Like many artists you probably donate to charitable organizations and causes you believe in. Artists tend to be generous that way. And charities love to have art to use at fundraisers.
Win-win? Maybe. Maybe not.
If you just donate your art, and don’t get further involved, you leave a lot to chance. Yes, that means adding time to what you already gave to the art.
But if you drop off the work and go back to your studio, you won’t know:
if the art will be presented to show well,
if the auction price matches the market value
or if the auctioneer will tell bidders anything about you.
And you’ll miss out on chances to make new connections.
Like many artists, you might feel underappreciated as well.
Don’t settle for any of these possibilities.
Get involved in the fundraiser event and you’ll improve the chance that your piece will show well, be more likely to sell and that the audience will appreciate you as the person who created and donated the art.
Help present the piece with proper framing, good lighting and a story to go with it;
Engage in conversations with the organization, the event workers, presenters and guests and you’ll expand the possibilities that good things will happen for all;
Set a minimum bid, and negotiate a payment for your materials and your piece will contribute to the cause as well as your business.
Abstract artist, workshop teacher and host of “Art Revealed,” Gayle Rappaport-Weiland shares a story of how she makes the most of giving.
“Ann Ranlett and I created Appeals for Art to share ideas with artists and charitable organizations for donating prudently and successfully.
I love to be able to turn my art into money for charitable organizations. Many times it is a 100 percent give, other times I work out a percentage with the organization.
When I donated a valuable painting to a major charitable organization, I was thrilled at the response. My painting earned the top dollar.
I did more than simply donate a piece of art. Be prepared, take action, leave nothing to chance and help make the sale happen.
- My contribution was very large so I offered to deliver and set up the painting on my own easel. Next, I asked the organizer if we could improve the way my piece was lit. If the piece is not well presented, it won’t sell. The stage manager used stage lighting, which created a “wow” factor.
- I checked with the auctioneer about the live auction to see if he had what he needed to introduce me as the donating artist. He was happy to have me write my brief biography and my current achievements on his 3 by 5 card. It made him shine with all his knowledge and helped the bids soar.
- When the bidding was going well, the auctioneer pointed me out in the audience and gave me a shout out. I was glad I dressed for success and presented myself as a professional artist and business owner.
A ticket to the event as a perk for donating was a marvelous networking opportunity.
- I love finding out why others support the organization and the cause I also care about, so I make sure to talk to as many people as I can during the preview and auction.
- During the preview, I stood close by to introduce myself and explain my creative process. Everyone was delighted.
- During the auction, I sat next to a major contributor and prominent businessperson, so I took the opportunity to introduce myself and hand her a business card.
- After the event, I follow up with the organizers and the new contacts I made. A simple email is always a nice touch.
Fundraiser events are not only fun, but also good for business!”
By all means - contribute to causes you believe in, have fun and help yourself while you help others get what they need. Thanks for being who you are!
Do you have a story about the last time you made a donation? What advice do you have for other artists or organizations?