Relations between the voluntary associations and the Municipality of Milan are difficult, the bureaucracy that concerns them is confused and contradictory, but what was not thought is that the local police departments let themselves be influenced by the television services of Striscia la Notizia which, however pungent, funny and successful, they have nothing to do with investigations, nor with laws, nor with investigative journalism.
In fact, those services often lack insights, details and a global and complete vision of the facts. Almost all those in the “profession” are aware of this. Whoever is their victim and is at the center of their television broadcasts becomes even more aware of it. In fact, it is one thing to report a crime or a dangerous thing, such as drug dealing, another is to suppose and attribute crimes and illegal behaviors and pass them off as certain, especially when there is no law that supports the fact that it is a crime, whether criminal or administrative or of any other kind
Municipality, local police, who had carried out the kidnapping, and Striscia la Notizia, were wrong
This is what happened to the La Meta Association which in February 2021 won an appeal against the municipality of Milan, in this case against the local Milanese police. In 2018, during the television service of Striscia la Notizia, of which we link the video above for the sake of completeness, the La Meta association was accused of illegally selling objects and raising funds for solidarity purposes. After that service of Striscia la Notizia, the association had been denounced by the Local Police and the objects they were selling had been seized to raise funds to be spent on the charitable activities of the association itself.
The La Meta Onlus association, together with its members, asked the municipality for permission to occupy public land, which has always given it without difficulty because the documentation was in order, to place fundraising stalls in which they asked for offers. . The Meta non-profit association is responsible for delivering parcels from the food bank to poor families and providing assistance to prisoners. Shortly before the service ”of Striscia, the news had also organized a dinner for the homeless. “An activity that we have not continued due to the fuss raised by Striscia la Notizia” tells us the Neapolitan singer Carlo Smith, who is a partner of La Meta and who was also filmed during the service of Striscia la Notizia.
The fundraising followed the guidelines of the Lombardy Region for the sale of assets for solidarity purposes, which also makes it possible to determine the minimum of the free offer. Non-profit organizations can carry out commercial activities, but the judge ruled that in this case Meta did not carry out commercial activities. but only a fundraising with the sale of assets, authorized by the Municipality and that what was indicated in the request and in the permit for temporary occupation of public land was enough to determine the activity carried out by the association, which had therefore been authorized.
The important thing for charitable non-profit organizations is to respect the rules of work. That is, it must be clear that those who lend their work during charity sales do so as a volunteer, occasionally and that they have no obligations or contracts and do not receive a salary, but only a reimbursement of expenses.
The same applies to the regulation for the occupation of public land. Each association can raise funds for free, ie without paying the tax, for 15 days a year. If the association wants to occupy the land for more than 15 days more, it must pay the amount established by the municipal regulation. Furthermore, it is not determined how long an initiative must last, so the fundraising can, for example, last months. free period.
Meta won the appeal.
The judge established, in fact, that the non-profit organization met all the rules of fundraising sales and that the local police seized the goods on a day other than the one on which Striscia la Notizia made the television service. In short, there was no direct assessment and it was recognized that La Meta onlus was in its right to raise funds, even if they held numerous fundraising banquets during the year.
It was also disputed that the members of the association were traders, as their profession, and in the case of Carlo Smith, even that he was a singer, but the profession of a volunteer is not inherent in his activity as a volunteer for an ideal cause in which you think. The meta non-profit organization deals with assistance to the poor.
The amount that the Municipality of Milan was sentenced to pay is negligible, around 2000 euros. It will not weigh on the municipal budget. They are just over a thousand euros. However, this is not the point. The point is the methodology and the fact that they allowed themselves to be influenced, in applying laws and rules, by a television show. Now the Municipality has decided that voluntary associations can raise funds only 2 days a month and only areas predetermined by a specific municipal regulation. My source of information is the ruling on the appeal itself.
The Milanese non-profit organizations in difficulty for this choice
In Lombardy the law on voluntary associations says that they can finance themselves with public money (through agreements with municipalities, for public utility services) only up to 80% of their budget. For the remaining 20% of the expenses they incur they have to be financed by fundraisers, and other autonomous activities. If they’re not fundraising charity dinners, they’re fundraising banquets. It is unlikely that a voluntary association collects more than 1000 euros per initiative, especially in this period.
Without considering that in this way the Milanese associations will not be able to take full advantage of the free 15 days a year provided for by the cosap regulation, and that great competition will be created among the many Milanese associations to grab the places provided by the Municipality, the most large will have to find other methods of autonomous financing because fundraising on public roads will not be able to guarantee the proportionality of the budget. It is one of the difficulties caused to non-profit associations in this period.
Then there are the bureaucratic difficulties. From what Carlo Smith of the La Meta association told me, it is no longer possible to understand where to apply for permits for fundraising banquets in the central offices of Via Larga in Milan or in the decentralized ones of the municipalities? public officials and employees reprimand the problem, as they do when they are not clear about what they can or must do, and meanwhile the associations of the Municipality of Milan do not know what to do to continue presenting the documentation to carry out their activities.