In 2011, one in five associations were engaged in cultural activity. Of these 267,000 cultural associations,
35,100 employed at least one paid worker, with the rest being supported by a purely voluntary workforce. Cultural associations employ some 169,000 paid workers, representing 9.4% of all paid association employees. Just as is the case for businesses, those in paid employment at cultural associations are more frequently employed on short- term contracts and have a higher level of education than those in paid employment in other sectors. Cultural associations with a paid workforce employ an average of five paid workers, less than half the overall average.
Associations also rely on voluntary workers, who are thus not remunerated for their time. Cultural associations employ the equivalent of 189,000 full-time jobs on a voluntary basis. Cultural associations have an average of around 18 voluntary workers, slightly less than the overall average. Voluntary workers at non-wage-paying associations each put in an average of 63 hours per year, and 86 hours per year at wage-paying associations, also lower than average.
In 2011, the total budget for all cultural associations was calculated at 8.3 billion. In monetary terms, cultural associations are worth more or less the same in terms of jobs as within the associative economy as a whole, i.e. 9.7%. The average cultural association’s budget is 31,000, less than half the average association’s budget, due to their smaller size.
Cultural associations are less dependent on public finance (40%) than the average (49%). More specifically, they have less access to public procurement and their financing generally comes in the form of subsidies. Municipalities are, more than for the other associative sectors, behind a large proportion of subsidies, particularly for those associations which do not have paid employees.
The majority of cultural associations play a major or secondary role in either organising or hosting live entertainment. On average they have fewer paid employees than those in other cultural activities, lower budgets and rely more on voluntary workers.