Checking my e-mails I just opened the new Arts Management Network issue and I was quite surprised by the editorial by Dirk Heinze.
I’d like to report a few paragraphs in order to make it clear that the main problem for future museums is, of course, sustainable growth.
“… The recent developments in the economic and financial crisis have undoubtedly raised concern in the cultural sector… And, while here in Europe the mail question has been whether government funding for the arts should be pulled back, American cultural institutions have had it significantly more difficult. Private donors and patrons were forced to suddenly pull back with their grants, with funding down 5.7% in 2008 in comparison to 2007. However, despite this setback philanthropy has become increasingly popular and individual donors are trying harder to find ways to support individual causes financially. In the past decade, both churches and universities were ranked first in the amount of money they received from private donors. The greatest increase in support was by organizations offering direct support, either in the form of job opportunities or in micro-credits. Lead by the Baby Boomers, there has been a fundamental shift in the image of donors, with the focus shifting away from growthoriented investments over to income-generating investments in the humanitarian and ecological sector.
As the younger generations X and Y become more socially aware as well, one starts to wonder what cultural institutions can, in light of this shift, expect from donors. One thing does seem to be clear: the change is moving away from dissociated patrons and management over to business-oriented companies and individuals willing to support a cause. The task is more than merely ‘representing’ a cause but the ability of the individual donor to do something. New donors want to tackle issues hands-on and actively partake in problem solving. They also expect more ‘inclusiveness’ from cultural institutions in order to have more freedom and say about specific issues. At any rate, this connection also provides cultural institutions the possibility to strengthen their ties with local communities.”
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