Monday, June 6, 2011
Raffle Winner Bellen!
This is Bellen Drake's family portrait, she was one of 2 winners from my Japan charity raffle. I had a lot of fun doing this. I would like to thank everyone who participated and helped promote the raffle. I was amazed we raised so much money! I hope you like your family portrait Bellen :)
I got quite a few emails about how I did the raffle. I actually got in some trouble with Paypal for doing it. I would not recommend doing what I did... It's sad there's really no alternative. If you're raising funds through Paypal, they require you to be a certified non-profit or you formally represent the organization you're raising funds for. I was neither, I just wanted to do something and I couldn't think of any other way. They also strictly prohibit raffles and lotteries... but hey I'm a monkey wrench. I thought they would let me slide for charity sake, but I was wrong.
Paypal contacted me 2 days after the raffle was over and suspended my account. They asked me to prove that I was either a non-profit (401C) or a representative of the non-profit. The alternative was to refund all the money! I had already wired the money to the Japan Red Cross so a refund is out of the question. All I could do was email them my wire transfer paperwork and hope they'll accept it. In the end they restored my account, but gave me a stern warning against doing something like this.
*warning heard guys!*
A few other artists and friends were not so lucky. Paypal suspended their account right in the middle of their charity fundraisers. It was a big nightmare for them! I'm so sorry I sent them down that path. If only there was a way to donate directly to a charity via Paypal and have Paypal notify me that someone has donated on my behalf. Am I making sense??? There's no way to do that now. I think a lot of good can be done that way... it's almost like a micro-loan situation. We're more likely to make donations through a friend's request than marathon drives and TV commercials. Being able to raise funds as an individual gives it a personal touch, it's grassroots and I feel it can really pull a community together. With that being said I'm not a professional fundraiser and I don't do this a lot.
Paypal is a wonderful way to do business online. The only other option is Google Checkout, but they're still relatively new. I know their policy is just to protect the consumer against scammers and frauds. I think the market is big enough we need a few more alternatives to Paypal.
If I ever do this again I'll probably sell E-cards (along with the chance to win a set of crayons :P). It'll have to be a "sales" type exchange instead of "gift". That just means Paypal takes 3%, but in the scheme of things 3% isn't bad.
Now back to Bellen's crayons! This is Bellen, she's a photographer in Seattle. She requested that I carve her with a camera. I modeled her camera after the Canon 1D & 5D series.
Charles the father. I tried to capture his wonderful mustache/goatee thing. I also really like his shirt.
Eben the son. He's a soccer player! I think I've had a lot of practice with soccer players by now :P
Delphi the daughter. She has a cat that she loves. This was my first time putting an animal into the mix. It was a good challenge, I'll do doing more combos like this.