KeywordsTransparency; Accountability; Non Profit Organization; Sustainability Report
Economic theory. Demography
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AbstractThe aim of the paper is to evaluate the accountability and transparency of Italian non profits organizations. The main goal is to understand if a general accountability or transparency problem, or a systematic publicity deficit, exist in the third sector in Italy. Non profit organizations have an ethical obligation to their stakeholder and to the public to conduct their activities with accountability and transparency. Non profit organizations should regularly and openly convey information to the stakeholder about their vision, mission, objectives, activities, accomplishments, decision-making processes and organizational structure. Information from a non profit organization should be easily accessible to the stakeholder and should create external visibility, public understanding and trust in the organization, conditions necessary to find donors. Non profit organizations work with communities and community donors need to know how their money is used. In the first part the analysis of the definition of transparency and accountability is made and the sustainability report like an important instrument of communication is considered. In the second part an empirical research is presented. The Italian law allows taxpayers to devote 5 per thousand of their income tax to non profit organizations, choosing between charities, social promotion associations, recognized associations, entities dedicated to scientific research and health care, universities, municipal social services and other non profit organizations. The present study present a quantitative research and it’s based on an empirical analysis of non-profit organizations that receive this donation in Italy in the year 2010 and 2011. In the paper we analyze the transparency and the accountability of the top 100 non profit organizations that have received the contribution of 5 per thousand, checking whether they prepare their Sustainability Report or any other kind of report for communicate the use of funds received. The new research was based on one previous research (Gazzola and Ratti, 2013) but we compared the data of the year 2010 with the date of 2011. Statistical method is applied for the purpose of this study. The analysis on the transparency and accountability in non profit organizations clearly requires further study, yet the results obtained in this study allow us to offer various reflections and encourages us to continue in this research because non profit organizations must increase their transparency.