A hot topic among many of my artist friends is should one donate art to a fundraiser. Many are straight up against it! Some set yearly limits on how many they will give and to what organization's to give too.
I definitely don't believe an artist should "give" a piece of art to any and all organizations that come calling. I do believe that one should be true to the causes that are near and dear to them.
More and more organizations are recognizing that is is not fair just to ask for art and give NOTHING in return. Especially, since tax laws have changed. An artist can no longer write off the value of the art they donate.
So, what is the motivation for an artist to donate a piece of art? Personally, there are only three causes that I strictly "donate" too. One is my high school Alma Mater. I am not in a position to write a donation check nor do I live close to give of my time. The Renzi Center gets a piece from me every year. Renzi has helped me get into the fabulous art world. Not to mention, they do wonderful things for children with their after school program. The last is a breast cancer event! So many have suffered from this terrible disease. I believe a "true" donation should be kept to a limit. After all, an artist has to be able to afford to keep making art!
As far as the other events that obtain a piece of art from me, we barter! If I am given tickets to attend your event in exchange for my art, I am not coming out on the losing end. I get to see who obtains my work, meet them and foster client/artist relationship. Not to mention, partake in a social event that most likely, I would not normally attend. There are even organizations that give tickets and give a percentage of the sale. If more did that, they would get more donations for sure!
Each artist has to decide what is best for them. In the coming year, I will do a few things differently. One, is I must have all request for my art before April of up coming year. That way, I can gage my time. Second, the organization must be willing to put the minimum bid that I require to preserve the integrity of the piece.
Some artists say they give for the "exposure." I have an artist friend that HATES to hear this. She says, exposure is something an animal dies from in the wilderness in the winter. But, the donating does sometimes open up an unexpected door and is great for networking at the events.
-Just my thoughts