Last week I did a live painting event for the Lookout Society annual benefit gala. I truly believe this organization does great work, and the event is always great fun. I enjoy seeing the artists and supporters from previous years.
Do you donate your artwork to charitable causes? If so, why and how?
Artists and musicians are frequently asked to donate their work. The scenarios can range from invitations to hang your work or perform for free ("for the exposure") to high calibre auctions where the artist receives 50% of the sale price.
Here are some things to consider when asked to donate your work:
- Is it a cause you strongly believe in?
- Is it a recognized charity that will give you a tax receipt for the retail value of your work?
- Can you set a minimum price (important if you have collectors, so you don’t devalue your work)
- Are the people at the charity event likely to be art buyers outside of the event?
- Will you get some publicity out of the event, other than the right to talk about it in your own blog?
- Will the work be safely displayed safely and well-lit?
- Donating pieces that you consider of lesser calibre may clear some space in your studio, but doesn't represent your work well.
If you are in a postion to be asking artists to donate work, I respectfully ask you to think about the situation from our perspective.
For myself, I limit myself to two donations per year. If request number 3 comes in, I respectfully decline. No further explanation is required. If I think I might like to donate to their cause in the future, I ask them to contact me in the new year.
What are your thoughts on donating your work?