Monday, August 1, 2016

Raising Funds and Supporting a Cause

2016 Painted Chair and More Auction
Photo by V. Clack

The completely non-profit, all volunteer animal rescue group the Independent Animal Rescue held it's annual Painted Chair and More auction on Saturday, July 30 here in Durham, NC. As many of you know, animal welfare is an issue that I care deeply about.

I love to create special pieces for this auction. I look at this as an opportunity to support their efforts and to let my creative juices go. I plan for something fun, unique and useful, hoping to capture enough interest to create a bidding war.  Knowing that the money will go to help the animals is my primary motivator, but watching a piece that I made create a buzz is a wonderful feeling.

Stained Glass Mosaic Chair
Chair and Photo By P. MacLeod

I wasn't able to attend this year's event due to a scheduling conflict, but I did get an update from an auction organizer. Although my chair raised $150, overall the total amount raised was not as much as last year. Obviously the ideal would be that each year would raise more or at least as much as the year before.

This brings me to a subject that I have written about before (5 Things to Consider Before You Donate), but also reminds me of a conversation that I had with an artist friend recently. The practice of donating your work for fundraiser such as this one is a personal choice that shouldn't be based on whether or not you benefit directly from making the donation. Artists are told over and over that your donation is also "exposure" for you and your work. I don't know anyone who has made a follow up sale or commission from participating in an auction. On the other hand, I have more time than money and making a donation is my way of supporting the cause. 

After thinking about this for a bit, I have begun to wonder if an auction fundraiser the best way to raise funds? If you have insight or just ideas, please leave me a comment!

May all of your scores run true!

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