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Art for Non-Profits

May 2, 2017

When you give away art, you’re giving away pieces of yourself.  An artist friend and I had a lengthy conversation about non-profit donations. It was truly a pro and con discussion.

Cross Ornate Black-Silver 12x12

Sure, it’s been handy to have creative juices flowing to make cards to send and create every present; Christmas, birthday, baby shower, whatever.  But giving away finished art with an assigned dollar value for causes you believe in can help your heart grow and get some brand recognition in your local community.

You may not be able to council victims of domestic violence, or swing a hammer to help build a house, but you can donate an item for a fund-raiser or silent auction.  Graphic artists can volunteer their services to create flyers or digital ads.  Services can usually be written off as tax deductions provided you have a letter of value.

When I donate art or graphic services, I include documentation of the value.  It’s as easy as an email or letter stating “donation of three hours of graphic services valued at $xxx.” For art, include a photo of the item with the value from your website.  I usually send a document that includes my logo, a message thanking folks for supporting the organization, a blurb about the piece letting them know how it was made or the inspiration behind it, and contact info with website or Facebook page, in case they want to shop for more.

Either I’ve been lucky or my prices are too low – the donations I’ve made have garnered far more than what my prices are.  What a feeling to see a $50 piece bring in four times that.

Do you donate to non-profits?  I would love to hear more conversation about this.

Be selective if you go this route – I don’t advocate giving something to every organization that asks.  Pick one to three causes you really believe in, and start giving back if your able.  You might pick up some incremental sales and do some good it the world.  I’ll let you know how much the piece above brings in for domestic violence on Sunday.


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