17th Century Rembrandt Harmenz van Rijn etching, St. Jerome in a Dark Chamber
I am not an accountant, never was — failed math miserably — and I do NOT know tax law or what you or someone else might be entitled to. What I say below is a compendium of my best guesses. When it comes to art, that’s when I can say I’m an expert and mean it.
How to raise money for the ashram when you don’t have any money yourself? Easy as pie. Organize a Charity Art Auction. We can offer a broad range of ORIGINAL artwork from Rembrandt to Hockney, and of course we always have a large supply of local artists from our Grass Valley Graphics Group. Artists receive an honorarium — no donations from the already poor enough, thank you — and artwork from vendors are charged against the sale. Donated artwork would be exempt from this deduction off the auction sale price, thusly:
A 17th century Rembrandt which has been offered by a third party vendor at the wholesale price of $4500, which then sold in auction at $7,500, would realize a $3,000 profit to be split equally between the parties per specific agreements made prior to the auction. Keep in mind here that the retail value, the price paid in a gallery, could well be anywhere from $18,500 to $35,000 depending on the prestige of the gallery. Same piece in two different galleries could vary that much in retail price, yes. So the tax-deductable portion, less the actual retail value, for the donor is probably at best around $3,000 in this case.
Now let’s take a case of a large Leroy Neiman, the gallery price-tag is, let’s say, $190,000. No, I’m not kidding. So I would expect a donor to give at least double that in order to fully benefit the charitable intent of the auction, which is NOT to acquire cheap art because it’s a charity auction, but to give generously with the expectation of receiving a “thank you” gift in return.
Most charity auctions only put up junk, because it’s all donated art, which is, generally, junk art. Our auctions feature high-quality art pieces of the very finest degree. All our Blue-Chip Art pieces have pedigrees (called “provenance”, meaning “who owned it before you did”) and are subject to the most rigorous examination.
We ship artwork such as Rembrandts, Van Ostades and Renoirs directly to an IRS appraiser for appraisal and authentication guarantees. By law, we cannot pay for the appraisal, but you must have one anyway, and this is the best time to do that. Trust me, this is the only way to fly with valuable artwork.
I will also be offering Picasso, Chagall, Miro, Matisse and many more ORIGINAL works of art, mostly works on paper, some pencil-signed, some plate-signed. This haute coutoure will of course be peppered freely with Grass Valley Graphics Group and hundreds of donor artists and art donated by collectors.
The auctions will vary; at least one will be black-tie, and I’m hoping that FAXL will play some jazz favorites at the opening before the bidding. As at any Black Tie Auction, I plan to introduce our group of experts in various fields. As you know, David Franco is a graduate of not just book conservation and paper conservation, but of binding methods as well, so he gets to inspect the quality and binding of every rare antiquarian book we put up at auction.
I guess I’m elected as coin expert, and I’ll have a huge selection of Continentals, Early Federal, Lincoln Errors, Gold & Silver and more.
You can expect to see a variety of jewelry items, handmade goods and textiles. As we gather momentum, I’ll include saddle blankets and Tribal Weavings, rare Persian carpets and Tibetan bronzes and wooden masks.
I have a number of experts to help in the area of archaeology, but Claude Needham and I do most of the legwork. We have folks out there who can decipher Cuneiform and other early writing, so most of our work is done for us. We have the fun part, figuring out what in the world it is, and where it might have come from. With antiquities, even being present at the dig, you never know. I have a couple of Roman rings found at Amarna, because 1,300 years later, some Romans happened to stop there to fill their water jugs.
We’ll also have a variety of antiques; if you have some you’d like to donate, that’d be great, but don’t send it just yet, tell me about it first. We have enough backlog of material at the moment, at least in the art department, to last several auctions, but there, I’ve gone and done it…I plumb forgot to tell you how to raise money when you don’t have any.
You need to find a worthy, reliable, genuine and authentic, but most of all deserving, charity nearby. Find someone you can talk to. It’s best if you already know someone at the charity. Talk to them first. Tell them it’s about collab fundraising.
Collab Fundraising is getting more and more common. We often teamed up with Sierra Services for the Blind, Red Cross, 9-11 Fund and many local art services. The way it works best is, we provide the art and we host the live local audience at the tv studio; you provide the audience in your home venue.
Any winning bids from your venue will count for your charity. Winning bids from other venues or from our local bidders will not count for your charity. To win the charity donations, your group has to win the bids.
Your charity might prefer to be the only group bidding. That’s okay, but has to be specially arranged. It costs serious money to stage a live auction, and we can’t do it for two people who want bargain prices. You’ll need to gather at least 50 people who WANT to donate to charity in a fun and lastingly pleasant way.
One thing I can promise you; the audience will get a good dose of art history and a better view of what a work of art is and how it can enhance your life. Imagine the thrill of being able to donate an original Rembrandt to your favorite local museum! Many folks would love to do just that, but don’t know how. I plan to show ’em how to do it.
I have collected pieces and assembled them into important museum-grade collections, and you can do it, too, with a little help from your friends!
See You At The Top!!!