an economic point of view, last year it recorded a decrease in income, which reached the amount of 1.1 billion euros with a reduction of 48 % compared to the amount of 2.1 billion recorded in the previous year, as a result of the unfavorable market trend, especially in the last half of the year. The erratic nature of the markets, in fact, reflected both on the results of asset management, down by 201 million euros, compared to 2017, and on the margins deriving from the direct management of financial instruments, which during the year recorded a reduction of 477,1 million euro, due to the write-downs of the trading instruments for which the Foundations did not consider using the law number 119 of 2018 that allowed to "sterilize" the impact on the balances of stock market dips.

Overall, in 2018, the Foundations recorded a gross return on equity of 2.7%, a significant reduction compared to 5.3% in the previous year. The reduced profitability had a negative effect on the Business surplus which was equal to 574.7 million euro, significantly lower than the previous year, equivalent to 1.477 billion (-61.1%), with a consequent reduction in its incidence on total income was 53.1%, compared to 70.7% in 2017.

Despite the decline in the operating surplus, due exclusively to the write-downs connected to the negative performance of the markets, the tax burden remained high also last year. Although it did not reach the peak of 487 million euros in 2017, the taxes and fees paid in 2018 amounted to 240.8 million, which, added to the taxes that the Foundations pay at source, reach an effective tax burden of 323 million euros. Fees thus "consume" more than a third (36%) of the gross operating surplus and continue to constitute the "first sector" of the Foundations' intervention, absorbing a much higher amount of resources than those, equal to 255,9 million euros for Art, Activities and Cultural Heritage.

In relation to the allocation of the Business surplus, from the financial statements of the Foundations which recorded a positive surplus, it emerges that they set aside € 214.7 million in equity reserves (including the coverage of previous deficits). The number is lower compared to € 474 million in 2017, and have allocated 596.7 million to the funds for the disbursement activity, with a decrease in the year of 45% compared to 2017.

The disbursement activity (the resolutions taken) in 2018 amounted to 1,024.6 million euro (including the provisions for special funds for volunteering pursuant to article 62 of Legislative Decree No. 117 of 2017), which is increasing 4.1% compared to 984.6 million in 2017, which corresponds to a 2.6% disbursement rate on the average assets of all the Foundations. A similar trend was also seen in the number of initiatives funded, amounting to 20,153 interventions, up by 1.1%. The aggregate of approved disbursements does not follow the same trend as the year surplus, which decreased and amounted to 574.7 million euro, as the disbursement activity was supported by the use, in anti-cyclical function, of the availability of disbursement stabilization funds.

With regard to the distribution of disbursements by sector of intervention, in 2018 the Art, Activities and Cultural Assets sector is still the one that absorbs most of the resources, moreover in growth compared to 2017, with 255.9 million euros (equal to 25 % of the amounts paid) and 7,378 interventions (corresponding to 36.6% of the total number).

The Research and Development sector follows, albeit at a certain distance, with payments totalling 140.5 million euros and 1,214 interventions (13.7% of the amounts and 6% of the number of initiatives). Then it comes the Voluntary Sector, Philanthropy and Charity, to which resources amounting to 129.8 million euros have been allocated, financing 2,201 initiatives (equal, respectively, to 12.7% of the amounts and 10.9% of the number of interventions).

The sector Social assistance, although down compared to 2017, with 115.5 million euros and 1,948 interventions (11.3% of the amounts and 9.7% of the interventions), constitutes the fourth sector of intervention.

The sectors with the highest vocation of intervention are Education, Education and Training, ranking fifth, with 100.4 million euros disbursed (9.8%) and 3,427 interventions (17%). Then local Development, grew compared to the previous year, with 83 million euros and 1,696 projects (8.1% of the amounts and 8.4% of the projects) and, finally, the Public Health sector which, receiving 46 million euros (4 , 5%) for 818 interventions (4.1%), shows a slight reduction (-0.8%) compared to 2017. The other sectors collectively collect just 3.3% of the disbursements.

The Fund for combating child educational poverty deserves separate consideration. In 2018, in terms of resources allocated weighs 11.7% on the total of the resolutions, which is not considered in the previous ranking since it is a national project  with relevant profiles for various sectors such as Education, Education and Training, Social Assistance, Volunteering, Philanthropy and Charity and Family and Connected Values, which have led to a specific survey.

In the first three years of activity, the Fund, through the social enterprise Con I Bambini, the implementing entity identified by Acri, has allocated grants for 213 million euros to support 271 projects within three national calls for tenders divided by age group of the minors of which: 80 projects related to the "Early Childhood", aimed at children from 0 to 5 years, with a loan of 62.2 million euro; 86 projects concerning the "Adolescence", referring to children aged 11 to 17 who received 73.4 million euros; 83 projects pertaining to the third call for tenders called "New generations" and aimed at the 5 -14 age group, funded with 66 million euro. In addition to these calls for proposals, there is the financing, for 2.6 million euro, of projects in the earthquake-stricken areas of Central Italy and the implementation of 19 joint initiatives co-financed with other private entities for which an amount of 9, 1 million euros was allocated.



The welfare - which includes the social assistance, public health and voluntary work sectors - received a total of 291.3 million euros; resources to which must be added 119.7 million euro specifically addressed in 2018 by 72 Foundations associated with Acri to the Fund for combating child educational poverty. The overall share for welfare thus reaches 411 million: over 40% of total disbursements. 




Among the projects that the Foundations share with other financial organisations a particular emphasis has been laid, during the last few years, on those realised in conjunction with other Foundations of banking origin, within a vista of a system of operations that are coordinated and developed with a long-term view. These projects can come directly from the Foundations which decide to “form a consortium” among themselves or they can be born in Acri environment. These are wide-ranging projects, often of national importance, in which the "common" approach presents itself as an essential success factor. On the one hand it allows the use of a common professional factor developed by the individual Foundations within their own local territories, while on the other it encourages an increase in project efficiency and rationalisation. When the same projects are carried out separately by a number of different organisations there could be a risk of fragmentation or duplication and the loss of useful information, while shared planning allows the synchronised direction of strengths which therefore must have a greater impact. 

A short list, obviously not exhaustive: the Fondo Nazionale Iniziative Comuni for emergency interventions following natural disasters; Funder35 for the strengthening of the organisational and management skills of youth cultural enterprises; Foundazioni for Africa - Burkina Faso, for the promotion of local development in some regions of the African country; Young Investigator Training Program, for the support of young Italian researchers residing abroad or foreigners to carry out training sessions at Italian research institutes; Green Jobs, to spread environmental awareness in schools and among young people as an opportunity to develop new professions; Per aspera ad astra, which intends to extend on a national scale the thirty-year experience of theatre in prison by the Compagnia della Fortezza in Volterra.




[1] Foundations are grouped by net assets in five quintiles: large Foundations (net assets from €439 million and up); medium-large Foundations (net assets between €205 million and €439 million); medium Foundations (net assets from €94 million to €205 million); medium-small Foundations (net assets between €48 million and €94 million); small Foundations (net assets up to €48 million). 


[2]A waiver introduced in 2003 (art.4 Law no.143/2003 converted into Law no.212/2003 which substituted para.3 of art.25 of legislative law no.153/99 

[3]This report is based on a numerator of the total revenues, and a denominator of the average asset value, at the book value shown at the beginning and at the end of the financial year.


[4]Legislative Decree no. 153 of 17/5/1999, article 1, paragraph 1c: Family and related values; Education, learning and training, including the purchase of publishing products for schools; Voluntary activities, philanthropy and charity; Religion and spiritual development; Assistance to the elderly; Civil rights; Crime prevention and public safety; Food safety and quality agriculture; Local development and low income housing; Consumer protection; Civil protection, Public health; Preventive and rehabilitative medicine; Sports activities; Addiction prevention and recovery; Psychological and mental pathologies and disorders; Scientific and technological research; Environmental protection and quality; Art, cultural activities and heritage. To this we add public utility works and infrastructure growth following Legislative Decree no. 163 of 12/4/2006, article 153, paragraph 2 and article 172, paragraph 6. 

[5]For multi-year projects, reference was made to the amounts attributable to the fiscal year.