A patron is someone who aids someone or something in financial terms. Someone may be a patron to an individual, an organisation, a charity or just to a particular cause they believe to be worthwhile supporting. Historically patronage occurred when a group or an individual On a more general note an act of patronage is any situation where a certain receiver receives any kind of finance from a patron in the form of a donation, purchase or other means.
For the receiver of the aid the patron can be crucially important. In the case of many charitable causes they couldn’t continue without a large amount of patronage. Many rich and famous people have links to a certain charity through patronage which may involve actively raising money for them or just donating some of their wealth. Due to the fact that much charitable work is involved in saving or extending the lives of people on a daily basis then to some individuals a patron can be seen as a life saver.
As mentioned earlier patronage is when any kind of financial transaction occurs between two sides. Therefore this means that everyone is a patron in some way or another. However in the case of many groups particularly charities they need to seek patrons from various sources. They may approach well known people who they know are wealthy and prosperous and ask them to get involved and become a supporter of the charity. This person may receive personal benefits in return just by their name being linked with a certain good cause.
There is a risk that some groups and organisations could be accused of arrogance if they rely too much on the patronage of one individual rather than having multiple contributors. Alternatively an individual person who relies on the certain patronage of someone for their well being could be seen as selfish as they may be able to support themselves but don’t due to the patronage they receive.
In some cases, particularly in donations to political parties, transgression may take place as patronage to political parties or politically motivated organisations is highly regulated. Hence the financial aid someone can give may be limited or it is declared to be illegal.