NPO Funding in Italy: The Role and the Contribution of Corporate Governance

  •  Patrizia Gazzola    
  •  Stefano Amelio    
  •  Daniele Grechi    
  •  Fragkoulis Papagiannis    


By adopting mainly the “principal-agent theory”, the study analyses how non-profit organizations (NPOs) corporate governance structure could increase the trust of the donors and therefore affect their ability to receive donations from taxpayers. Starting from a literature review we concentrated our attention on the non-profit sector where NGOs represent the largest category. In Italy, starting from 2006, all NPOs could receive funding deriving from taxes paid by citizens when making tax returns with the so called ‘5 per thousand’ of the personal income tax. We analyzed the corporate governance disclosure practices of the first Italian 100 NPOs that received the highest donations from 5 per thousand. In particular, we elaborated a CGI index that includes governance and informativeness. This paper shows how an efficient and transparent corporate governance structure motivates the donors to donate 5 per thousand to NPOs that demonstrate good corporate governance. The findings suggest that taxpayers are inclined to allocate 5 per thousand to organizations where the information level, from a governance point of view, is high, easily available and clear about the purpose in the specified field of research.

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