What does it mean for nonprofit organizations to contribute to local development? The article analyzes three different cases: third sector involvement in urban policies as a way of integrating physical intervention and social quality in some neighbourhoods in Turin; social cooperation as a tool to transform the fight against organized crime (confiscation of assets from the Mafia in Sicily) into opportunities for economic and civic development; community social enterprise as an innovative solution to ensure economically and environmentally sustainable energy production in a Trentino valley. The author argues that there is a double link between nonprofit organizations and a local territory: the support from the local context for social entrepreneurship and the cooperatives contribute to the quality of life in a given area. A mix of inclusion, activation, innovation is the basis of solidarity strategies for the sustainable development of local societies.
Keywords: Nonprofit, development, sustainability, social quality, participation, community