Culture is the overall social heritage of a group of people, i.e. learned patterns of thought, feeling and action characteristic for a community or a society. The word culture comes from the Latin colere: to inhabit, cultivate, protect, honor. The Latin root precisely explains the need for museums which are a kind of extension of human senses and inherent needs.
This paper will cover the topic of general importance of museums, functioning of the Museum of Lika in Gospić (hereinafter referred to as the Museum) and the financing thereof. Functioning and financing of museums in the Republic of Croatia will be explained, notably the Museum of Lika in Gospić, some of the advantages and disadvantages of financing and the possibility of improving museum’s business activities. The question that arises is whether museums can be self-sufficient – can they find new ways of funding, step out on the market, to "sell" themselves and not base their business largely on a budget financing. This paper also includes a survey (questionnaire) that was conducted in seven museums in Croatia with the idea of understanding how museums in different environments thinks and what different sources of financing they use in order to obtain an answer to the question of self-sufficiency and development. In this time of economic crisis, both financial and moral, cultural heritage is often placed on the back burner. Funding cultural programs from the budget in recent years has been reduced to unsustainable level. Only salaries and maintenance are still funded, while programs, activities, research, workshops etc. receive minimal or no funding at all. By establishing marketing services in every museum and hiring marketing professionals and with general strengthening of proactive management it is possible to increase revenues of every museum, which would significantly help financing various programs and activities. By transforming attitudes towards work, by establishing a mission and vision, using strategy and clear goal setting, it is possible to achieve a more active involvement of every employee in the work process and boost marketing activities, thus achieving better marketing position and attracting more visitors which would ensure increase in income.
In view of the aforementioned, the following hypothesis was set:
H0: financing of museums from the national budget combined with a successful stepping out on the market, i.e. realization of significant additional income, is sufficient in the long term.