The world of Italian foundations has undergone a phase of rapid change since the beginning of the 1990s. This chapter examines the current situation taking into account the main trends identified by some of the principal observers (Barbetta and Demarie (2001), AA.VV (2002)),1 which include:
• the spread of a model for foundations that distinguishes the form very little from other non-profit organizations. The form is being adopted more and more by a series of non-profit organizations;
• the formation of a nucleus of grant-making foundations (previously almost non-existent on the Italian scene) based on large sums of capital as a result of the privatization of the public sector banking system;
• the choice of the legal status of foundation as a tool to privatize a number of public sector organizations, principally in the fields of culture and social services.