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jrgpots

Has Anyone Done A Pottery Fundraiser?

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I think what Mea said rings the most true to my experiences with this stuff. If you ask for work don't try to sell them exposure yadda yadda. Just ask for work from their heart if they have the time to help your organization.

 

I don't think anyone who donates time/pots/services or what ever gains any real benefit besides feeling good about themselves. We are so exposed to this type of garbage all the time I think we are completely immune to it. Think about all the fairs you go to with booths for businesses giving away things and stuff, its always just a waste of time, people walk up take whatever they are offering and as soon as they turn around they forget the name of the business.

 

If you ask people to give work, make sure you explain what exactly the money from sales will be used for. A nonprofit I give a lot of service to is called The Joy House. They help to troubled teens. Whenever they ask for donations or money it is never for the "cause" it is always very clearly explained dollar for dollar what they want to do and what they need. Like black and white accountant type document. We need $10,000 for this, here are the cost of this process and this is directly where your money will go. 

 

Without this transparency I think a lot of people feel very awkward about giving. It is much easier to give when you see directly what your item or money will go towards and there is no confusion about it.

 

I mean lets face it, giving for tax breaks is never really the main motivation for giving. The reason for giving is because we believe in a cause, the tax breaks are just an added bonus.

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In thinking about it, it seems to me that artists might be better off donating cash instead of work. However, organizers of these events are much more interested in having items they can auction off (like a gift basket, meal at a restaurant, ticket to a sporting event, or a piece of art) because they need product to offer at their fund raising event. 

 

Another potter and I have agreed to donate 10 large serving dishes each that will be used for a chef sponsored "pop-up" dinner where the proceeds from the event will be donated to various charities.  With respect to the serving dishes, the organizer wants to use the serving dishes during the event and then auction them off afterwards. We support the cause and are fine with this overall concept.  

 

The first thing the chef organizer said was to put a high value on the items being donated and take a big tax write off. Had to explain that it doesn't work that way as artists only get to write off their materials.  There's so much misconception/ignorance about artist donations. 

 

In this instance, rather than donating the items to the organizer, I'm considering personally auctioning off the work to the dinner participants with the understanding that I would donate net proceeds of the sales to the charity.  If I take this approach, to do it legally, I think I would have to treat the auction sales as normal business sales - including accounting for sales tax and claiming income from the sales.  While this structure is probably too much work for donations of single items, it seems like this might be a legal way to get a tax write off for the true value of the work instead of the materials.  We potters also get to personally interact with the purchasers so it creates a better relationship opportunity to potentially gain a customer.  

 

Any thoughts from the group on this approach?

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This will work in terms of a better tax deduction for you. But the person buying the platter does not get any tax deduction in this scenario. They will know that the money went to charity, which might be enough for them (or might not). If there are other artists involved, they might not all be filing Schedule Cs in order to make this work. But still it's worth discussing with the organizer. It would be nice if they gave you the option to handle it this way. 

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We had an annual fund raiser in Billings for the Mental Health Foundation's Drop-in Center for the Adult Mentally Challenged. May Clay Day.

We got corporate sponsors, ads in the newspaper and wheels brought in from the University, schools and potters studios. We may have had about 40 wheels. Then abut 300 volunteers and people to help teach throwing. Clay was donated. People tried the wheel with assistance. The little kids were the most fun. Handbuilding tent was there with volunteers too. We have music, food, booths where potters sold work. We fired work and arranged for pick up two weeks later. We also had raku demos and let people glaze bisqued pieces. We planned it for at least 6 months prior..ttook place in one of the city parks. I was on the board for 8 years..until I moved. I also volunteer small workshops at the Drop-in center. Best way to success is to get the whole community behind you. Corporate sponsors is a big help for funding the basic event. Banks, newspaper, Businesses.

Marcia

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Interesting approach S. Dean but considering the extra time and paper work I agree with what you said in your first sentence in post #27 "In thinking about it, it seems to me that artists might be better off donating cash instead of work."

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Interesting approach S. Dean but considering the extra time and paper work I agree with what you said in your first sentence in post #27 "In thinking about it, it seems to me that artists might be better off donating cash instead of work."

 

For someone who does not file a Schedule C, this would involve a big learning curve and a lot of extra paperwork. 

 

For someone who already does regular bookkeeping and files a Schedule C, this would take minimal effort.

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Here is more info about the event I mentioned earlier, the one where the organizers gush with appreciation. Although a silent auction of locally-made pottery was the public definition of the event, I'm pretty sure the pottery sales were only a fraction of the income. The pottery was auctioned at a gala dinner with $200/person tickets. I suspect the ticket sales generated more income than the pottery. At the gala, there was also a live auction of much more expensive donations, vacation packages and things like that. Some items brought in thousands of bucks. Everything was sold at way above market value, including all the pottery. This was the atmosphere that the event created. The artists who donated each got a free ticket and a free dinner. Every single person was made to feel important, from the artists to the rich folks. This is what I meant when I said high-end fundraising are very savvy.

 

Joseph said that donations must come with a payoff of good will. This is true for ordinary folks who are making modest donations. This is not to be dismissed or treated as unimportant. But successful fundraising also reaches out to those for whom a tax deduction is the payoff, because they make too much money, and their accountants/lawyers tell them to do this. Yes, these people exist. A good fundraiser will connect to this entire spectrum of people.

 

Edit to add: I forgot some details about the event. Most of the gala tickets were not sold individually. They were sold in blocks to big DC employers. Lots of law firms, as I recall. The law firm pays for an entire table, then send its employees to fill the seats, have a fancy meal, and some fun auction shopping. Do you see where the money is really coming from, and why it makes sense for a law firm to do this? Also, the event was always on a weeknight, ie cheaper hotel ballroom rates, or possibly they got the ballroom donated when it would have otherwise been empty. Weeknights didn't matter to the guests, because they just walked over from their downtown offices to a downtown hotel, already in business attire.

Edited by GEP

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But successful fundraising also reaches out to those for whom a tax deduction is the payoff, because they make too much money, and their accountants/lawyers tell them to do this. Yes, these people exist. A good fundraiser will connect to this entire spectrum of people. 

 

Totally agree here. These people are the core donors and usually if you can land these people year after year you will have a successful non-profit. At least my experience with a few non-profits that I am involved in these people's donations are very key to their success. Not to say that the average persons donations are not important, they are, but for the non-profit to plan and make expansions it requires these people who donate large sums of money.

 

If a non-profit only gets the small donors year after year they will eventually die out. It will be very obvious with their language in their promotions to get you to donate time/pots/etc. If they seem way to marketing like, it is a sense they are failing to raise money. All the really successful non profits that I have been involved with locally never say you will gain any kind of business or anything.

 

It is always: We need your help. You make a difference in these kids/peoples lives. We will use your money for this reason(s).

 

The ones that are failing are like: You will gain customer eyes, your brand will be forefront, etc etc. Those are the giveaways that they don't have big backers behind them usually. 

 

This is just my experience here. I could be way off.

Edited by Joseph F

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This will work in terms of a better tax deduction for you. But the person buying the platter does not get any tax deduction in this scenario. They will know that the money went to charity, which might be enough for them (or might not). If there are other artists involved, they might not all be filing Schedule Cs in order to make this work. But still it's worth discussing with the organizer. It would be nice if they gave you the option to handle it this way. 

Thanks Mea. I hadn't thought through that the purchaser wouldn't get a tax write off in this scenario. 

 

Can anyone confirm the rules on how much a purchaser is able to claim as a tax write off?  I think (but am not sure) that the buyer can claim a charitable contribution for the amount paid in excess of the retail price.  However, in the case of artwork, if the artist can only claim their materials it seems like there is an argument that the write off should be for the price the buyer paid in excess of the cost of materials.   :wacko:

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This will work in terms of a better tax deduction for you. But the person buying the platter does not get any tax deduction in this scenario. They will know that the money went to charity, which might be enough for them (or might not). If there are other artists involved, they might not all be filing Schedule Cs in order to make this work. But still it's worth discussing with the organizer. It would be nice if they gave you the option to handle it this way. 

Thanks Mea. I hadn't thought through that the purchaser wouldn't get a tax write off in this scenario. 

 

Can anyone confirm the rules on how much a purchaser is able to claim as a tax write off?  I think (but am not sure) that the buyer can claim a charitable contribution for the amount paid in excess of the retail price.  However, in the case of artwork, if the artist can only claim their materials it seems like there is an argument that the write off should be for the price the buyer paid in excess of the cost of materials.   :wacko:

 

 

 A purchaser can not deduct a donation IF they receive something for that donation such a a piece of art work or Pottery

.

Marcia

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This will work in terms of a better tax deduction for you. But the person buying the platter does not get any tax deduction in this scenario. They will know that the money went to charity, which might be enough for them (or might not). If there are other artists involved, they might not all be filing Schedule Cs in order to make this work. But still it's worth discussing with the organizer. It would be nice if they gave you the option to handle it this way.

 

Thanks Mea. I hadn't thought through that the purchaser wouldn't get a tax write off in this scenario.

 

Can anyone confirm the rules on how much a purchaser is able to claim as a tax write off? I think (but am not sure) that the buyer can claim a charitable contribution for the amount paid in excess of the retail price. However, in the case of artwork, if the artist can only claim their materials it seems like there is an argument that the write off should be for the price the buyer paid in excess of the cost of materials. :wacko:

A purchaser can not deduct a donation IF they receive something for that donation such a a piece of art work or Pottery

.

Marcia

Save[/size]Save[/size]

S. Dean is right. The purchaser can claim a deduction for any amount paid in excess of the retail value. But the artist can only deduct the materials cost. And S. Dean is right that this is totally unfair. Grrrrrr.

 

Edit to add: Although this is unfair, we artists have ourselves to blame. In the past too many artists would cheat on their taxes big time by making donations and claiming outrageous retail values. More grrrrr. Now we current-day honest businesspeople are stuck with the materials-only deduction.

Edited by GEP

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Our studio and galleries are constantly hit up for donations. The requestors don't seem to realize we are on a consignment basis and the decision is up to each artist and not the organization. Also, they often come in and want to walk out with a piece - allowing no lead time.

 

We have finally decided to donate gift certificates from the gallery of a certain amount each month, selecting the high exposure events.  With a gift certificate, people have to come in and see the gallery to use it and they often end up purchasing more than the certificate value. 

 

That said, sometimes some cute girl scouts come in and I just give them something of mine. Gift certificates might be hard for a person who does not have a retail outlet though it could be spent at the craft fairs. 

 

I have often wanted to write a letter to the editor about hitting up artists for charities so much as we are some of the poorer people around. Why not have wealthier people purchase a piece and donate it? I know lots of other business get hit up for gift certificates and products around here too so its not just artists. 

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The businesses get hit up to buy a table ... then they have to fill the table by calling people who don't want to be there and often cancel at the last minute. Then the host eats the cost and fills the table with non paying guests who don't have the desire to bid on anything.

 

This method of fund raising worked well when it was NEW ... about 30 years ago.

I just wish someone would put it to rest by coming up with better ideas.

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Just throwing out an idea here, don’t know anything about US tax and deductions.

 

 

Fundraising outfit sets the minimum bid price of the works at wholesale cost. (for the sake of argument say thats 50%). Auction then keeps anything over the 50% and artist gets paid for their work. Fundraiser doesn’t make as much money per item but perhaps higher end work and / or more works would be donated if both parties found it profitable. Skip the tax deduction for the artist, don't know how it works for the buyer in the US.

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Mark and Chis, What would be your perfect fundraiser? This does not need to include art? You have been around the block and have great wisdom with this.

 

Mea, how do I make something great out of something so burdensome to the true creators of beauty, artists,,,you guys,,,And how can we "repay you?"

 

Min, I think this could work if we put on an exhibit in a gallery. However, as Chris said the buying may be sparse.

 

Jed

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I really appreciate everyone input. Project development is a whole new area for me. I had been trying read up on this topic. Did you know there is ano entire nomenclature or language associated with fundraising. In fact "fundraising" is a bad or outdated word? The proper term is "development" and a volunteer is a "gift agent."

 

Does that mean if people don't know about a fundraiser its volunteer could called a "secret agent?"

 

 

Just a thought,

 

Jed

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I help out at two fundraisers per year on most year-one is for a land-trust. Usually I donate a pice of work during their silent auction and they have a live auction for big ticket items-I have been one of the two fish cooks -cooking bbq tuna for the dinner which is about 200 people who pay 25-35 per person for the gala event.They also have bbq beef and the other food is catered.I have done this about 2-3 times-this year I'm at my nephews wedding so I'm off duty. I am very good friend with a board member and former President of said land trust -The event is boots and Berkenstocks

as its a varied mix of both sides of the isle.Many ranching families come as well as donate.

I wear Birkenstocks as normal attire .

I get to eat with the main dinner folks as well if I want two.

 

The second is cooking bbq tuna for many hundreds during a local block party for fundraising for the Nicaraguan sister city. It a 6 hour event on the street. My good friend hosts the event and I have been one of many cooks (no pottery) for many decades-its always on Labor Day. My only out really is if I'm tuna fishing on the ocean that day.I also sell my mugs at the restaurant that sponsors this event and I'm part of the family .

The other donations are lesser events an like a orchestra fund raiser or friends of the dunes or my longest donation our environmental center.

I get asked by endless schools and non-profits-maybe 20 a year so NO is a standard response.

 

 

This year I donated  to another land trust -my small display rack with $1,000 of pottery-they where having a painting show and I like their cause so I made them an offer they could not refuse-I set up the rack and filled it with pottery-they keep all the money. The show ran for 2.5 months 4 hours two days a week on weekends -they made around 200$. I feel they did not have their act together as much as they could have.They never approached me I approached them.This is the best kind of donation for me.

 

Jed for me I have just been asked to many time to long-thats the truth and now I need to care about it myself or I'm out .One of the last years events I gave another potters pot that I had in my collection so that worked for me.They asked me to give my work this year.

I'm just to jaded at this point.I'm getting to the point of saying no to all except ones who do not ask.

One last note-having any paperwork for me to fill out is a deal breaker right then-they need to send me the results of the donation so I can keep track of it-thats all I want or really not to be asked is better. Let me decide on who when and where.

I have always wondered why artists bear this burden ?I have a great piece written in a newspaper on why not to donate your art I'll post it when I run across it.

Edited by Mark C.

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Dealbreakers for me:

 

1. When I catch even the slightest whiff that the person asking has a sense of entitlement about getting stuff for free. Like the universe owes them.

 

2. When the person asking indicates that I must have plenty of free time and plenty of inventory sitting around. There are lots of people who think that artists' lives are leisurely and unaccountable, and therefore we'd better give back because we're so "lucky." Those people make me angry.

 

3. I mentioned this one before. When the person asking indicates that they are doing me a favor.

 

4. When I need to go far out of my way, time and distance, to deliver the donation. Again, I don't have free time. Shipping a piece does not save time. Pottery is fragile and there is no easy way to transport it. When I can tell the person asking has not put any thought into this, then I figure they haven't put enough thought into the whole fundraiser. Here's what works: "we know you will be at the ACC Baltimore show next month. If you make a donation, we will send someone to pick it up from your booth."

 

So how can you repay me? Don't make any of the above mistakes. Show respect for my time and my work. Free dinner or a fun party doesn't hurt, but with the event I described above, the gala was always on a Thursday night and I couldn't attend because I was teaching classes then. Not a dealbreaker.

 

As for the payoff of personal interest, these days when I want to give to a charity that has personal meaning for me, I prefer to give money. So much easier all around.

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i love the empty bowl idea.   our guild supports the one in winchester, va for the shelter for abused women and children.  we donate 25 bowls each and raise a great deal of money for them.  it is a fun event with many organizations helping make it a success.  tickets are sold in advance and the lines for picking up bowls is long with cheerful people seeking just the right bowl.  the room is filled with laughter and the buyers' obvious enjoyment of the social occasion, sharing with everyone else the fun of comparing the bowls picked and the soups served. tickets are $35.

 

i cannot find a way to support the one in florida anymore.  the price of a bowl is $10.  the event is more like opening the doors to a department store having a 90% discount sale on everything in the store.   the organizer does NOT see this as an insult to the potter, the buyer and the charity.  i will give money directly to the charity. 

Edited by oldlady
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I agree with Mea ... easiest for me is money. We have honed down our giving to local places, people we personally know and organizations we admire and trust.

 

So, my idea for you is to look around your friends, family and neighborhood for your idea. What would these people who know you and trust you want to participate in to raise money? Have an idea come from your heart and people will feel it and help you. Start small and work on building your network. Get a good reputation for using the funds well. A solid foundation for long term funding of the camp.

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Thank you for a fascinating topic, It has been interesting to read and think back to the multitude of requests received during my short time selling pottery.  Simple rule for me....if I like/agree/support your cause and the 1st request of the month, you get a pot.  If not, you don't.  I don't donate from the booth, must come from stock.  If I don't get a thank you, preferably by mail, but in person will suffice, you are off the list for future donations. I don't bother with paperwork, other than give them 2 business cards, one to stay with the pot, one for their forms.  I will deliver locally if convenient, otherwise they have to pickup.

 

I annually donate to the local art center's big gala event.  In exchange for the donation of art, can either get 25% of the sales price or a ticket to the event.  I've gone a few times, other times just donated the the whole amount. This style of event still working here, every piece I've donated has gone well over my original asking price. I have always been treated great, before, after and during.  The really rare part, I mean really RARE part, is I've actually sold additional pieces to the winning bidder when they contacted me after the auction.  So it does happen, but only when Halley's comet eclipses the sun on the 5 Tuesday of the month.

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Every September, SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) sponsors Recovery Month to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and celebrate the people who recover. The annual theme is Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities.  

Last week I got invited to participate in a fundraiser in support of a new local community resource, called The Dry Dock...a "safe" place for people and/or their families/friends/kids "in recovery" to hang out and connect with others, catch "a meeting" or support group,  as well as join in fun/games/events.

I have a real aversion to shows/exhibits/craft fairs/art fairs etc. and have determined that I just won't do them (except exhibits associated with my potters guild, to support the guild).

However...I am going to eat my words and do this thing.  I've worked it out to be minimal physical exertion and easily organized to showcase a batch of my "smalls", selected to sell  and generate a decent donation. It will be a first for putting my face and my stuff out in my own neighborhood.  It's only one short day, so we'll see how it goes.

 

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