The attached letter came yesterday via email from the U.T. School of Biological Sciences. It's not a request from a charity, but from people who make a heck of a lot more money than artists do, in my case I would bet at least tenfold. I get a lot of these, some from good causes, many of them are scams, but this one got to me, maybe I was in a bad mood, or maybe just the last straw, I don't know, but I'm tired of getting these. Here is my reply:
Dear Mr. Franklin,
Per the notice on the contact page of my website, I ignore requests for donations of art. I donate a percentage of my art sales to coral reef conservation organizations and my husband and I donate a considerable amount of time, money and household goods to health and humanitarian organizations. There is a misconception about donated art being tax-deductible, only the materials used to create the art, not the value of the finished product is tax deductable. You are welcome to purchase a print on my website http://paulinewalshjacobson.com. They are reasonably priced and coral reef conservation is a great cause to support.
Pauline Walsh Jacobson
June 24, 2009
Dear Ms. Jacobson,
Good day! I just wanted to follow up on a letter I mailed to you a few weeks ago regarding a possible door prize donation for the U.T. School of Biological Sciences Staff Appreciation Luncheon to be held on July 15th, 2009. It is our hope that you might be willing to donate something (a gift certificate for one of your prints, etc.) that we can give to one or more of our staff members as a door prize. If you are interested in donating, or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by replying to this e-mail or by calling me at _____.
As I mentioned in my letter, we realize that in the current economy many are tightening their belts and we will understand if you cannot help out, but even something small would be great. Just remember, we are a non-profit educational organization and donated items are tax-deductible. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.
P.S. In case it helps in making a decision, I thought I should remind you of our plans for thanking our donors after the event. We will be putting up a thank you page in the news section of our main site (www.biosci.utexas.edu) which will list all of the businesses who helped us out and provide links to their websites. We hope this might help generate a tiny bit of extra business for those who donate.
Editor of In Vivo
School of Biological Sciences
The University of Texas at Austin