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Handbook on the Economics of Reciprocity and Social Enterprise

Handbook on the Economics of Reciprocity and Social Enterprise

Elgar original reference

Edited by Luigino Bruni and Stefano Zamagni

The recent era of economic turbulence has generated a growing enthusiasm for an increase in new and original economic insights based around the concepts of reciprocity and social enterprise. This stimulating and thought-provoking Handbook not only encourages and supports this growth, but also emphasises and expands upon new topics and issues within the economics discourse.

Chapter 16: From arts patronage to cultural philanthropy: collaborating with granting foundations

Elisa Bortoluzzi Dubach and Pier Luigi Sacco

Subjects: economics and finance, behavioural and experimental economics, economic psychology, public sector economics, politics and public policy, social entrepreneurship, social policy and sociology, economics of social policy


Miguel de Unamuno y Yugo, a great thinker and rector of the University of Salamanca, once wrote: ‘Only by aiming for the unattainable can the attainable be achieved. Only if one’s goal is impossible can the possible be achieved.’ The choice of this particular quotation as an incipit for this chapter is not incidental. Foundations and nonprofit associations worldwide put themselves on the line each and every day as they strive to support, manage and promote cultural and social activities whose goals are to change the lives of those who may benefit from them. Although the purposes and funding methods quite often differ – from subsidies to grants, from capital expenditures to microloans – what these bodies all have in common is an unassailable determination and passion for giving both time and themselves to achieve pro-social goals. It is to all these realities that this chapter is dedicated, its aim being to stimulate dialogue and allow anyone who so wishes to discover the fascinating world of foundations, to explore their strategies and practices, and thus provide a simplified description of their decision-making and operational logic to the advantage of aspiring grant-seekers. This chapter has therefore to be taken as a short guide to successful application to grant-making foundations for the cultural practitioners.

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