SURVEY | Business Models in Arts and Cultural Organisations

Survey on Business Models in Arts and Cultural Organisations


In the framework of Creative Lenses, we launched an online survey to understand how cultural and arts organisations are innovating their business models.


About Business Models

A Business Model is a way through which an organization exploits resources and assets and delivers its operations to generate value for stakeholders and guarantee social impact for society as well as economic sustainability.


The Survey

The survey was open between 28 September and 27 November 2017 and available through the online software SurveyMonkey.  386 people landed on the survey page and around 54% of these completed the questionnaire. It asked information about the income and funding sources, as well as the type of changes that had been made to the organisation in order to improve its sustainability. The survey also asked to reflect on decisions made by the management in regards to the changes that had been recently implemented. The final sample contained 174 responses from unique organisations and is large enough to provide robust data for all of the core questions, either as they stand in the questionnaire or grouped.


Target group

The survey focused on independent performing arts organisation and multi-disciplinary cultural centres. Within those organisations, we aimed to reach people with access to financial information about the organisation, this mainly were CEOs, Managing Directors, Financial Managers, Communication Managers, Programmers or anyone else with access to the necessary information.



Below you can see data in regards to the survey, its outreach and audience.

  • Responses came from 34 countries with the majority from Western and Northern Europe.
  • The vast majority of organisations (90%) are not-for-profit, with only 6% being for profit.
  • Over 85% of organisations produce and/or host more than one art form.
  • The average number of part-time employees across the whole sample is 5.1.
  • Most organisations receive a wide mixture of funding from different sources: public funding, philanthropy, self-generated income, as well as corporate sponsorship. 


More information

If you require more information about the survey, or would like to find out more about the Creative Lenses project, please contact Lucy Kimbell from the University of the Arts London (