The 2016 Intesa Sanpaolo Charity Fund Plan, approved by the last Supervisory Board meeting, confirmed the strategic focus on national and local projects with a significant social impact in favour of more vulnerable individuals, hit hardest by the economic crisis, with the objective of allocating over 80% of national contributions to this category. In 2016, this objective was widely met. Besides international initiatives for poorer countries, over 84% of national contributions were earmarked for vulnerable and weak categories (projects for the disabled, solidarity, social inclusion, to combat poverty, training and work for vulnerable people and healthcare initiatives in the field of research and assistance for sick people).

As for donations made at local level, managed by the Regional Departments of the Banca dei Territori Division, objectives were met (more than 60% of donations were made for projects for more vulnerable groups of the population), accounting for over 68% of the total, and increasing by over 3% compared to 2015.

Since April 2016, the Charity Fund has been directly managed by the Chairman of the Board of Directors and at the end of July new regulations were established with revised mechanisms to select organisations and proposed projects.

In particular, organisations involved in legal disputes, in matters concerning organised crime and that do not respect human rights, peaceful coexistence or environmental protection are excluded.

Projects are chosen if specific, with a clear social impact and the proven ability of organisations to achieve the objectives declared in the programme, in previous direct experience or for similar organisations. A rotation system was also introduced, to guarantee a broader and more flexible use of the Fund and, in particular, a maximum limit of three consecutive years' support for the same project, subject to the monitoring of achieved results.

To promote the aims of the Fund and facilitate the presentation of projects and access to applications, the Group's website includes a specific section on the Fund (which can be consulted in the Bank and Company area).

Support for communities affected by the earthquake in central Italy was particularly significant (donations to local authorities and associations to rebuild schools and deal with public emergencies; support for schools for safe classrooms and for canteen services, sharing a project with the Prosolidar solidarity foundation, for over 325,000 euro).

During the year, some projects receiving central donations were selected to evaluate their impact according to the London Benchmarking Group model; the results were presented in the “2016 Community Paper” published on the company's website [i]. The Community pages in the Sustainability section of the website are regularly updated, with case studies of social initiatives and the relative impact assessment.

Three-year international cooperation projects supported by the Fund were monitored and evaluated by CICOPS – the International Centre for Development Cooperation of Pavia University. This Centre evaluates the reporting produced every six months by organisations, certifies the progress of activities and results achieved in relation to objectives established at the start of projects and rates the degree of interaction of activities with the policies of host countries. Any deviations are reported to the organisations so they may plan necessary revision processes.