center (center) wrote,

Fundraising for charity through art?


Well most of you know that I have a charity/nonprofit that I run.... this is NOT about THAT organization. (Although that organization was instrumental in making this potentially possible.)

I just had an idea for a fundraiser for some health-issue-based charities. I have (or have access to) a large amount of materials to make this happen. However, I don't have the experience of setting up, planning, and running such a charity event (or soliciting participations/submissions.) [Given, I have experience with such tasks, just not in relation to such a potential fundraiser.]

So, I am coming to you for help/advice/suggestions/help with research, etc. [Please feel free to do some websearches if you have no prior experience with such a thing, and suggest good urls to check out, thanks! Or if you do have experience with such a thing, just babble away. :) ]

Basically the format of the fundraiser is such... lots of artists, celebrities, etc. get one (or more) of item _X_. Item _X_ is the same for everybody and is an object that relates to the cause that the fundraiser is being raised for. The artists, celebrities, etc. can do whatever they wish with the object in order to produce a work of art. That work of art is subsequently displayed in a gallery showing, and sold and/or auctioned off.

Basically the low down - I have, or have access to a LOT of these item _X_'s ... anywhere from several thousand to ten thousand or more. If I do the math with 10,000 and a simple affordable number like $100, that's $1,000,000 that we could possibly raise for charity. Of course we would probably sell them off for more than $100 a piece -- but that's a lowball affordable estimate to figure out what _might_ be possible.
For that kind of possibility, I think this is something worth investigating.

Some aspects I envision:
photographing every finished piece.
producing a coffee table book on the subject (with the best works.)
producing as much additional/secondary material as the market can bear and desires (for fundraising purposes)
touring the best works and/or holding local gallery showings in big cities of as many of the works as possible.

Questions to ponder:
can/should we do this under a pre-existing non-profit organization, or should we start a new one?
which related charities should benefit from the fundraising?
what expenses will we have and how do we cover them? (Can we get donations and/or in-kind support of the things we need?)
can we get commercial sponsors to support the project?
what sort of human resources will we need for such a large project? can we get volunteers or interns?
where and how should we sell or auction the final pieces? at gallery shows? on ebay? through a large prestigious auction house? for set prices at the shows? as silent auctions at the shows?
How do we get celebrities to participate?
What are basic standard operating procedures for running such things?
How much time do we need to get the project up and running? How soon can we plan for our first event? (My first thought was to aim for an early 2009 showing, but that might be too soon.)
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