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Donating Art and the Solution by Maria Brophy

 

http://mariabrophy.com/
http://mariabrophy.com/

This is an amazing article written by Maria Brophy about being asked to donate your art to charities and how they can create an environment that is beneficial for all of us.

“Reprinted from Maria Brophy.com, a blog that helps creative entrepreneurs design the career and lifestyle of their dreams.  Visit at http://www.MariaBrophy.com

Please go to her site and subscribe,  it is filled with amazing information!!!!

Thank you so much Maria for your information generosity!

For the full article please go to the link :

http://mariabrophy.com/business-of-art/the-problem-with-donating-art-and-the-solution.html

Here are the highlights of  what Maria wrote;

“We recently sent Drew to a fundraiser put on by Hinano Tahiti, one of our clients.  They asked Drew to do a live, custom painting of a surfboard at the event, which was to be auctioned that night.

There was an exciting bidding war between two men, and of course only one could “win”.  It was fun watching the interaction!

We charged a fee to have Drew paint the surfboard at the event.  They sold the painting for three times as much and one happy gent went home with the painting.  The charity made out and it was a win-win for all.

Hinano Tahiti understood the importance of providing top quality work at auction.  They also appreciated Drew’s time and had no problem compensating him for it.  If only all fundraisers worked this way…

There are many great charities in the world, and they need your art!  But there can be problems with donating art to charities.

The good news is, together we can help charities to get better quality artwork by encouraging them to create a new way of working with artist donations.

THE PROBLEM CHARITIES HAVE BY NOT SHARING REVENUE WITH THE ARTISTS:

You’ll go broke giving to every charity that asks.  I know we used to give to anyone who called.  It was flattering at first.  Then, as years went on, I found many, many problems with giving blindly and not asking for anything in return.

For one, we were losing money we couldn’t afford to.  We already had our personal charities that we donated money to.

For another, it was taking a lot of our time and energy.  And some of the people we were giving to sadly did not appreciate it.

And lastly, we found that we weren’t wanting to give the best artwork, but rather tempted to give the items that didn’t sell.

Drew and I attended a Surf Industry Ball a few summers ago.  It’s a black tie event held yearly at the beautiful St. Regis Resort.  They hold a charity auction, both silent and live.  Many people who attend are wealthy and have no problem bidding on $10,000-$100,000 items.

You would think an event such as this would attract quality artwork.  But in the silent auction, there were amateur pieces.  There were also a few pieces of art from successful artists that appeared as though they took art that wasn’t selling in their studio and donated it to get rid of it.

Auctioning low quality art at a black tie event does not work.  But I also know, first hand, that this event does not share in the revenue with the artist donating the work.

And that’s a problem.  If the charity is not making it worthwhile financially to donate art, they are not going to attract quality art.

HOW MANY CHARITABLE DONATIONS SHOULD YOU MAKE?

Choose 2 or 3 charities that you care about and give to them.  By focusing on just a few charities, you can actually make a difference with your donations.  After your chosen few, give only to organizations that share in the revenues of the sales.  Never donate anything if it will hurt you financially.

Every day I receive 3 to 4 e-mails and calls from people, friends and clients who ask for a donation.  This is the downside to having a lot of friends and doing too much networking!

The requests range from the local High School grad night event to very prestigious events and everything in between.

Always, the charities are excellent organizations which are doing wonderful things.  It’s hard to turn these people away, particularly if the person is a friend or client.

But if I gave to even half of the requests, I’d have to shut my business down and get a real job, God forbid!

Usually for the small stuff, like the High School, I’ll donate art prints that are just sitting in the studio.  It’s not a problem to do that.

But for the black-tie events, we would not want to donate anything but top quality artwork.  Otherwise, what’s the point?  If you donate artwork that’s less quality compared to what you are proud of, than you will detract new collectors and you’ll make a bad name for yourself.

But on the other hand, when donating your best work, you’ll need to be compensated.

Together, we can convince the charities out there that it’s in their best interest to make it enticing for artists to donate their best works.

CHALLENGES WITH CHARITABLE REQUESTS THAT WE CAN HELP TO CHANGE:

  • Many charities do not give the artist a portion of the proceeds.
  • The expenses out of pocket for art supplies, canvas and frames:  Many charities ask for Drew’s painted surfboards.  The surfboard itself costs us $400 – $600 depending on the quality and size.  And then there’s the art supplies and time to paint it.
  • IRS Does not Value Artist’s Time: We are not able to write off the amount of time it takes to paint.  The IRS only allows you to write off your materials, which artists do anyway.  You are often better off writing a check for the charity rather than giving them art (unless they split the revenue).
  • Nothing to Gain: Other than feeling good about your contribution, there is little to gain.  There is no marketing value to these events, unless your name and art is printed on all of their brochures and advertising (this rarely happens).
  • Art can auction for less than it’s worth:  Occasionally the paintings we have contributed have auctioned off for less than our collectors pay.  This hurts the artist, the collectors and the value of the art.

THERE IS A SOLUTION!

A few years ago we instituted guidelines for charities.  I wrote about it on Drew Brophy’s blog back in September – you can read that here.

And thanks to Lori Woodard’s point of view written in her article titled FUNDRAISERS THAT DO IT RIGHT on Fine Art Views Blog last week, I’ve been inspired to fine-tune how I handle the requests.  I’ve tidied up a form letter that I now am sending to every request for a donation.   There is a copy at the bottom of this post.

TOGETHER, ARTISTS CAN HELP CREATE A WIN-WIN FOR CHARITIES, ARTISTS AND COLLECTORS:

Artists, let’s all get on the same page here and help educate the fundraisers and charities that need our help.  If we encourage them to, Charities will make it easier for artists to donate their top quality art.  It’s a win-win for everyone.” Maria Brophy

 

Please go to the link so you can copy and use the  form letter they send out labeled:

Drew Brophy CHARITABLE DONATION GUIDELINES

 

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The Cat Walk Wall





On Wednesday August 18th, my husband Kent, my son Lucas & I spent the day in  the middle Cat room at the Humane Society of Marion County. I had already done some work there earlier this year, but we still had to finish the Cat Walk Wall. My husband had a great idea in mind of what would be fun for the kitties, and boy was he right.

Above are some of the pictures from that day, and as you can see there are a lot of happy cats exploring the wall. The first photo showcases the whole wall and all the tubes and boards that we put up so the kitties would have a place to hang out, literally 😉 You can see me busy painting & touching up the walls that I painted a soft lavender. My husband and son are the ones wearing the black shirts and Bruce Fishalow, the Executive Director, is in the green shirt checking out our progress. Everyone at the Humane Society specially Bruce, Lyn Zambito & Mary Wrye were thrilled with the way it all turned out. They are such such Angels! The best reward for all our hard work, was seeing the kitties having a fabulous time on the cat walk. There are so many sweet and gorgeous cats there ready to find someone to love and care for them, could you be one of them? I hope you can stop by and see the Cat Walk Wall and maybe meet a new companion 🙂

When I was there I asked myself, If you look at the cost of becoming a member of the Humane Society which is as little as $15 a year  and think about how much that money can help all of them and think about how many cups of coffee you can buy at Starbucks for that, maybe 4, I think we could all brew some coffee at home and help out all these sweet animals and the amazing people that take care of them. Please Think about donating to your local shelter and you will feel like the white Kitty in the picture above, Blissfully Happy!

Check out this link to see all the different ways you can help http://www.humanesocietyofmarioncounty.com/index_files/page0014.htm

Thanks So very much!!!!

Also you can check out this page from their Newsletter they wrote some very nice things about me 🙂

http://www.humanesocietyofmarioncounty.com/index_files/Page0032.htm


In February I remodeled the 1st  kitty room and  also painted a huge tree with kittens in it, here is a short video of how it turned out


httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSkh0hm_IKM