Austin Charity Guide
Charity Guide

These Austin education charities earn an A-plus in giving back

These Austin education charities earn an A-plus in giving back

Kids playing on a playground
Seedling helps kids whose parents are currently incarcerated.  Seedling/Facebook

Austin may have a burgeoning technology sector and renowned food scene, but at its heart, it will always be a college town. Empowerment through education is one of Austin's core values (just look at our Austin Central Library or the annual Texas Book Festival) and these local nonprofits are working hard to keep it a core value. 

Ranging from after-school programs to mentorships, Austin's education nonprofits are empowering local youth in a variety of ways. Read on to learn how to get involved, give back, and maybe learn a thing or two along the way.

Andy Roddick Foundation
 The Andy Roddick Foundation, founded by the Austin-based tennis star, takes the time kids spend outside the classroom and turns it into growth opportunities through enriching experiences after school and during the summer. ARF creates high-quality after-school activities — developed in cooperation with the Austin Independent School District — and hosts an acclaimed six-week summer program to help kids o grow in literacy, STEM, art, and sports.
Membership: Donate here or join the Opportunity Matters Circle. OMC members commit a minimum donation of $1,500 per year for three years. 
Get involved: A portion of proceeds from merchandise sales at the Andy Roddick Foundation online store directly supports the work of the foundation.
Big event: ARF Luncheon hosted by Brooklyn Decker

Capital Idea
Since 1998, Capital Idea has provided financial support and extensive professional guidance to motivated, non-traditional students who want to earn more and move up in a great career. With community partners like Austin Community College, the group stands committed to providing individuals with the opportunity and support they need to earn a degree and get started in a promising career.
Get involved: Donate here.

Caring for Cambodia
Caring for Cambodia believes that when knowledge cannot be handed down, it must be handed out. The organization, which has an office in Austin, works to educate one child at a time today, to make a difference for Cambodia's tomorrow. They create and sustain safe, modern, technologically equipped schools; mentor and professionally train teachers; and fund supplies and other tools needed to teach those who want to learn. CFC provides educational opportunities for Cambodian children so they may reach their highest potential and make valuable contributions to their communities.
Get involved: Volunteer here or donate here.
Big event: Caring for Cambodia's 15th Anniversary Luncheon

Communities In Schools of Central Texas 
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.
Get involved: Volunteer here or donate here.
Big event: Food for Thought

HealthStart provides the blueprints for creating healthier communities through children's science-based health education. The nonprofit believes that by captivating children, engaging teachers, and involving parents in early health educaxtion, we will build a healthier future for all communities.
Get involved: Donate here or volunteer here
Big event:  I <3 HealthStart Gala

Inside Books Project 
Mission: Inside Books Project is an Austin-based community service volunteer organization that sends free books and educational materials to prisoners in Texas. Inside Books is the only books-to-prisoners program in Texas, a state where over 140,000 people are incarcerated. Inside Books Project works to promote reading, literacy, and education among incarcerated individuals and to educate the general public on issues of incarceration.
Get involved: Donate books or magazines to the organization. Learn how to volunteer (there are twice weekly events) here or email

Seedling's mission is to support children challenged by parental incarceration with innovative, research-driven, school-based mentoring.
Get involved: Seedling is in need of volunteer mentors to spend lunch with a deserving child one day per week during the school year on their school campus. They are seeking to match 667 mentors during the 2018-19 school year. Mentoring benefits the child and is equally rewarding for the mentor. Head here to watch a video about mentoring for Seedling. Donate here.
Big event: Austin's Fab Five

Texas Can Academies
Mission: Texas Can Academies provides the highest quality education for all students, especially those who have struggled in a traditional high school setting, in order to ensure their economic independence.
Get involved: Donate here or volunteer here.
Big event: Countdown to Class Uniform Drive, an annual event that raises funds to benefit students at 14 campuses across Texas.