There are a number of different reasons companies should do this. From a strategic perspective, this activity can be seen as a source of benefits, a form of advertising that creates a company or brand image and transmits a sense of good citizenship.
This option is employed when direct advertising is restricted, as in the case of tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, or in markets where competition is intense. Providing support for culture and the arts is a way to gain a good reputation, build customer loyalty or improve relations with authorities, the media and society in general.
In addition, this can be an effective way of motivating company personnel. The involvement of managers and workers can bring other benefits, such as the development of new knowledge and capabilities.
Tax advantages are another reason cited for promoting culture, given that the state usually reduces taxation on private donations or makes them tax-exempt, to encourage actions that benefit society as a whole.
There are also initiatives that the private sector is better suited to undertake. The volume of social demands that the state must address makes private investment a useful tool for facilitating coverage of some needs, particularly with respect to the arts. This is due to some of the characteristics that private firms possess: greater flexibility, the capacity to adapt, a relationship with civil society actors and greater efficiency in managing financial resources.
Many philanthropic actions stem from personal motivations related to the interests of managers or owners. In some cases, this personal interest may be vested in the sense that it may provide liquidity and increase the value of a private collection, or make it possible to rub shoulders with important personalities in the world of culture and the arts. Such actions may also help transmit the business owner's ideologies. In this, the modern art patron Charles Saatchi springs to mind. Quite often, it reflects a simple enthusiasm for the arts and culture, a magnanimous motive to share.