How much art or time can you donate to a good cause?

In the current issue of Create Magazine, Stephanie Fay writes about “The Pros of Pro Bono Work.” I have an earlier Art Marketing Action newsletter on the subject of donating your artwork, but I wanted to point out a couple of terrific guidelines Fay has in her article–especially since artists are constantly asked to donate work and talent. Fay is writing primilary for the visual communications/graphic design industry. I’ve adapted her ideas for the visual artist.

She says, among other things, if you’re going to donate work:

  • Put a plan together of how much time each year you want to devote to pro bono work. Or, if you like, how many $$ worth of your art you are willing to donate annually.
  • If you’d really like to donate to a cause, figure out how much time or $$ you’re willing to give and stick to it.
  • Track all of your time. This is not only important for you to understand your worth but for the agency or organization to understand the value of your gift. (I add: If they’re a non-profit, they might also need this for grant reports.)

So, donate away. Realize, however, that you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others.

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