Art non-profits face a constant challenge of finding new and innovative ways to raise funds to support their programs and activities. While traditional methods such as grants, donations, and fundraisers have proven effective, the Addison Center for the Arts has developed a new fundraising stream that involves liquidating decade-long caches of work by very elderly or deceased local artists.
Many families are left with the daunting task of liquidating or throwing away the artwork of loved ones who have passed away or are no longer able to care for their collections. Instead of discarding these collections, they can be donated to art centers where they can be sold to raise funds for the non-profit organization.
The process of liquidating artwork can be time-consuming and complicated for families, especially if they are unfamiliar with the art market. By donating the artwork to a non-profit organization, the burden is lifted from the families, and the artwork is given a second chance to find a new home.
Furthermore, this new fundraising stream is a win-win situation for all parties involved. The art center is able to generate revenue through the sale of the artwork, while the donors receive a tax deduction for their charitable contribution. In addition, art collectors are able to purchase unique and original artwork at affordable prices while supporting a good cause.
The success of this fundraising stream relies on the art center's ability to effectively market and sell the artwork. Art centers can use various platforms to advertise the artwork such as online marketplaces, social media, auctions, and physical exhibitions. Collaborations with local galleries, art museums, and art fairs, businesses, and other venues can also provide exposure and attract potential buyers.
It is important to note that while this fundraising stream may seem like a simple solution, it is crucial to handle the donated artwork with care and respect. The artwork represents the legacy and life's work of the artists who created them, and it is important to honor their memory and creativity. The Addison Center for the Arts is in the process of finding good homes for the Bruce Peterson Legacy Collection. Bruce was a prolific painter and we were bequeathed hundreds of paintings by his family. As we work with the collection, we are curating it and reporting on what we learn about him to a web page on our site. This is our first collection, but we could feature pages and collections by other artists, if necessary.
The ACA has already raised over $2500 since the family gave his art cache to us. This is a significant boost in our fundraising efforts. In the first few weeks, we sold by word of mouth. Then, the Board of Directors took select pieces to a large office building for a sale and the local village hall for another two-week sale. We are currently planning an auction at a local concert venue with live music on a Sunday afternoon featuring abstracts and exotica. In a couple of months, we will feature a curated exhibition of Bruce Peterson's beautiful architecture watercolors.
While liquidating unsold art can be a great way for art non-profits to raise funds, it's important to note that storing and maintaining the collection can be costly. Art non-profits need to consider factors such as temperature control, lighting, security, and insurance. However, non-profits often have enthusiastic community benefactors and volunteers who can donate space and time to store, showcase, and maintain these collections. Before embarking on this fundraising stream, art non-profits should carefully consider the costs and explore options such as partnering with other organizations to share storage facilities.
In conclusion, the liquidation of unsold art output of elderly or deceased members is a new and innovative fundraising stream for art non-profits. It is a win-win situation for all parties involved and can generate revenue while supporting the arts community. By donating the artwork to non-profit organizations, families are able to relieve themselves of the burden of liquidating the artwork while ensuring that the legacy of the artists who created them is preserved.
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