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how does one handle donations.

updated sat 14 aug 04


Neal on tue 10 aug 04

> ... but mostly it is people that I've never
> heard of and will not hear of again.

I wouldn't give to people who blindly ask for
donations. The fundraisers that I've given
to have been groups that I've been involved
with or groups that friends are involved with.
It's probably easier for me since I am not a
full-time potter and don't get asked for
donations by many strangers.

In the past year, I've given pots to the local
AIDS organization, the N.C. Pottery Center,
the senior daycare center at my partner's
church, my neighbor's kids' school, the county
association for the developmentally disabled,
and the arts group at the college.

All except the last group give a ticket or two
to their events.

> ... people see these kind of silent auctions
> as a way of getting art/craft very cheap if
> not for free and that send out a wrong message
> to the public out there regarding pricing of
> art/craft.

For the most part, my pots have sold at higher
than my retail prices. One of my $60 platters at
the AIDS auction went for $145. A $35 covered
jar sold for $80 at another.

Most of the auctions will let you set a minimum
price. I have gotten sales/commissions from the
exposure. Two big ways to do this are attending
the event and meeting folks instead of just
giving a piece.


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Bobbruch1@AOL.COM on fri 13 aug 04

I finally succumbed and donated a piece to a
local theater group this year. I priced the piece
below retail to make it easy for them. In a silent
auction, the piece sold for almost double that,
slightly higher than my normal retail price, so
nobody got a bargain. However, I would have to
assume that there were at least 3/4/5 bids to
create that increase in price, & I didn't get one
call during the year from any of the viewers or
the participants in the bidding.

So, in response to next years' comments on the
"benefits" of exposure and why I should donate
another piece, I am going to ask the group to
take some steps to promote my work.
One idea is to ask for free advertising in the
program guides that are distributed for each of
the dance and theater programs. Another is to
suggest that they provide space at the theater
for artist's work during their productions, an idea
that they already have under consideration. If I
get what I want, great; if not, end of discussion.

So I guess I'd give the same advice that has been
given before: if it is not an organization to which
you would want to write a check at the end of the
year, there is no benefit to giving away your work
unless the organization is willing to take specific
steps to provide a benefit for you.

Bob Bruch