For indie artists, giving back to community is a plus

Rusty the rescued pup.
Rusty the rescued pup adjusted well after a hard start early in life.

How many times have you seen indie bands doing fundraisers for a worthy cause? Or craft makers exhibiting at a festival to raise money for a charity? Or an artist donate his or her time to help a nonprofit?

All these activities are common in my community here in Jacksonville. Giving back is routine for so many of the creatives in our area.

The Crazy Daysies do this on an ongoing basis for No More Homeless Pets, a shelter here. Both Jennifer and Rebecca rescued unwanted puppies, although not from NMHP. Years later, those puppies are thriving and have shed most of the fearful behavior they learned in order to cope with adversity early on. NMHP is a family favorite when it comes to picking  a good cause.

Doing something to help animals was natural for the Daysies because they grew up taking care of pets. They have also done charitable work for other efforts, like domestic violence and healthcare organizations.

Most small businesses will gladly help with your effort. The Daysies have combined a performance with a fundraiser at times, and that has worked out well for the venue and for the nonprofit.

While you have to schedule such work carefully—especially if you are in the arts biz fulltime—because you normally donate your services free, you should keep up with any receipts for expenses you incur. Be sure to keep track of any mileage too, and include all receipts when you have your taxes prepared.

You may be more successful if you pick one or two causes and stick with those. You build on each event you do that way, and you are also helping build support for the group you’re promoting.

Giving back to your local community is probably one of the most rewarding things you can do. If you’re helping a local group, you can see the group benefit from it and you know where the funds are going.

As you succeed in your arts endeavors, consider helping out a local nonprofit. It’s a great way to share your blessings, and a great way to introduce your own brand to new people.

(Filed by Kay B. Day/Jan. 31, 2017)

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