Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Donating ~ Giving Done Right

Auctions are tricky for artists since to create our work is very expensive and time-consuming. So as a Professional Artist, not only am I donating money, but also my product that is my only source of income. In a way, it's a two-tier donation. The best way to go about it that is respectful of the fundraising organization and the artist, is by following a contractual protocol:
  • The organization is a registered Non-Profit,  and provided the artist with a proper receipt for the full retail value of the work donated to help with their taxes, 
  • As well as to allow the artist to set the minimum bidding price. 
  • Alternatively, pay 50% of the final auction price to the artist, and provide a tax receipt for the balance. 
  • If it doesn't sell, then the original art is returned to the artist. 
It would be great if the fundraiser could write up a proper auction contract for the artists who are requested to donate. It increases the likelihood you'll get donations. 

Many artists are quite literally in the poverty bracket as far as Canadian stats go, yet we are asked so often to give our work away for free. For example, this week I've already had 5 requests to donate my art, all for very good causes. If I don't, I feel guilty. If I do, I feel like I've disrespected my work. Instead, I choose to take this as an opportunity to educate the organizations on how to approach artists with donation requests the RIGHT way, that is best for all parties in the end.

For an American perspective, Maria Brophy is the lady to see. Visit her Blog where her mandate is "Helping creative people to design the career and lifestyle of their dreams...". She wrote a great article The Problem with Donating Art and the Solution that goes in much more depth with great true stories she and her artist husband, Drew Brophy, have learned from. She has included a Charitable Donation Guidelines form that she welcomes us to use. Drew Brophy has also written about the subject in his Blog. Visit his post Brophy Principal: Giving Art to Worthy Causes while Protecting the Value. Here he lists 6 important criteria to determine which charities qualify for their donations.

For more information on Donating Artwork, please visit CARFAC (Canadian Artists Representation).

The following is a fantastic article on the best practices...
Donating - Giving Done Right, published by NSDCC (April 2012, Volume 17)
by Sally Erskine-Doucette

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  1. Thank you! I have read and printed the suggesteds by Maria and Drew, and signed for the newsletter. Good information shared :)


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