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Art in Giving partners art and business to benefit pediatric cancer research

Posted by Chad O'Connor  December 23, 2013 02:15 PM

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[The We are the Creative Industries series: The Creative Industries - video game companies, design, marketing and architecture firms, and talented people who write books, design houses, shoot movies, make art and record music, just to name a few examples - are an important part of Massachusetts' economy, with $1 billion statewide impact and over 100,000 workers. Click here to learn more.]

Do you have a building project or renovation planned or in process and have a need to decorate the space with fine art, or have a special gift to buy? If so, then Art in Giving is a great organization to partner with. Art in Giving enables the sale or loan of fine works of art created by more than 35 artists and galleries, and up to 50% of the proceeds are donated to The Rachel Molly Markoff Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity that makes grants to pediatric cancer research.

The Rachel Molly Markoff Foundation was founded by Eliane and Gary Markoff in 1999 after their daughter Rachel was found to have an inoperable brain tumor. She died nine months later, one week after her and her twin sister Audrey’s ninth birthday. At the heart of Art in Giving lies a family’s hope to eliminate childhood cancer.

Art in Giving is a unique model in that it combines the arts with business to benefit an important cause. “The concept and model is so strong and is a win/win scenario for all. The artist and art owner benefits and pediatric cancer research benefits,” said Margaret Pierce, Art in Giving’s Vice President of Operations and Business Development. The artists donate 50% of the proceeds of the art, and the other 50% of the proceeds go to the artist.

Sanofi Oncology chose to lease paintings from Art in Giving’s loan program for its newly-opened location at 640 Memorial Drive in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which houses a number of oncology (cancer) research scientists. “As science can be a highly creative process, we feel that this art not only contributes to a beautiful environment but also complements the scientific creativity underway at the site,” said Beth Tyler, Head of Operations for Sanofi’s Boston R&D Hub.

Through Art in Giving’s loan program, businesses can purchase an annual corporate membership and choose art of their choice worth any value for one flat fee. The artist is compensated through a rental fee, and the business has several options: They can buy and keep the art when the annual membership is up; they can keep the art for another year by renewing the annual membership; or they can rotate the art at any time within the year and choose new art through Art in Giving. As an additional benefit, Art in Giving provides curator services, included in the annual corporate membership fee, to recommend art and ensure the art resonates with the theme of the space.

You can help Art in Giving in several ways:
1) purchase art
2) participate in the art loan program
3) make a financial donation
4) buy a gift certificate as a present or thank you to someone such as a board member, guest speaker, volunteer, or referral source.

The gift certificate is redeemable for fine art with any of the participating artists and at partner galleries.

Art in Giving also works with major institutions that do large-scale fundraising through its shared revenue model. If the institution knows of donors that can benefit from partnering with Art in Giving, such as a corporation that has a major renovation project scheduled or underway, and the institution refers those donors to Art in Giving, Art in Giving donates 25% of the proceeds from the art sold or loaned to the institution’s philanthropic fund.

In this scenario, Art in Giving is not competing with the institution’s philanthropic funds, because funds for the art are taken from the organization’s business budget - a line item already in place, according to Gary Markoff, Co-Founder of The Rachel Molly Markoff Foundation and partner at Boston law firm Sherin and Lodgen.

“We ask companies to leverage their facilities’ budgets to not only satisfy a business need to beautify their buildings and offices, but also to benefit pediatric cancer research without diverting funds from their other philanthropic commitments,” said Eliane Markoff.

“The story and model are so compelling, and the program benefits pediatric cancer research. Wow – what a great model,” said Joe Tierney, Art in Giving Board Member and retired Tax Partner from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“I would absolutely recommend Art in Giving to others. The collaboration with founder, Eliane Markoff, and her team has been fantastic. The process of selecting the art and seeing it placed has been tremendously satisfying. The art that is on loan is just beautiful. We feel privileged to contribute to Art in Giving, to support these talented artists, and to support cancer research all at the same time,” said Tyler.

Ellen Keiley appears weekly on RadioBDC’s Global Business Hub segment, and is a freelance writer. She can be contacted at; connect on Twitter @ellenmkeiley.

[We are thankful for Global Business Hub’s support of the Creative Industries. Please note: This article does not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development or its Creative Economy Industry Director for the Commonwealth, nor is it an endorsement of any views, products, or opinions contained therein. The author is solely responsible for the content.]

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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