Asking artists for donations

Asking artists for donations

In a world where artists already take cuts on works sold in galleries, I have never felt comfortable donating my work for benefits or fundraisers. The reward of getting your name out there by having work sold at a discount is not something I strive to do. The idea that donating a piece of art will be good advertising, or great exposure does not compare to the advantage of art being sold at market value. Cash in hand from a sale is preferred to the possibility of a sale because your name is out there. 

Money sourcing from benefits and fundraisers creates an undercurrent of people unwilling to pay market value for art. They wait to buy artists' works at discounted prices. When some people learn annual fundraisers are opportunities to purchase art work for less, you can be guaranteed these individuals will not go to a gallery or to an artist directly to buy work, as they know it will cost more. I have witnessed well known artists' pieces sell for a fraction of the gallery price when auctioned off at a fundraiser. And there is nothing keeping the purchaser from reselling the donated art for a profit. In such a case neither the charity, or the artist gain anything from the resale of the piece.  

Sometimes artists are offered tax receipts for their donation. The receipt is often based on an appraised value of the work. The reality is the appraised value of the work means that the appraiser, who might have no prior knowledge of an artist's work-the medium, process, or even the time involved in creating the piece, gets to determine the monetary worth of the donated work.

I can't say I have an alternative to asking artists for donations, or even the answer to how to make the process more fair. But, I do know donating works of art to be auctioned off at fundraisers depreciates artists' work and sets a precedence to remove the intrinsic value of art. 

Do you have any ideas of how the fundraising sector can make raising money from donated art any better? Or go at it from an entirely different direction that does not rely on artist donations?


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