In the light of the stakeholder theory, stakeholders have a fundamental role in decision- making processes of non-profit organizations. Their participation in decisionmaking processes, in particular, in governing bodies and mission reporting is an essential element for effective and coherent organization management. The present study has exploratory nature and aims at understanding the levels of stakeholder engagement in the governance and mission reporting systems of the Italian banking foundations. Therefore, we carry out empirical research into these organizations, a particular kind of grant-giving foundations, with specific statutory obligations of attention towards their stakeholders, especially as far as the local communities and beneficiaries of contributions are concerned. Using content analysis, we study the annual reports for 2011 and statutes of the 88 Italian banking foundations, in order to verify the actual degree of stakeholder participation in governing and reporting bodies. Analysis of the results shows a tendency towards stakeholder management, rather than actual stakeholder engagement in decision-making processes. In the light of these considerations, we highlight the limits of the present study and suggest future research developments.
Keywords: Non-profit, Stakeholder Theory, Italian Banking Foundations, Governance, Reporting.