In the effort to understand the dynamics of evolution of the nonprofit sector in Italy, the author examine changes in the structural foms of the ONP during the 1990s. An analysis of this process suggests that the Italian nonprofit sector has undoubtedly grown in the last years to unprecedented proportions. However, the contribution of the ONP has not brought with it any real reform of the national welfare system, because the ONP tended to assumed a form similar to that of the traditional public organizations. This has happened because the sector’s regulatory framework has not been designed to exploit the potentialities and the performance of the ONP to the full. It is consequently necessary to resume incisive discussion of the underlying reasons for a more appropriate development of the nonprofit sector.