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.
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.
(This article, originally posted on Boston.com, is one in a weekly series highlighting the pARTnership Movement, Americans for the Arts’ campaign to reach business leaders with the message that partnering with the arts can build their competitive advantage. Visit our website to find out how both businesses and local arts agencies can get involved!)