In this paper, we try to understand the meaning of gift, with particular attention devoted to the charitable giving. By means of a descriptive analysis based on data provided by the Italian Ministry of Finance in the period 2001-2012, we analyze the frequency and the amount of donors and donations to arts and culture organizations in Italy both ad as personal income tax allowances (19% tax deduction) and choice in tax destination (5). Descriptive analysis shows how inconsistent is patronage for cultural institutions in ltaly. Moreover, we present some positive correlations between donations and some creativity indexes. Discussion and conclusion emphasize that art patronage, differently from other sectors like health, poverty alleviation aims at promoting heritage preservation or the delivery of a cultural service (offer-related), and it is not directly addressed to promote the demand of cultural good or service.