The commitment to playing a leading role in the social and cultural growth of the community to which it belongs led Intesa Sanpaolo to build up its tools and initiatives in favour of Third sector organizations, called upon to overcome the increasing difficulties that public entities must face in order to provide citizens with adequate services.
Within the Group, Banca Prossima is the bank with the mission of serving lay and religious non-profit organisations, with a specific service model, products and consulting services dedicated to this type of customer. The Bank has developed a ratingmodel of social businesses that integrates the traditional methods of bank analysis with important elements for the non-profit organizations, such as the ability to fund raising, success in projects funded by Public bodies and Foundations. In this way, we assess clients on elements of debt sustainability and social projects, that also take into account the peculiarities of the non-profit world and of its specific "intangible asset". In November 2016, Banca Prossima was awarded Certified Benefit Corporation (B-Corp) certification, demonstrating the benefits it has generated for the community.
In order to help non-profit organizations to find funding for their projects, Banca Prossima launched in 2011 Terzo Valore, a crowdfunding portal which allows anyone to lend money or to fund non-profit organisation projects directly, without intermediaries and with principal repayment guaranteed by the Bank. So far Terzo Valore supported 86 projects with credit granted by external subscribers for about 7.3 million euros and more than 1.4 million euros in donations. (https://www.terzovalore.com/terzovalore/ )
To support the achievement of social enterprise ideas by encouraging, also through self-employment, access to the labour market for university students, Fondazione San Patrignano, in collaboration with Banca Prossima, launched the Social Start Up Award "Giovani idee per il social business" (Young ideas for social business). It is a competition of ideas, dedicated to university students and young people enrolled in a master's program or a PhD (under 35 years of age), that aims at rewarding the best three social business projects, with a dedicated funding guaranteed by a fund set up in 2013 by the Foundation. Through this initiative, the Foundation and the Bank intend to boost a business culture able to work in the social sphere, serving marginalized or excluded people, while tackling the market to ensure a real economic sustainability. In February 2016 the 3rd edition was launched.
The most significant partnerships with the Third sector include: Consorzio SPIN-Sport Insieme, a non-profit entity deriving from the collaboration with the leading Sports Promotion Entities at national level (ACSI, AICS, ASI, CSI, ENDAS, LIBERTAS, PGS, UISP, USACLI) to build, renovate or adapt sports facilities, to promote sports activities in Italy. The SPIN credit access model is innovative: the association takes on the risk by investing its own capital (minimum 20% of the amount) and undertakes a project study and analysis process together with the Consorzio. Banca Prossima’s credit decisions are supported by SPIN’s certification, which investigates some aspects, such as the investment’s economic and financial sustainability, the cost adequacy and the necessary authorization process, which are key factors for the success of the project. In 2016 30 projects were evaluated for a total amount of about 23 milion euro and 24 were financed, for about 13 million euro.
In many of the initiatives launched, collaboration with VoBIS (Volontari Bancari per le Iniziative Sociali), a national non-profit association of former bank employees who put their competences at the service of citizens and non-profit organisations, proved to be particularly valuable.