As a general rule the budgetary allocations for culture, both at the central and local levels are neither increasing nor stagnating. The recent (2017-2019) increase in salaries for professionals within public institutions has put a strain on the budget of these institutions as the overall public allocations were not correspondingly increased. This situation has hampered the cultural activity of the public institutions and it led to a profound dissatisfaction of all types of workers. Recently, the artists have organised several protests to express their indignation over the way the Government deals with the financial aspects of the main public cultural institutions.
The recent cuts from the budget affected not only the public cultural institutions, but also the private cultural sector. The Administration of the National Cultural Fund (ANCF) is a public institution subordinated to the Ministry of Culture and National Identity, the unique institution in Romania that has been financing independent cultural projects (theatre performances, dance performances, concerts, festivals, exhibitions, etc.). In the last four years, over 1000 cultural projects have been launched in Romania with the support of the ANCFgrants, many of them taking place in rural areas and in areas where people do not have access to culture at all. Unlike the public institutions that apply for the ANCF grants, for some of the private institutions and associations these grants are the only funding sources, therefore their cultural activity relies on the ANCF funds, which were significantly diminished with the latest budget cuts.
However, the partnerships between public cultural institutions and cultural NGOs were developed both as a way to diversify the cultural offer and to meet the diverse cultural needs of the public and as a way to secure adequate financing for different programmes or projects. They are mostly formalised via partnership agreements and range in scope from one project to whole programmes.
According to the data of the study Trends of the philanthropic behaviour and the practice of fundraising (The Association for Community Relations, 2016), only under 5% of all the “2% of income tax” donations from individual donors are redirected to the cultural sector, whilst the healthcare sector is the first choice of the Romanian donors and it receives over 45% of the donations. Unlike individual donors, within the business sector, the main beneficiaries of the sponsorships are the NGOs. This can be explained through the legislation on NGOs as well as through their operational flexibility.