Monday, August 23

Whatcha Gonna Do When They Come For You?

I'm talking about charities and fundraisers. As soon as you start advertising you're an artist they will find you and start asking you for donations. This is pretty much how it sounds:

"Hello, I was wondering if you would be interested in donating a piece of artwork for my organization? This is going to be a wonderful opportunity for you and your artwork to get great exposure! We would really appreciate your help."

I probably receive 2-3 emails a month like this asking me to donate work. If I donated to all the organizations that asked me for art I would be in the business of giving it away for free and never make any money. The truth is you can only tax deduct the cost of the materials, not the estimated value of the artwork, so either way the artist loses out of their valuable time and money really never gaining any exposure in return. So why do we do it?

Here is the answer plain and simple. We all must give if we want to receive. It isn't about the money or the time or anything else except the giving. Organizations raise money to help people and this is never going to stop. There are people in this world who will always need help. Giving is a selfless act and that is how you should approach it every time.

Yes you will lose money, no you probably will not get the exposure you are promised by the event organizers, but in the end you are just doing your part as a member of society and giving the gift of your God given talents. But where do you as an artist draw the line?

I believe it's a smart idea to set guidelines for your giving. Maybe you only give to one charity a month, maybe it's just a print or it's a certificate for your art services. Whatever you decide find something that works for you and it will be easy to say yes every time!

How do you feel about giving art for donations? Please share your ideas and experiences and please leave a comment.

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