In challenging economic times, or in markets saturated by fundraising events, the charity auction can be a dicey exploration. You need to have a clear head about why you are participating. Try to submit work to causes that are close to your heart. This way you’ll feel genuine about wanting your work to sell and for supporting the organisation.
While charity events can be great marketing opportunities for you, the mix of people who attend include people with no interest in art as well as potentially, the serious collector. Anything is possible, just be sure to manage your expectations.
If the event goes badly and/or your work doesn’t sell, do not take it to heart. The people in the room are not necessarily there for art and some have no interest in it at all.
Get behind the cause and let your clientele know that they can attend the event and support a cause that’s meaningful to you AND have an opportunity to bid on your work.
In most cases it’s a good idea to put a reserve price on the artwork at these auctions. This helps your work to maintain its value on the market and also protects your client collector base. There is nothing worse than having one of your collectors happen upon an auction, charity auction or otherwise only to see your work being sold off at a fraction of what they paid for their own investment into your work. It’s not fair to them and it’s not fair to you.