Key Points

Foundations are commonly recognized as having a comparative advantage in supporting forward-looking projects and programs. In this sense, the long term represents the natural horizon in which the foundations are called to fulfill their mission to plan and develop philanthropic activities and, therefore, the time reference for assessing results.

When a mission is focused more on improving the quality of life in a specific community than on addressing a specific social problem, evaluation of outcomes becomes more challenging. While available methods can provide valuable support to measuring the impact of a foundation’s specific program, they are unlikely to provide an overview of the outcomes of a multitude of projects financed over time.

This article presents the case of an Italian foundation committed to developing a tailored approach to evaluating the durable benefits of its local philanthropic activity.

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