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A Project of the Austin Community Foundation

PHILANTHROPY AT THE GATE With state budget cuts looming, it’s time policymakers heard the truth from Austin nonprofits.

From the editor

Now’s the time If you’ve ever wanted to make a really big gift to an Austin charity, now would be a great time to do that. That’s because the State of Texas has to figure out a way to cut $27 billion (with a “B”) from the budget for the next two years, and chances are they’re not going to raise taxes, ask the federal government for a loan or shut down the prisons. In fact, there’s no way for them to balance the budget without cutting some funding to education and health and human services. Employees will get laid off, donations will go down and the number of people needing help from nonprofits will go up. That’s where you come in. So the Legislature may not tap into the Rainy Day fund... you can tap into yours! I’m not suggesting you stop paying your bills or forgo that iPad. I’m just saying that the next time you give $20, give $50 instead. Or try something totally wild: Give $100. Give $1,000. Sound crazy? Maybe so. But if the State of Texas can’t take care of its own, it’s up to the rest of us to step up. On another note.... WE’RE LOOKING FOR THE NEXT NEW PHILANTHROPISTS. In our April issue, we’ll feature 20 or so Austinites who are going to help us build a culture of philanthropy in Austin. Know someone who fits the bill? Nominate them (or yourself ) before February 28. Tell us why you think they’ve got the drive and the energy to take Austin philanthropy to the next level. We need them now more than ever.

Editor-in-Chief 02 GivingCity




PHILANTHROPY AT THE GATE 36 With billions in state budget cuts looming, it’s time for Austin nonprofits to speak up for their constituents, for their organizations and for the sector. Here’s what you can do right now. 04 GivingCity

HOW TO USE THIS MAGAZINE It’s easy to share, print and navigate GivingCity Austin. Here’s how to get the most out of this digital magazine. Share To send this issue to a friend, click on the envelope icon.

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Social Innovation Competition .............. 08 Theatre Action Project Fundraiser .................. 12 Philanthropy Day..... 14

My Own Success . ... 32 by Michelle Valles

UPDATE New Ideas, Free ...... 18 RISE goes global Currie’s Gift................. 22 A boutique that gives back Besties ......................... 26 Stephanie Fisher and Tracy Davis

FEATURES Philanthropy at the Gate............................... 36 Austin nonprofits, meet the Legislature. Fair for the Future..... 44 Feria Para Aprender merges cultures.


Use Your Words ........ 56 Nonprofit jargon Grassroots.................. 58 A mother’s mission Giving Works ............ 62 Still There For Him In Case You Missed It...................... 66 Directory...................... 69 Calendar...................... 70 Fundraising events, Jan. - April

Understand Domestic Violence ...................... 30

Austin’s Angel . ......... 50 Amy Allen helps grieving parents. 06 GivingCity




happening now

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Social Innovation Competition February 14 photos by Melanie Dodds

For five years, the Dell Social Innovation Competition has challenged college students — first from UT-Austin, then the country, now all over the world — to find solutions to the world’s problems. Hundreds of ideas are submitted, and the best one wins $50,000 in seed money to make that idea a reality. It’s a business-plan competition for budding social entrepreneurs. And while only one idea can take home the prize money, some ideas that don’t win still go on to see the light of day. Take Gina LaMotte’s idea, UpLift Austin, which, in 2008, advanced to the semi-finals in the competition. After working on public school campuses that students said looked like “prisons or mental hospitals,” LaMotte came up with an idea for engaging students in the beautification of their own campuses while introducing them to “green” careers.

Gina La Motte’s campus beautification idea was a semifinalist in the 2008 competition. A year later, she launched it as nonprofit UpLift Austin.




And UpLift Austin isn’t the only startup the competition has generated. Another semi-finalist, Sol Design Labs, placed solar-powered charging stations for electronic devices at last year’s South by Southwest festival. “This is definitely something we hoped would happen,” says Sarah Kreuger of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Public Service at UT-Austin, which administers the competition. “The whole idea is to embrace social entrepreneurship and get students excited about it.” Kreuger says they expect more than 700 entries this year, with an initial whittling of the field done by judges as well as votes from the general public. The 100 or so that make it to the second round submit a venture plan and a video, and from there five finalists are brought into Austin to pitch their ideas live. It’s an experience that forces entrants to test the mettle of their ideas on a large scale. The community feedback aspect really makes it interesting, says Krueger. “We expect lots of constructive criticism.” All entries are due Feb. 14. Community feedback and voting is open now. GC

vote and comment now! pEruse hundreds of student ideas from all over the world and offer your feedback. 10 GivingCity



happening now

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cd release benefit for tap

Hickman photo © Randall Ford

February 5

Most of us probably don’t remember the math test we took in the third grade, but we probably remember our part in the school play. And if you think about the piles of papers your mother saved from your childhood, it’s likely there are more drawings and collages than spelling tests and homework. Art in school means something, and that’s the message Sara Hickman is trying to make with a new CD called “Best of Times” and a CD-release party at the Paramount Theatre on Feb. 5, featuring performances by Robert Earl Keen, Ruthie Foster, Patrice Pike and Hickman. “I want to utilize my position as official state musician to promote families being creative together. Many times this starts with children bringing home ideas they learn at school. I created the compilation CD to help take the arts and theater back to schools,” says Hickman. Theatre Action Project fills the gaps between what parents and teachers can do by using role play, performance and art to help kids understand some of the complicated emotions they’re experiencing. Its in-school, after-school

and community programs also allow kids a chance to express themselves in a way that preparing for standardized tests does not, and for many of the students TAP serves, it’s the first opportunity they’ve had. TAP will serve more than 16,000 young people this year. GC



happening now


February 10 photo by Gregg Cestaro

This year, it’s a breakfast. But for more than 20 years, Philanthropy Day has been a luncheon, usually at the Hilton, always packed. Think a 7:30 a.m. start time is going deter attendees this year? Not a chance; a month before the event and it was already sold out. Philanthropy Day has become the see-and-be-seen, dogooder event of the year. 14 GivingCity

Planning an event this size would be more of a challenge if it weren’t for the fact that the committee consists of 14 members of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Austin chapter. (Note the term, “professionals.”) The event raises money for programming and continuingeducation scholarships, available to its more than 300 members.


“We were given a smaller budget and a bigger fundraising goal,” says Marion Martin, this year’s event chair. But remember: These are professionals. By rethinking the event from the groudp up, they met the budget and exceeded the goal. Says Martin, “It was an exciting challenge for those us who really know the business.” GC

LEARN MORE ABOUT 2011 PHILANTHROPY DAY L-R: Adrienne Longenecker, Alexis Pangborn, Cheryl Newcomb, Nicole Daspit, JoAnn Kennedy, Marion Martin, Sadia Tirmizi, Michael Kellerman, Christine Kutnick, Nikka Lomeaux, April Kerwin and Carrie Lessing. Not pictured; Christi Cuellar Lotz and Melissa Demand




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new IDEAS, FREE The world’s first free, nonprofit, crowd-sourced conference for entrepreneurs was born in Austin— now it’s ready for the world.

Austin is home to some of the most successful entrepreneurs in Texas— Phillip Berber, Clayton Christopher and Roy Spence, just to name a few. These folks not only share an entrepreneurial DNA, they also share a strong belief in supporting other budding entrepreneurs.



Berber, Christopher and Spence are a few of the notable supporters of RISE, a Relationship and Information Series for Entrepreneurs. In its first year, 2007, RISE ran as a three-day conference that allowed anyone to host a session on the topic, and was open to anyone to attend. “It was thrown together in a matter of weeks,” says Georgia Thomsen, RISE’s current executive director. In the first year there were 40 sessions and about 250 attendees. That open approach proved to work. Last year, there were 200 sessions and 1,800 attendees, and a number of offshoot committees, projects and programs. The crowd-sourced element creates a culture of inclusiveness for the organization, and probably contributes to its success. “RISE doesn’t define what an entrepreneur is,” says Thomsen. But it does foster connections, and it’s now on a mission to grow RISE beyond its initial programming. Says Thomsen, “Austin’s pretty fragmented, and we think RISE can be the umbrella to bring people together.” In 2009, RISE had its first off-shoot, RISE Women, which hosts monthly salons led by experienced women entrepreneurs who share their experience of balancing business with family. The success of that group has lead to others. “If RISE can create that network for RISE Women, we can do this for another group,” says Thomsen. 20 GivingCity

“The beauty of RISE is that it’ A place for social entrepreneurs Many other organizations have tried creating a home for the growing social entrepreneur community, but RISE just might succeed. “People bicker about the definition of social entrepreneurship. There’s this race to own the term, but it’s new and not well defined,” says Thomsen. “And I think in a community like Austin there doesn’t need to be that exclusivity. RISE takes an inclusive definition in that if you are involved in, run or founded a business that gives back, we consider you a social entrepreneur.”

Most recently, there have been efforts to form a group for social entrepreneurs. (See sidebar above.) “Right now that effort is being led by Laurie Loew, who started Give update Realty. She comes with an inclusive approach, too. But every group is different, so we’re going to let the group figure that out.” There are other efforts to form groups for lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender and Hispanic entrepreneurs. “The beauty of RISE is that it’s an intimate conversation,” says Thomsen.

’s an intimate conversation. These are real relationships.” “These are real relationships; it’s real progress. We’re not in the business of throwing networking happy hours.” It seems counterintuitive, but to make sure RISE stays free, it now offers RISE memberships, starting at $99 a year. Membership is not required to attend a session, but members get to pre-register for sessions before they open to the public, and they get invited to small-group dinners hosted by what Thomsen calls “mavens” who share their connections and experience.

Watch Suzi Sosa, one of the founders of RISE, describe “the true spark” of entrepreneurship.

Watch Roy Spence talk about the “fundamental message” from his mentors.

“One of the other things we’re doing as a nonprofit is we’re looking into more earned-income strategies, and memberships allow us to offer premium opportunities while still maintaining an open event.” RISE relies on donor and some earned income, and has recently applied for grants from The Kaufman Foundation, among others “So you can run RISE really inexpensively. This is not a Las Vegas conference. “The sustainability is amazing,” says Thomsen. “Our cost comes to $7 per person for five days for more than 250 sessions.” RISE has yet to nail down its keynote speakers for the March event, but the closing keynote and bash will take place in the new Austin City Limits Live Moody Theater at the W Hotel. It seems the only limit to its growth is the Austin entrepreneur community itself. GC Learn more about RISE: Donate help keep it free. Sponsor Build goodwill with the entrepreneur community. Become a member rates start at $99 a year. Host a session Share your experience with others. Volunteer Volunteers get into closed sessions.



currie’s gift Touch of Sass drives business with charity. by Vicky Garza, photos by Emily Kinsolving

Currie Bucher is made up of spice and everything nice. As the owner of Touch of Sass boutique, she shares her passion for accessories that can spice up any outfit. As a community member and small business owner, she consistently donates a portion of her time and profits to different local charities and challenges other people and businesses to do so as well. 22 GivingCity




How does Touch of Sass give back to the community? We support a lot of different organizations through charitable donations and silent auction items. We probably raise the most money at our monthly trunk shows, where we bring in a special guest designer. That day, we dedicate 10 percent of our gross sales to a different local charity. What inspired you to become a philanthropist? My faith and my family, neither one more than the other. They say that you can see how much someone loves God by how much they love others. My mother was a single parent who made very little money as a social worker, but before we did anything else, she was tithing that 10 percent. She would show me that even though it was hard to give, we always somehow had enough. My grandmother had cutouts from devotional books and magazines on the refrigerator. There was one she kept on the fridge her whole life called “The Most update Important Words.” The five most important words are “How can I help you?” The least most important word is “I.” It was not just something she had on her refrigerator; it was how she lived and how she expected us to live. 24 GivingCity

“When you see how blesse What are your top three causes? I’ll start with the two I volunteer with the most. The Austin Resource Center for the Homeless helps the homeless get on their feet and contribute to the community again. Since my mother works for hospice, I’m also really passionate about the Care Communities, which helps care for people who are terminally ill with AIDS and cancer. I am also really active in my church, Tarrytown Methodist. I teach Sunday school and I’m on a lot of different committees. Several others we give to every year are Wonders and Worries, Helping Hands Home, and the Settlement Home for Children. How has giving back helped you? It is such a gift to me to be able to help someone in need. It makes you look at your life a different way; it enables you to get outside of your everyday issues and problems that you have to see how blessed you really are, and when you see how blessed you are, it is such a joy to be able to share it. GC


ed you are, it is such a joy to be able to share it.�





There’s no bond like the bond you form while planning fundraisers in the middle of the night. photos by Emily Kinsolving

Stephanie Fisher (right) is a serial young professional leader and Tracy Davis (left) is her long-time accomplice. They’re also both working single moms, which explains why they won’t stop laughing. Stress and lack of sleep can make anyone giddy. Fisher seems to thrive under pressure, but not without Davis as her relief valve. 26 GivingCity

Davis You’ve helped Austin Under 40, Catalyst 8, Helping Austin, Goodwill, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Council on At-Risk Youth, CASA Travis County, Austin Children’s Shelter, Young Execs and now Habitat Young Professionals. Why do you do it? Fisher Well, first of all, I’m drawn to the under-40 organizations and the nonprofits that support kids because, well, because I’m under 40 and I have kids. But really, what made me realize I could get involved and make a difference was working at Leadership Austin. Davis Really? Are you sure? Fisher Yes. I was just surrounded by people every day doing amazing things who were very accessible and welcoming. I realized it wasn’t some elite crowd I had to bust into. I just had to ask how I could help. You’re disappointed by my answer. ... Davis Well, I thought you’d say it was the networking opportunities. ...



“I’ve learned to spend 18 hours a day talking to you to get things done.” - Fisher Fisher Well, you’d be wrong. Davis That’s OK, I put a red X by it. So what kind of skills have you acquired from leading all the projects? Fisher I like to think I can rally a group and get them excited. Plus, I’ve learned to spend 18 hours a day talking to you to get things done. Of course my stellar people skills help me make a team cohesive, right? Davis (PAUSE) Um, this is embarrassing. ... So, ability to manage people, coordinate projects ... is that what you’re saying? Fisher Tracy is a big supporter of my making a career change to project management. Yes, Tracy, that’s what I’m saying! 28 GivingCity

Davis Thank you. So now my favorite question: You may have noticed that you and I work on a lot of projects together. What is your favorite part of working with me? Fisher In all honesty I can tell you that my favorite part is that I can call you and tell you off and you will still work with me. Davis That’s because I put the phone down and let you go on and on. Fisher Not only do I have a favorite part of working with you, I refuse to work on a project unless you’re involved. You get it. You get that failure is not an option.  You know that we will do whatever it takes to get the job done, and


you’ll tolerate my calls at 2 a.m. and talk to me for four hours until we sort it all out. Don’t cry.   Davis I’m going to need a moment. Fisher You’re a robot; I know you don’t cry. Davis Let’s not put that in the magazine. Fisher Seriously, my best friendships have been with  people I  met  during our term with  Young Execs of Austin. There’s a whole community of people out there that are like my family. And that’s kind of awesome. We grew it to over 100 people who still get together for holiday dinners.

Davis It’s a similar situation with Habitat Young Professionals. You were brought in for the same purpose. Fisher Yeah, HYP was coming off a tough year. Our main goal is to fund and build a house, but my hope is to get membership levels up to their heyday. Davis You’ve developed a reputation to give structure to these organizations. Fisher I don’t want to come off as some kind of super person or something. I hope people know that my expectations are really high and I work the HYP team pretty hard, but it’s going to be successful because I won’t sleep until it is.  GC

Check out their work MAY 14 Habitat Young Professionals BuilD the HYP GivingCity



Understand domestic violence by Dave Mauch

Abusive behavior falls into a pattern in which the abuser increases his/her control over the victim, making the victim more reliant on their abuser. A relationship can be abusive without physical or sexual violence. Some signs of domestic violence include the following: Isolation—cutting you off from your support network Physical abuse—hurting or threatening to inflict physical violence Sexual abuse—forcing you to engage in a sexual act Emotional abuse making you feel afraid, helpless, guilty Financial abuse­—blocking you from the resources you need to escape Threats of suicide, self-harm, or harm to you, others, children Minimizing, denying or blaming abuse on you 1 in 3 women in Austin report violence from an intimate partner

1 in 3 teens in Austin report having a friend in an abusive relationship

10,327 child abuse reports were filed in Central Texas in 2009

80% of rapes are unreported in Central Texas 80% of Texans admit to not calling the police after they

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE. Even if you’re not thinking about leaving or looking for shelter, hotline operators can help you talk through your options, build a safety plan and identify help available to you. Know your legal options The Texas Advocacy Project offers free legal services to victims of domestic violence statewide.

experienced domestic violence

67% of women with physical disabilities experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetimes

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Have a plan In times of crisis, thinking through the details becomes difficult, and escape attempts fail all too often due to a lack of planning.

How you can help Volunteer at a local shelter, domestic violence, or advocacy service program. The following nonprofits in Central Texas have volunteer opportunities listed on their websites: Safeplace




SAHELI for Asian Families

Austin Children’s Shelter



Central Texas Muslimaat

Texas Advocacy Project



National Domestic Violence Hotline

Texas Council on Family Violence



Hope Alliance Round Rock

Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center Lockhart

Family Crisis Center

Family Crisis Center


Marble Falls

click on a name to find out about volunteer opportunities in that area

Donate unrestricted funds Shelter need to pay for expenses often not covered by program-specific grants. In 2009, 41 percent of shelters in Texas reported an inability to meet some requests for service due to lack of funding. Donate in-kind goods Survivors often leave shelters with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Helpful items include toiletries, baby items, new linens, and gift cards to grocery stores in small denominations. The Hope Alliance has a wishlist for in-kind goods. Help spread awareness Open conversations about domestic violence foster an atmosphere less likely to ignore abuse as a so-called family issue and more likely to support victims. You can start by sharing this story with your network.. Reject language which treats anyone as an object We have a role in both intervening in abusive situations and in preventing situations which could lead to violence. Take a stand. GC PRINT THIS PAGE, and leave copies in the women’s restrooms, shared kitchens and other places at your workplace where women convene.



why i give

my own success

The TV news anchor writes about the roots of her philanthropy. by Michelle Valles, photos by Melanie Dodds

When you grow up with very little, you never forget it when someone reaches out to you. Never. My parents divorced when I was nine years old, and my father vanished from the family, putting my mother in a desperate situation. She became a school janitor, making next to nothing. It wasn’t the most glamorous calling and it certainly didn’t pay all that well, but she took pride in her work and never failed to put food on the 32 GivingCity



“Sometimes something as simple as believing in someone is your gift.” - Valles table for her three kids. However, there was one kind of sharing she would have none of. Even though we didn’t get any child support, my mom was determined not to accept public assistance. By the grace of God, we made it. We did have to forgo many things during this trying time, as you can imagine, but we learned to survive, and it heightened our appreciation of the generosity of others. I remember one Christmas, there was a knock on the door. It was a school counselor with a box full of food for my family. I had no idea others saw us in dire need, perhaps because the comfort and love of our family overcompensated for what we didn’t have. That meal was a special one, better than the most fancy holiday buffets, and that school counselor will always have a special place in my heart. Others reached out to my family and me in ways I’ll never forget. Had it not been for one high school teacher encouraging me to pursue a career in broadcast news, who knows where I’d be today? She planted the seed and she believed in me, and that’s all I needed to hear during that impressionable time to start believing in myself. Funny how it works. 34 GivingCity

I applied to UT-Austin, was accepted, and used my tip money from Bennigan’s to purchase a one-way ticket to the lovely town of Austin, even though I had never even visited the campus or the city I took a chance and never looked back. I took out loans and waited tables to follow my dreams. People laughed and doubted me when I told them why i give I was going to become a news reporter one day. I drowned their doubts out of my mind, and clung to my teacher’s encouragement. Thank you, Mrs. Beaumarchais. Sometimes something as simple as believing in someone is your gift.

Michelle says About 10 years ago I found someone at the news station was fighting cancer and had no insurance, or help from friends or family. I went around the station asking for donations. I wanted to do more, but this is all that came to mind at the time. Turns out the employees who gave the most were those making the least amount of money? To me, that’s the meaning of generosity.

One of the privileges my television career has afforded me is the power to motivate people in multi-level platforms by being the voice behind important causes. It has also allowed me to serve as a mentor to others looking to get into the television business, or college. I’m blessed to have access to people or opportunities others may not have, and while I try to use it wisely, I also try to open the doors

for those who really want to pursue their own dreams. It’s up to all of us to plant those seeds in our children and our future. Money helps, but words and actions also make a difference. Supporting our communities shouldn’t be a choice; it’s the right thing to do. It’s not too late to make your mark in this world. If we don’t help each other, why are we here? GC



PHILANTHROPY AT TH With state budget cuts looming, it’s time policymakers heard the truth from Austin nonprofits. by Monica M. Williams

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For the poorest, sickest, most helpless people in Austin, things are about to get worse. And the agencies and nonprofits that serve them may not be able to help. The way Jason Sabo tells it, there isn’t much of a silver lining to the State of Texas’ $27 billion budget shortfall, the biggest in our state’s history. “And I’m a silver lining kind of guy.” Sabo is the United Ways of Texas’ man at the Capitol. As senior vice president for public policy, Sabo has attended the budget meetings and legislative hearings inside the Capitol for almost 10 years, sometimes the only person to bear witness for the nonprofit sector. According to Sabo, there’s a disconnect between lawmakers and nonprofits, a lack of communication and understanding that leaves many lawmakers believing that philanthropy will fill in where the state cannot. “What the nonprofit sector doesn’t realize is that philanthropy and foundations are mentioned frequently as the folks who are going to pick up the slack,” says Sabo. “I don’t think the Legislature is aware of philanthropy’s limitations. The reality is, we can’t do everything.”

“At the very least, nonprofits need to bear witness to what’s about to happen.” - Jason Sabo

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photo by Joel Salcido

For most nonprofits, that’s a difficult message to send. You don’t want anyone to know there’s only so much you can do, not when you’re trying to sell yourself as an effective and scablable organization. But serving on the front lines comes with its responsibilties. First, most nonprofits have a thorough understanding of the populations they serve, one that goes far beyond the data and statistics found in reports to the Legislature. Second, nonprofits have a duty to the people they serve—and to their donors—to use every allowable means to improve the lives of their clients. In fact, who better than nonprofits to speak up for the people most vulnerable to state budget cuts?

Time to Speak Up Among the many reasons nonprofits don’t engage in lobbying, says Sabo, is the lack of knowledge about what is legally allowable. In fact, it is perfectly legal for nonprofits to engage in lobbying and advocacy without risking their tax-exempt status. According to the Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest, a nonprofit that trains other nonprofits in advocacy, the amount of resources a nonprofit can spend on lobbying depends on which lobbying law the organization comes under and the amount of their annual expenditures.



Nonprofits are affected by the State’s budget shortfall in a number of ways. 1. Layoffs to state employees translate to significant layoffs in Austin, adding more people to the growing population nonprofits serve. 2. To make concessions for budget cuts, the state may change long-standing provisions that protect and support nonprofits, leaving them vulnerable to loss of funding and even threatening their existence. 3. Many nonprofits receive funding directly or indirectly from the state, and budget cuts may reduce or eliminate that funding. 4. As more nonprofits are affected by the state’s budget shortfall, competition for donor dollars will grow fierce.

In other words, it’s time to do even more with even less, right? “Actually, I think that nonprofits need to be concerned about being effective,” says Silverberg. “You can’t always do more with less. At some point, you just can’t do anymore. We need to face those limitations.”

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Most of the rules turn on a 1976 lobby law, which is more specific about expenditures and the definition of lobbying than more recent laws, and therefore safer for the risk-averse nonprofit sector. In most cases, “lobbying” refers to actions taken in regard to specific legislation rather than general suggestions for solving problems. (See “Understand the Rules” sidebar, next page.) Even if lobbying is outside an organization’s resources (or comfort levels) it can make an impression by simply introducing a legislator to its work. Sabo suggests taking advantage of the relationship resources a nonprofit already has. “We put people on our boards of directors not just because they can write checks,” says Sabo, “but also because they have the ability to pick up the phone and reach out to influencers.”

5 THINGS YOU CAN DO: 1. Educate yourself.

Research the bills and follow their progress. Keep your donors and board informed of the bills that can affect your services.

2. Write to your state legislator.

Sabo’s advice: While 200 handwritten letters from an organized group will get a legislator’s attention, so will 20. Focus first on the legislators who represent you, then on those who serve on the relevant committees.

3. Arrange to meet with your legislator or his or her staff.

In-person meetings are easier to get than you think. When you do get that meeting, come prepared with stories as well as relevant economic data on the impact of your services.

4. Write to your school district board OF trustees.

One effect of the budget cuts may be that legislators give districts more programming leeway. While the school district staff makes recommendations for the budget, in the end, it’s the board that decides. That process starts now and lasts through the end of the school year. (In AISD, watch for a public hearing on April 25.)

5. Join a coalition.

Several organizations are forming to advocate as a group. Some require membership fees or target a specific field of interest. A few examples: TANO, Texas Association of Nonprofits Texans Care for Children Texas Forward One Voice Central Texas



The NONprofit Task Force In the 2009 session, the Legislature mandated a task force designed to identify ways to strengthen and grow nonprofits. That task force issued a report last November, outlining major recommendations areas that don’t necessarily cost money. “These are things that are immediately implementable at very little cost, if there’s a political will to do it,” says Silverberg, who served on the task force. There’s no word as to how or if the Legislature will consider the recommendations this session. “But our recommendations to improve these processes would go a long way toward easing the burden of the budget cuts.” View the Task Force’s Final Recommendations

Don’t go it alone There are a number of organized efforts by nonprofits in Texas to advocate and educate during this session, including the Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations. That organization, lead by Barry Silverberg, takes a positive, proactive approach to the budget shortfall. “This session gives us an opportunity to help the Legislature understand what the nonprofit sector is,” says Silverberg. “It’s time for us to mature as a sector.” TANO’s mission this session will be to monitor and respond to legislative and regulatory initiatives that may have a negative effect on nonprofits. Other organizations like Texas Forward, One Voice Central Texas and Texans Care for Children organize under specific fields of interest and establish a more pointed agenda. “People need to band together as a sector,” says Silverberg. “Our goal is to educate policymakers about the diversity of the sector. We have not been strong advocates of who we are and what we need.”

“We have not been strong advocates of who we are and what we need.” - Barry Silverberg

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Austin’s obligation The Central Texas Education Funders have taken this call to action, lead by KDK-Harman Foundation. “There will be a huge learning curve for us,” says Jennifer Esterline, executive director, “but because we’re very blessed to be in Austin, we have a responsibility to our colleagues across the state.” A big win for Central Texas nonprofits would be to increase visibility and involvement at the Legislature. “We’re going to knock on the doors of legislative offices, get to know the staff members and tell them about our grantees,” says Esterline. CTEF is also organizing an education day on February 9, and invite leading philanthropists and funders to understand their role in advocacy and public policy. “The nonprofits outside of Austin would love to have the opportunity we have,” says Sabo. “We have the seat of power right in our backyard, and we need to step up for our own community, our sector and our constituents and pay attention. At the very least, nonprofits must bear witness to what’s about the happen.” GC

UNDERSTAND THE RULES The Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest offers a step-by-step guide for nonprofits and their board members and advocates to engage in advocacy, as well as a number of other useful and encouraging resources. WHAT THE LAW ALLOWS ROADMAP FOR GUIDANCE ON FUNDING ADVOCACY (PDF) how to MAKE A DIFFERENCE WITH JUST 3 HOURS A WEEK (PDF)

WATCH Jason Sabo explain why budget cuts would have to affect health and human services and education.



Fair for the Future

Austin’s Spanish-only education fair. by Monica Williams, photos from Feria Para Aprender

Almost 60 percent of the students currently enrolled in Austin Independent School District are Hispanic. For about 24,000 AISD students, English is not their first language. If we don’t meet this population half-way, we’re at risk of losing millions of dollars in human capital. And that’s not a loss Austin can afford to take. Now in its fifth year, Feria Para Aprender continues to grow in scope and reach, with more than 12,000 Spanishspeaking families at the January 29 event and 400 bilingual volunteers across 40,000 square feet of exhibitors. Its Spanish-only approach has been controversial in the past, but today it seems like an imperative. 44 GivingCity



At Feria, Spanish speakers finally feel welcome. In fact, the entire fair is Spanish only.

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Language is only one barrier to the success of Austin students. A barrier blocks both sides from interacting in a meaningful, effective way, and that’s why a major initiative of Feria is to minimize that barrier both for the students and families, as well as for the school districts, and education agencies and nonprofits. In order to attend the fair, every exhibitor and participant must go through training on the best ways to connect with the families that attend. Feria stresses verbal interaction with the parents, as opposed to just passing out brochures, and provides a volunteer translator, if needed. Exhibitors are strongly discouraged from asking the children to translate to their parent, which immediately takes the power away from the parents. In fact, everything at Feria is directed at the parents, rather than the students. In Mexican culture, children are expected to help support the family once they start working, so to stress to the children that they can have an interesting and successful career doesn’t resonate. Instead, Feria stresses to parents that their children can become breadwinners and support the whole family with a better education.



If you ask a principal in Mexico what role a parent should have in a child’s education, he would say their role was to drop the child at school and pick them up at the end of the day. The fact that so many Mexican and Mexican-American children are not prepared for kindergarten—the fact that many of them enter school barely knowing how to hold a pencil—is because parents are culturally 48 GivingCity

trained to leave the responsibility of a child’s education to the school. Feria tells parents that they need to be involved in their child’s education from birth. It offers them resources from books to information about classes and other material to arm parents with the tools they need to prepare their children for school. Many people have approached Feria organizers about offering the

the volunteer/role model Volunteers play an important role at this event. While not all are required to be bi-lingual, those that speak Spanish and English are put to good use at Feria. They not only serve as translators but also role models—not just for the children, but for the parents, too. Often the young professional, bilingual volunteers are the same age as the parents who attend. They act as guides to the fair, but are also willing to share their life stories, their experience and how that’s changed the future for their whole family.

same fair in English. That misses the point. A major reason people attend Feria is because they know that— finally—they will be able to speak to someone about their child’s education in their language, that all around them other parents with their same concerns will be there as resources, too, that they’re not going to feel like an annoyance or special case.

Feria isn’t for the entire community. It isn’t directed at children, isn’t a place to explore careers. It’s a place to retrain adults about what the path to success looks like in this country. There are no bands at Feria, no food booths or games. But there are more than 20,000 books. GC learn more about feria para aprender GivingCity


Austin’s Ange Who Austin parents turn to when their child dies. by Melody Warnick, photos by Joel Salcido

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Amy Allen may be the last person on earth you want to meet. Which is not to say that you wouldn’t love to hang out and swap life stories with the 43-yearold Austin native. But in her job as scholarship director at the Austin Community Foundation, Allen’s first contact with clients tends to be the result of a worst-case scenario. That’s how it was for Terry Pittsford and his wife, Judy, who first met Allen three months after their 28-year-old son, Wade, died in a car accident in November 2003. Because Wade, like his father, was a football coach at Bowie High School, setting up a memorial scholarship seemed a natural way for “us as a family to continue to touch the lives of Bowie football players in Wade’s memory,” says Pittsford. A few friends recommended working with Austin Community Foundation, and when he called, it was Allen on the other end of the line. That setup wouldn’t seem like an auspicious way to start to a friendship. But seven years later, the Pittsfords and the Allens have shared everything from family dinners to vacation time at their country ranches, less than 20 miles apart in Mason County. The Pittsfords have even become something like surrogate grandparents for the Allens’ 11- and 13-year-old daughters, cheering them on at basketball games. To Pittsford, Allen is one of the bright spots that emerged in the shadow of his son’s death. “We’re convinced the good Lord put Amy and her family in our lives for a specific purpose,” he says. “Through her vo-

cation and the way she did her job, we’ve built a lasting friendship out of a very tough situation.” Tough situations are the backbone of Allen’s job. After 19 years at the Austin Community Foundation—she was one of its first employees and has filled every role at one time or another—she now devotes the bulk of her time to managing over 100 scholarships, many of them memorials in honor of someone who has died.



The Pittsfords join Allen, her husband and their two daughters on vacations.

Usually, Alen meets with family members a few weeks or months after the death of a sibling, a parent, or most often, a child, to work out the details of the scholarship, the potential recipients and how much money the family will have to invest to meet their goals. The discussions are an odd mix of raw emotion and ticky-tacky financial talk that requires just the right touch. “Over the years I’ve learned how to have these conversations,” says Allen. “You have to just listen more than anything, and be there.” For Allen, that means sometimes letting family members talk for hours about the one who has died, crying 54 GivingCity

right along with them, then remembering the people she’s gotten to know only after they’ve gone. Like Aimee Melissa Davis, who died at age 18 from insulin-dependent diabetes. Or Leslie Amanda Lane, a teenager who died in a freak accident on a carnival ride. Or Matthew Proctor, a budding artist who was murdered in 2002 at age 19, and in whose name Allen helped create a scholarship for McCallum High School art students. “I can’t tell you how many times I have cried in her office,” says Matthew’s father, David Proctor. “She is so good and so understanding. She could have been a psychiatrist.”

Allen does come across like a pastor-cum-therapist, though her Texas Tech degree is actually in restaurant and hotel management (which she says taught her the fine art of politeness). But knowing just the right thing to say to grieving parents is more a gift than something you can get a degree in. She credits a long-ago conversation with Libby Malone, then president of the Austin Community Foundation, with helping her understand how to approach people whose loved ones have died. “Libby and her husband lost their son in college to an accidental drowning,” Allen says. “One thing she said to me was, ‘When you lose somebody, you don’t want to forget them. When it’s my son’s birthday, I want people to say remember that. The thing is, people stop talking about him.’” Allen’s take: It’s healing to remember—and talk about—the dead.

That can be heavy stuff, and it’s turned her into a bit of a basket case as a mom. Recently, when she learned that her older daughter was catching a ride to a church retreat in another mother’s car, her heart started racing. No wonder—she handles four memorial scholarships for children who died in accidents while riding in cars with other moms. But, she realizes, “my worrying is not going to change anything, and I’m not going to keep my daughter from going to a church retreat she really wants to go to. So I pray a lot and say, ‘God’s watching over everything.’” Still, it’s sometimes hard for her not to feel as if she’s waiting for the other shoe to drop. Luckily, if it ever does, she’s learned from families like the Pittsfords that even terrible tragedy has a few grace notes. And for the rest of us, one of those grace notes can be Amy Allen. GC

“...the Good Lord put Amy and her family in our lives for a specific purpose”

Creating a scholarship fund Anyone can create a scholarship fund for any reason, but for parents of children who have died, it can be an especially meaningful tribute. The Austin Community Foundation allows scholarship funds to be started with any amount. Scholarship funds can offer small awards to recipients or as much as a full scholarship. To start a scholarship fund, contact Amy Allen at the Austin Community Foundation.




We’re concerned about “impactful” and “impacted.” Nonprofits use these words whenever they’ve totally run out of adjectives and brain cells. I grew up associating “impacted” with dental work. Just don’t.

USE YOUR WORDS Nonprofits and foundations have their own language. Some of it actually means stuff. by Monica M. Williams

But most of it is jargon—timid, catch-all, made-up words that reveal fuzzy thinking. We’ve all used these words before, but the jargon police for the nonprofit world, aka, The Communications Network, wants to change that. Check out its “Jargon Finder,” the best feature on its website and iPhone app. It’s a great resource for interpreting nonprofit-ese. So if you just can’t avoid it, go ahead and use these in print, but please don’t say them aloud. It’s embarrassing. 56 GivingCity

When you grow up poor, you talk about money all the time. When you grow up rich, it never comes up. That’s why when talking to donors, nonprofits refer to their budgets as FUNDING. “We don’t need money! No, no, no. We need FUNDING!” Personally, I’d take a suitcase full of money.

This is an awkward one because it groups people, usually young people, together based on problems they don’t even have yet. AT-RISK of what? Being tracked for failure? Wha...? I mean, I know what “capacity” means. And I understand its use, vaguely, in nonprofit terms. Kind of. But “CAPACITY-building” has no relationship at all to nonprofit staffing, equipment and processes. And it’s kind of silly when you already have trouble raising money for services and operations to seemingly create a third, nebulous goal of raising money to build CAPACITY. Unless you’re a nonprofit baseball field.

The verb. As in “SCALE our services.” Do you mean grow? Or weigh? Or climb a tall building using super powers? I went to college, I can handle big words. Wait, “SCALE to CAPACITY?” You lost me.



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A MOTHER’S MISSION A child born deaf becomes a mother’s call to advocacy. by Christine Cox, photos by Melanie Dodds

Dvorah Ben-Moshe and her husband, a Jewish spiritual leader, were living on a kibbutz in Israel when their first child, Ilan, was born. “He was beautiful,” she remembers. Within months Ben-Moshe knew something was different about Ilan. “I took him to several doctors. No one believed me; they all thought I was imagining things.” Eventually, a doctor in Florida, where her in-laws lived, confirmed her fear; her beautiful son was deaf. “I knew from that moment that I’d been given an opportunity to help foster change for the deaf community.” An activist and advocate at heart, BenMoshe decided to go to law school. “I knew this was my calling; to affect change in this

forgotten community. I wanted to fully understand disability laws and have a credentialed voice when working to change the way that the deaf community, so isolated from mainstream, interacted in a hearing world.” She points out that there are no elected officials at any level in the United States that are deaf. “Helen Keller said that being deaf was the most difficult part of her disability. Being blind separated her from things, but being deaf separated her from people and relationships,” she points out.



“This is a movement that is long overdue.” Ilan attends the Texas School of the Deaf and is an active teenager who is good at sports and excels in all subjects. “Imagine being so intelligent and active but not being able to truly have a place in a hearing world because of one disability,” Ben-Moshe says. So she co-founded the nonprofit, Civication, which gives all GRASSROOTS people, focusing especially on the young, the opportunity to truly learn, understand, and participate in the process of government and civic life. Through the partnership of Civication and Austin Community Foundation, Ben-Moshe is finding a way to solve an unsolved problem. In July 2010, the project was awarded a grant by the es60 GivingCity

teemed John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to start a television channel known as Access News on KLRU-TV Austin PBS; the programming will speak the language of the deaf: sign language. The $185,000 grant, some of which will be matched by the Austin Community Foundation, helps gives the deaf a place at the table, says BenMoshe. “Women did it during the suffrage movement, African-Americans did it during the civil rights movement, it’s now time for deaf people to have true access to news and information, giving them a clear voice in the civic process and unifying their community with the hearing community.” Access News will produce 12, 30-minute shows each year. “We hope by our example here in Austin, there will be television stations like this established all over the country. This is a movement that is long overdue.” GC





STILL THERE FOR HIM by Vicky Garza, photos by Joel Salcido

Nineteen-year-old Tim has a knack for making things grow. He spends considerable time in his greenhouse, built for him by high school students as a community service project. His newest horticultural project—a poinsettia a friend gave him— spilled to the ground with the broken shelf he’d placed it on. “It’ll grow back,” he said, matter-of-factly. Tim hopes to one day have a plant nursery. He is currently enrolled in the horticulture program at the Clifton Career Development School and volunteers at a garden center in South Austin. It is hard to believe that this optimistic, friendly young man had been abused and removed from his family by Child Protective Services when he was just three years old. His mental retardation led to many challenges in finding him a safe, permanent home. “I’ve been in hundreds of foster homes and group homes. I’ve been all over the place,” Tim says. The only constant in Tim’s life, and the closest he came to ever having a parent, is his Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Linda Sabins. She became Tim’s CASA volunteer when he was threeyears old and, even though he has aged out of the system, she is still there for him 16 years later. “He’s like family now,” she said. Tim now lives in an adult-assisted living program run by the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS). “I have the biggest bedroom because I got here first. Come see it,” insisted Tim, who headed in that direction. Like a typical teenager, the door to his room had signs warning his roommates to stay out. It is a large room with its own bathroom and walk-in closet decorated with old furniture and decorations that had been purchased and donated by friends. On his wall is a 62 GivingCity




frame with photos and he proceeds to point out the people in them: Linda and some of her family members, his girlfriend, and some of his friends. Hanging next to the photos are medals he won in the GRASSROOTS Special Olympics in San Antonio. Linda fought hard to have Tim placed in this home. She has been advocating for Tim for most of his life. If it weren’t for Linda, he would have been left in some really bad places and with no one to push him to advance. Linda’s volunteer situation with Tim is unusual; most CASA volunteer assignments last about a year. “There is a real need and that’s what has kept me going,” said Linda, who has taken on other cases besides Tim’s. She explained that case workers can have up to 20 cases each, so it is hard for them to get all the information that the judge needs to make the best possible decisions for the children in the court system. Usually, CASA pairs only one child at a time with each volunteer, they are able to spend the time necessary to get more involved so that they can make recommendations on what is in the children’s best interest. Linda, while not officially his CASA volunteer, followed Tim as he cycled through foster care and, finally, into DADS. “It’s been very rewarding working with Tim because I’ve learned as much from him as he’s learned from me,” said 64 GivingCity

“I’ve been in hundreds of foster homes and group homes. I’ve been all over the place.” Linda. “It’s just incredible, the resilience kids like Tim have, and how they can come around and make it though in situations in which you wouldn’t think they could.” Linda is thankful that most of her wishes for Tim have come true since he has moved to his new home. “I’m getting to see him have freedom, make choices and grow,” she said, “but I’m really hoping for him to be able to get a job. It’s something he really wants to do, but he still has a few years of school. It will be a big deal to him to make a life of his own.” GC

learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer



in case you missed it

AAIM Takes New Name, New Story The Austin Area Interreligious Ministries has had three name changes since it was founded in 1941, each signifying an evolution in services. Recently AAIM once again has hit a turning point. It’s new name, iACT, stands for Interfaith Action of Central Texas. We spoke to Tom Spencer, the CEO, about what it means for the organization.

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We wanted a name that reflected what we actually do. iACT is a vehicle for shared action in the form of interfaith dialogue, service and celebration. And, these actions have to directly involve individuals as well. So, the “i” in iACT can also be seen as both a challenge and as a commitment to personally take responsibility for interfaith peace-making. We run two extremely effective service programs: Hands on Housing, which is the largest volunteerbased housing repair program in the city, and iACT for Refugees, a school that teaches critical life skills to newly arrived refugees from around the world. These are beautiful programs that profoundly improve people’s lives. We have increased community awareness of and support for these programs, and this has changed iACT in a tremendous way. Telling these stories has brought in new friends who have energized our board.

We are always looking for volunteers who are interested our mission of cultivating interfaith peace and respect. In fact, individual participants and contributors have been where we have seen our fastest rate of growth. These individuals may be members of faith communities, though many are not. One of the fastest growing categories of religious self-identification is “all of the above.” We are seeing many folks who want to learn about all of the great wisdom traditions. This is especially true in our new dialogue program, The Red Bench: Interfaith Conversations that Matter. I think that’s the easiest way to plug into the iACT community—come to The Red Bench program and be prepared to “Think Globally and Grow Personally.”



The CEO of Impact Austin will step down this month after founding the women’s giving circle eight years ago. The giving circle recently held a membership campaign that aimed to add more members. At the end of 2010, Impact Austin had 542 members, making for a 2011 grant total of $542,000 or five $108,000 grants. Powers told the Statesman’s Michael Barnes, “Now I’m figuring out what the next thing,” she says “If I am open to it, it will happen.”

FIND OUT MORE WATCH a video of Brett Barnes of LifeWorks and Conspiraire serenading Impact Austin announcing their new membership number

Help Put Millions Into Austin Economy For more than five years, Foundation Communities has run a volunteer tax center, which in 2009 helped lowincome Central Texas families get $25 million in tax refunds that were owed to them. That same year, Gov. Rick Perry vetoed a bill that would have used more than $2 million in federal money to create and manage more volunteer tax centers across the state. At the time, Walter Moreau of Foundation Communities called Perry’s decision “mindnumbing.” You can help support a program the state doesn’t and put millions into the Central Texas economy—by volunteering or donating to the community tax center. There are three types of volunteers: preparers, intake specialists and Spanish translators. (About 20 percent of the clients speak Spanish only.) Each attends an orientation session and some training, and is required to commit to at least one three-hour shift per week from January to April. Volunteer applications are being accepted through Jan. 25. learn more about volunteer tax centers GivingCity


GivingCity Austin Directory Below is our growing list of community-minded, for-profit and nonprofit businesses in Central Texas. Please support them and mention that you saw them in GivingCity Austin. APPTIVISTS GivShop: GivShop brings local businesses and charities together by offering great deals and fun opportunities for consumers while generating funds for nonprofit organizations. When you make a purchase through GivShop, 50% of the profits go to a charity of your choice. Sign up and start shopping for a good cause! GivShop.com HelpAttack: We love to tweet. We love to give. Why not kill two birds with one stone? Help Attack offers you a chance to pledge a certain amount to your chosen charity every time you tweet. HelpAttack.com Hotels for Hope: Rid yourself of event planning stress while giving back to the community by working with Hotels for Hope. Every time you book a room with Hotels for Hope, $2 is given to local charities. Cost-effective, organized, and hassle-free, this organization is making a big difference in Austin. HotelsforHope. org KIIMBY: Register your credit card with KIIMBY, and part of every purchase you make at participating businesses will go towards your favorite charities. Businesses range from clothing boutiques to food delivery sites. You need to buy clothes, and you need to buy food—why not give a little back to the community while you’re at it? Kiimby.com MiniDonations: A little bit of change can go a long way. With Mini Donations, you can implement your spare change to help out the community in many different ways through your Mini Donations account. MiniDonations.org EATING OUT Hat Creek Burgers: There’s not much out there more satisfying than a good burger and good friends. Hat Creek Burger Co. promises both, along with fresh-cut fries and hand-dipped Blue Bell milkshakes. HatCreekBurgers.com El Sol y La Luna: Serving freshly prepared, interior Mexican cuisine, now at its new location on 6th and Red River. ElSolyLaLunaAustin.com GOING OUT J. Blacks: Offering a delectable menu, fun cocktails, and a wide assortment of wines, J. Black’s Feel Good Lounge is the perfect place for a night on the town. The unique art and distinct ambiance make it the place to be in Austin, so rent it out for private parties or stop by for a drink and a good time. JBlacks. com Molotov: Located conveniently on West 6th, Molotov is a great hang out spot for those looking for a good time. Come out and enjoy the impressive variety of margaritas and martinis, along with a reasonably priced menu. MolotovLounge.com HOTELS Four Seasons Hotel: Enjoy the tranquility of Lady Bird Lake while still situated in the bustling heart of Austin. The Four Seasons Hotel’s luxurious spa, fine dining, and renowned Texas hospitality will make your stay in the Capital City unforgettable. FourSeasons.com/Austin NONPROFIT CONSULTANTS Cultural Strategies: Cultural Strategies is a marketing and advertising consulting firm that will give your business or organization an advantage in an increasingly multicultural America. Partnering with Cultural Strategies will provide you with insight and advice to improve your company and accomplish your professional, political, economic, or cultural goals. CulturalStrategies.com

Ridgewood: Ingenious Communication Strategies: Working with community-minded clients, Ridgewood is a public relations firm that enables organizations to reach out to the public in effective, powerful ways in a constantly changing communications landscape. RidgewoodPR.com Knox-Woollard Professional Management: Professional Management: Providing services in management and organization, KWPM employs their expertise in the management field and team of skilled professionals to provide a cost-effective and efficient opportunity for organizations to meet their goals. KWProfessionalManagement.com Seeds for Change: Whether you’re planning a gala, stirring up donors, or establishing a budget, Seeds of Change will work with you to boost your nonprofit with their impressive staff of professionals. This communications and marketing firm uses it’s roots in the philanthropy field to successfully promote nonprofits. SeedsforChangeConsulting.com PHOTOGRAPHERS Abi Justice: Abi manages to capture tender, sincere moments through her camera lens, and her organic aesthetic creates the perfect tone for Austin wedding portraits. AbiJustice.com Joel Salcido: Joel’s photography achieves a unique flavor and edginess that few other photographers can pull off. His editorial pieces, along with his portraits of clients like Dennis Quaid and Lance Armstrong, represent his distinct artistic eye. JoelSalcido. com Gregg Cestaro: Specializing in fashion photography, Gregg’s attention to detail and fascination with his art give it an extra kick. He also offers services in illustration, graphic design, video, and web design. GreggCestaro.com Owen Laracuente: A professional photographer in the Austin area. PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Apex Auctions: A professional auctioneer not only makes charity auctions more fun, it also raises more money for a good cause. Victoria Gutierrez offers invaluable input on running an auction, and hiring her will do wonders for your nonprofit event. ApexAuction.com INNU Salon: Innu provides impeccable customer service paired with an artistic, fashion-forward aesthetic to give you a fabulous hairstyle. The salon offers cuts, color, highlights, perms, makeup, up-dos, and extensions. Innu.net GiveRealty: Give Realty boasts that their two passions are real estate and the community. By donating 25% of their commission to the nonprofit of your choice, Give Reality makes a huge impact on the community while still providing you with exceptional service. GiveRealtyAustin.com RETAILERS Touch of Sass: Sassy jewelry, bags, and other accessories promise to bring out your own unique style and accent your already fabulous look. Located in eclectic downtown Austin, this boutique is sure to have something chic for everyone’s closet. TouchofSass. net If you’d like to be considered for the GivingCity Austin Directory, contact Monica Williams at monica@givingcity.com or 512-472-4483


JAN 13 2011 Hill Country Ride Kick Off Party 7 - 9 PM Austin Music Hall Benefiting: Hill Country Ride for AIDS JAN 14 Legacy Bash: A Homecoming 7 PM Shady Springs Party Barn Benefiting: Habitat Young Professionals



JAN 24 - FEB 4 BookSpring Read-A-Thon Benefiting: BookSpring JAN 25 KLRU Next Official Launch Party 5:30 – 7:30 PM W Austin, Screen Porch Lounge Benefiting: KLRU Next


JAN 26 EPIC Happy Hour 5:30 – 7 PM House + Earth Benefiting: Hill Country Conservancy

JAN 20 Austin Young Chamber Membership Mixer 11 - 12 PM Key Bar

JAN 26 Catalyst 8 Happy Hour at La Sombra 6:00 PM La Sombra Bar & Grill Benefiting: Catalyst 8

JAN 20 Au40 Nominations Closing Happy Hour 6 – 9 PM The Driskill Hotel

JAN 27 Atticus Circle Awards Luncheon 11:30 AM – 1 PM Renaissance Austin Benefiting: Atticus Circle


JAN 27 I Live Here, I Give Here Donor Appreciation Party 6 – 8 PM Arthouse JAN 29 Dell Children’s Gala 6:00 PM Austin Convention Center Grand Ballroom Benefiting: Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas JAN 29 Gala Lumière 2011 Blanton Museum Gala 6 PM – 12 AM Blanton Museum of Art Benefiting: The Blanton Museum of Art

Event listing brought to you by Austin Social Planner. Make sure to list your event on Austin Social Planner.

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FEB 2 They Swept My Heart Away 6 – 8pm Arc of the Arts Studio & Gallery Benefiting: The Arc of the Capital Area

FEB 10: Rise & Shine: Philanthropy Day Breakfast 7:30 – 10:30 PM Hyatt Regency Hotel Benefiting: Association of Fundraising Professionals of Greater Austin

FEB 3 Razzle Me, Dazzle Me My Valentine Charity Event 6 – 11 PM J. Black’s Feel Good Lounge Benefiting: Horse Boy Foundation

FEB 10 Eat Your Heart Out 7 – 9 PM Mercury Hall Benefiting: Cooking Up English

FEB 5 The Best of Times. Texas artists performing the music of Sara Hickman. 8 PM – 12 AM The Paramount Theatre Benefiting: Theatre Action Project FEB 6 SUPER BOWL SUNDAY

FEB 11 2011 Boots, Bells & Hearts Gala 5:30 – 11:30 PM Four Seasons Hotel Benefiting: Mental Health America of Texas FEB 12 Rodeo Austin Gala 6:00 PM Palmer Events Center Benefiting: Rodeo Austin

FEB 14 Valentine’s Day FEB 19 Spring Swing Benefiting: St. Stephen’s School FEB 19 CharityBash Masquerade Ball 8 - 12 PM Benefiting: Austin Children’s Museum FEB 19 CASAblanca Gala and Benefit Auction 6 - 10 PM Four Seasons Hotel Benefiting: CASA of Central Texas FEB 21 Hospice Austin Gala and Presentation of the Senior Class Hilton Austin Benefiting: Hospice Austin FEB 21 Presidents Day

FEB 9 2011 Put Kids 1st Awards Luncheon 11:45 AM – 1:30 PM Four Seasons Hotel Benefiting: Texans Care for Children

FEB 12 HRC Gala Dinner 6:30 – 11 PM Four Seasons Hotel Benefiting: Human Rights Campaign

FEB 23 60 in Sixty: A Fusebox Benefit 8 – 11 PM

FEB 13 Austin Cabaret Theatre Gala Benefiting: ACT’s Educational Outreach Programs

FEB 24 KLRU Opening Night Celebration 7 – 10:30 PM Moody Theater and Austin City Limits Stage Benefiting: KLRU GivingCity


FEB 26 Austin Lyric Opera Guild Wine Dinner and Auction 6 – 10 PM Barton Creek Country Club Benefiting: Austin Lyric Opera

MARCH 1 Texas Medal of Arts Gala 5:30 PM - 12 AM Long Center Benefiting: Texas Cultural Trust

FEB 26 Mardi Gras Madness 6 - 11 PM Benefiting: Capital Area Foodbank

MARCH 5 It’s My Park Day Parks throughout Austin Benefiting: Austin Parks Foundation

FEB 26 Austin Under 40 Awards 7 - 10 PM FEB 27 Lifeworks Academy Awards Gala 6:30 - 10 PM Austin Music Hall Benefiting: Lifeworks FEB 27 AGLIFF 2nd Annual Oscar Party 5:30 PM Austin Studios Benefiting: Austin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival FEB 28 Texas Medal of Arts: VIP Reception Visual Arts at Center Benefiting: Texas Cultural Trust

MARCH 5 Ready. Set. Red! Cross Challenge Austin AmericanStatesman Benefiting: American Red Cross of Central Texas MARCH 5 Huston-Tillotson President’s Masked Scholarship Gala 6 - 11:30 PM Sheraton Austin Hotel Benefiting: Mankind Assisting Students Kindle Educational Dreams MARCH 5 The Crystal Ball 7 pm Palmer Events Center Benefiting: Helping Hand Home for Children


MARCH 5 Viva Las Vegas 8 - 11:30 PM Austin Music Hall Benefiting: AIDS Services of Austin and Capital Area AIDS Legal Project MARCH 10 Texas Film Hall of Fame 2011 6 - 11 PM Austin Studios Benefiting: Austin Film Society MARCH 26 Any Baby Can Gala Austin Music Hall Benefiting: Any Baby Can MARCH 26 Bandana Ball 6 - 11 PM The Wild Onion Ranch Benefiting: Ronald McDonald House Charities MARCH 27 Statesman Capitol 10K 8:30 - 10:30 AM Downtown Benefiting: Austin Children’s Shelter and Statesman Swim Safe for Kids

Event listing brought to you by Austin Social Planner. Make sure to list your event on Austin Social Planner.

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Ideas New Energy New Persp Ideas New Energy New Persp Ideas New Energy New Persp Ideas New Energy New Persp Ideas New Energy New Persp Ideas New Energy New rPersp oPersp Ideas New Energy New f Ideas New Energy New PerspL ng i I k Ideas New Energy New Persp H o P o Ideas New Energy New Persp N l I T e S Ideas New Energy New Persp r ’ U e Energy ANew Persp IdeasWNew OF New Persp Ideas New Energy Ideas New Energy New Persp Ideas New Energy New Persp Ideas New Energy New Persp Ideas New Energy New Persp Ideas New Energy New Persp Ideas New Energy New Persp Announcing GIVINGCITY AUSTIN’S

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GivingCity A Project of the Austin Community Foundation

Those selected to be a New Philanthropist will be featured in GivingCity Austin’S April 2011 feature. See our last crop of New Philanthropists here. DEADLINE FOR NOMINATIONS: FEB 28, 2011



Editor-in-Chief Monica M. Williams Art Director Torquil Dewar Assistant Editors Dave Mauch Chantal Rice

Contributors Christine Cox Vicky Garza Melody Warnick Photographers Melanie Dodds Emily Kinsolving Gregg Cestaro Joel Salcido

Copyright Š GivingCity Austin No part of this may be reproduced without the permission of GivingCity Austin and Austin Community Foundation. 512.472.4483

Profile for GivingCity Austin

GivingCity Austin #6  

The guide to doing good in Austin, featuring in this issue: Why and how Austin nonprofits should lobby the Legislature, a woman who helps pa...

GivingCity Austin #6  

The guide to doing good in Austin, featuring in this issue: Why and how Austin nonprofits should lobby the Legislature, a woman who helps pa...