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jrgpots

Has Anyone Done A Pottery Fundraiser?

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jrgpots    231

I was thinking about hitting up a lot of potters to donate one piece to the cause and then auction these in a charity event.

 

Has anyone done this in the Past? If so was it successful?

 

Jed

Edited by jrgpots

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jrgpots    231

Camp for autism kids called "Aspie's Retreat." I formed the 501©3 July 6, 2017.

Edited by jrgpots

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Mark C.    1,805

I get hit up about 20 times a year for cause donations. I have my 5-10 per year and they are all on a 1st call and come basis. After my 10 pots head out I turn down the other requests.After doing this for 40 plus years I wish they would call a painter or other artist  or maybe a doctor or plumber and get me on an every other year rotation . You can only write off the material costs.

I do not mean to dampen your enthusiasm or cause either for that matter-just speaking the my facts.

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

Mark is right. The Reagan era ushered in the "materials only" deduction for artists when they donate work.

The Art museum here has a huge auction going on 48 years. They allow the artist to keep some of the auction prices. If you get a good auctioneer, money can be made. The Archie bray live auction had a min. of $4000 for about 12 pieces.  That has taken a while to become so successful - like 60 years. Famous Board members donate their work.

.

Marca

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GEP    863

I've been asked enough times for donated pots for fundraising. There is a right way and a wrong way. The ones who are good at fundraising are incredibly sophisticated. It's possible to do it but you need to understand the pitfalls. 

 

Never, I repeat NEVER, say or imply to the potters/artists that they will benefit from making a donation. Always approach from the angle "thank you for doing us a favor." If any request includes "you will gain valuable exposure" I immediately hit delete. It's an outright lie, and condescending, so please don't do this.

 

I used to donate a pot once a year to a group that positively gushed with appreciation for every donation, no matter how small. This works. 

 

Explain exactly how the funds will be put to use. Be as detailed and transparent as possible. Convince everyone that you are a professional who will handle the money expertly and not waste a penny. 

 

If this is your first time, you can't rely on a track record yet. But work towards building a track record. "We have raised $xxxxx in the past 5 years" is an excellent selling point. You will get more donations, and better donations, if you can show that your past efforts are successful. 

 

Get the tax information correct, which is basically that the artists do not get any meaningful deduction. (other than cost of materials, which is maybe a few dollars for a piece of pottery.) Anyone who tells me my donation is tax-deductible gets an immediate delete, because it means they are amateur fundraisers.

 

Be prepared to take no for an answer regardless. Cast a wide net. 

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jrgpots    231

This is a whole new playing arena. I am so greatful for all your advice. I really feel you guys donate so much right her in the forum. I know Mark has been a great sounding board. I really respect you collective wisdom.

 

To be honest, I hate the calls on my phone from "disabled postal workers" or "you attended our university once" please give. Now I find myself doing the asking.....funny thing about carma!

 

Would an auction for services be better? What I mean by that is establish an auction where people could buy services. I believe that is tax deductible. For example A lawyer donates 1 hour of time. A mechanic donates one tune up or a nanny donates child watching time. A Potter donates a spot in a workshop.

 

Would this work?

 

Jed

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GEP    863

Back when I was a designer, I once donated my services to design a brochure for a charity event. I listed the value of my time spent under "charitable contributions - non-cash" and my accountant said "not so fast." I don't remember the explanation, it was in the 90s.

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Chris Campbell    1,088

Sorry Jed but I have to agree with the " we get asked too often" group.

There is nothing in it for the person or group who gives. People bid as low as they can for the item, then never buy again.

Seldom does anyone say thanks ... they forget about you too until they need another donation.

Never ever ever had a call from someone saying ... hey, you gave to our auction .., now I'd like to buy a piece of your work as a gift for someone.

I have groups I donate to because I believe their track record of actually using the money right.

 

Tony Clennell has a great story about a shoe store owner who looks at the feet of the person who is asking for a donation and says ... where did you buy those shoes?

Edited by Chris Campbell

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RonSa    189

When I was in business I would limit how many donations I would give in a year and they would only be to organizations I did business with and/or ones I believed in. By January 1 I would know who I would be donating to and if anyone asked after that I would tell them to either email or write me their request and I would consider them for the following year.

 

As a woodturner I donate a few pens each year that go to American servicemen and women overseas.

http://freedompens.org/

 

And a few wood turned Christmas ornaments to an organization that raises funds for coats or toys that go to disadvantage kids. They actually give away more coats than toys.

 

This year I gave a few pots (that were not signed) to our church for their annual fundraising event. They even sold.

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jrgpots    231

I think i hear what is being said. It does seem artists are asked more than other groups. For this I am sorry.

 

I also hear the need to have some type of sincerely showing thanks. I do like what Chris is saying. It seems "reciprocity" is what is lacking in the process, if I am hearing correctly.

 

Anyway, I think I will put this thread to rest.

 

Jed

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RonSa    189

IMO reciprocity isn't a part I consider when I make personal donations. If I was looking for a return in a business setting I would a mass mailing.

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Mark C.    1,805

I will add to the idea of calling the donation an advertisement if they print your business name and use it in the promotion. This is a great area and I have done this in the past but it has to fit some extra criteria of most auctions.

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Tyler Miller    331

What I would do is track down a bunch of artists on the spectrum and have them show their work. What they sell, they keep. Then I'd sell tickets to the event, maybe get a speaker as a draw, throw an auction with donated prizes (from community/regional businesses), then a little music, some food, and a cash bar. Print up a program/souvenir booklet with the bios of the artists, what's up for auction, and then pack that with ads from local business--doctors, lawyers, community services, etc.

 

That way the artists get more than "exposure," they get a market, you get your cut with tickets, the auction, and maybe bar sales if you can get some people to donate time.

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Chris Campbell    1,088

Tyler ... what you are describing is almost exactly what all these events are.

I know I sound super cynical ... but ... what happens is the sales booths are entertainment, the auction items go to the people who bid below your market price, the brochure gets tossed in the trash, band gets paid, caterer gets paid ... artists pack up all their stuff and go home.

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Tyler Miller    331

What I've seen have a modicum more success is using a rental gallery as the venue and leaving the work up for a week. I.e. A proper show and doing a properly marketed opening. Also, if it's free for the artists to participate, what's to lose? Any other gallery would want half sticker price on the work.

 

Jed still gets ticket sales and bar, auction is gravy. You can also get funding through various organizations to help put on shows like this to keep costs down.

 

I should clarify, auction donated trips from travel companies, tools from hardware stores, glassware from the local kitchen supply. Not donations from artists. Businesses beyond a certain size, and then ad space for smaller businesses.

Edited by Tyler Miller

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jrgpots    231

Tyler, I love this idea. This gives those artists with autism a way of helping others as well as earn money. This works. One concern might be that we are exploiting them. But as long as they keep what they sell, it should be ok.

 

Once the camp is running, we plan on having a gallery and auction for the kids' work. They keep what they sell. Hopefully we will be able to have a fund dedicated to the purchasing of "nonsellable pieces" as well. This latter program will not be meant as a fund raiser. Instead it is a self confidence booster for budding artists.

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LeeU    330

The nature and scope of "the cause" may influence how you might want to approach it. The members of the NH Potters Guild donate work (fairly modest bowls, specifically) every year to a big Empty Bowls event. The proceeds go to feed people in need, and the purchaser gets a nice bowl. The potters names are put out with their bowls, but no one is looking for anything in return. At the same time, some potters' work is coveted and folks scramble to come early and buy a bowl made by so-and-so. The price range for this type of charity event is modest and more based on the size range of the bowls--not higher prices for fancier work. 

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Mark C.    1,805

I think the better question is- has anyone done a non-potter/art fundraiser?

Maybe think outside the box

Get some medical services and contractors and house cleaning folks to donate as well as plumbers and electricians-maybe an auto repair and some bankers to donate-nothing like a crisp 100$ bills from Wells Fargo to get some bidders.

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RonSa    189

Banks like to do Savings Bonds. A $100 bond only costs them $50.

Golf courses are also good for 18 holes, most will even kick in the cart.

Restaurants.

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Pugaboo    438

I donate to a couple local art centers, and I used to donate to Pug Rescue when I was involved. When I donate they always want me to fill out paperwork with all this stuff on it so I can get my tax write off. I hand them the unfilled out paperwork back and tell them this is a gift I don't claim my gifts as it's not worth the time I take to fill out the paperwork. Most of the time they take the item and their paperwork, write my name on said paperwork and thank me. I don't have time to sit there filling all that ehem "stuff" out if they want my pieces I am happy to gift them just not sitting there filling out forms to give them something for free.

 

I used to get the line, but it will be such good exposure for you! Blek! Gag! Shut up if you say that I'm not giving you anything and you've just insulted me on top of it. I got it a lot as a graphic artist when they wanted work done for free but thought if they told me how much exposure I was going to get by working on their project I would happily spend hours working for nothing. It took only once as a young artist to learn this is bull-pucky. I'd like my doctor to donate his time for free to help this artist and her favorite charity (ME) but I still get a bill in the mail.

 

I don't do email requests, phone requests, or mail requests, they all get dumped. If I personally know you, believe in what you are doing, care enough to give you something to help you continue what you are doing, I will GIFT you something as long as you don't ask me to fill out paperwork.

 

Hmm rereading that it may seem a little harsh but after 30 years of getting the same lines again and again I just don't have time for the "game" they like to play anymore.

 

T

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jrgpots    231

I thought about asking a cemetery to donate free dirt...decided against it. Even if the ground has a lot of clay in it, it just seems off.

 

It's not a good idea to ask an animal shelter for donation. You end up with 15 cats, 5 dogs and lots of Easter bunnies.

 

Jed

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Roberta12    135

Living in a small town, many many people get asked for donations for cheerleaders/football/basketball/golf/wrestling/soccer/rodeo/baseball/softball/drill teams, and on and on.  Not just artists.   Lately I do feel that the local artists are being asked more and more.   I agree with everything said above, you will have groups you want to support and gladly do so, but I like the process different people have of setting limits.  I have numerous thank you notes for my donations.  And those tend to be the groups I will "give" to again.  I also dislike the "marketing" ploy.  It's not about marketing, it is simply about raising $$ for a cause.  This week I donated a few pieces for a silent auction for a family facing a tragedy involving escalating medical costs.  I wrote out a list with the price of each piece and explained that the bidding should BEGIN at that price.  It is a fundraiser after all. 

 

I help organize the empty bowl fundraiser each year for the Community Kitchen.  I am passionate about what they do, however.....I do know the bowl some people buy will be the only handmade pot in their cupboard.  (ie, they do not usually buy pottery) I can either look at that as a way to bring handmade into more peoples lives, or to give someone a bargain while making money for a hardworking benevolence.

So to address your question Jed, there will be many people who know someone with autism and will want to donate.  Your camp will bring needed experiences to many!  Good luck and give that fundraising a try!

 

Roberta

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