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First Study on Crowdfunding in Culture in Switzerland

More projects realised, more sponsors gained, more money raised – crowdfunding is very much on the rise. For the first time, a study has now explored the extent and the potential of crowdfunding – by which sponsors are sought via the internet – for the financing of cultural projects in Switzerland. Federal Counsellor Alain Berset today presented various aspects of this new approach to funding at the «Forum für Kultur und Ökonomie» in Berne.

The phenomenon of crowdfunding has spread swiftly over the past few years. Participatory financing – a worldwide trend – can increasingly be observed in Switzerland, too. In the cultural field alone, around CHF 4.5 million were collected via crowdfunding platforms in 2014. Besides enabling the financing of cultural projects through contributions by private sponsors, the appeal of crowdfunding lies in the close interaction between cultural practitioners and audiences. This not only facilitates the marketing and diffusion of cultural goods and events, but also makes it possible for interested parties to play an active part in the development of projects and to gain a deeper understanding of the work of cultural practitioners.

By boosting private financing of cultural projects, crowdfunding helps raise the diversity of arts and culture in Switzerland. It also opens up new possibilities of cooperation between public and private sector funding, be it by supplementing public-sector cultural promotion, getting small projects off the ground or creating a multiplier effect. Representatives from the worlds of politics and cultural promotion are thus keen to learn more about the role of crowdfunding in Swiss culture. The study conducted on behalf of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and the Federal Office for Culture by the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts – which publishes a Swiss crowdfunding monitor once a year – serves this purpose and is a pioneering work of research even by international standards.

The study was presented to the public in Berne today at the «Forum für Kultur und Ökonomie», which functions as a platform for exchange between public and private sponsors of culture each year. Organised by Pro Helvetia and the Federal Office for Culture, a symposium on the crowdfunding study will be held on 2 June 2016 at Stadtmuseum Aarau. Results of the study will be compared to real-life cases from Switzerland and abroad. In addition, a panel discussion will explore the question of what forms of cooperation between public, private and crowdfunding-based cultural promotion are the most promising for the future.

The study on crowdfunding in culture published today shows that, in Switzerland, around CHF 4.5 million were raised for cultural purposes via crowdfunding platforms in 2014. The highest numbers were achieved in the «music, concerts and festivals» category, with 216 successful projects and nearly CHF 1.5 million raised. The average sum achieved per campaign varies greatly from one category to another. It came to CHF 6,800 in the above-mentioned category, whereas the «software, games» category registered an average of CHF 48,000, which indicates that its projects tend to be larger and more capital-intensive. On average, 56 contributors are already enough to ensure the success of a crowdfunding campaign. A key factor for success is the mobilisation of sponsors from the very beginning. Campaigns analysed that had reached 40% or more of their target sum after one third of the financing period were ultimately successful in 98.8% of all cases.

Link to study in German / French / Italian

Media information: Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia: Sabina Schwarzenbach, Head of Communication, tel. +41 44 267 71 39, sschwarzenbach@prohelvetia.ch

Federal Office of Culture: Anne Weibel, tel. +41 79 662 05 21, anne.weibel@bak.admin.ch

Media Release of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and the Federal Office for Culture, 16.03.2016