The restoration and fundraising project for Sant’Agata in the Carmine was given The Italian Heritage Award 2013 International Prize for the Promotion of Cultural Heritage in the category “Award for knowledge, protection and management of architectural heritage”. The project concerns the church of Sant’Agata in the Carmine, one of the most important religious buildings of Bergamo Alta.Its condition had become critical due to subsidence, excavations and external influences such as dampness coming from the deteriorating roof and from the ground. The eighteenth-century architecture also needed restoration and a general upgrading of all its facilities.
The financial contribution required was substantial but sustainable thanks to a modern formula of fundraising and community involvement. The fundraising program enticed some very important sponsors to donate generously who benefitted from an operation of both institutional communication and mass media. The installation of large panels on the outside facade disclosing the cost of the initiative and the sponsors involved gave them public recognition and offered the ordinary people an opportunity to also support the project.
Furthermore a series of internal panels gave more information concerning the philosophy of the project, the characteristics of the restoration and the economic plan. The fundraising formula is designed to progressively create visibility,to reward the sponsors and to attract new contributions. In fact the sponsors of the first phase were joined by other sponsors at a later phase. Other than traditional sponsorship fundraising formulas we organized initiatives that allowed community involvement and added to the contributions. For example, the initiative “Adopt a chapel” has co-involved associations, companies or private interests in commissioning the restoration of one of the side chapels.