Guidelines regarding the reinforcement of monetary donations to Norwegian museums

Issued by the Ministry of Culture on 10 February 2014, including revisions of 18 February 2015.

1. Conditions for gift reinforcement

Monetary donations to Norwegian museums are eligible for governmental gift reinforcement payable to the recipient. Gift reinforcement usually equals 25 per cent* of the donation amount, provided that

a) the donation(s) total(s) NOK 100 000 or more,

b) the donation(s) is/are made by one or several individuals or other private legal entities, including businesses that are wholly or partially privately-owned**,

c) the recipient organization is a museum that is either included in the Arts Council Norway’s museum statistics (, or a museum that meets the criteria for inclusion in the Arts Council’s museum statistics,

d) the donation has been paid after the gift reinforcement programme entered into force on 1 January 2014,

e) the objective of the donation is to strengthen the museum’s activities in accordance with its objectives and plans,

f) a written agreement concerning the donation has been drawn up in accordance with section 4 below,

g) the donation is not contingent on any specific service in return; nor is the donation a deductible cost for a donor liable to tax; see section 6-2 of the Norwegian Tax Act and section 4(d) of these guidelines, and

h) the recipient organization submits an application for gift reinforcement to the Ministry of Culture in accordance with the requirements outlined in section 4.

* As a rule, the Ministry will not award gift reinforcement grants exceeding NOK 2.5 million for a donation or donations from a single donor to the same recipient organization in any one year. The aim is to ensure that as many museums and donors as possible have access to the block grant.

** In this context, contributions from donors with ownership interests or direct financial interest in the objective of the contribution are not considered donations.

2.  Use of gift reinforcement

Gift reinforcement grants shall be managed in a reliable and appropriate manner.
Gift reinforcement grants shall be spent on measures that strengthen the activities of the museum in question in line with its objectives and plans.
There is no requirement that the donation and the gift reinforcement grant be spent on the same measure.

3. Administration of the gift reinforcement programme

The gift reinforcement programme is administered by the Ministry of Culture.

4. Application requirements

The recipient organization (the museum) may apply to the Ministry of Culture for gift reinforcement. It is the recipient organization that must confirm that the conditions for gift reinforcement have been met in accordance with section 1.

The application must be signed by the museum’s most senior member of staff and must contain

a) the name of the recipient organization, its postal address, email address, business register number and account number,

b) the name and address of the donor, and, if applicable, the donor’s business register number,

c) documentary confirmation that the donation has been paid to the recipient,

d) specification of the donation amount for which gift reinforcement is sought*,

e) a brief description of how the gift reinforcement grant is to be employed if it is to be employed for objectives other than those of the donation,

f) a copy of the written agreement between the donor and the recipient organization, indicating

  • what the donation is to be spent on,
  • the donation amount,
  • other relevant factors.

* If the donation consists of one part that does not involve any service in return and another part that does involve service in return (e.g. discounts on museum admission, specific marketing activities, etc.), the gift reinforcement grant will be calculated based on the part of the donation which does not involve any service in return. In such cases, the Ministry will adopt as its starting point the distribution indicated in the application. However, the calculation of the gift reinforcement grant need not necessarily be based on the distribution indicated in the application.

5. Processing and disbursement

If the conditions for gift reinforcement under these guidelines are met, the Ministry of Culture will award the gift reinforcement grant and provide information on reporting requirements.

The Ministry of Culture will pay the gift reinforcement grant into the account of the recipient organization. If there are insufficient funds to pay all gift reinforcement grants in the budget year the applications were received, the applications will be prioritized in the order in which (complete) applications were received. Any remaining payments will be deferred to the following budget year and will be subject to the same prioritization. The Ministry of Culture may adjust the reinforcement percentage in subsequent years. Such adjustments may also extend to any payments awaiting disbursement. If the programme is discontinued, the right to any undisbursed payments will lapse.

6. Reports, audits and verification

The recipient organization shall immediately inform the Ministry of Culture of any changes that result in failure to meet the conditions set out in sections 1 and 2.

The recipient organization shall provide an account documenting that donations and gift reinforcement grants are managed in accordance with the conditions set out in these guidelines. Museums that receive fixed operating grants from the Ministry of Culture must specify any donations and gift reinforcement grants in their annual accounts, and provide an account of such donations and grants in their annual reports. Other organizations that receive gift reinforcement grants shall report such matters to the Ministry of Culture in accordance with the Ministry’s applicable guidelines as notified at the time of the grant. If the gift reinforcement grant totals NOK 200 000 or more, there is usually a requirement that the accounts must be audited.

The Ministry of Culture may request supporting accounts information from the recipient organization with a view to verifying that the donation and the gift reinforcement grant have been employed in accordance with sections 1 and 2.

7. Repayment claims

If the conditions for the donation or the gift reinforcement grant are not met, or if the conditions in sections 1 and 2 governing the use of such donations and grants, or the requirements set out in section 6, are not met, the Ministry of Culture may request that the gift reinforcement grant be repaid in full or in part. The Ministry would note that if the recipient organization has been awarded a grant on the basis of erroneous information, this may, in special circumstances, fall under the provisions of sections 270–271 of the Penal Code.

8. The right to lodge an appeal

Decisions made by the Ministry of Culture may be appealed to the King in Council. 

9. Entry into force

These revised guidelines enter into force on 1 January 2015.