Patronage is an old procedure that makes reference to Gaius Maecenas, Minister of Emperor Augustus and an important patron for artists and writers. Its modern meaning is quite different as it has become a Communicational Asset intended to promote the long-term Institutional Image. Thus it is managed as a strategic operation of the Communication Plan.
This communicational technique refers to the contribution made by an organization to a piece of work or a person of general interest without any reward in return. This contribution should not necessarily be financial but may involve providing a place to work, materials or even “know-how" (advice or technical assistance).
Today, organizations prefer to show a more human image as a way to supplement what they say about themselves (Corporate Communication) and what their products and services (Advertising) tell about them.
Thus participation in matters of public interest leads to an association of ideas between the name of the organization and the values embodied by its actions:
Cultural (Artistic Patronage): Capacity for critical thinking, creativity at the service of collective action, etc.
Ethical (Solidarity Patronage): Sense of responsibility (in the interest of future generations or environmental issues), skills in long-term operations, market expansion, etc.
In the case of Artistic Patronage, the two most important fields are Fine Arts and Music. Regarding Fine Arts, Patronage Programmes are organized by Museums to attract investments in artistic exhibitions from the business world in general. Music Patronage includes funding for artists, concert halls and festivals; the award of scholarships; contributions to musical education; etc.
Child assistance , assistance to the most disadvantaged , donations , medical care, preventive actions, educational initiatives , medical research, international cooperation for countries in crisis ( wars , epidemics, hunger) and protection of the environment are found among the modalities for intervention in Solidarity Patronage. Research; social and public education awareness-raising campaigns; environmental conservation and recovery are among the highlights.
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