I have donated two guitars to the same Classical Guitar Competition and Festival. The key, I think, is to not make it a prize in the main competition. Most of the top competition players already have a pretty high end instrument, which they are not likely to give up to play your offering, unless it is considerably better than the one they have, which isn't likely unless you are selling guitars in the $5 to $10K range. In my case both guitars went to the winner of the high school division, which seemed to work out pretty well. One went to a player who already had a guitar he loved, and while it didn't get played much in competition, it did get used by him a good bit, and went to college with him where it has seen a good bit of use. The other became the students primary guitar for several years, and has been played in and has won a number of competitions. The point here is to make sure someone who gets the guitar will likely use it.
The exception to this is a friend of mine who makes Panormo copies. He donated one to the same competition, and it was donated to the Division I winner. Different situation. Never meant to be a primary guitar, but a secondary guitar for use with special music.
On the other hand, Doug is right. They just assume giving a guitar is not such a big thing, and don't hesitate to come back asking for another. Admittedly, in my case, I have gotten a lot of good promotional value out of the two I did donate, though. The other problem is that you can only write off the cost of the materials, not the price of the guitar. I wrote mine off as advertising expenses. I have to say, that in my case too, it became a kick start to the sales of my instruments, through the promotional efforts of the competition. Not a bad thing!
Again, I think the key is that the winner gets an instrument they are likely to play, particularly in competitions. If it goes home and stays in the case, or ends up on the bay for a couple of hundred bucks, not worth much.
Last edited by Waddy Thomson on Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Link to Build Albums - See Profile