How to Donate to an Art-Based Charity
Donating to art charities brings more music, dance, painting, photography and theatre to your community. When you volunteer your time, give financial support or donate a car to the arts you play a part in expanding programs for adults and children.
Why Donate to Charities that Support the Arts
If you took dance classes as a child or excelled at drawing and painting in school, you may already have an appreciation for a particular form of the arts. You may even serve as a docent at a local museum or volunteer your time to performing arts charities.
The tickets you buy for the county symphony concerts are a nice means of support. And when your bike club holds an annual ride for children's art charities, that's a great boost as well. But most nonprofit arts and culture charities look for every form of revenue they can, in order to stay afloat.
Art museums, for example, don’t succeed because they start off with a large, complete collection, says an article by Sotheby’s Institute. It’s easy to assume that successful nonprofit museums begin with a wealthy collector who bequeaths hundreds of art pieces to get it established.
Museums get their revenue from three main categories, the article says:
• Fundraising efforts
• Merchandising/gift shops
"Museums, among other nonprofits, employ a wide spread of tactics to bring in income,” Sotheby’s says. “Galas, for example, are known as high-profile fundraising events and occupy a large part of press and public attention. But galas are not as strong for revenue as they are for community building and cultivating the goodwill of board members and donors. There’s usually a net of 40 cents for every dollar spent, and that’s before factoring in the significant staff time to plan and execute these notable events.”
Proms and formal functions held at museums and other art charities may seem like a dependable revenue stream. However, the wear and tear on the building and staffing costs often outweigh the benefits. It doesn’t raise the level of art appreciation in the community when attendees see the museum as simply a picturesque backdrop for the occasion.
Increasing the numbers of corporate sponsors may be a good source of income for charities that support the arts, but for many of these entities it’s hard to keep up with costs. As much fun as museum gift shops can be, they don’t typically provide any profit for the institution, Sotheby’s says. Most of them just break even. And some museums gain modest profits from their cafes, but they’re actually more a service to visitors than a moneymaker. Merchandising can be a good source of income, especially when the museum has a solid brand, as well as high-quality educational programs, which tend to bring in profits.
Charities for art education need good fundraising strategies in order to survive. These can account for approximately 60% of a museum’s revenue. Repeat donors are relied upon to keep the doors open, in many cases, as just a small percentage of the budget is realized through such means as direct mail, crowdfunding and the annual fund.
According to Sotheby’s, 80% of gifts come from 20% of its donors. A study from just a few years ago concluded that it’s more effective for museum fundraisers to concentrate on the committed and long-standing donors over acquiring new patrons.
How to Support Art Charities
There are many forms of art-based charities you can support, from large-scale symphonies to community art charities.
There’s a symbiosis that occurs when you become a patron of charities for art education and other nonprofit creative ventures. The inspiration and entertainment you receive is one return on your investment … but there are others.
You can be an active participant when you become part of a support team for performing arts charities. If you caught the acting bug in high school, you can audition for a show at your local community theatre. Plus, they always need volunteers for set decorating, curtain-pulling and other behind-the-scenes work.
When you give monetary resources to community art charities, you provide lighting, heat, air conditioning, maintenance and other practical needs. Many theatres use historic buildings which require more resources for upkeep, and you can contribute by providing inventory.
Car Donation to Arts Charities
Whether you’re a strong supporter of a senior center program or a “keep art in schools” charity the needs continue. If it’s a small, community nonprofit, you probably look for every opportunity to boost their bottom line. Volunteer hours are important, and certainly you can give cash to charities that support the arts while benefiting your tax situation.
Another option to put money where it’s needed is to donate a car to arts and culture charities.
Cars2Charities has a three-decade reputation for handling the process that enables vehicle owners to benefit their favorite nonprofits. When you choose to upgrade your car, or when you move on to another form of transportation, it’s very simple to transfer the value of your vehicle into support for a charity.
It begins with a quick phone call to us at 855-520-2100 or visit us online. A friendly associate will schedule a vehicle pickup at a time and place that’s convenient for you. You’re freed up to shop for your next car or bump up your volunteer hours at your favorite arts charity.
We prepare your car and complete the sale – handling the whole process from beginning to end. We then send you and the nonprofit the forms you and your accountant need so you can apply the gift to your taxes.
Everyone wins when you donate a car to performing arts charities. They get much-needed support and you get a tax benefit.
Charities that Support the Arts
If you value the work of charities for art education but haven’t found a particular performing arts charity to support, we have a list of nonprofit partners you can choose for your vehicle donation. Simply visit our “Causes” page for links to many different types of charities. They include 501(c)(3) organizations in categories from benefiting children/families to donating to veterans.
If you like the idea of sending money from your car donation to children’s art charities, you can choose the “Arts and Entertainment Charities” tab for nonprofits we’ve partnered with before.
While your mind may go directly to visual arts such as painting and sculpture, there are many forms of arts and culture charities you may support. Nearly every community has an active group of amateur thespians, for instance.
Children’s Theatre of Long Beach (CTLB) is a nonprofit drama group that offers Southern California youth an opportunity to learn firsthand the thrill of performing on stage. The theatre program produces high-quality shows which educate and challenge participants.
With such productions as “Into the Woods,” “Shrek Jr.” and “Aladdin Jr.,” the family-friendly shows presented by CTLB’s Main Stage Productions seek to do more than entertain. Their process is both educational and inspirational.
The nonprofit’s After School Theatre Programs are age-appropriate acting opportunities and are customized to meet the needs of each contracted elementary or middle school.
“Our productions will promote social values, moral integrity and reflect the cultural diversity of our international city through casting and themes,” the CTLB website says. “The Main Stage Season will offer shows relevant in theme to the lives of elementary age students and their families. Our After School Theatre Programs will give students the opportunity to explore drama, dance, music, and art through the development of a musical at their school site.”
If you’re seeking an opportunity to provide instruments to lower-income families or promote the ideals of a “keep art in schools” charity, there are inner city nonprofits that benefit areas without proper resources.
Arts Bridging the Gap (ABG) is an organization seeking “to bring top quality arts programs to children in underserved areas in order to improve their quality of life, academic success and future prospects.”
By supporting organizations that implement arts programs for children in lower income areas, ABG increases their skills which broadens their future prospects. This social justice nonprofit provides mentorship and advocacy through 5 educational programs, including:.
• L.A. Street Art Initiative
• Girls Make VR (virtual reality)
• The Empathy Project
• PenPal Arts Share
• The Paul Robeson South L.A. Choir
The organization “provides impactful, evidence-based arts programs for children in disadvantaged to under-resourced neighborhoods,” the website says. “Our comprehensive programs support children’s cognitive development and cultivate creative problem-solving skills prized by employers.”
The Key City Public Theatre (KCPT) serves the Port Townsend, Washington area by producing thought-provoking theatrical performances to rapidly growing regional audiences. Award-winning performances are offered year-round and include outdoor theatre, musicals and concerts.
As evidence of KCPT’s level of quality and breadth of its reach, the nonprofit theatre group has earned honors and grants from the Washington State Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.
KALW National Radio is one of the oldest FM radio stations in the United States. Since it was first licensed to the San Francisco Unified School District in 1941, KALW has brought new voices to the air and represented a diverse population from Bay Area communities. The nonprofit station’s mission is “to create joyful, informative media that engages people across the divides in our community – economic, social, and cultural.”
The network has shows and podcasts such as “To the best of our knowledge,” a “Podcast By, For and About Teens” and “99%” which covers design, architecture and the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world.
Another program entitled “Binah” features creative voices from the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco and includes artists and thinkers as part of the JCCSF’s Arts & Ideas program.
KPCC National is a Southern California radio network that seeks to inform and interact with communities from Santa Barbara to Orange County and east to the Coachella Valley. The nonprofit reaches out to maintain the civic and cultural bonds that unite the diverse communities of Southern California.
Donating to charities that support the arts is the only way that many of these nonprofits can survive. Donating a car to arts charities offers them the funding they need while also granting you the reward of a tax deduction. And that’s music to the ears of everyone involved.