You live here, so give here
Austin stinks at charitable giving. Let's change that!
Money talks, bulls—
...well, you know the saying. We all know money makes the world go around (I’m sure you know that saying, too), but in Austin money is hard to come by—at least for area non-profits.
A 2003 Chronicle of Philanthropy study ranked Austin 48 out of the 50 largest cities in the nation in per capita charitable giving. The city has remained at the bottom of more recent surveys done by the Dallas Morning News and Tijeras Foundation. It’s hard to believe given all the generous, passionate and highly involved people out there.
So what gives?
There are many theories as to why Austin ranks so low. Maybe it's because we are a town of politicians and students full of ideas but low on cash. Or maybe all Austin's transient citizens are to blame. What's the point of investing in a city if you don't plan to stay, right?
There are dozens of theories out there but one thing is certain, people don't give if they don't understand the importance of doing so.
"Our original research told us that Austinites are extremely caring and want to support the needs in our community when they understand what the needs are. However, only one in three Austinites feel like they are informed," says Karen Frost, Consulting Director of Non-Profit Relations for I Live Here, I Give Here (ILH, IGH).
In an effort to raise awareness about the importance of philanthropy and charitable giving, Mike Levy (founder of Texas Monthly), Patsy Martin and several other local non-profit leaders joined forces to create I Live Here, I Give Here. The non-profit is dedicated to creating insightful programs like See Jane Give, Give Back Jack and Community Needs Spotlight, aimed at educating people about area non-profits and their financial needs.
"The journey quickly taught us that what is now I Live Here, I Here I Give Here, was going to be more than a program, but a movement," says Martin, executive director of ILH, IGH.
In four years ILH, IGH has grown its database to 400 area non-profits and in 2011 alone, more than 16 thousand people found their way to those nonprofits through ILH, IGH's website. Their work is far from done.
"In 2012, we will announce a new program we have incubating—the creation of an annual day of online giving with the goal of raising $1 million for Central Texas Non-Profits in a 24 hour period," Frost explains.
Martin, Frost and the entire team at ILH, IGH are passionate about not only raising funds for area non-profits but also changing the culture of giving in hopes of moving Austin up the ranks of charitable cities.
Throughout the month of December CultureMap Austin is hoping to help by featuring the selfless work of area non-profit organizations, many of which are supported by ILH, IGH.
By partnering with I Live Here, I Give Here CultureMap hopes to honor these organizations that form the thread of our community fabric and to inspire readers to financially support their effort.
Look for the link at the end of each story (like the one below) to immediately give back to these great community organizations via I Live Here, I Give Here.