The Relationships between Cultural Institutions and Companies: From Donations to Strategic Partnerships

The Relationships between Cultural Institutions and Companies: From Donations to Strategic Partnerships

Alfonso Siano (University of Salerno, Italy), Mario Siglioccolo (University of Salerno, Italy), Carmela Tuccillo (University of Salerno, Italy) and Francesca Conte (University of Salerno, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5007-7.ch007
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Abstract

This chapter investigates the possible relationships between cultural institutions (museums, theatres, libraries etc.) and companies, which have been increasingly occurring in the last years. While cultural institutions have been progressively needing to acquire financial resources and managerial skills to survive and valorise their activities, at the same time companies are trying new ways to differentiate their image, by means of associating it with the cultural sector. The adoption of a descriptive-normative approach enables the identification of many kinds of collaboration (patronage and corporate philanthropy, volunteer program and payroll giving, cause related marketing, cultural sponsorship, co-branding, licensing and merchandising, electronic relationships, and finally, partnership), distinguished according to the intensity and duration over time. For each relationship, mutual benefits and disadvantages are described in detail, even with the support of real case studies. This joint consideration of the various possible relationships aims to provide an overall view of the issue considered, which differentiates this contribution from the literature so far produced.
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A Taxonomy Of Relationships Between Cultural Institutions And Companies

In recent years, relationships between cultural institutions (museums, theatres, libraries etc.) and companies, have been increasingly occurring. This is explained because both of them are trying to obtain mutual benefits from those relationships; while cultural institutions are progressively needing to acquire financial resources and managerial skills to survive and valorise their activities, at the same time companies are trying new ways to differentiate their image associating it to cultural sector

In an evolutionary view, cultural sponsorship is one of the pioneering kind of collaboration that becomes, from the ’70s, the dominant type of private investment in arts and culture sector. In early ’80s, however, the potential return in terms of image and reputation is understood by companies, which tend not only to associate their brands to cultural events, but engage directly in the supporting the management of cultural institutions. The conception of private support merely limited to executive aspect is exceeded at the end of the ’90s, when cuts in public spending and the need to manage cultural heritage according to managerial logics becomes more significant.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Strategic Partnerships: Forms of collaboration between a cultural institution and a company, developed in a medium-long period in order to achieve common strategic objectives.

Cultural Institutions: Museums, art galleries, theatres, public libraries, archives, festivals.

Relationships: Intangible assets which refer to any type of collaboration between cultural institutions and companies.

Donations: Charitable contribution, monetary gift.

Companies: For-profit corporation or firms which operate a business which aims to return a profit to the owners.

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