Handbook of Cultural and Heritage Management

8. Chapter 7 - APPENDICES

8.3. C. Funding resources for Cultural and Heritage projects

A brief description of possible funding sources follows, both for permanent and for extraordinary needs of a cultural site/event:

Α)  National Framework Programmes in EU countries. Such funds usually cover infrastructure such as :

§   Conservation, restoration, signposting, routes’ tracing, consolidation, building infrastructure.

§   Infrastructure and equipment, additional  buildings and machinery for improving services to visitors (entrance gates, ticket boxes, info kiosks, guards’ sentinels, public toilets, exhibition and shops’ areas, special interventions for  facilitating people with special needs etc).

§   Landscape interventions and natural environment enhancement.

§   Publicity, advertisement and enhancement costs (signposting, building internet sites, advertisement leaflets etc.)


Β) State Aid (ministries’ budget, regional administration) and operational programmes. These funds cover mostly standard operational needs (personnel, maintenance etc) as well as protection and enhancement. .

C) Special operational programmes for digital enhancement and improvement of IT infrastructure.

D) EU-funded programmes

Several EU-funded programmes include in their scope and aims the protection and enhancement of heritage and the production of works and events in the audiovisual sector. Most of them have as a prerogative the networking and collaboration of several agents and countries. Depending on one’s priority, such programmes are:

·                  INTERREG and its variations (INTERREG Balkans, INTERREG Med etc). Formerly programmes of bilateral cooperation, INERREG programmes today aim mostly at regional reinforcement and transnational territorial cooperation often within the new entities called macro-regions.. INTERREG programmes nowadays fund mostly best practices’ exchange, enhancement of cultural assets in the prospect of sustainable touristic exploitation,  energy efficiency and innovation in the field of waste management, natural resources management etc. (www.interreg.gr, https://www.interregeurope.eu/, https://interreg-med.eu/, http://www.adrioninterreg.eu/

·                  URBACT (http://urbact.eu/) : Program on Integrated Urban Development. URBACT “helps cities develop pragmatic solutions that are new and sustainable and that integrate economic, social and environmental urban topics”. Although URBACT touches mainly upon fields like transportation, housing and city-planning it also funds innovative ideas in Heritage Protection, such as the recent INT-HERIT (http://urbact.eu/int-herit).

·                  CREATIVE EUROPE: This is the programme mostly appropriate for cultural events, building of audience, digital enhancement of heritage etc. It can fund either small-scale (i.e. up to 100,000 Euros) or large-scale (i.e. up to 2,000,000 Euros) projects (https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/creative-europe/)

·                  EUROPE FOR CITIZENS: One more funding programme which aims mainly at twinning of cities and regions, at civic empowerment and at civil society initiative; however, culture finds its way in the programme as well through the strand “European remembrance” aiming at enhancing collective memory on dire moments of European History, particularly of the 20th century. (https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/europe-for-citizens_en)

·                  COSME projects: Although COSME is addressed mainly to SMEs, some calls include heritage and tourism issues and usually require the collaboration of (public) managing authorities. Therefore COSME projects are ideal for launching new ideas, creating new networks and promoting sustainability in the cultural sector. (http://ec.europa.eu/DocsRoom/documents/9783)

·                   Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas” (JESSICA): Although quite broad in content and targeted fields, JESSICA does have calls related to history and cultural heritage, particularly linked to tourism or other sustainable uses. It is a programme urging the collaboration between public and private entities. (https://www.jessicafund.gr/?lang=en)

·                  Horizon2020. The largest research support funding programme of the European Community has foreseen support for heritage enhancement; however, Horizon projects are usually very difficult to get and require great networking, collaboration between public, research and private entities and “professional” writing of the project proposals. (https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/)

Ε) Sponsorship

Private Sponsorship has always been an additional source of funding for cultural initiatives. Private companies, banks, public facilities’ companies usually support cultural projects and heritage protection in the course of what is called “corporate social responsibility”. Depending on the legal framework of each country, funding can extend from covering exhibitions and cultural events to restoration of historic buildings and monuments. However, due to the austerity prevalent in many European countries, particularly in the south, companies are no longer encouraged to donate (i.e. this does not  count as tax relief any more), so funding from these sources is no longer as affluent as it used to be.  

F) Crowdfunding

A relatively new system of finding funds for cultural projects is crowdfunding, based on small donations from a great amount of people or companies, which finally ends up to the amount necessary for undertaking the project. The way it works is simple in principle: projects, after evaluation, are uploaded on a specific crowdfunding platform where people can electronically pledge for the donation of a specific  amount of money. On the platform one can see  he budget of the project, the amount open to crowdfunding to be collected  and the time when  this money is due. If the desired amount is collected by that date, the “bidders” are asked to actually deposit money to a bank account for  the project to begin. However, there have been cases with bureaucratic difficulties, when money could not actually be drawn out of the account as there were issues with the beneficiaries. Therefore, it seems that only when crowdfunding systems are guaranteed by some big organizations they are actually effective. In Greece, for example, a rather successful crowdfunding platform is Act4Greece, (https://www.act4greece.gr/en/) supported by the Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO, the National Bank of Greece, three foundations (Latsis, Bodossakis, Onassis) and the Greek company CSR Hellas.

G) Special funds and non-governmental sources of funding

Several non-governmental organizations offer possibilities for funding, usually for small amounts and for small-scale projects related particularly to heritage protection. Some of these are:

- Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development) and particularly its branch Cultural Emergency Report (CER), supporting actions of emergency protection of monuments in risk. (http://www.princeclausfund.org/)

- Swiss Federal Office for Culture (ΒAK/FOC), funding projects regarding the protection of movable cultural heritage (https://www.bak.admin.ch/bak/de/home/kulturerbe/heimatschutz-und-denkmalpflege/finanzhilfen.html)

- World Heritage Fund, funding protection, conservation and enhancement projects for World  Heritage Monuments.

- Europa Nostra: Although not a funding organization per se, the network Europa Nostra supports projects related to cultural heritage enhancement and protection and offers annual prizes to successful and outstanding projects.  (http://www.europanostra.org/)