The survey, Third Sector driving force for a better society

The results of the research carried out by Walden Lab-Eumetra for the Solidarity Testament Committee

the Third Sector is the only entity that the majority of Italians (almost two thirds) see as concretely engaged in building a better society. In particular, it is the Non-Profit organisations, 63% of which have done the most; followed by SMEs (47%), citizens as a civic body (43%), Europe (37%) and then the Church, local administrations and mass media, all tied at 33%. This is what emerges from the survey ‘The perception of the changes of the last 10 years and the orientation towards charitable donations and bequests’ carried out by Walden Lab-Eumetra for the Solidarity Testament Committee on a representative sample of Italians aged 25+ (approximately 46.5 million, based on Istat data).

What does it take to make society better? For 88% of Italians, compliance with laws and rules is needed, followed by commitment to doing one’s job well (84%) and environmental (82%), social (80%) and cultural (78%) commitment. ) understood as forms of volunteering. Not only that: it is necessary to support a good cause through a charitable bequest (69%) or a generic monetary donation (66%). Political commitment stands at 56%, as a form of commitment to improving society. Almost 3 out of 10 Italians (28%) made a donation to a non-profit organization between January and May 2023, with a decrease of 10 points compared to 2022 (when the emergency appeals for the war in Ukraine had probably had an impact) but in line with 2020/2021 data. The average donation remains rather high (106 euros vs 118 in 2022 and 90 in 2021).

21% of the sample of over 50s, or 5.5 million Italians, have already planned a solidarity legacy or are inclined to do so, while the undecided ones increase (35% vs 27 in 2022) and the unfavorable ones remain stable (45%) . The family is the great protagonist of the choice: 7 out of 10 Italians would involve their closest relatives in the choice (64% in 2022) and only 16% declare that they would make this decision alone. Even among those who do not think of making a charitable bequest, rather than selfishness, the deterrent is the uncertainty of the future: 32% fear taking away resources from the future of the heirs and 28% are worried about the job insecurity of children and nephews.

“In Italy, compared to other countries in the world, a smaller percentage of people make a will. In particular, only a minority, 5 and a half million people, declare that they have foreseen a solidarity bequest in their will or that they are inclined to do so – declares Rossano Bartoli, spokesperson of the Solidarity Testament Committee and president of the Lega del Filo d’Oro – Yet something is moving, we are witnessing a real cultural change and we can say that the generosity of Italians has not stopped even in the face of the events of the last 10 years, during which the Committee has accompanied public opinion in a path of knowledge and awareness on the instrument of solidarity bequest, of which we see the fruits today. The campaigns we promoted have broken up ground that initially seemed more ‘refractory’, we can say this with satisfaction when looking at the past decade. As for the future, we are aware that there is still work to be done, to overcome some prejudices and increasingly spread the culture of solidarity and legacy”.

In fact, the data speaks of an increase in awareness about legacies: in 2023, 82% of over 50s know what they are and have heard of them (vs 79% in 2022 and 73% in 2021). Information and awareness campaigns are promoted: 72% of those interviewed consider the communications seen on the topic to be positive, which improve knowledge and the image of the solidarity legacy (69%) and increase the propensity to do so (65%). As Bartoli recalls, there is still work to be done, however, in this sense, since there remains some prejudices to be dispelled: it is believed that those who have no direct heirs could decide to make a bequest (51% vs 48 in 2022) and those has large assets (43%, stable figure). Only 18% of over 50s (less than 1 in 5) think that a charitable bequest can be made by anyone.