Article:
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. 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.

Advertisements