Tips for Donating to a Charity as a Business - Guest Post by Suzann Sladcik Wilson for Beadphoria

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Necklace and Earring set made by Suzann Sladcik Wilson will be raffled off to benefit the Park Ridge Community fund on 12/12/10 during the annual showing of "It's A Wonderful Life" at the Pickwick Theater in Park Ridge, IL.

Happy Tuesday everyone from Beadphoria! During this season of giving, our thoughts often turn to helping others. Today’s Tuesday Tips is about donating to charities. Donating to charity is a great way to get your name out into the community and benefit a worthy cause, but before you give away your work or money, here are some tips to think about.
Be Choosy – It is extremely common that the more popular your work becomes, the more often you will get requests to donate to charities. The key here is to make sure that you are giving to an organization you believe in and want your name associated with. You do not need to honor every request your receive.
Be Proactive – Have a charity you want to get involved with? Feel free to contact them and see what you or your business can do for them. Seen a poster around town for a charity auction you would like to be a part of? Get in touch with the organizer and ask if you can still donate.

Hand Soldered Pins made by Suzann Sladcik Wilson specifically for the Kalo Foundation using paintings by famed Park Ridge artist Dulah Evans Krehbie

Be Mindful - When donating finished pieces to an auction or raffle, keep in mind that the people attending the event are potential customers. You can always donate something already in your inventory, but why not make something specific for the cause?

The Beadphoria Beadalicious Babes (& Martin!) got together to make jewelry to donate to Gilda's Club in Chicago after our friend Carla Tischler passed away from cancer. Carla's picture is in the center.

Be Creative -There are different ways that you can help a charity. Have an open house where a portion of the money goes to an organization. Hold a raffle to win a gift certificate for some of your merchandise. Another idea is to get together with your friends and donate finished jewelry to a women’s shelter, women’s job placement centers or cancer centers for women.
Be Careful - With all the different charities out there, it can be difficult to know who to trust. is an amazing site that lists over 5,000 charities. Each is broken down with a rating, income statement, organizations mission statements, leadership, and many other interesting facts. This is also a great place to start if you are looking for a charity to partner with.
Lastly, make sure with any donation to receive a letter from the charity stating what was donated and the monetary value. This will come in handy at tax time.
Beadphoria would love to hear what charities you are involved with and how you help them! Please let us know in the comments below.
Guest Blog by Suzann Sladcik Wilson - originally posted on Beaphoria.
Suzann Sladcik Wilson is the CEO and Lead Designer for Beadphoria and Beadphoria Boutique. Contact her at 
All original photos are the property of Beadphoria and may not be used without permission.

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7 fabulous thoughts ...

  1. I think that the best tip is to focus on making something special for the event. We had an event with the symphony at the gallery I show my work at. They had a silent auction. I made two pieces that were themed to music with quotes stamped in metal. These went like hot cakes. The other jewelry artist there just pulled something that she had that hadn't sold and put that out there. Hers didn't get a bid at all. And thus didn't help the cause. If I believe in the cause I will go the extra mile and create something special. Sometimes it is my best work because I care so about it.

    I have been told by my accountant that I cannot write off the retail value of the pieces I donate. Only the materials that went into making them. I still keep track of what I donate as best I can.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Enjoy the day!

  2. With items donated by the artist him/herself, the IRS limits the donation amount to the amount of the cost of supplies used, not the market value of the item. However, the charity may want to know from the artist the market value of the piece, because if won at an auction, the amount paid by the winning bidder in excess of the market value may be claimed as a charitable deduction. (in my former life I was a charitable advisor at a financial institution).

  3. I had no idea that you could only write off the materials, but that does make sense. Since we (Soft Flex) donate actual materials (beading wire, crimps, findings, etc), I've always just gotten a tax receipt for the retail value of the item. I didn't even think about how that might translate into a finished piece. Good point, you two.

    Erin, what a neat idea?! I love that you do that. You are always so thoughtful of your audience wherever you happen to be. You are blessed with an eye for detail.

  4. Thank you for sharing these wise words and so much information. Happy Holly Jolly Joy...

  5. Suzann's tips are great. I donated a piece to a Festival of Trees event last weekend put on by a local Meals on Wheels group and also worked for the silent auction at the event. It's the third year I've done this and I enjoy it more every year. My favorite part was handing over my necklace/earrings to the lucky winner and seeing the huge smile on her face!

  6. I didn't realize that you did that Jamie. Neat!

  7. I have donated items to Family Service and Guidance Center of Topeka,KS for 4 years now and love it! Loved it so much I am adding CASA of Shawnee County KS this year. I love knowing my work is benefiting children.


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