Austin Fit Exclusive

I Live Here, I Give Here: Raising Austin's nonprofits through philanthropist engagement

I Live Here, I Give Here: Raising Austin's nonprofits through philanthropist engagement

Editor's Note: The December Issue of Austin Fit Magazine is the "Giving Issue," focused on philanthropy. In this piece exclusive to CultureMap, Austin Fit introduces us to I Live Here, I Give Here, a local nonprofit aiming to raise $1 million for local nonprofits in one day.

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Did you know that Austin ranks 48th out of the 50 largest cities in the nation in per capita charitable giving? That’s right, more people volunteer than give money in Austin according to I Live Here, I Give Here, a nonprofit dedicated to changing this statistic. The organization’s mission is “to deepen and expand the culture of personal philanthropy by inspiring Central Texas to invest more money in our community.” 

Through education programs and offering multiple opportunities for people to connect with local organizations working in the areas that individuals are already passionate about, I Live Here, I Give Here is a portal to increased personal philanthropy.

Launched in 2007, I Live Here, I Give Here partners with nonprofit groups to increase accessibility to would-be philanthropists. They have six programs to meet a variety of individual and organizational needs.

A new and exciting program is Amplify Austin. Based on successful “First Year Giving Day” events in other cities including Minneapolis, Pittsburgh and Denver, Amplify Austin is is a community-wide day of philanthropy with the goal of raising $1 million in 24 hours. Beginning at 7 p.m. on March 4, 2013, Central Texans will be encouraged to go to I Live Here, I Give Here's website, to select from a list of more than 300 local nonprofits, and show the rest of the world just how charitable this city can be.  

Throughout the day, randomly selected donors will win impromptu serenades from some of the city’s most cherished entertainers. Although only a handful of people can win the in-person performances, the organization says “everyone who donates will receive an e-tribute from a surprise musician too famous to mention.” This program has its own Facebook and Twitter followers providing details about a live Amplify Austin event at 7 p.m. on March 5 in Austin.

Give Back Jack is a program with the goal of inspiring men to think deeply about their own philanthropic giving. This mentorship program is hosted several times a year and offers attendees the chance to meet and learn from some of the most influential and successful men in Austin. At the most recent dinner, Ken DeAngelis, a founder of Austin Ventures, was the speaker.

See Jane Give is geared toward women and offers the opportunity to mingle with women who are involved in philanthropy and to hear about the important role philanthropy has played in their professional development. The evening begins with a cocktail hour, followed by a seated dinner featuring a keynote speaker. Each table has a mentor who then shares her story with her table in a small group discussion.  In a recent year, as many as 420 women spoke with a philanthropy mentor and more than half of them planned to increase their giving as a result.

Community Needs Spotlight is a program that provides a monthly “spotlight” of a need in the Austin community and local organizations that are working to address that need. The coverage includes stories and videos on the I Live Here, I Give Here website as well as a monthly “Issue Paper,” which can be downloaded from the web.

Austin Involved is a nonprofit program of I Live Here, I Give Here which offers monthly opportunities to learn about local nonprofits, vote on your choice of inspiring organizations, and give a donation of a small amount of time and money to that organization. Each month, Austin Involved members contribute $25 and then vote on which of the charities they’d like to win the time and money. Then they follow their money and see where it goes by giving time to a service project at the chosen nonprofit.

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Learn more about other philanthropic organizations making a difference in Austin in this months issue of Austin Fit Magazine on stands now.