Q. I hope this does not sound selfish. How will donating my art to charitable fundraisers help my professional career as an artist?
A. Well, you could have put it a different way. It is hard to donate anything without having some form of good intention, true? Dr. X is not going to destroy the world by donating something to charity, right? I suppose that could be debated. Actually you hit on something here... artists often mention the fundraisers they have been involved with and are apt to include those ventures on their resumes. However, few are willing to reveal that in the back of their mind they hope a collector or curator will notice their work during the event. If they value their art they obviously value what people think about said art and of them, correct?
The idea is that you will do a good deed and may very well do good for your future at the same time-- two birds with one stone, so to speak. That idea is not exactly something to feel guilty about because you are-- I hope-- donating to a charity that you agree with... and with any luck you will have future success with your work so that it earns more when you donate art in the future, right? Charitable events can be great for making connections.
As for how donating art might help your career... well... who is to say. In other words, don't donate art to a charity if your only goal is to garner fame and fortune. The reality is that you will leave with one less piece and hopefully a burst of warmth in your heart (come on guys, I'm not all bullets!). That said, if you choose to donate for the right reasons it is acceptable-- in my opinion --to hope that maybe someone influential will admire your art beyond the charitable action that you have taken. Also, If you are just starting out and have had few exhibits donating art to charitable events can be a great way to add something to your resume. If you happen to have dozens of paintings, sculptures, what have you, just sitting around... why not donate a few to a charity that you believe in?
To sum this up, the best expectation that you can have is that you will help someone or something in need. Leave your flights of fancy at the door... but keep an eye open for future possibilities.
Take care, Stay true,