Helen Wilson; SSPCA (Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
This week’s art news: Nearly £17k in 100 days for charity!!!
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£16,830 raised in 100 days.
The sterling efforts of one entrepreneurial artist from Midlothian, who has utilised social media to sell her work for her favourite animal charity.
Since February 1, Helen Wilson has been producing a sketch a day to raise money for the SSPCA (Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
“I have been posting each sketch on Facebook and my followers ‘like’ them,” says Helen. “If they like them enough then they bid - the highest bid by 10pm each night wins.”
When Helen began she had 300 followers. I started dropping leaflets around Edinburgh and put them in vets and pet shops. Slowly the number of followers grew. Now I have 2,400. People have been very supportive and many sketches have received lots of bids, which is really surprising during this severe recession. One sketch fetched £260.”
Surprisingly, every single one of Helen’s works has been purchased online. “Social media has been a great tool because I am now in touch with people across the world,” she says. “One woman from Houston, Texas has bought six of my drawings. Others have purchased three or four. I did not know these people. They just heard about it through Facebook and Twitter.”
Helen has raised additional funds by holding online raffles.
“During my first raffle, at day 80, I sold tickets for £5 each and I raised £1,600. At day 90, I dropped the price of a ticket to just £1 and I raised £1,224. After receiving lots of requests I also decided at the last minute to raffle the final sketch in day 100 and it raised £2,486. The whole event has raised £16,830. People are spending the money because they love animals, want to support the charity and they want the sketches. They buy an original A3 sketch that will never be reproduced,” she concludes.