Art Donor FAQs (for Artists)

What is The Art Connection?

Founded as a nonprofit organization in 1995, The Art Connection’s mission is to make art accessible to people who would benefit from exposure to original art in their daily lives but may not currently have access to it. The Art Connection identifies artists willing to donate their work, shows the artwork to qualified agencies, and teaches them to care for the art. The works of art then become the permanent property of the recipient agencies.

How many artworks have been placed?

In 20 years, we have placed nearly 7,200 artworks in over 385 different agencies in Greater Boston.

How many art donors participate?

Over 425 artists and collectors have donated their art through us.

Why should I donate art through The Art Connection?

Artists and collectors donate art through The Art Connection for a number of reasons, including to: (1) know their work can have an impact on the daily lives of people in need (2) show work to audiences who normally do not have access to art; (3) move work out of storage and have it viewed by many; (4) support a recipient agency’s mission; (5) increase their visibility and reputation; (6) provide a solution to issues relating to estate planning; and/or (7) donate through a reliable program that makes the process simple.

Why do the agencies need art?

Recipient agencies need art for a number of reasons, including to: (1) enrich the lives of program participants; (2) stimulate dialogue, healing, creativity, learning; (3) boost the self-esteem of participants and staff; (4) create a more welcoming environment; and (5) allow them to participate in the collaborative process of choosing their new collection.

How are recipient agencies selected?

We ensure the eligibility of agencies through a comprehensive application process. Upon receipt of their applications, we visit the agencies to meet with staff and elaborate their responsibilities, talk with program participants, and assess their facilities. Qualified recipient agencies are public or nonprofit organizations that provide a direct service to program participants, have secure areas that are used regularly by visitors and participants, and lack the funds necessary to purchase art.

How do I offer my artwork for donation?

It’s easy. You can register by submitting a Donor Agreement, then submit images and artwork information online via our Automated Artwork Donation tool on our website. We will then present a digital slide show of your art to qualified agencies.

When will an artwork be selected?

When artwork is offered for donation, it may take weeks, months, or possibly a year or two before an agency selects it. Our process allows agencies to select by committee (usually comprising a group of 6-10 staff, clients, board members, and/or volunteers) that reviews approximately 300 available artworks and chooses the most appropriate art for its site.

What happens when an agency selects my art?

When artwork is selected, we will contact you for approval, tell you about the agency, and handle all the communication and paperwork needed to donate the art. After your approval, it usually takes three to six weeks for the agency to receive its paperwork, contact you, and pick up the art.

How will the art be stored and transported?

We ask you to store the art at your studio or home. The recipient agency will call you to schedule a convenient time to pick up the art. When they arrive, they will ask you to a) sign the Deed of Gift and Agreement (which is the transfer of ownership), b) give you a copy, and c) bring the art back to their agency.

How will my donated artwork be cared for?

Qualified agencies are committed to caring for art and must sign a contract that they will do so. The contract stipulates that they keep the art secure, exhibit the art in a visible location, not alter or deface the art, and not sell or give the art away. We review art placements to ensure that agencies fulfill their responsibilities by distributing a Six Month Report and scheduling an Inventory Visit to verify all artwork is accounted for, framed, and hung securely, and installed with its corresponding stickers and plaques.

How will my art donation be acknowledged?

We will thank you for each donation in writing at the time of donation and again when the work is selected. The agencies will thank you when they pick up the art. We also encourage agencies to acknowledge your donation in writing, invite you to visit the agency, and/or mention your donation in an article, newsletter, or annual report. A plaque will be hung next to each artwork listing the name of the art donor and details about the artwork.

Must donated artworks be ready to hang?

We recommend offering art that requires no additional framing as some recipient agencies have limited or no funding for framing. However, we also accept unframed art.

What if one of the works I offered for donation is no longer available?

Please let us know as soon as possible if a work is no longer available, and we will remove it from our portfolio.

Can I claim a tax-deduction on my art donation?

Art collectors routinely deduct the market value of a donated artwork. Some artists write off the donated artwork’s cost of materials on their taxes and others have different arrangements with their tax preparers that allow them to take higher deductions. Federal law allows artists to at least deduct the cost of materials when they donate their artworks. You are responsible for assessing the value of your art donations, and you will decide how to record them on your tax return. While we do attempt to verify the charitable status of our art recipients, any burden of proof or charitable status for tax related or other purposes is yours as donor to the recipient organization.

What image formats can you use for my art donation?

Once you are registered as an Art Donor, you may send us electronic images and information of the artwork that you would like to donate in one of these forms:

  • Automated Digital—(Preferred)—Use the Automated Artwork Donations page to upload your digital images directly to us – JPEG format, size 250KB to 5MB, at least 1000 pixels in width direction
  • Digital by other means—submit via CD or email in JPEG or TIF formats, size 250KB to 5MB, at least 1000 pixels in the larger direction
  • Slides—please make sure your name and artwork title are on each one. Plus, include an Artwork Information Sheet 2-17

Please have the art framed or ready to hang (preferred but not required).