Best Practices To Get Local Artists Involved In Your Cause

Best Practices To Get Local Artists Involved In Your Cause

If you run a nonprofit, you probably spend just as much time, money, and energy planning fundraisers as you do working towards the change you wish to see in the world. But since most non-profit organizations mainly depend on donations from individuals, fundraising is always a necessary expense. In fact, Giving USA states in a recent report that total charitable giving in the U.S. reached more than $410.02 billion in 2017, and of that staggering amount, 70 percent came from individuals (1). One way to obtain more donations is to get local artists involved in your cause.

Artists also depend on those who appreciate the arts and culture and want to support local talent to make an income. So it only seems natural to combine efforts in order to gain exposure and financial support for both parties. But how does a non-profit get an artist (or multiple artists) on board?

Set The Stage At An Event

First and foremost, you have to offer your artists some form of exposure that will make it worth their time. Whether you need art to auction at a fundraiser or sell at an event, the artist will want to see their work in the hands of your patrons, as well as evidence that their art helped contribute to your cause in a meaningful way. The best way to do this is to ensure that there will be people at your event willing to purchase that artist’s work.

Since artists often get asked to donate their work several times each year, with little to no financial benefits, it doesn’t make matters better when they have to pay to ship an unpurchased piece back to their studio. So although it may take time and networking, if you can work towards getting everything sold, artists will be more likely to donate their work in the future.

Traditionally, artists are asked to donate to auctions, silent auctions, and raffles, often not receiving fair compensation for the value of their work. Also, the IRS only allows the supplies to be deducted, and not the price or value of the art.

Give Them Your Walls

Let’s face it, your office could use an upgrade. Why spend membership fees on office decor when you have local artists to support? Converting your conference room walls to a gallery space is a perfect way to make money from art and give back to the artists that support your cause. Offer to allow them to hang their work in your office, as well as information on how to purchase the work. You can take a small percentage of the sale as a donation, and the artist can keep the rest and get more exposure. Artists will also appreciate a free space to keep their work (other than a closet).

Combine Your Visions

Work in sustainability? Find an artist that uses creative reuse to make their art and do a collaborative public art project together. Does your cause support animal rights? Find a local Etsy artist that makes pet portraits and see if they are willing to donate a percentage of their profits. Artist’s are people with passion and a vision, just like you and the people who support your cause. So don’t just find “any artist,” but instead find an artist whose work will touch the heart of your patrons.

The bottom line, support the artist the way you want people to support your non-profit. Ensure a fair, transparent experience that will be mutually beneficial to both parties, and you could quickly develop a thriving relationship with creative and passionate supporters in your community.