We had a thread like this last year and I will reiterate some of
what I said then, for the sake of those who (like me) find it
somewhat aversive to search the archives.
When my local arts organization does its annual fundraising auction,
we are offered 2 options: we can donate a piece entirely, or we can
donate 40% of its selling price. This year, I offered 9 pieces in the
silent auction, of which 8 sold (somebody then immediately wanted the
9th piece, and paid full retail, which was very gratifying.) The two
least expensive were full donations, the others "percentage"
donations–and I was there, hanging out by my case, selling my ass
We also are asked to set our own prices: a “minimum bid,” which
should be wholesale or less, and a “declared value,” which appears
on the bidding form, and is full retail. Most pieces sell at minimum
bid, but I had “bidding wars” on a couple of pieces this year, which
means that both I, and the organization, did better than expected.
I also had one piece, which you can see in my “members gallery” at
www.artsbenicia.org, which I knew (when I made it) would be a hard
sell, bu t for which I also knew I would feel cheated if I didn’t
pocket at least $100 . So I set my values accordingly and got my
hundred bucks and someone who would never have bought it retail is
now its proud possesser, although I have no idea if she’ll wear it
anywhere except in the boudoir. I modeled it for her, pulling down my
knit top to show her how well the scarab nestles i n ones
dE9colletage and how beautiful the piece looks against the skin.
And…it was a relief to sell it, because I needed the money.
So…why not, when asked for a donation, say, “Some organizations
offer the artist the option of donating a percentage of the selling
price” and start negotiating–unless you really want to donate it
all? if more of us pushed for such a set-up, more of us would get it.
As for for-profit shows that ask for donations…what on earth…?