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A report on company giving shows poor support for the cultural sector but recommends ways to change this.


A new voluntary ‘Cultural Sponsoring Code’ has been signed to aid both sides in managing sponsorship.

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Poland/ 6. Financing of culture  

6.3 Trends and indicators for private cultural financing

In 2010, the Institute for Structural Research (Instutyt BadaƄ Strukturalnych – IBS) published a report on the economic value of the cultural and creative sectors in Poland. The report is the first overall overview of the situation and economic value of these sectors. According to the authors the value added of the cultural sector in 2008 equalled 17 626 million PLN (4 226.86 million EUR by the official EUR exchange rate provided by the National Bank of Poland: 1 EUR = 4.1724 PLN, 31st December 2008). The value added of the creative sector in the same year equalled 27 555 million PLN (6 607.91 million EUR). These amounts constituted 1.6% and 2.5% of Polish GDP respectively.

The report also provides more detailed data on both sectors, eg. value added by branches and per employee. It is available in Polish on the website:

The National Centre for Culture initiated (together with PKPP Lewiatan) the creation of the Cultural Sponsoring Code. The code has been officially signed by the Minister of Culture Bogdan Zdrojewski, CEO of Lewiatan - Lech Pilawski and President of Warsaw Stock Exchange Ludwik Sobolewski on 5 December 2011. The code is a set of rules for sponsoring cultural events for both sides. The code has no legal force, it acts only as guidance and its usage is completely voluntary.

The starting point for the Cultural Sponsoring Code was a report entitled "Sponsoring of Culture" prepared in December 2010 by TNS OBOP on the commission of the National Centre for Culture and PKPP Lewiantan. The research covered 401 cultural institutions of various types and from various regions (PAPI method) and 400 companies with over 10 employees (CATI method). From the summary of the report one can draw a conclusion that sponsoring in the field of culture is not a strongly rooted form of support in Poland. Out of the 400 questioned companies, only 126 supported cultural projects in 2009. Moreover, the level of support has not changed since 2007. Culture is not the main field of support within the sponsoring budgets of private entities. 63% of the companies declaring support to culture sponsored maximum 3 projects yearly. The amounts contributed to cultural activity are relatively low. In 2009, 40% of the entrepreneurs interviewed spent no more than 5 000 PLN on support to culture, 23% provided funds ranging from 5 000 PLN to 10 000 PLN, and only 4% of the respondents declared amounts between 50 000 PLN and 200 000 PLN. These amounts relate to the scale of supported projects – over 60% of them were at a local level. Moreover, the decrease in funds for supporting cultural projects in relation to the overall companies' sponsoring budgets is noticeable. The declarations concerning the future were moderate: over 30% of the companies interviewed did not plan to contribute financially to cultural projects in 2011 (50% of those were due to lack of funds in general).

Institutions, on the other hand, are strongly dependant on public financing, which influences the ability to obtain funds from other sources – both international (e.g. EU programmes) and private. In 2009, 2 out of 3 cultural institutions interviewed benefited from sponsoring. For NGOs, the majority appreciate the benefits of sponsoring (77%), yet many seem to have problems with successfully gaining private co-financing. This is due to poor interest by private entrepreneurs in culture. They admit that the cooperation rarely begins from their own initiative. Moreover, the sponsoring funds are earmarked mostly to projects with strong media potential: music and theatre festivals, concerts and events as well as exhibitions. Educational projects seem to be further down sponsors' priority lists. Sponsors very rarely engage in projects in the field of cultural heritage. The report's authors suggested a range of proposals for change, based on the information they gathered. Among the issues considered to be crucial for improvement of sponsor – culture entity relations were: introduction of changes in tax legislation, e.g. special exemptions (59%) and legislative changes aimed at creation of a new public-private model of culture financing (29%).

Financing of private audio-visual media

The market of private audio-visual media is very diverse. It can be divided into three groups: broadcasters, media concerns and social / religious stations. The first type finances its activities almost in 100% from advertisement. The only noticeable additional incomes are SMS services. For example: RMF radio station in 2006 earned 120 428 000 PLN on advertisement and just 5 278 000 PLN on SMS services (according to annual report of Broker FM, the station's owner). The second type has more diverse income sources, yet advertisement still plays the key role. For example: 46% of ITI's income in 2010 came from non-advertisement sources: internet services, publishing activity, own thematic channels etc. (according to ITI's annual report). An example of the third type is TRWAM religious television, owned by Lux Veritas Foundation. The annual reports of Lux Veritas do not state the exact structure of income for the television. However it is possible to assume that a significant share is constituted by viewers' donations and voluntary work.

It is worth mentioning that the National Broadcasting Council, responsible for licensing, does not require annual financial reports from private media, even though it has that right.

Chapter published: 20-08-2015

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