7. Financing and support
Last update: December, 2020
In 2019, public expenditure on culture and national heritage protection constituted 0.52% of the Gross Domestic Product in Poland (the percentage as the two past consecutive years 2017-2018). At the same time, it should be noticed that the share of the total state budget allocated to culture and national heritage protection decreased from 0.89% in 2017 to 0.59% in 2018, but slightly increased in 2019 to 0,61%, while the expenditure of local governments’ entities in this area in relation to the total local governments’ expenditure increased from 2.84% to 3.33%.
If not indicated otherwise, all the data has been retrieved from the Polish Central Statistical Office publications and follows their classification. All omissions are deliberate and due to lack of data provided by the CSO.
Public expenditure on culture per capita by the level of governance in EUR, 2006-2019
|Year||State*||Local authorities||TOTAL public expenditure per capita||Average exchange rate**|
|2019||15.41||58.19||73.60||1 EUR = 4,2980 PLN|
|2018||13.82||56.25||70.07||1 EUR = 4,2623 PLN|
|2017||20.37||45.28||65.65||1EUR = 4,2576 PLN|
|2016||15.42||39.78||55.20||1 EUR = 4.3625 PLN|
|2015||12.21||43.03||55.24||1 EUR = 4.1839 PLN|
|2014||10.80||47.95||58.75||1 EUR = 4.1852 PLN|
|2013||10.23||43.13||53.36||1 EUR = 4.1472 PLN|
|2012||10.89||43.46||54.35||1 EUR = 4.0882 PLN|
|2011||9.49||42.92||52.41||1 EUR = 4.1198 PLN|
|2010||9.58||46.33||55.91||1 EUR = 3.9603 PLN|
|2009||10.11||40.55||50.66||1 EUR = 4.1082 PLN|
|2008||9.34||34.00||43.34||1 EUR = 4.1724 PLN|
|2007||9.59||34.64||44.23||1 EUR = 3.5820 PLN|
|2006||n.a.||n.a.||36.65||1 EUR = 3.8312 PLN|
Own calculations based on data provided by Central Statistical Office
* State expenditure refers to the funding provided by central government; local authorities expenditure refers to the funding provided by local and regional governments; public expenditure refers to the total amount of both, state and local governments expenditure.
** Given by the National Bank of Poland.
Last update: March, 2015
In 2019, the public expenditure on culture and national heritage on both state and local government units’ levels, amounted to 11 918 million PLN (2 773 million EUR). The majority of cultural financial support has been provided by local administrations, amounting to 9 538 million PLN (2 219 million EUR), which constitutes 80% of the total public expenditure. The remaining 20% – 2 380 million PLN (554 million EUR) – has been distributed from the state budget.
Total expenditure in millions, rounded
|2015||1 965 PLN||6 723 PLN||8 565 PLN|
|(470 EUR)||(1 607 EUR)||(2 047 EUR)|
|2016||2 411 PLN||6 462 PLN||8 873 PLN|
|(553 EUR)||(1 481 EUR)||(2 034 EUR)|
|2017||3 332 PLN||7 170 PLN||10 332 PLN|
|(782 EUR)||(1 684 EUR)||(2 427 EUR)|
|2018||2 116 PLN||8 903 PLN||11 019 PLN|
|(496 EUR)||(2 089 EUR)||(2 585 EUR)|
|2019||2 380 PLN||9 538PLN||11 918 PLN|
|(554 EUR)||(2 219 EUR)||(2 773 EUR)|
% share of total
Expenditure on culture and protection of national heritage from the budgets of local government units amounts to approximately 80% (in 2019 - 79.7%, in 2018 - 80.8%) of public expenditure allocated for this purpose. The largest share in local government public expenditure was recorded by municipal governments (47.9% in 2019), municipalities of cities with poviat status (in 2019 31.8%), voivodships (18.8% in 2019), and poviats (1.5% in 2019).
Last update: December, 2020
According to the Central Statistical Office, in 2019 the largest part of the expenditure of the state budget was allocated to the operation of museums (32.6%) and has increased as compared to the previous year. The expenditure allocated to the centres of culture and art has dropped from 11,5% in 2018 to 10,3% in 2019.
From the local administrations’ budgets, the majority of expenditure was spent on the activities of cultural centres and establishments, clubs and community centres, with an increase from 30,7% in 2018 to 31,8% in 2019. A significant portion of the budget was also allocated to libraries, noting a slight decrease from 17,6% in 2018 to 17,2% in 2019.
The structure of state budget expenditure on culture and protection of national heritage in 2014-2019
|TOTAL in EUR||553 792 462||496 515 966||782 577 039||552 618 911||469 609 694|
|Centres of culture and art||10,3%||11.5%||7.2%||8.1%||11.6%|
|Protection and restoration of historic monuments||8,1%||9.1% (6.4)||9.0% (4.6)||10.3% (5.1)||14.4%|
|Philharmonic halls, orchestras and choirs||3,8%||3.9%||2.8%||6.6%||4.9%|
|Radio and television activities||1,4%||1.0%||30.1%||n.d.||n.d.|
The levels of expenditure for different cultural institutions and forms of cultural activity have remained more or less consistent in comparison to previous years, but an increase in spending on activities related to national heritage is noticeable. In 2019, the highest amount of state expenditure on culture was allocated to museums 32,6% (30.7% in 2018, 19.1% in 2017; 45.1% in 2016; 28.8% in 2015;). In 2019, local government spending priorities in the cultural sector, similarly to past years, were cultural houses and centres and clubs, representing a share of 31,8% (30.7% in 2018, 30.9% in 2017; 30.2% in 2016) and libraries 17,2% (17.6% in 2018, 19.4% in 2017; 20.1% in 2016). Local government spending on museums significantly decreased from 17.6% in 2018 to 11,6% in 2019 (12.2% in 2017; 11.8% in 2016).
Throughout recent years, the trend remained steady: state expenditure was focused on museums, while local government spent most on cultural houses and libraries.
The structure of local government units expenditure on culture and protection of national heritage in 2014-2019
|TOTAL in EUR||2 219 148 441||2 088 801 821||1 684 117 813||1 481 329 513||1 606 993 475|
|Cultural centres and establishments||31,8%||30.7%||30.9%||30.2%||29.4%|
|Centres of culture and art||3,3%||3.7%||3.8%||3.9%||3.6%|
|Protection and restoration of historic monuments||5,9%||6.4%||4.8%||3.8%||3.7%|
|Philharmonic halls, orchestras and choirs||3,3%||3.3%||3.6%||4.2%||5.6%|
Last update: December, 2020
The whole system of public support to cultural institutions and events, together with a variety of incentives for private sector support, plays an enormous role providing indirect support to creativity. While there are a few support schemes for individual artists such as awards which are funded by public authorities, direct support for creative artists is nevertheless quite limited. Poland still lacks an overall system of social support for artists and creators, who deal with many obstacles and disadvantages in comparison with other groups of employees. Currently, however, work is underway on the Act on the Rights of the Professional Artist, which will solve these issues (also see chapter 2.3).
The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage’s programmes aim to co-finance tasks in the field of project-related culture, excluding permanent cultural activities. They are addressed to cultural institutions, non-governmental organisations, film institutions, schools and universities, local government units, business entities, churches and religious associations and their legal entities.
Last update: December, 2020
In connection with the crisis situation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, artists may apply for social assistance from the Culture Promotion Fund, which is managed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. Social assistance is a one-time payment of funds. The amount of the allocated funds depends on the commission's decision.
At the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, there is also the Commission for Retirement Provision for Artists, whose task is to recognise the activity as creative or artistic and to set the date of its commencement, based on documents confirming the duration and nature of the activity.
The Fund to Support Artistic Creation is generated mostly by income from the sale of artworks for which copyright has expired (the so called "dead hand" funds). According to the regulation of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage from 24th February 2003, producers and editors are obliged to pay 5% of the gross income from the sale of the above mentioned artworks. The Fund supports artists in three ways: scholarships (six and twelve months), subsidies for publishing and one-off grants. In accordance with the decision of 17 May 2010, the Ministry of Culture will also provide social assistance from the Fund to creators with artistic achievements. This is a one-off allowance, granted on the basis of application, for the artists in a difficult social or health situation.
The new act on the rights of the professional artist will bring a huge change in terms of social security for artists and creators. Each person performing artistic work will be able to apply for entitlements allowing them to pay social taxes on preferential terms and obtain social assistance (also see chapter 4.1.3).
Last update: December, 2020
Fellowships and scholarships
Thesaurus Poloniae is a three-month fellowship programme of the Ministry of Culture, implemented by the International Cultural Centre in Cracow. It is addressed to individuals who carry out research on culture, history or the multicultural heritage of Poland, both past and present, and broadly understood Central Europe. Both individuals who deal with the management and preservation of cultural heritage in practical terms and those who carry out theoretical research in the area of heritage, history, sociology, ethnography and anthropology are invited to participate in the programme.
Thesaurus Poloniae is divided into two categories: a senior programme for university professors and senior lecturers and a junior programme for PhD holders and doctoral students. A successful candidate for the programme will be granted a monthly fellowship (PLN 3 500/EUR 850 for senior candidates and PLN 2 500/EUR 600 for junior candidates) and a one-off grant to cover the purchase of books and other research aids (PLN 1 500/EUR 400). Each year, the International Cultural Centre organises two calls for applications for eligible candidates for the fellowship award. Three fellowships are awarded in each call.
Creative scholarships and scholarships in the field of dissemination of culture, founded by the Minister of Culture, are awarded to people involved in artistic creativity, dissemination of culture and protection of monuments for the implementation of a specific project in the following categories and areas:
1. Creative scholarships: literature; visual arts; music;, dance; theatre; film; caring for monuments; folk art.
2. Scholarships for projects related to the dissemination of culture: animation and cultural education; cultural management and supporting the development of cultural staff.
The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage provides also:
- scholarships for secondary-schools for artistic accomplishment, for those having extraordinary school merits and that are recognised in national or international competitions. Candidates are chosen by school headmasters;
- scholarships for arts academy students for artistic accomplishment at school. Candidates are chosen by rectors;
- and recruits candidates for foreign artistic scholarships implemented on the basis of bilateral Cultural and Scientific Cooperation Programmes.
The annual Award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage has been awarded since 1997 to artists, creators and other people working in the field of culture for all their activities or for outstanding achievements in a given year in the field they represent. This prestigious distinction allows the Minister of Culture and National Heritage to highlight the most important trends and phenomena that appear in Polish culture by honouring the people who create and represent them.
The Culture Medal – Gloria Artis is awarded to those who are outstanding in the field of artistic creativity, cultural activity and protection of culture and national heritage.
The Oskar Kolberg Award is awarded yearly in recognition of life-long activity or for outstanding achievements in the field of folk culture, including individual creativity (fine arts, folk literature, music, dance), folk music groups, research activity, documentation, animation and dissemination of folk culture.
Last update: December, 2020
Artists' unions have the legal status of associations, which means they have the right to conduct their own economic activities. Many unions use this right to run their own galleries. Throughout the 1990s, the situation of unions/associations deteriorated due to "the pains" of market transformation and the fact that they no longer received subsidies from the state budget. Some associations have re-adjusted to the new market requirements and are able to continue operating. Many of the associations are engaged in the distribution of royalties.
In the newly planned Act on the Rights of the Professional Artist, trade unions will have a special task. As representative organisations, they will confirm whether a given artist is entitled to the rights resulting from being a professional artist.
Last update: December, 2020
There are two ways of supporting culture by entrepreneurs and private persons in Poland: sponsorship and patronage. Sponsorship is the act of providing support in return for marketing benefits. Patronage, on the other hand, is a disinterested activity. CSR (corporate social responsibility) is also developing more and more, causing large companies to start actively operating in the area of culture. In recent years, crowdfunding platforms have appeared in Poland. Both individuals and organisations use them. However, this is not a certain type of fundraising. Whether a project is financed in this way is influenced by so many factors that it is impossible to take care of all of them. Nevertheless, many artists choose this method of financing because it gives freedom of creative expression and independence when publishing their works.
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, the CEO of Lewiatan - Lech Pilawski and the 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 Lewiatan. 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.
Institutions, on the other hand, are strongly dependent 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 appreciates the benefits of sponsoring (77%), yet many seem to have problems with successfully gaining private co-financing. This is due to the lack of interest interest of private entrepreneurs in culture. They admit that they rarely initiate cooperation. 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.
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 completely from advertisements. The only noticeable additional incomes are SMS services. The second type has more diverse income sources, yet advertisement still plays a key role. 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.