Timeraiser Explainer

Artists, volunteers and agencies all come out ahead in this win-win event

By Duncan Kinney | Photo by Ruth Ellison

What is it?

It’s half silent auction, half volunteer fair. Timeraiser’s are an increasingly popular event that connects volunteers, the non-profit sector, artists and young professionals.

It’s a silent art auction where people bid in volunteer hours with local social and non-profit agencies instead of cash. Local artists are paid market rates for their work through corporate sponsorships. Once the Timeraiser participant has met their volunteer commitment they get to take the artwork home.


Founder Anil Patel and a couple friends had been to one too many boring silent auctions to raise money for charity. When they discovered that artists were typically asked to donate their work the idea for Timeraiser was born.


The first Timeraiser happened in Toronto in 2004. Since then 29 Timeraisers have already been held across Canada. There are eight scheduled for 2011 and 10 are already in the works for 2012.

Timeraiser events happen in:

“Getting involved in your community isn’t always easy, but the Timeraiser makes it very simple to find unique and meaningful opportunities” says Anil Patel.

The Numbers

  • Confirmed Volunteer Hours – 93,260
  • Investment in Artists – $495,890         .
  • Average Price Paid to Artist – $642
  • Attendees Who Pledge – 6,043
  • Participating Agencies – 383

Volunteering can be an imposing, scary thing if you’ve never done it before. Getting involved via a Timeraiser lowers that burden with the added bonus of an artistic reward. The next time this win-win event comes around, you should check it out.

One Response to Timeraiser Explainer

  1. Pingback: Charity Case: Profiles of Three Amazing People in the Non-Profit Space « Unlimited – Gen Y Business Culture – Work, Money, Entrepreneurs, Life, Style, Health, How-Tos

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