A benefactor, also referred to as a patron, can serve a variety of functions in the life of an artist. Benefactors tend to be older, successful and usually wealthy, and they help fund younger people's dreams and ambitions in return for companionship and the right to bask in the success that they helped fund. Being a patron of the arts (or any other type of benefactor) may seem like an outdated concept, but there are still ways that you can find benefactors, whether for yourself as an artist or for a project that you're working on.
Attend events where you're likely to find a benefactor. For instance, if you're looking for a patron to help support your painting, you should go to art galleries and talk to those who attend. If on the other hand you need a benefactor to help fund your films, attend cinema openings where the wealthier end of society attend viewings. You don't have to be the artist being featured at these events, but it helps if you are.
Place ads on the Internet, and spread word through your connections. For instance, if you're putting together a film and you have the script written, the cast ready and costumes assembled but you don't have the funding for special effects, makeup or camera equipment, you should ask people for funding. Chances are that someone in your cast, crew or your own social circle may be able to put you in touch with a benefactor willing to fund your film if he likes what he sees in your script and in your plan for getting it done.
Make a profile on a benefactor matching site. Many of these websites, such as seekingarrangement.com, will put younger people in contact with possible benefactors for "mutually beneficial relationships." Using sites like this may make it easier to find a benefactor, but you'll still need to comb through the profiles to find who best suits you and your own creative endeavors.
Make sure that when you accept help from a benefactor that there are no strings attached to it, or if there are, be sure that you're comfortable with the arrangement before you move forward.