Strategic planning and marketing in museums with special regard to the situation in the United States and Austria

Strategische Planung und strategisches Marketing in Museen unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Situation in den Vereinigten Staaten und Österreich

Diploma Thesis, 2005

107 Pages, Grade: 2


Table of Contents



Strategic planning

Strategic marketing


Museum sector

Scope and structure
The museum as a non-profit institution
The museum as a public institution

Financial resources
General remarks
Public funding
Direct support
Indirect support
Private funding


Range of stakeholders

Strategic planning process


Formulation of mission

Organizational objectives
Conducting research
Presenting and educating

Museum leadership

Performance evaluation
Performance measures
Code of ethics

Strategic marketing process

General remarks

Marketing research

Segmenting and targeting


Marketing-mix strategies
Program and service strategies
Pricing strategies
Promotion strategies
Distribution strategies

Marketing control


List of Figures

Figure 1: SI Funds raised by source

Figure 2: Purpose of SI funds

List of Abbreviations

illustration not visible in this excerpt


During my studies I read various books of Peter F. Drucker, a very successful and internationally acclaimed business consultant. He continuously points out the importance of being effective in life. Effectiveness has to be determined before one can think about acting in a way to achieve this, and thus, performing efficiently. This strategic approach applies to individuals and to any kind of organization. From Drucker’s point of view any museum has to legitimize the reason for its existence. It has to work out, formulate and communicate what its purpose for society is because neither private nor public money should be wasted.

The United States (U.S.) has been the leading innovator regarding the application of strategic planning and marketing principles to museums. These developments are becoming more and more important for managers of Austrian museums. Due to a continuous decline in public funds and growing competition for this decreasing pool of money it will be crucial for Austrian museums to get more access to private money sources. Consequently, they need to provide more public-oriented benefits that are not available elsewhere. Blockbuster exhibitions have generally proven to be means of attracting large audiences and raising the visibility of museums. In addition, it will be more important for Austrian museums to secure a high-quality service level and a positive image.

One can ask, of course, if this shift of responsibility from the public towards the private sector is desirable in Austria where only few large private money sources are available. In order to raise the basic funds for the famous Austrian museums it will always be necessary to pool the money of a large number of individuals, in other words, to raise funds through taxes. That is why the question of whether Austrian museums are considered to be effective must be asked. That is, do they provide essential and up-to-date services for the people who fund them? A further question that needs to be answered is whether the services could be upgraded and extended to a broader audience with the help of sophisticated marketing techniques.

It is astonishing that, especially in Austria, money and marketing are still considered dirty words in connection with museums and particularly in connection

with art museums. A lot of people might be disillusioned by the fact that the effective and efficient use of money is a means to the end of creative expression and artistic communication. Michelangelo, for example, was an entrepreneur who sold his artworks for a profit. Rembrandt had a studio and employed other artists.

These conditions make a comparison between the status quo in the United States and the changing situation in Austria very interesting. In 2003, the famous marketing guru Philip Kotler wrote a book about the strategic marketing process in museums, and only recently, the Österreichisches Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Kultur (BM BWK), which is the Austrian Federal Ministry of Culture, Education and Research, has publicized a study on the profile, positioning and marketing performance of the federal museums. Therefore it is clear that these issues are subjects of current debate – not only within the museum community.

After providing the essential definitions in Chapter 1, the fundamental characteristics of the Austrian and the U.S. museum sector will be described in Chapter 2. Since the Austrian museum scene is heavily concentrated in Vienna there will be a main focus on Viennese institutions throughout this master thesis. In Chapter 3 the different stages of the strategic planning process on the organizational level will be outlined. The aspects of strategic marketing will be dealt with in great detail in Chapter 4. Finally, an attempt will be made to draw some short conclusions on the investigated subjects and give a brief outlook for the possible future of art museums.


Strategic planning

According to Hay (1990: 49), strategic planning is the main task of strategic management, having its roots in military usage, and in probability and game theory. The term strategy was integrated in American management terminology in the 1960s, in Austria and throughout the rest of Europe not earlier than during the 1980s. Porter (1980: 34) refers to the term strategy as taking offensive or defensive actions to establish a superior position in a certain industry.

Strategic planning is a type of long-range planning, consisting of the determination of the mission and related objectives, and an assessment of the external and internal environment of an organization. The focus is on current and future external conditions and developments, not on data of the past or the healing of failures and shortages. It deals with a kind of de-novo design, in other words, the exploration of an organization’s potentials (Hay 1990: 60).

The allocation of resources necessary for carrying out the specified organizational objectives is part of the strategic planning process. Additionally, this process integrates aspects of systematic and continuous control so as to ensure that the basic objectives of the institution are achieved in both effective and efficient ways (Brinckerhoff 1994: 92-95).

To sum up, the underlying principles of strategic planning are:

- Concentration of forces
- Simplicity
- Concentration on relative strengths
- Exploitation of chances
- Minimization of risks
- Co-operation

Strategic marketing

As explained in the previous section, a unified and comprehensive strategic plan on an organizational level can only evolve through a continuous process. This plan has to be worked out by top management – always with a view to the appropriate integration of functional plans. Therefore, it is clear that the marketing plan has to be in accordance with the overall mission of an organization.

Kotler (1998: 59 and 2003: 65), who also uses the term market-oriented strategic planning, argues in the following way.

“Market-oriented strategic planning is the managerial process of developing and maintaining a viable fit between the organization’s objectives, skills and resources, and its changing market opportunities” (Kotler 1998: 59).

Furthermore, he emphasizes that – in order to be able to carry out a market-responsive strategy – it is necessary for a museum as a non-profit organization “to develop an effective marketing organization and efficient procedures for planning, budgeting, implementing, and controlling its marketing activities” (Kotler 1998: 59).


To qualify for the official accreditation program offered by the American Association of Museums (AAM), a museum must fulfill the following requirements.

- “Be a legally organized not-for-profit institution or part of a not-for-profit institution or government entity
- Be essentially educational in nature
- Have a formally stated mission
- Have one full-time paid professional staff member who has museum knowledge and experience and is delegated authority and allocated financial resources sufficient to operate the museum effectively
- Present regularly scheduled programs and exhibits that use and interpret objects for the public according to accepted standards
- Have a formal and appropriate program of documentation, care, and use of collections and/or tangible objects
- Have a formal and appropriate program of presentation and maintenance of exhibits” (AAM 2004: d)

According to ICOM (International Council of Museums), a museum is defined as

“a non-profit making, permanent institution in the service of society and of its development, and open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits, for purposes of study, education and enjoyment, material evidence of people and their environment ...” (ICOM 2004b).

The requirement to establish a permanent institution distinguishes museums from spontaneous, one-time projects, and from exhibition halls which do not own permanent collections. It is obvious that AAM uses a more restrictive definition than ICOM by including a hint to professional staff.

In Austria, museums are generally defined according to the ICOM specification. Furthermore, the Austrian ICOM committee and the Österreichischer Museumsbund (ÖMB), which corresponds to AAM, have developed a kind of quality standard. Museums that offer a certain level of customer service and quality of presentation are awarded the Museumsgütesiegel (ICOM Austria 2002b). Both federal and regional laws explicitly specify the fulfillment of museum-specific tasks which also correspond with the core activities stated by ICOM (BGBl 1 14/2002: 1 and LGBl 95/2001b: 2). However, these regulations apply only to the museums specified in the respective laws.

In addition to institutions referred to as museums, such as art, history, science and military museums, there are some others that meet – strictly speaking – the definition of a museum. These other types of museums are aquaria, zoos, botanical gardens, archaeological and historical sites, as well as science centers and planetaria. However, the latter types of museums will not be addressed within the limited scope of this master thesis.

Museum sector

The U.S. museum sector is one of great variety and scope. Most museums were founded before World War I through private initiatives. They were not accessible to the general public – not until the democratizing trend of the previous century (MacDonald 1992: 158).

When Austria evolved from the Habsburg Monarchy into the First Republic, all the imperial collections were transferred to state ownership. During the Habsburg era, the imperial collections mainly served as places of representation. Then, following the collapse of the Austrian Monarchy, a structural reform took place. The government intended to transform museums into public educational institutions – similar to the opening up of museums for a broader audience in the United States (Fliedl 1992: 139).

Scope and structure

According to AAM (1994: 87-88), U.S. museums differ vastly in size and resources, in terms of both staff numbers and hours of operation. Small museums which have five or fewer full-time paid or unpaid members of staff, or an annual operating budget of under $250,000 account for 75 percent of all U.S. museums. In contrast, large museums, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) in New York City, have several thousand employees and budgets consisting of hundreds of millions of dollars. A few U.S. museums even have endowment funds reaching one billion dollars or more.

Current estimates state approximately 16,000 museums that “receive more than 850 million visits per year, more than all the country’s professional baseball, football, and basketball sporting events combined” (AAM 2004b).

In the United States museums are widely spread. Nine out of ten counties have at least one museum. 75 percent of these county-based museums are considered to be small, and 43 percent of them are located in rural areas (AAM 2004c).

As far as admission and volunteering are concerned, AAM gives the following information.

“More than half (56.5 percent) of museums are free to the public, and of those museums that do charge, 58.7 percent have free days. Of Americans age 18 and older, one in 480 is a museum volunteer” (AAM 2004c).

U. S. museums form an important part of the cultural arena and help to attract major business activity. This is underlined by the following AAM statement.

“Quality of life issues contribute significantly to decisions businesses make in choosing to relocate. To attract and retain the best workforce possible, location considerations are made not only on the quality of the schools and tax incentives, but also on access to cultural resources that includes a dynamic museum community” (AAM 2004c).

It goes without saying that Austria is extremely rich in cultural resources. Many argue that Austria itself counts as a museum. It is a fact that Austria holds an extraordinarily high portion of the world’s cultural heritage when compared to the country’s size and general influence nowadays. This situation is due to the historical development of Austria, which evolved from a large and powerful monarchy into the relatively small Second Republic. However, today, Austria is still considered to be a giant with regard to its cultural record (Dawid 1991: 13). At this point it would be worth giving a brief outline of the historical development which is fundamental if Austrian museum policies are to be understood.

During the Renaissance the princes established the Wunderkammern, which served as counterparts to the Schatzkammern held by the church. The princes wanted to demonstrate their power and wealth, and nurture their glory. In the course of the 18th century – the Age of Enlightenment – the collection of objects of natural history for mainly scientific reasons gained popularity. This was the time when the Naturhistorisches Museum Wien (NHM) was founded in continuation of the collections of the Austrian Emperor. Incidentally, the Habsburgs were the first monarchs who provided the public with access to their collections. As early as 1783,

Joseph the Second, son of Maria Theresia, had the imperial art collection of the Belvedere opened for public admission. During the imperial era, however, only the upper class took advantage of this offer. Ordinary people could not afford to visit museums. Moreover, they generally lacked the necessary educational background in order to appreciate a museum (Dawid 1991: 13-15).

With the birth of the First Republic and the transfer of museums to state ownership, museums were transformed into public educational institutions. Since then, they have continuously tried to involve broader social ranks.

In 2002, Austria offered about 450 museums which fulfilled all constitutive tasks, that means, to collect, preserve, research, exhibit and communicate on a permanent basis. 34 of them were owned by the federal government, 217 belonged to regional or local governments, the remaining were privately owned (EGMUS 2003: 1, 2). These numbers are considered to be valid for the current year as well – with the exception of some minor modifications.

A considerable number of museums are situated in Vienna. With regard to ownership, operation and funding it is important to make the following distinction.

Seven of the museums situated in Vienna are operated as wissenschaftliche Anstalten öffentlichen Rechts – in other words, they act as legal entities in their own right. This form of a corporation of public law was specifically established for museum operation purposes. Before this V ollrechtsfähigkeit was awarded to them, they were integrated within a few federal ministries, mainly the BM BWK. Such a federal ministry does not exist in the United States. Public administration of museum affairs is exercised to a large extent by federal and state agencies like the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) respectively.

The above mentioned museums are also referred to as Bundesmuseen, a comprehensive term which is still commonly used, indicating federal ownership and funding (BGBl 14/2002: 1). It corresponds to the English term federal museums. The

Austrian federal museums had nearly three million visitors in 2002. This was a rise of 3.74 percent in comparison to attendance in 2001 (BM BWK 2003).

41 of the museums located in Vienna are funded and owned by the local government. 17 of this category are referred to as Museen der Stadt Wien, a term which comprises all museums and sites integrated within the former Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien. To show their common efforts and allow for more transparency, the umbrella brand name Wien Museum was created. Since 2002 they have also been operated as legal entities of their own (LGBl 105/2001 and Kunst und Kulturbericht 2004b: 66).

Another Vienna-based museum which is substantially funded by the municipality is the Jüdisches Museum Wien (JMW), which is part of the Wien Holding. The latter was established by the local government in 1974 and is organized as a highly diversified group which is fully owned by the city of Vienna (Wien Holding 2004).

The Wiener Bezirksmuseen are another specific category of the museums situated in Vienna. Most of them were established in the period between World War I and World War II. The general intention was that they should foster the weak Austrian self-confidence. Today, there are 23 museums of this kind, with each district having its own museum. They are supposed to accomplish the documentation of local history and culture. The underlying legal entity is the Arbeitsgemeinschaft (ARGE) der Wiener Bezirksmuseen, an association composed of all respective museum directors. As far as professional knowledge is concerned, they are supported by the Wien Museum. With regard to economic decisions, the Wiener Bezirksmuseen are subject to the Magistratsabteilung 7 (MA 7) which is a specific department within the cultural office of the municipal government (Fliedl 1992: 91-97).

One Viennese museum is supported by the province of Lower Austria, and the remaining are financed by private individuals, associations or other institutions. Visitors to the museums located in Vienna account for about 45 percent of all Austrian museum visitors. Total visits to Austrian museums amounted to

approximately 9.15 million in 2002. In 2004, the federal museums were – again – the most visited cultural institutions in Austria (BM BWK 2005a: 8).

The museum as a non - profit institution

According to Kotler (1998: 7-9), two thirds of U.S. American museums are organized as private, non-profit organizations whereas 30 percent are organized as agencies of state and local governments. The latter are typically research and historically orientated institutions. The remaining five percent are regarded as for-profits which do not qualify for the definition given by the AAM (AAM 2004d).

Non-profit organizations have to be distinguished from businesses and government institutions. They form the third, or independent, or voluntary sector. As Jossey-Bass (1994: xxiii) points out, unlike businesses which serve customers in return for the supply of adequate resources, non-profits typically depend on one group – the donors – for the resources necessary to provide a different group – the beneficiaries – with the services. In contrast to governmental organizations, non­profits are generally characterized by private ownership.

The United States has a large, very rich and complex non-profit sector of long standing. Non-profit organizations have existed since the beginning of the 19th century. This growth was accelerated in the years following the end of World War II (Jossey-Bass 1994: 1). Unfortunately, there is no unified definition of non-profits available so far. This is partly due to the fact that every state has its own law regarding non-profit organizations. Another difficulty with regard to a standardized definition is to explicitly express what non-profits stand for. Drucker (1992: xiv) tried to give a positive definition. He characterized them as human change agents, their “product” being, e.g., a museum visitor who learned something.

By contrast, a negative definition of a non-profit museum is relatively easy to find. The term non-profit or not-for-profit already indicates what organizations of that kind are not. They are not created to generate profits, however, they are not prevented from making surpluses. The essence of governmental approval is that no

part of any net earnings can be distributed. This is referred to as the non-distribution constraint. Profits have to be reinvested into the institution for fulfillment of the mission. Furthermore, the assets of a non-profit organization must be permanently dedicated to an exempt purpose. This means that in the case of dissolving, its assets must be distributed for another exempt purpose, or flow to the federal, state or local government for a public purpose (Hay 1990: 5 and IRS 2004b).

Non-profit museums are not subject to federal income tax. They are granted tax-exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which is a department of the Treasury. The Internal Revenue Code (IRC), Section 501(c)(3), specifies that all income – except what may be generated as a result of unrelated activities – is not subject to federal income tax. Nevertheless an exempt organization may still be liable for tax on its unrelated business income. The term unrelated business income refers to the income for a trade or business regularly carried on that is not substantially related to the charitable, or educational, or other purpose constituting the basis for the organization’s exemption (Hay 1990: 10). Museums exempt under Section 501(c)(3) are also granted reduced postage rates and – in some states – exemption from property and sales taxes. Such museums “may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate at all in campaign activity for or against political candidates” (IRS 2004b).

Exempt museums can receive charitable contributions which are deductible from the donor’s federal income tax liability. It goes without saying that individual and corporate donors are more likely to make gifts to museums that qualify for this charitable status. Additionally, foundations and other grant-making institutions feel safe that they are issuing grants or sponsorships to permitted beneficiaries (IRS 2004a). Museums that are granted this status are accordingly referred to as charitable organizations. As far as the legal form of the organization is concerned, the museum “must be a corporation, community chest, fund or foundation. A charitable trust is a fund or foundation and will qualify” (IRS 2004b).

Financing was originally provided without any public support – through gifts, foundations, membership fees, volunteers etc. Nowadays, non-profit museums also rely on public funding to a certain degree. Some people worry that under the growing

pressure to earn additional revenues through commercial activities, museums might jeopardize their non-profit status (Bloch 2004: 1). Financial issues will be dealt with in great detail under Section 2.2.

It is important to realize that in the United States non-profit organizations represent an important counterpart to the private, for-profit-orientated sector. In Austria, by contrast, it is important to distinguish the non-profit sector from the governmental sector. To decide if a certain museum qualifies as non-profit or not, Badelt (1999: 6-9) suggests the following catalogue of characteristics:

- A certain level of formality and decision making structures
- A minimum level of self-control and self-administration
- Legal registration – in contrast to spontaneous activities and one-time projects
- Private operation – this does not forbid public ownership and/or funding
- A non-distribution constraint
- A minimum amount of voluntary activities

A certain museum might offer more or less of the above mentioned characteristics. It might fulfill formality and non-distribution requirements to a high degree but be dependent on a foundation and offer only some self-administration and self-control. As long as it fulfills all five requirements to a certain minimum degree, it is eligible to be referred to as a Nonprofit Organisation or gemeinnützige Organisation (Badelt 1999: 8-10).

The museum as a public institution

Some museums are part of the national government while some are part of a state or local government. The museums are run by governmental boards (Karp 1992: 4). Feldstein comments on the regional differences in governing authority as follows.

“New England had a particularly small portion of museums under the control of governments or state educational institutions, while regions outside of the Northeast were well above average in

this regard ... At the federal level, the most prominent of these are the major federal art museums in Washington” (Feldstein 1991: 248).

The latter are the National Gallery of Art (NGA), the National Museum of American Art (NMAA), the National Portrait Gallery (NPG), the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the National Museum of African Art (NMAfA).

“While none of these museums is actually a line agency of the federal government, they receive appropriations from Congress and have government officials on their boards of directors. Of the NGA’s nine trustee seats, four are reserved for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the head of the Smithsonian Institution (SI). The other four museums are part of the Smithsonian, which is governed by a board of regents that also includes eight government officials out of its 17 members. Both their governance and their dependence on federal funding set these museums apart from other major museums” (Feldstein 1991: 248).

A comparable example at the state level is the North Carolina Museum of Art (North Carolina Museum of Art 2005).

The Austrian federal museums are not part of the respective federal ministries anymore. One could argue that with the transformation of these institutions into wissenschaftliche Anstalten öffentlichen Rechts they have received the essential level of autonomy and might thus qualify for the definition of a non-profit institution given by Badelt (1999: 8-10). In this master thesis, the Austrian federal museums are classified as non-profit institutions in order to mirror the transfer of considerable responsibility from the public to the private sector. However, one can also find sufficient arguments that support the positioning of these museums as public institutions. How far does the level of private operation really go when leading public officials still serve on the boards? Dr. Helmut Moser, for example, who is the Director General of the BM BWK is involved in the operation of the Leopold Museum, the Albertina and the MUMOK (Trenkler 2005a: 10).

Financial resources

General remarks

The need for funds has risen continuously since World War II. Production costs have been increasing at a considerably higher pace than revenues. While museums incur particularly high expenses in order to preserve the precious buildings and collections, marginal costs are low, in other words, the cost to the museums per visitor is decreasing.

The following quotations are supposed to illustrate the current financial situation of museums in the U.S.

“The Brooklyn Museum of Art, like many of its counterparts across the country, finds itself on the horns of a dilemma. At the same time that public and private funds for culture are dwindling, the costs of mounting exhibitions are spiraling upward. Thomas Krens, director of the Guggenheim Museum, claims that if museums relied on admissions alone, the average ticket price today would need to be 75 dollars” (Dubin 1999: 274).

The National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), which is part of the SI, issued the following statement:

“If the FY 2005 request is not allowed, NMNH will continue to fall behind in its mandated responsibility to care for and make readily available its unique national collections to researchers and a wide range of other users. This in turn will affect the Museum’s ability to achieve the objective of providing the public with enhanced access to our collections in a more timely way and to ensure that the collections entrusted to NMNH are cared for in an effective and responsible manner” (NMNH 2004: 110).

About 80 percent of museums in the United States have budgets of less than $5 million (SI 2004a).

Public funding

Originally, the absence of public support was quite common in the U.S. Nowadays, the federal, state and local governments provide significant amounts of money. However, these pools of public money are far from reaching the corresponding Austrian level. In the U.S., public funds do usually not account for more than 25 percent of a museum’s budget.

Public support can come in two different forms:

a) Direct support through government grants
b) Indirect support through the possibility of tax-deduction

Direct support

-- Federal level U.S.

The SI, which is an independent trust, receives over 80 percent of its funding from the federal government – approximately 67 percent in the form of direct appropriations and over 13 percent in the form of grants from federal agencies (SI 2004b: 2). For the FY 2005, the Smithsonian’s total budget request amounts to $628 million. This means an increase of $31.7 million (or five percent) compared to the FY 2004 appropriation (SI 2004c: 5). The SI is very conscious of the fact that it owes transparency to its generous donors. It commits itself to continuously “present and justify federal budget submissions to OMB and Congress” (SI 2004h: 174).

There are three federal programs that are responsible for the bulk of grants:

1) The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
2) The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
3) The Institute of Museum Services (IMS)

Ad 1) und 2)

The NEA and the NEH were set up in 1965. They are both authorized to make grants to individuals and institutions. Both organizations are equipped with limited power. They are not supposed to offer general institutional support but to award grants only for specific projects. The NEH tends to support exhibits that emphasize

the historical aspects of art whereas the NEA concentrates on aesthetic projects. All grants have to be matched by private funds, with no more than half of the support coming from the federal agency. These grants are referred to as matching grants. Through these measures of splitting risk and responsibility, the national government fosters active management which leads in turn to sufficient consideration of public needs (Feldstein 1991: 239, 251).

Both endowments use peer review panels to evaluate grant proposals. The program director makes up a list of individuals who are considered to be the appropriate people to represent different interests, viewpoints and tastes. The National Council on the Arts, which is appointed by the president, reviews the panel’s recommendations and then, lastly, the chairman signs off the grants. This procedure is considered to prevent politicians and bureaucrats from imposing their artistic preferences on the arts community (Feldstein 1991: 93, 239, 240).

The NEA acts as the largest single public donor. In 2003, its total funds amounted to $101 million. This represented a slight increase compared to 2002 (NEA 2003: 1).

It is important to note that the NEA holds an opinion-leader function. The awarding of funds has considerable influence on corporate and private donations. NEA advocates claim that eliminating this institution would critically damage the museum industry while funding critics argue that the NEA is corrupting American culture.

“The American government has done a good deal to support the arts, but most of the successes have come from outside of the NEA. The entire NEA budget, at its peak, fell short of the amount of money required to produce Kevin Costner’s Waterworld epic. NEA expenditures have never exceeded 70 cents per capita, and the NEA has never been vital to American artistic success. Before 1965, when the NEA was created, American culture – even the preservation of high culture – flourished. The best American ... museums were created well before 1965 and without NEA involvement” (Cowen 1998: 38; original emphasis).

Ad 3) IMS

In contrast to the NEA and NEH, the IMS does make grants for basic operating purposes. It devotes considerable attention to conservation efforts (Feldstein 1991: 251).

In general, governments tend to favor the cultural status quo that put them into power, or to shape a new status quo that will cement their power (Cowen 1998: 36).

In Austria, most museums are substantially supported by public funds. On the one hand, this practice favors the predictability of funds and institutional stability but on the other hand, it makes the museum world more bureaucratic and less dynamic.

-- Federal level Austria

Every federal museum is directly funded by the BM BWK. The term Basisabgeltung denotes the amount of state funds which is at a federal museum’s disposal every year. This amount has not been raised for several years now. It goes without saying that this situation poses a serious financial problem for the large federal museums. From a different point of view, one could argue that Austria has the world’s largest budget for culture per inhabitant. Museums get about €115 million per year (“Arnie und sein Austria” 2003: 23).

The Albertina, for example, asks for a substantial increase in its budget. At the moment the museum gets €5.6 million from the federal government. The problem of the Albertina is that the original sum of money was determined at a time where only a small part of the museum was opened. It has always been clear that this sum of money would not be sufficient in times of full operation (Trenkler 2005a: 10).

Rudolf Leopold, director of the Leopold Museum, criticizes the fact that his museum gets only €2.5 million per year. This money is needed to secure operations and does not leave any reserves for acquisitions. However, what has to be taken into account is that the state also bought the large private Leopold Collection for €160 million and financed the building of the museum with another €29 million.


Excerpt out of 107 pages


Strategic planning and marketing in museums with special regard to the situation in the United States and Austria
Strategische Planung und strategisches Marketing in Museen unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Situation in den Vereinigten Staaten und Österreich
Vienna University of Economics and Business  (English Business Communication)
PV Professor Obenaus
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ISBN (Book)
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Strategic, United, States, Austria, Strategische, Planung, Marketing, Museen, Berücksichtigung, Situation, Vereinigten, Staaten
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Mag. Sandra Kreuzer (Author), 2005, Strategic planning and marketing in museums with special regard to the situation in the United States and Austria, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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