Austin Charity Guide
Giving Back

The comprehensive guide to Austin children's charities and kid-centric nonprofits

The complete guide to Austin children's charities and nonprofits

Just Keep Livin Foundation
Get involved with Just Keep Livin Foundation — or 19 other charities — helping children in Central Texas. Just Keep Livin foundation/Facebook

CultureMap recently launched the Austin Charity Guide, in partnership with Frost's Opt for Optimism campaign, to create a one-stop resource for locals looking for ways to give back. For the rest of the year, CultureMap will create curated roundups and tell stories showcasing the insightful and innovative ways local charities are shaping our community. 

This month, we take a comprehensive look at Austin's children's charities: the groups, nonprofits, and organizations dedicated to enhancing the lives of kids and their families throughout Central Texas.

American YouthWorks
Mission: American YouthWorks provides young people with opportunities to build careers, strengthen communities, and improve the environment through education, on-the-job training, and service to others. 
Get involved: Learn how to volunteer or donate here.

Andy Roddick Foundation
Mission: The Andy Roddick Foundation, founded by local tennis star Andy Roddick, aims to take the time children spend outside the classroom and turn it into growth opportunities by engaging children in enriching experiences after school and during the summer.
Membership: Three-year commitment of $1,500 annually
Major fundraiser: ARF Luncheon and ARF Annual Gala
Get involved: Learn how to volunteer or donate here.

Ann Richards School Foundation
The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders is dedicated to preparing young women to attend and graduate from college, commit to a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle, lead with courage and compassion, and solve problems creatively and ethically in support of their global community. The Ann Richards School Foundation raises funds and forms partnerships to advance education, empower young women, and create opportunities for girls who may otherwise be held back from achieving their full potential. 
Membership: A gift of $1,000 or more
Major fundraiser: Reach for the Stars 
Get involved: Learn how to donate or volunteer here.

Any Baby Can
Mission: Any Baby Can's mission is to improve the lives of children by strengthening them and their families through education, therapy, and family support services. The organization carries out this mission through family counseling, direct service to help pregnant women get quality pre-natal care, and setting them up to properly care for and raise their child. The bilingual staff of more than 100 makes home visits, leads community classes, and also hosts support programs for its clients. 
Membership: Angel Society donors provide critical resources to realize the vision of a community where all children and families thrive. Contact Eric Maxson at to discuss your interest in becoming an Angel Society member.
Major fundraiser: Rockin' Round Up
Get involved: Learn how to donate or volunteer here.

ATX Kids Club 
ATX Kids Club works to inspire youth to fearlessly explore and become independent, self-confident individuals through year-round educational and health-minded field trip adventures. Along with community partner CapMetro, ATX Kids Club helps kids learn to explore their own city with urban adventures and explore the Texas Hill Country with guided van excursions. Through these experiences, ATX Kids Club provides campers with a sense of self, sense of place, and sense of adventure.
Get involved: Learn how to donate or volunteer here.
Austin Angels
Mission: The Austin Angels mission is to walk alongside children in the foster care system, as well as their caretakers, by offering consistent support through intentional giving, relationship building, and mentorship. The Austin Angels serve just under 200 children in Central Texas, and there are currently over 5,600 children in foster homes or substitute care services in Central Texas alone. Their long-term vision is to open chapters in every major metropolitan city in the nation, so every single child in foster care in the United States will be supported and empowered to succeed.
Membership: $25 per month
Big events: Pulte Golf Tournament, Foster the Future Back to School Bash, and Vintage Circus Gala
Get involved: Learn how to donate or volunteer here.

Austin Smiles
Mission: Austin Smiles improves lives by bringing medical, surgical, and therapeutic care to underserved children with cleft lip/palate and craniofacial anomalies in Latin America. The organization also collaborates with the Craniofacial and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Center at Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas, providing financial and program support for patients undergoing surgeries and treatment.
Big event: Shoot for a Smile

Get involved: Learn how to donate or volunteer here.

Austin Sunshine Camps
Mission: Austin Sunshine Camps' mission is to engage and empower youth living near or below the poverty line. The organization uses education and outdoor experiences, rendering the space and comfort kids need to look beyond their current situation and dream big.
Membership: A Sunshine Keeper is a $33 per month entry-level membership for individual, sustaining donors. The Family Keeper Membership is a $50 per month family membership.
Big events: Austin Sunshine Camps host an annual carnival for adults and kids with a VIP reception that follows.
Get involved: Learn how to volunteer or donate here.

Beautifully Loved
Mission: Beautifully Loved is an Austin Community Foundation Fund with the mission to love and care for families dealing with pediatric cancer and other childhood illnesses through experiences that promote wellness, beauty, and fashion. By providing these experiences, they remind the patients and families that they are seen, valued, and loved. 
Big event: Dell Children's Blood and Cancer Center Fashion Show
Get involved: Donate here.

Beyond the Grade
Beyond the Grade's mission is to provide music education and life skills to at-risk students in Austin area schools. BTG aspires to give kids opportunities to learn from music industry professionals while letting the students' interests guide the curriculum. They are currently providing music education for underprivileged kids as an after-school program in area school districts.
Membership: BTG is looking for people with a passion for music, the Austin music scene, and education to join their board. Head here for more information.
Big event: Annual Spring Benefit Concert
Get involved: Learn how to donate here.

BookSpring builds early literacy in children and families through healthcare, education, and the community. Founded as a grassroots organization in 1974, BookSpring has been providing a critical role in closing the early literacy gap in Central Texas ever since. Through access to books, promotional events, and information on how to engage families in the world through written and spoken language, the group aims to inspire a lifelong love of reading.
Membership: Flying Book Society members pledge a monthly recurring donation of only $3. For every pledge of $10 a month or more, members get a nifty gift as a charter member of the Flying Book Society.
Get involved: Learn how to volunteer or donate to the Go Community Wishlist.

C2 Change
Mission: C2 Change is a mental health agency dedicated to providing quality mental health treatment to youth and their families, regardless of income. It helps families proactively address the challenges they face, with techniques that are evidence-based and tailored to meet unique needs. C2 Change offers services on a sliding scale to keep treatment affordable. Since opening its doors in 2010, C2 Change has served over 1,000 clients.
Membership: C2 Change is actively seeking members to join its fundraising committee and grants committee for the upcoming fiscal year.
Big event: C2 Change Annual Gala 
Get involved: Learn how to donate or volunteer here.

Candlelight Ranch
Mission: Candlelight Ranch provides therapeutic and educational nature-based experiences to enrich the lives of at-risk youth, children with disabilities, and their families. Partnering with community groups, nonprofits, and schools, the ranch provides interactive learning programs and experiences that are customized to meet the specific needs of the youth and families served.
Membership: Candlelight Ranch Legacy Fund members can join by making a cash or stock gift and leaving Candlelight Ranch a bequest.
Big event: Dance for Candlelight
Get involved: Learn how to volunteer or donate here.

Carrying Hope
In an effort to ease what can be a tumultuous transition for the thousands of children removed from their home by CPS each year, Carrying Hope works with local foster care agencies and CPS to create Hope Packs: backpacks or diaper bags filled with items that children who are entering the system need most. After receiving the completed packs, Carrying Hope distribute them to foster care agencies and CPS caseworkers who can take them along when they're placing children in new homes.
Membership: $600 annually
Big event: Fostering Love Gala 
Get involved: Learn how to volunteer or donate here.

CASA of Travis County
Mission: CASA of Travis County promotes and protects children who have been abused or neglected. It trains volunteers to advocate for them in courts, in schools, and in the community to help them find safe, permanent, and loving homes. For every child who needs them, CASA of Travis County envisions a trained volunteer advocate, a safe home, and a promising future.
Membership: A gift of $2,000 or more for members of the Powerful Voice Society and a gift of $20,000 or more for Visionary Circle members.
Big event: CASAblanca Gala
Get involved: Learn how to volunteer or donate here.

The Comfort Crew for Military Kids
Mission: The Comfort Crew for Military Kids delivers proven resources to help military kids and their families connect and build resiliency in the face of extraordinary challenges. 
Big Event: Annual Boots and Birdies Charity Classic
Get involved: Email for volunteer opportunities.

Communities in Schools
Mission: Communities in Schools of Central Texas surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Through campus-based programs and special projects, Communities In Schools creates a network of volunteers, social services, businesses, and community resources that work together to break down barriers and help students succeed.
Big event: Food for Thought
Get involved: Learn how to volunteer or donate here.

Creative Action
Creative Action is an arts youth development organization that provides hands-on, fun, creative learning programs in classrooms, in after-school settings, and in the community. As one of the largest youth arts organizations in Central Texas, Creative Action reaches more than 20,000 youths each year.
Membership: Creative Circle members pledge to give what they can monthly, providing ongoing support for critical Creative Action programming.
Big event: Big Hair Country Fair
Get involved: Lear how to volunteer or donate here.

Dell Children's Medical Center Foundation 
Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas Foundation serves as the fundraising arm for the Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas. Through philanthropy, the Central Texas community helped build this outstanding regional facility, and the new goal is to help make it one of the top children's hospitals in the country. The foundation's mission is to raise philanthropic dollars in an ethical and strategic way to impact the most children with the best care, with a vision to endow the hospital so that efforts today will help to heal and bring hope to children in future generations.
Membership: Joining one of the many Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas Foundation support groups allows you to make an immediate impact toward keeping Central Texas children healthy and strong.
Big event: Dell Children's Gala
Get involved: Become a community champion, volunteer  attend Dell Children's events, or donate here,

Explore Austin
Explore Austin helps underserved youth to make positive life choices by avoiding risky behavior, developing healthy relationships, and advancing their education. Through leadership training, long-term mentoring, and outdoor adventure, Explore Austin hopes to improve the wellbeing of each participant, their families, and the community. Over the course of the six-year program, each explorer spends more than 1,300 hours with their mentors and fellow teammates, creating lifelong changes in character, integrity, courage, and resilience
Membership: Three-year commitment to give $5,000 or more annually. 
Big event: Quest for the Summit 
Get involved: Donate or become a mentor volunteer.

Just Keep Livin Foundation
Mission: The Just Keep Livin Foundation was started by Matthew and Camila McConaughey, and is dedicated to empowering high school students by providing them with the tools to lead active lives and make healthy choices for a better future. 
Big event: Mack, Jack & McConaughey
Get involved: Donate or if interested in volunteering, call 310-857-1555 or email

Kids in a New Groove
Mission: Kids in a New Groove provides Central Texas children living in foster care with a committed one-on-one mentoring relationship through private music instruction. Since 2009, KING KING has empowered over 600 youth by offering free, in-home music lessons.
Big event: Annual Music Matters Luncheon
Get involved: Become a music mentor or creative/events volunteer, donate new or gently used music instruments, or make a monetary donation

The Safe Alliance
Mission: A merger of Austin Children’s Shelter and SafePlace, The SAFE Alliance exists to "Stop Abuse For Everyone." The organization's mission is to end violence through prevention, advocacy, and comprehensive services for individuals, families, and communities that have been affected by abuse.
Big event: Safe Children's Shelter Gala
Get involved: Learn how to volunteer or donate here.