I am frequently asked to donate my artwork to non-profit organizations for silent auctions and raffles. Unfortunately, the IRS code is written in such a way that artists are only allowed to claim deductions for materials used to produce the artwork and nothing at all for their time and talent.
In 2017, I'm implementing a pilot program to see if a mutually beneficial solution can be reached.
An interested organization contracts with me to paint an image relevant to their cause or chooses a painting from my inventory that would suit that purpose. Once the painting is complete, I will order small prints of the image which I will number and sign and offer for sale on my website. If it has a brick and mortar location, the organization can also sell prints. Once the prints have all been sold, I will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the prints AND the original painting to the organization.
Keys Bird Rehabilitation (fictional) requests a 12" X 18" painting of a juvenile pelican. (As a commission, I would charge $324 for this painting, unframed.) I paint, photograph, mat and frame the painting. I order twenty-five 5" X 7" prints of the painting. I sign, number, mat and put the prints in protective sleeves and feature the non-profit on a page of my website with the prints on sale for $15 (plus shipping), $5 from the sale of each print goes back to KBR.
Prints are featured on KBR webpage and are on sale at the administrative office. KBR sells seven and I sell eighteen online (mostly from link provided through KBR's social media feed). I take KBR the painting and $20 for the prints that I sold (and KBR keeps the $105 from the ones that sold at the office). They then sell one hundred raffle tickets at $5 each for the original painting.
KBR gets $625 for publicizing the artwork/print on their website and on social media and selling prints at the office. I make $250 to cover the cost of framing the artwork and getting/packaging the prints.