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Financing Museums: Towards Alternative Solutions? Evidence from Italy

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Management, Participation and Entrepreneurship in the Cultural and Creative Sector

Abstract

In recent years museums are experiencing the progressive decline in the public and governmental funding as a consequence of the recent crisis. Museums are currently competing for innovative forms of funding in order to attract new sources of financing like sponsorships and donations. In this perspective, the aim of this paper is to analyse new approaches to museum financing and fundraising in context, like continental Europe, characterised by high levels of competition and the decrease in public policies and funds. The research adopts a cross-case analysis focused on a group of 40 Italian State museums.

The research confirms that the financing of museums is based on the prevalence of the public contributions, however, a growing role appears to be played by self-generated revenue. Indeed, the Italian State museums are currently far removed from sufficient fundraising and they need to innovate to achieve this goal developing appropriate marketing and communication strategies.

An innovative financing model for a museum needs to be based on public funds, self-generated revenue and fundraising. In this perspective, managers need to work more diligently to develop fundraising strategies that can support the museum financing.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities (in Italian, Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali, MiBAC) is the culture ministry of the Italian Republic.

  2. 2.

    New directors were announced between 2015 and 2017 after an international headhunt. The group is now composed of 14 women and 18 men, including seven foreigners from the EU (three German, two Austrian, one British, one French).

  3. 3.

    The Istituto Nazionale di Statistica (ISTAT; in English, Italian National Institute of Statistics), a public research organisation, is the main producer of official statistics in Italy.

  4. 4.

    It should be noted that, among independent museums under the control of Direzione Generale Musei, there is also the Fondazione per la conservazione e il restuaro dei beni culturali La Venaria Reale. However, this institution was excluded from the analysis because it is not a museum but an institute for advanced training and research in the field of conservation and the restoration of cultural heritage.

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Correspondence to Alberto Romolini .

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Romolini, A., Fissi, S., Gori, E., Contri, M. (2020). Financing Museums: Towards Alternative Solutions? Evidence from Italy. In: Piber, M. (eds) Management, Participation and Entrepreneurship in the Cultural and Creative Sector. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-46796-8_2

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