Patronage is defined as "material support without direct compensation of the beneficiary of an enterprise or of a person undertaking activities presenting a general interest". It consists in the payment of a grant (in cash, in kind or in competence) to an organization (or individual) to support a work of general interest representing philanthropic, educational, scientific, social, humanitarian, sports, family, cultural needs or contributing to the development of artistic heritage, defense of the natural environment or dissemination of culture, language and scientific knowledge. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of French Law No. 2003-709 on patronage to associations and foundations, La Poste issues a postage stamp "Ten years of patronage".
The Ministry of Culture and Communication of France celebrates "Ten years of patronage". Ten years ago, on the first of August 2003 the "Aillagon law" on unprecedented development of corporate patronage and individual philanthropy was originally adopted in France. Through this low private initiative and civic engagement were encouraged in France, more than 25 000 companies and 5 million individuals are now using its provisions to the common good.