Angela Greco

Original language of the article: German

Who is Angela Greco: How would you describe yourself?

I pursue my work with enthusiasm. As an environmentally conscious global citizen, I want to contribute to making our society more inclusive and resilient. I am a big city person, but love to retreat to nature. My greatest passions: classical and art music, avant-garde theater, opera, travel, modern and contemporary art, literature and tennis.

What were your most important career stages?

The experience of studying on exchange at UC Berkeley, during my first years of study at the Luigi Bocconi University of Economics in Milan, taught me the importance of knowledge and how indispensable independent and responsible thinking is if one wants to make a significant contribution. I am grateful to the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean for providing me with a solid knowledge of the region's economy and for helping me develop the theoretical framework for my field research on the suicide of Guarani-Kaiowá children in Mato Grosso do Sul. As a doctoral student in economic sociology, I then returned to academia in North America and was able to devote my time at York University to the more intellectual aspects of university research and its direct application to economics and society. It was in this context that I began to explore social impact, ethical finance, and social economics, no longer just as an academic but as a consultant.

Today you are head of philanthropy at the Fondazione Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana. What exactly are your responsibilities and what projects are you working on?

I am responsible for catalyzing the philanthropic potential of the Conservatory of Italian Switzerland (Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana). My external contacts are physical persons (mainly major donors), third party institutions (mainly funding foundations) and companies. Each contact has specificities in terms of demands, priorities, etc., and I strive to bring our strategic planning into optimal harmony with each specific interest. This approach guarantees a high degree of sustainability and mutual satisfaction, as both our foundation and each contact find the elements within the partnership that meet their own institutional needs. For example, numerous institutions and various patrons work with us to provide financial support for our students' education. This is done through our solidarity funds (one was set up at the beginning of the pandemic, the other supports students and children who have fled to Ticino as a result of the war in Ukraine), through scholarships and, more recently, through a program called "Patronage Artistico" (student sponsorship), whereby a patron "adopts and accompanies" a highly talented young musician with no financial means throughout his or her education at our Conservatory. This allows them to concentrate fully on their studies and preparation for prestigious international competitions without having to rely on odd jobs to finance their studies. Other stakeholders help us maintain, manage, and develop the Conservatory's instrument inventory. Finally, the Philanthropy Department is actively engaged at the local, national and international levels in strengthening and developing philanthropic support for the innovative project "La Città della Musica" (The City of Music), which is dedicated to musical education, research and production and within which our Foundation, together with the Orchestra della Svizzera italiana, the Ensemble I Barocchisti and the Phonotheque, will have a new home. The aim of the project is to promote collaboration between these organizations and synergies with the local community, and to make musical culture and its impact ever more widespread in economic and social terms.

What characteristics do you think make a grantmaking foundation a good partner for a beneficiary? What kind of support should it provide and how?


From a systemic point of view, a grant-making foundation is a good partner for the beneficiary if it has a comprehensive knowledge of the context in which it operates and wishes to optimize the social impact of the partnerships in which it is involved. In such a context, the grantmaking foundation succeeds in selecting reliable and innovative partners with whom it can achieve its established objectives. In this way, both the funding foundation and the beneficiaries can strengthen their respective institutional development and, if possible, together renew the system in which they operate.
We have had significant experience in this regard. It is precisely the collaboration with the foundations that has allowed us, for example, to launch the Solidarity Fund already mentioned and to raise more than 550,000 CHF within two years, thus cushioning the impact of the pandemic on the financial situation of some of our students.

On the other hand, what makes a patron a "good patron"?

In contrast to the sponsoring foundation, the patron is also guided by the subjectivity of his emotions, desires, expectations and possible past experiences. The "good patron" is able to strike a balance between his own subjectivity and the goals of the project he wishes to support. Networks between philanthropists are therefore instrumental in making this individual balance systemic and sustainable over time.
Therefore, on October 20, 2022, the Philanthropy Division will organize the first Forum of Strategic Philanthropy for the Arts, with UBS as the main partner. The aim of the Forum is to present the most significant national and international projects with responsible, visionary and successful synergies that have found sustainable solutions to socio-economic and artistic problems and have been able to bring about lasting improvement. A day behind closed doors, where some of the most distinguished Swiss and international philanthropists are invited to reflect together and share methods of success.

What do you think is the importance of the practice of writing a final report on the impact of funded projects?

Impact monitoring is becoming increasingly important, and thus the preparation of a comprehensive report is, in my view, an indispensable element for optimal cooperation with the funding partner, but beyond that also a valuable measure for self-monitoring.

The interview was conducted by Dr. Dr. Elisa Bortoluzzi Dubach. She is a foundation and sponsorship consultant, author of "Stiftungen- Der Leitfaden für Antragsteller" (Foundations - The Applicant's Guide) and a lecturer(www.elisabortoluzzi.com).

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