During the last decade the Italian third sector has been affected by major changes that can be grouped as internal ones, to do with organizational and cultural trends, and external ones, related to variations in the institutional scenario, particularly the legislative agenda, to social transformation, and to collective meaning attribution processes. A further type of change can be detected in the social relationships forming within thirdsector organizations and the inter-generational exchanges taking place within them. The data emerging from ISTAT’s Census on Non-Profit Institutions point to some (mainly meso-level) changes in social organization and provide a basis for ad hoc processing to highlight inter-generationality as a distinctive trait of the third sector in Italy. The availability of such a large database has made it possible to document in detail some peculiarities of Italian third-sector organizations and highlight some trends that have emerged in the last ten years.
Keywords: Third Sector; Social Partnership; Intergenerational Relation; Social Services; Social Policies