07 / 1993
MAG 4 was founded in 1987 by nonviolent-pacifist groups and social solidarity organizations in Piedmont (Northern Italy). A turning point in the life of the cooperative was 1990, when the MAG decided to employ one full time member of staff, who has actively helped build and consolidate. activities Today it employes 4 full time people (on a salary of around 1 million Lire, around 670 US $). All of them have participated and continue to take part in training courses. It also does external consultancy work.
It has a social fund of 87 million Lire (around 58,000 US $)and a savings fund of 1.500 million Lire (around 1 million US $). MAG 4 has more than 500 members. They are encouraged to participate in the decision making process, to visit the MAG’s secretariat and to take part in the Board of Directors’ meetings. Members also receive a regular newsletter and a review with a specific section on MAG activities. Until now, all MAG 4 profits have<come from interest on loans. Organizations receiving MAG financial support are mainly active in the fields of peace and environmental work and social solidarity. In principle there is no quantitative limit to the amount of money that can be lent to a member cooperative, but loans are always carefully discussed and cooperatives must provide guarantees of repayment. MAG staff always check up on the quality of the projects, labour implications and intentions before accepting a request for financing. This information is collected on the basis of comments by other members and organizations running similar activities.
MAG 4 is generally positive, even if funds and staff are still considered unsufficient. In addition, it wants to offer more services to its members and to integrate the financing scheme and consultancy work. There has been turnover in the coordination group but the cooperative is still managing to persue its original objectives.
Translated by Alessio Surian
DAVICO, Luca, IRED NORD, 1993 (ITALY)
IRED NORD (Innovations et Réseaux pour le Développement) - Via Tacito 10. 00193 ROMA. ITALIA. Tel (19)39 6 320 78 49. Fax (19)39 6 320 81 55. E-mail email@example.com - www.ired.org