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Posted: Sat May 03, 2014 9:20 pm
I have been asked to provide three items for an auction. It is for the S.G.Kolman pre-walk auction. I like the cause and feel fine donating, but when it comes to putting a value on the items I am confused. Do I put the IRS donation value of the materials or the price I'd sell it for in a gallery? We know the gallery price is higher. I am not sure how the auction does on items going for full price. I'd rather make the price lower and have it sell for more than to set the price and have it not met. I suppose I could put a reserve on it. If it doesn't meet the minimum I set, I won't sell it? Or I could bid on it myself (if I'm there or have a friend do it) and then sell it in the gallery.
Does anyone have some good advise for this? I really need to hear others' experiences and advise.
Posted: Sun May 04, 2014 1:36 am
I think you can only count the cost of materials as the amount donated - mind you this is a slippery slope.
Posted: Sun May 04, 2014 9:42 am
here is a good essay on donating art. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mat-gleas ... 72953.html
i donate only to local causes like raising money directly for someone in a bad way or empty bowls . i do not donate to top heavy national organizations such as komen. https://www.facebook.com/pages/De-fund- ... 0872914883
Posted: Sun May 04, 2014 10:41 am
Most auctions have a price that is the "value" of the piece (what it would sell for), and a minimum bid or reserve.
I would set the value at whatever you sell the piece into your market for. If you sell it on Etsy for $100, then the value is $100. The minimum bid is up to you, but don't undervalue your work.
I go to several local auctions throughout the year. People will pay the minimum they can to get a "deal" on whatever it is they are bidding on. If you set the minimum bid low, someone will pay that minimum and then walk away feeling happy. From what I have found, glass appeals only to a certain audience, and you might find your piece is not bid on at all, unless your work is particularly exceptional and stands out in the sea of donated items (no disrespect to your work, but that is often the case). Or, unless you have a "name" for yourself in the community. With the auctions I go to, there are certain items that demand a very high price year after year (i.e., wine and spanish tapas dinner for eight, or dinner for two and cab ride home at a local dive/bar
), but other things will go for pennies on the dollar.
Posted: Sun May 04, 2014 5:48 pm
You can only deduct the cost of materials, so the deduction is barely worth noting. My next charity project utilizes broken tempered glass that I got for free. My electricity cost will be around $15.
I have several local nonprofits that I donate items to. Many of these have more or less the same patrons. I live in a relatively small community. I learned early on not to donate seconds, because it is often friends of mine who bid on my work. I prefer live auctions to the silent ones. Silent auction pieces are the ones that often go for below value. In live auctions with good auctioneers, I have seen bids go well above appraised value and well below.
This next piece I am doing will be the featured item in their auction. I will be getting real good press and publicity for it. It is an art piece. I will value it about double what I might normally charge for a commission. I already know who will be bidding on it, and it isn't even made yet. It will be an excuse for them to donate to the cause, and add to their collection of my work. I feel great about being able to donate to these local nonprofits. I can't give them cash, myself. But, I can raise money for them and raise my artist profile in the community, which is a win win. Each one is totally local, and quite worthy of community support. I love where I live, everybody is a big fish in a small pond...
Posted: Sun May 04, 2014 6:05 pm
You can only donate the cost of materials. PERIOD.
And most likely you have already deducted that on your taxes the year you bought the materials.
So if you donate, do it for the cause, not for tax reasons.
Posted: Sun May 04, 2014 8:09 pm
Your "value" has 2 different answers.
For the Value that the auction wants to know you give them the Retail value.
For the IRS (and only for the IRS) you give the cost of materials.
Posted: Mon May 05, 2014 2:25 am
Donated my work a few times long ago, was very disappointed each time. Now I give money, or my time.
Frankly, if you really like the cause I think those are more effective ways of helping. The problem with donating artwork is that people don't necessarily come to charity auctions thinking they're going to pay MORE than something's worth; they're bargain-hunting. If you donate, the tax write-off is minimal, there's a good chance the charity won't get the full value of the donation anyway, which could also devalue your work, and it could turn out embarrassing for both sides.
Posted: Tue May 06, 2014 5:33 am
I greatly appreciate the responses. It gives me grist for my mind mill. Most points I have thought about and I see by the responses that things haven't changed from the posts I read that were dated 2004. There was talk in 2004 that perhaps artists could take the value of the piece that included their time. I guess congress didn't change that... or whoever changes these type of laws.
I will be having lunch with the woman who wants me to donate and will hash out just what she would like from me and I will bring the pieces I am considering donating. She is a generous donor to many worthwhile causes. I think I'd do it because it is her. After reading the responses I will be paying attention to see if she is interested in assuring that the pieces will sell for a good price. If she likes the work I bring or if she had something else in mind. I don't mind creating for a patron if she would like to bid on my work and help to raise awareness of my work. (All points brought out by you responders)
I'll let you know what I do. It makes me feel much better having a sounding board to check-in with.
Posted: Tue May 06, 2014 5:52 am
Terry, Dana, Rosanna, Bert, Barry, Brad and Cynthia,
Thank you all for your 2¢.
Posted: Wed May 07, 2014 1:54 am
I got asked to donate to an organization that I used to do a lot of award for and I had a personal connection with the director. The director is gone so I'm not as connected. When the director retired I gave them a 1200.00 piece for 300.00 I wanted to because I have decades of respect for this director. Well I donated something that I consider a first but just wasn't selling. So someone on the board of the organization bid on it. But she did not like the color - so she contacted me and wanted to trade for some other color........I was not happy.
Posted: Sat May 10, 2014 9:14 pm
Terry- the answer is no. You can add "sorry" if you like but I wouldn't. You put yourself out enough.
Posted: Sat May 10, 2014 11:43 pm
I've had friends who've done this, with their accountants' blessing: They sell their work to someone who also wants to donate to the charity, at whatever discount both are comfortable with. That buyer donates the work to the auction and so writes off the purchase amount--that is actually what they have donated. Then the artist donates that money to the charity, and writes off THAT amount instead of just the value of the materials.
The charity gets the work for the auction, plus the money, so they're happy, too.
Posted: Sun May 11, 2014 5:51 am
I like that idea Cynthia. It really helps everyone. Now I'm looking over my Christmas card list to see who I want to ask to help me out.
<big grin> Thanks again.
Posted: Tue May 20, 2014 6:57 pm
Marty wrote:Terry- the answer is no. You can add "sorry" if you like but I wouldn't. You put yourself out enough.
luckily the retail value of the item was only 45.00 - I don't put myself out there very much....