Putting the “Fun” in Fundraising

Many people are personally involved in fundraising, whether it is for their child’s minor hockey team, the PTA or a place of worship.  Others volunteer for a number of worthy causes: hospitals, the arts, social services agencies, the United Way or a variety of health-related organizations ~ cancer, diabetes, heart & stroke, etc.

Often these volunteer positions require working with staff development officers to raise funds for new equipment, programs, capital spending or operations.  One thing is certain, with government cutbacks and increases in demand for services, fundraising is more competitive then ever.  So the question remains ~ what can I do to generate additional revenue for my charity of choice?

One of the options for fundraising is to enlist an artist and frame shop to help develop a fundraising program for you featuring a piece of art that relates to your charity.  This strategy generates many benefits.  It can:

  1. Raise money.
  2. Promote your organization.
  3. Provide the buyer with a unique piece of art that they are pleased to own.
  4. Provide the buyer with a warm feeling for supporting a particular charity.
  5. Support the arts community and local artists.

There are many ways that you can use fine art and framing to generate funds for your organization:

Hold a Raffle

This is a tried and true fundraising technique.  The advantage of holding a raffle is that you can obtain a number of great prizes and generate more money than the combined value of the items by selling tickets.  It is necessary, however, to have a strong committee or system to sell the tickets.  Raffles take on all shapes and sizes from the local public school selling tickets for $2/ea for a new bicycle to the Dream of a Lifetime Lottery selling tickets for $100 for a new home worth hundreds of thousands.

A license from the City of London is required to hold a raffle.  The regulations are very specific to the value of the number of tickets that you sell versus the value of the raffle prizes.  After you have the prizes, apply for the license and then print the tickets. An original work of art or a framed print by a well-recognized artist could raise thousands of dollars.

Include Art as Part of a Live or Silent Auction

Art generates interest in any auction.  Consider including work by local artists of well-known scenes.  Put lesser-valued pieces on the silent auction table but save the showstoppers for the live auction, where prices can go above the suggested retail value during the excitement.  It is preferable to get your auction items donated, but in this competitive field you may have to purchase some pieces.  Creative Art & Frame has an auction plan where they will provide works of art to a charity.   The charity pays only the wholesale cost on the works that have been sold and can return the remainder.

Commission a Painting & Run a Set of Prints

Dr. Banting, one of the inventors of insulin, was also an artist who painted with Group of Seven member A.Y. Jackson.  The Banting House National Historic Site on Adelaide St. recently reproduced Banting’s, Near St. Irenee 1931, which it used as a fundraiser for Banting House and the Canadian Diabetes Association.  They sell the print both framed and unframed.

If you plan on commissioning a painting and making prints, you will require seed money to pay the artist and the printer.  This type of project can be very profitable, but a saleable image that is widely appealing is crucial. This type of fundraising has a longer term as it may take several years so sell all the prints.

Give Framed Art as Prizes

There are many charity golf tournaments so uniqueness is important.  Signature Authentics is a supplier of sports memorabilia out of Toronto.  They can provide framed mini prints of popular professional golfers to use as registration gifts or larger signed photos for the tournament winners.  These great pieces also create activity at the silent auction table.  Their website is www.signatureauthentics.com and Creative Art & Frame is their exclusive London dealer.

With a little creativity and imagination, there are many opportunities to use art as a fundraiser.  Have fun and good luck with your fundraising.


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