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  • International Fundraising

Valerio Melandri

Personal Statement

I have always gone against the tide: after my graduation, I left a safe place in the Italian for -profit sector to accept the gamble of a position in the non-profit world. I left for the United States and applied for a scholarship. There, I met the huge world of American nonprofits and the small niche of fundraising. I stayed in New York for three years. I returned to Italy in order to import and nurture a completely innovative culture of fundraising. I began the Fundraising Department (with a study Research Center, a Master in Fundraising and a Consultant company) at the University of Bologna. The world of fundraising has changed a lot since then, but its experts still face the difficulties of the profession, the customers' demands, the donors’ expectations of transparency and accountability, and an oligopolistic labor market. It's a difficult, but wonderful challenge.


Valerio Melandri is a consultant, trainer, and educator in fundraising. He is a professor at the University of Bologna, teaching The Principles and Techniques of Fundraising at the Faculty of Economics in Forlì, and is director of the Masters program in Fundraising at the University of Bologna.

Melandri was a pioneer, the first professor to have taught the discipline of fundraising in a degree program at an Italian university. He is one of the leading authorities in the field of Italian fundraising. He is the founder and president of the Philanthropy Research Centre, a center for research, training, and consultancy based at the Faculty of Economics in Forlì (University of Bologna). He has published various books on philanthropy and is the creator and promoter of the first Italian internet portal and blog on fundraising.

Since 2013, he has been a Visiting Professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) teaching International Principles and Techniques of Fundraising. He was a member of the editorial board of the monthly journal Third Sector - Il Sole 24 Ore and has been included in the monthly journal Class as one of the 200 most influential young Italians in the country. Melandri is chairman of the organizing committee for the Fundraising Festival, the largest Italian event on fundraising and among the most attended in the world. He carries out consultancy and training in Italy and abroad, with organizations of all types (environmental protection, culture, religion, health, cooperation, sports, and more) and sizes (from small Italian nonprofit organizations to large international ones).

He has participated in over 40 national and international conferences over the past year, presenting in Italian or English.