Friday, February 1, 2013

Asking Artists to Donate and Helpful Tips

Many artists are more than happy to donate art and support special events and organizations but there is a downside for artists.

Council on Culture & Arts: FAQs about asking artists to donate art 
Here is a list of excellent tips for groups wanting artists to donate.

  •  Tax Deduction: While the value of an artwork donated by a non artist is tax deductible  this is not the case for an artist. Emerging Artists take note: the only tax deduction an artist can claim is for the cost of the materials.
Idea: Win/Win Encourage people to buy from the artist and then donate the art to the organization, with the condition the artist donates a percentage of the sale.  "This allows the donor to enjoy the process of supporting the arts and your cause at the same time." source: Examiner 
  • Exposure:  Many experienced artists don't need this and so it's not really a very good incentive. For emerging artists the problem is they rarely find out who bought their work and can follow up. After an event often artists are excluded from the list of thanks to those who have donated to the organization.
  •  Cheap Art: An artist work is rarely auctioned at market value and while it brings in some money for the organization it can give misconceptions about the value of an artists work.
  •   Freebies:  Of all the people who donate  and get freebies (such as a coupons, mugs, or other trinkets), artists are rarely offered these. 

On the PLUS side for Artists: It's good to know that you can support an organization AND your work has found a home but here are some guidelines.