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BOB SCHNEIDER The Austin rocker organized a benefit concert for Texas wildfire relief

MONEY GO? Winter 2012 1

Why do Give?


“Just to help others in need.”

“Giving is a response to the

blessings I enjoy.”

“Everybody needs help sometimes.” “I know what it is like to need help. I want others to have the same

resources I have had.”

“Just having a heart inspires me to give.”

We hope these words from our donors inspire you to give!

Give online

Inspiring Donors • Building Endowments • Engaging Volunteers



G I V I N G C I T Y A U S T I N Winter 2012 Issue 10


Editor-in-Chief Monica M. Williams Managing Editor Sun Connor Design DJ Stout Carla Rogers Pentagram Design Advertising Director Angela Roark Events Director Narissa Johnson


Bastrop’s recovery from the wildfire won’t be financed by donations. Five thousand people displaced from their homes are learning how philanthropy really works. FEATURES

Contributors Martha Collins Sun Connor Kate Harrington Matt Mahon Joel Salcido


5 EDITOR’S LETTER Shelley Seale


6 BRIEFS Highlights from last season including 100 Homes, the opera, poverty stats, and a cow auction

Erin Trieb

8 HAPPENING NOW Get involved with“Rocket Science”, SXSW, Alamo Drafthouse and Latinitas


Statistics show Iraq War veterans are prone to depression, addiction and suicide. See which local nonprofits are helping soldiers come home.

Cover photo by Matt Mahon

Sarah Wilson

28 GIVE BETTER Plan a great event, connect with lawyers, understand collaborations, navigate pet charities, learn from Mary Margaret Farabee

GivingCity Austin is available online. To request print copies, please call 472-4483. 2012 Copyright GivingCity Austin. No part of this document may be reproduced without permission.

33 DIRECTORY Austin businesses giving back Winter 2012 3



WE’RE GROWING opportunity to share their involvement in the community, too. We’re happy to connect more of those businesses with our readers with every issue. For just over a year now, GivingCity has been a project of the Austin Community Foundation, and we could not have a better home. The foundation’s support and the platform it offers GivingCity mean we can bring readers information they won’t get anywhere else about how local philanthropy works. Thanks to ACF, we continue to grow. When I started the magazine in 2007, my mission was to understand and explain how local philanthropy works. In doing that, I’d hoped to find for myself and others an entry point to local giving. For me, the magazine itself became my role, and I’m having a great time learning and helping promote a culture of philanthropy in Austin. I hope GivingCity helps you find your place in local giving, too. I can’t wait to hear your ideas and feedback. Write to me at monica@ or visit us on Facebook or

MONICA Editor-in-Chief



We knew we could grow enough to offer local businesses an opportunity to share their involvement in the community.

The 10 th issue of GivingCity Austin marks a major growth spurt for the magazine. First and foremost, you’ll notice our new look. I’m thrilled to be in the good hands of someone who is arguably one of the most talented and expert art directors in the country, DJ Stout of Pentagram. DJ and his colleague at Pentagram, Carla Rogers, have not only elevated content about philanthropy to a new level, they’ve been patient and generous with their time and talent. We look forward to your feedback about our new look. Torquil Dewar, our co-founder and art director, could not have been a better partner in launching this magazine, and I know many of you loved his work. Lots of people do. In fact, last year so many people loved his work that he became much too busy to handle GivingCity anymore. I’m happy for his success, but I will miss the 3 a.m. closings. When we started in 2007, we hoped someday to be as useful to advertisers as we would be to readers. Because this is the only magazine that targets Central Texans who step up and get involved, we knew we could grow enough to offer local businesses an


BOB SCHNEIDER The Austin rocker organized a benefit concert for Texas wildfire relief

MONEY GO? Inside the Redesign DJ Stout and Pentagram have a history of projects that focus on social issues. In 2009, we did a story about his edition for the Pentagram Papers series called “Signs,” which explores the graphic qualities of homeless street signs. “I feel a deep connection with social issues like homelessness,” says Stout, “and it feels great to use my design skills to be a part of the solution.” Winter 2012 5


Hard Times

The news from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2009 survey shows just how bad that year was.

Poor in Austin


A BIG CONCERT son and Ray Benson had the same idea: To organize a concert to benefit Central Texas wildfire victims. While they came up with the idea separately, the

27% of children under 18 live in poverty

good news is they decided to join forces. ¶ Together

Most likely to be poor in Austin 29.5% of Hispanics were poor 22.3% of AfricanAmericans were poor 11.4% of non-Hispanic whites were poor 8.6% of Asians were poor


Opera Town

In September last year, local musicians Eric John- Last year, we learned that

18% of Austinites lived in poverty

31.5% of children under five lived in poverty


they pulled in the big talent and big organizations to produce what is probably the biggest fundraising concert in Austin, ever. ¶ On October 18, about 15,000 crowded the Erwin Center for the show of a lifetime. The concert surpassed its goal of half a million dollars, raising about $725,000 from ticket sales, sponsorships, auction items and more. Learn more at

More working poor 35% in Travis County considered “working poor” 46% of children under 18 living in working poor household in Travis County 50% of children under 18 living in working poor household in Austin (Working Poor Threshold: $44,000 annual household income for families of four with two children) Source: U.S. Census Bureau and Center for Public Policy Priorities Learn more at

the Austin Lyric Opera’s $2 million deficit led the board to make serious decisions about its next season. So far the turnaround plan is working, says Kevin Smith, interim director. He says the ALO is doing everything right. “I give the board a lot of credit for that.” Among the austerity measures: a “silver anniversary” fundraising campaign is on track to reach its $3 million goal by the spring, and the sale of the ALO facility may be wrapped up by the time you read this. The Armstrong Music School, housed in that facility and under the ALO umbrella, will separate and “be in a better place than it had been,” says Smith. ALO also will produce four operas this season, but reduce the number of performances from four to three. So far seats are filling up and costs are coming down. Even subscriptions are up from 2,500 to 3,000 this season. “Austin is an opera town,” says Smith. An (over) educated demographic is more important to opera than high net worth, and Austin is far enough away from other urban centers that it needs its own arts community. “Opera is big and complex and demanding. It’s building sets, making costumes, singing in the chorus, the acting, the staging, the orchestra.... And you can’t import all your talent. So an opera company is a reflection of what a community can accomplish in terms of its own artistic resources.” Learn more at

Willie and Turk Pipkin take the stage for wildfire recovery. 6






Texas Nonprofit Summit “Philanthropy isn’t about money. It has never been about money. … It’s about using 100 Homes your energy to New campaign targets the most vulnerable affect change.” HOMELESSNESS

KATHY LEMAY, Founder of Raising Change, which helps organizations raise capital for advocacy

“I walk in with a stronger weapon if I can document that I have a plan for us to be sustainable. That we can pay our bills. That we’re not constantly going to come begging.” EVAN SMITH, CEO and editorin-chief of the Texas Tribune, a nonprofit news service

This past November, teams of volunteers surveyed the homeless population and created a database of 289 of the city’s most vulnerable homeless people. It’s all part of Austin’s new 100 Homes Campaign (, which partners with homeless advocacy organizations to provide permanent housing and support for those most at risk for dying on the streets. Austin’s ECHO (Ending Community Homelessness Coalition) conducts a homeless count annually to assess the need in our community, but this count was different. “The 100 Homes Campaign targets long-term, chronically homeless individuals and prioritizes them by medical condition,” said Jessie Aric, 100 Homes Coordinator. Forty-seven percent of those 289 were assessed as at-risk of dying within five years if they remain homeless. So the campaign is also raising funds to provide medical services once the individuals are in housing. Austin’s campaign is part of the national 100,000 Homes Campaign led by the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition. Learn more at

“Musicowly Speaking,” one of 60 fiberglass art cows auctioned at the Nov. 13 event. CHILDREN’S SERVICES

CASHCOWS Following a record-breaking live auction of 40 of the famous Austin Art Cows, Milton Verret presented a check for $1 million to the Superhero Kids Endowment at Dell Children’s Medical Center. Verret was the top sponsor of the 2011 CowParade Austin. ¶ Superhero Kids Endowment has provided support and helped cover essential quality of life costs for patients and their families at the Children’s Blood and Cancer Center of Central Texas. More than 200 patients and their families have been helped by Superhero Kids donations; funds have provided food for families, transportation, school supplies and a college scholarship. Learn more at

Winter 2012 7



NONPROFITS WANTED AT SXSW Nonprofits need bleeding-edge solutions, too. Hugh Forrest, event director of SXSW Interactive, says its “Greater Good” sessions were

The Power of Tax Returns

designed with you in mind. world—if this speaker is particularly inspiring. Likewise, SXSW registrants who work in the for-profit world are likely to attend a presentation from a particularly inspiring speaker from the nonprofit world. At SXSW, the specific focus of the content is less important than the creativity and innovation that drives this content.

GC: Has there always been a “Greater Good” campus part of Interactive? HF: We have always had lots of panel programming related to nonprofits and sociallyconscious activities. We feel that this kind of programming is an essential part of the SXSW Interactive experience and that some of the most exciting innovations in the digital world are happening in this space.

its are looking to adopt digital solutions that will allow them to become much more efficient at what they do. On an even more basic level, we hope that the creative minds at the festival will inspire nonprofits to think about their day-to-day approach in completely new ways.

Are these nonprofit sessions popular? Yes. But, SXSW Interactive is all about creativWhy are nonprofits esity and innovation. SXSW pecially good audiences registrants who work in for the type of content at the nonprofit world are SXSW Interactive? likely to attend a preLike many other kinds of sentation from a speakorganizations, nonprofer from the for-profit 8

A SXSW Interactive badge is $850 after Jan. 13. Can you make a case for why it’s worth it for a nonprofit professional to attend? As compared to other similarnewmediaevents, we think that the SXSW Interactive Festival is pricedveryinexpensively. To this end, we feel that the content and connections an attendee can gain from the event is a great value for the money. Moreover, for people who can’taffordtheregistration price,therearevariousoptions to attend at a much lower cost (ranging from thenon-profitscholarship contesttoSXSWvolunteer opportunities). Learn more at

More than 700 volunteers will help 20,000 families complete their 2011 tax returns through Foundation Communities Community Tax Center. Last year the program helped 17,000 families —who had an average income of $18,000 a year—get back $30 million in refunds. But why would anyone volunteer to do for someone else what most of us dread doing for ourselves? Here’s what one tax center volunteer had to say: “There was an Ethiopian mother of two. Her husband had been able to immigrate but she wasn’t able to get that status and was working as a nurse. “When I pulled up her return, she looked at the screen and saw this number of the return she was going to get and it just choked us both up. And she said, ‘Oh my goodness now I can go visit my husband.’” The Tax Center opens on January 13. Learn more at


Learn more at

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf ® supports

Wonders & Worries Helping children cope during family health crisis.

Purchase a wristband for a minimum of $1 February 3 - February 12. Receive a 10% discount on all prepared beverages February 3 - February 29. 221 S. Lamar Blvd. • 38th & N. Lamar Blvd. • 41st & Red River The Domain • 24th & Guadalupe • 183 & Anderson Mill Rd. W. Slaughter Lane & S. Mopac • Offer valid only at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf® retail locations in Austin, Texas. Valid only between February 3 through February 29, 2012. Offer applies to prepared beverages, not valid on any packaged food items or bottled beverages. Cannot be combined with other offers. While supplies last.

11-CBT-138 Wonders and Worries_v2.indd 1

1/4/12 9:53 AM Winter 2012 9


Would you buy a T-shirt for your daughter that read “I’m too pretty to do homework so my brother does it for me” on the front? What about one that read “Allergic to Algebra?” Last year, you could buy those shirts from retail giants JCPenney and Forever 21.This summer, however, they were forced to stop selling the shirts after collected 1,600 signatures renouncing the message. Austin’s Girlstart went even further and created two new shirts for their members. The Girlstart T-shirts— It’s Just Rocket Science” and “We Put the Sparkle in STEM”—are available to donors. “We appreciate that people took a stand and spoke out against retailers who perpetuated negative stereotypes about girls,” said Tamara Hudgins, Girlstart’s executive director. “We felt it was important for us to offer everyone who supports STEM education for girls the chance to proudly spread a positive message about what girls can do.” Girlstart’s programs serve more than 500 girls in 21 schools across Central Texas, with more schools to be added in Fall 2012. In fact, a recent study conducted by SEDL declared GirlStart to have the widest reach in STEM education of any after-school program in the nation.


Too Smart for Your T-Shirt




Viva Las Latinitas!

What Will Save Philanthropy?

Celebrating 10 years of giving Latina girls a voice.


In 2002, Latinitas was a homework assignment for two graduate journalism students. But it was also a dream. Now 10 years later, co-founder Laura Donnelly Gonzalez (below with cofounder Alicia Rascon) reflects on the journey that changed her life—and changed the lives of hundreds of Austin Latina girls. “ What keeps us going is the fact that young Latinas face some daunting statistics—the highest teen pregnancy rates, school drop-outs, drug abuse, suicides—and yet we barely hear about it in mainstream media. “Some of these girls are literally living in the shadows as undocumented kids or the only English speaker in the house, handling serious issues for their parents such as bill-paying and reading complex things such as payment forms at the hospital.”  “The reality is that most people are not asking Latina girls what they need, what they want, how they want to be portrayed in media and what kind of help they need getting to their goals. We do that daily. That’s our mission.” Learn more at

Kate Robinson thinks she knows. And she teamed up with her brother, filmmaker Robby Robinson, to tell us.

NEW ZACH You’d be amazed to see what’s been happening behind the fence on Lamar at Lady Bird Lake. The new ZACH Theatre campus is the regional theatre Austin’s been waiting for...but we’ll have to wait until it opens in September 2012 to enjoy it. ¶ The new Topfer Theatre will double the seating of the current theatre at ZACH to 420 and will include the Karen Kuykendall Stage, three and a half times larger than ZACH’s current stage; a fly tower for lifting things off the stage; and a fully equipped backstage with larger dressing rooms and green room. ¶ On a recent tour

In a word, what Kate Robinson thinks will save philanthropy is metrics. And maybe we’ve all heard that before, that nonprofits should measure their outcomes. But Robinson says the message in her film, “Saving Philanthropy,” is different. “This isn’t just a recommendation that gives you no direction for actually implementing a process,” says Robinson. “We set out to determine how exactly certain organizations measure progress toward their goals and we profile organizations that do it well, getting into the nitty-gritty of how they do it.” Robinson’s background in nonprofits compelled her to research this issue and led to her enlisting her brother to make this film. “It’s not enough to be ambitious, hard working and earnest in ones efforts to change peoples’ lives,” says Robinson, “it takes dedication not only to tracking progress but also to assessing, beyond intuition, which efforts are effective and which are not. The film shows that this can be done,” says Robinson.   Robinson will host a screening of “Saving Philanthropy” along with a half-day workshop on measuring outcomes on Feb. 14. Seating is limited. Learn more at

of the construction site, Mort Topfer, a major donor to the build, was spotted in a hard hat and safety vest. “We’re just as thrilled as we can be,” says Mort Topfer of his and his wife Bobbi’s involvement. Learn more at



February 9, 2012


2012 Award Honorees! Jeff & Deanna Serra

Outstanding Philanthropists

National Instruments

Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation - Large

Give Realty, Inc. Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation - Small / Medium

Lew Aldridge

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser

The Junior League of Austin

Outstanding Philanthropic Organization

Lisa Lee, CFRE, Austin Children’s Museum Outstanding Fundraising Professional

Sandra Martin

Special Recognition

Mark Harris

Kelly Davidson Memorial Outstanding Philanthropic Youth

Star sponsor Bill Dickson • Michael & susan Dell founDation

Platinum in kind*

Gold Silver

Butler nonprofit consulting • corcoran & co.• silicon laBoratories • south texas Money ManageMent, ltD • topfer faMily founDation • cerqa printing* • syBil slate Designs* Winter 2012 11






HOW ALAMO GIVES NOW Always generous, Alamo Drafthouse now has a system for community giving, and Amy Averett’s in charge. “We donate a lot of goods and services throughout the year and try to stay involved in a lot of charities,” says League. “Unfortunately, when our time gets stretched too thin, community involvement can get pushed to the back burner. Having Amy onboard helps us to focus our charitable priorities as a company.” As the company expands to new locations, it’s increasingly important to establish a coordinated model for community involvement. Averett finds that creating that system has also allowed Alamo Drafthouse to make the events and partnerships it’s involved with work in a big way. With the structure in place, the company can focus on using creative capital in its community work. Alamo Drafthouse recently worked with the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition for its annual Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, screening a documentary about the Art From the Streets art sale with a question and answer session. But the work didn’t stop there: Alamo Drafthouse

also had Art From the Streets artwork there for sale, and promoted the art sale through social media. Alamo Drafthouse also created a series of activities over the course of the current school year for Travis High School’s Culinary Arts program. Students there toured the South Lamar kitchen, met with the company’s executive chef, made Alamo Drafthouse recipes with the tutelage of its chefs, and later this year will do mock job interviews and have a chance to do their own cooking evaluations of a meal prepared specially for them. Averett says that while Alamo Drafthouse is known for its creativity, there’s no reason other companies that want to be effective givers or community partners can’t pack as much of a punch when it comes to giving back. “I think if you approach it from place of ‘what do we do better than anyone else, and what do we offer that’s truly unique?’ that’s powerful,” Averett says. “You’re aligning your philanthropic work with the priorities of your business.”

Amy Averett (opposite) convinced her friend Tim League that Alamo needed her. Now she’s having fun leading Alamo’s philanthropy.


Nonprofit Film Frenzy Ten nonprofits and 10 filmmakers team up to race against the clock and create films about their cause— in just 48 hours. The Reel Change Film Frenzy kicks off at noon on Friday, Jan. 13, with final films being screened on Sunday at noon at the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar. Film teams are eligible for up to $500 cash and Alamo Drafthouse tickets. Watch CASA of Travis County, Sustainable Food Center, The Wine and Food Foundation of Texas, Texas Roller Girls, Multicultural Refugee Coalition, Theatre Action Project, Badgerdog Literary Publishing, Austin Pets Alive, Austin Bat Cave and Whole Planet Foundation compete on film! For tickets to Sunday’s show, go to

Winter 2012 13


When rattlesnakes and live explosions are part of your business, it’s not hard to get noticed in the community. But as Alamo Drafthouse’s profile grew, so did requests for donations. Not that its executives mind. Tim League, Alamo Drafthouse’s CEO, is a firm believer in community involvement. But until this past summer, Alamo had no system for responding to these requests. That’s where Amy Averett came in. True to Alamo’s culture, Averett isn’t afraid to take some risks. In fact, she created the position she now holds with Alamo Drafthouse, and pitched it to League. She’s been the community relations coordinator for the company since June 2011, and in that time has helped create a system that all the Alamo Drafthouse locations can use when requests come in. Part of that is an online donation form, found on the Alamo Drafthouse website, which helps organize requests. Averett is also able to act as a point person and help each location coordinate events or donations.


Both Austin Sunshine Camps and YWA Foundation are growing, increasing the number of children and youth they serve in Central Texas.


Hot Ticket: Austin Under 40 Awards The Austin Under 40 Awards attracts the brightest young professionals every year, and this year’s event at the Austin Music Hall likely will be another glamorous, soldout evening. But at its core is the generosity of two organizations, the Young Men’s Business League of Austin and the Young Women’s Alliance, which raise money for their shared mission: to help Austin kids. In its 15 years, AU40 has raised more than $330,000 for Austin Sunshine Camps, which hosts about 1,000 children each summer, most of whom would otherwise never attend a camp. But it’s also raised money for YWA’s scholarship funds, which are granted to young women in high school and college for higher education. “This is a true community event in which the benefits and recognition stay in Austin,” says Crystal Pharr, AU40 vice president. Learn more at



13-14 Austin Symphony. Long Center for the Performing Arts. 13 Hill Country Ride for AIDS 2012 Kick-Off Party. 6:308:30pm at Austin Music Hall. Benefitting Hill Country Ride for AIDS.

16 MLK Day of Service. Volunteer opportunities across Austin. 19-29 Sip and Savor. Benefitting The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas. 21 Kids Got Talent Gala at Westin Domain. Benefitting Center Stage Texas’ programming for youth in Austin. 25 EPIC Happy Hour. Delta Millworks. Benefitting Hill Country Conservancy. 26-28 The Blind Café: Dinner, Benefit and a Concert in Complete DARKNESS! 6:45-9:30pm at University Ave. Church of Christ. Benefitting The BELL Program. 28 Dell Children’s Gala 2012. 6pm at Austin Convention Center. Benefitting Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. 31 ACF The Power of Video. 9 - 11 am at Austin Community Foundation. FEBRUARY 4 Austin Modern Home Tour. 11am-6pm at Various Locations. 4 St. Gabriel’s Catholic School Red Carpet Affair. 6:30pm at Bob Bullock Texas State

4 Carnaval Brasileiro. 9-10pm at Palmer Events Center. 6-10 Austin Beauty Week. Various Locations. Benefitting American Heart AssociationAustin. 7 2012 Put Kids 1st Awards Luncheon. Benefitting Texans for Children. 10-12 Austin Symphony Pop Series: Natalie Cole. 8pm at Long Center for the Performing Arts. 10 Beyond Batten Disease Foundation Gala. 9pm at ACL Live at the Moody Theater. Benefitting Batten Disease Foundation. 11 CASAblanca Gala. 6pm at Hyatt Regency Austin. Benefitting CASA of Travis County. 11 HRC Austin Dinner. 6pm at Four Seasons Hotel Austin. Benefitting Human Rights Campaign. 11 Rodeo Austin Gala. 6-10pm at Palmer Events Center. Benefitting Rodeo Austin. 11 Guitars Under the Stars. 6:30-7:30pm at One World Theatre. Benefitting Austin Classical Guitar Society. 18 Deal for a Cure. 6pm-12am at UT Alumni Center. Benefitting Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. 18 2nd Annual CharityBash Masquerade Ball. 8pm at The Mansion. Benefitting Capital Area Food Bank. charitybashmasquerade-eorg. 19 Spring Swing. 5-6pm. Proceeds directly support St. Stephen’s commitment to excellence in education and financial aid. php?option=com_content&task=vie w&id=22&Itemid=34

23 KLRU 50 th Anniversary at ACL Live at the Moody Theater. Benefitting KLRU, Austin’s PBS.

24 Big Hair Country Fair. 7-11pm at Salt Lick Pavilion. Benefitting Theatre Action Project.

25 2012 Eanes City Limits Gala. Renaissance Austin Hotel. Benefitting Eanes Education Foundation.

25 The Nobility Project Artists and Filmmakers Dinner. 6pm at Four Seasons Hotel Austin

25 Fine Wine Dinner and Auction. Four Seasons Hotel. Benefitting Austin Lyric Opera 28 ACF Telling Your Story on Video. 9 - 11 am at Austin Community Foundation. MARCH 1 Texas Independence Day Gala. 6pm at Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Benefitting Texas State History Museum Foundation. 2 14th Annual Austin Under 40 Awards. Austin Music Hall. Benefitting Austin Sunshine Camps & YWA Foundation. 2-3 Austin Symphony. Long Center for the Performing Arts. 3 Viva Las Vegas. 8 - 11:30 pm at Austin Music Hall. Benefitting AIDS Services of Austin. 9-24 Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo. Various Locations. Benefitting Rodeo Austin. 9-17 SXSW Film. Downtown Austin Various Locations. 9-13 SXSW Interactive. Downtown Austin Various Locations. 9-11 Austin Symphony Pop Series: Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel. 8pm at Long Center for the Performing Arts. 13-18 SXSW Music. Downtown Austin Various Locations.

26-30 RISE Week. Entrepreneur education across Austin. 27 ACF Make That Video. 9 - 11 am at Austin Community Foundation. 30-Apr 1 Austin Food & Wine Festival. Various Locations. Benefitting Austin Food & Wine Foundation. 30-31 Austin Symphony feat. Bion Tsang, cello. Long Center for the Performing Arts. 31 2012 Bandana Ball. Wild Onion Ranch. Benefitting Ronald McDonald House Charities. 31 ZOOMA Texas Half Marathon & 5K. Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa. Benefitting The American Cancer Society DetermiNation. 31 Type1 Now Conference. 8am3pm at The Commons Learning Center. Benefitting Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation APRIL 5 Girl Scouts of Central Texas: Women of Distinction Luncheon. 11am-1:30pm at AT&T Conference Center. Benefitting Girl Scouts of Central Texas. 9 16 th Annual “There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch” Luncheon. 11:30am-1pm at Renaissance Austin Hotel. Benefitting People’s Community Clinic. 10 University Medical Center Brackenridge Luncheon. 11am-1:30pm at Four Seasons Hotel Austin. Benefitting Level I Trauma, Graduate Medical Education, Research. Winter 2012 15


15 Johnson Bentsen Richards Dinner. 7pm at Four Seasons Hotel. Benefitting the Travis County Democratic Party.

History Museum. Benefitting St. Gabriel’s Catholic School.


JANUARY 13-14 Reel Change Film Frenzy. Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. Benefitting winning charities.





AFTERMATH Some families have started to rebuild their homes, but a full recovery for Bastrop County will take years.

Ruth Rodgers isn’t looking for a handout—her Bastrop home was spared by the wildfire of Labor Day weekend. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t expect to get some of the money raised to help wildfire victims. ¶ While the wildfires were still burning, Rodgers and her friend Laurie Eskew set up a table in a driveway at the entrance of Tahitian Village, a Bastrop County neighborhood that was one of the hardest hit by the wildfires. They collected water, food and clothing and handed it out to anyone who needed it. Their makeshift distribution center became a hub for basic necessities and information amid the chaos. For weeks they kept the distribution center running, managing donations and volunteers. After a while, the donated items got bigger, like 18

household goods and furniture. Then in November, just as the cold, wet weather started to roll in, a local businessman offered Rodgers an empty store in a strip mall near the Wal-Mart on U.S Highway 71, and finally they were able to move the distribution center indoors. It’s been a blessing, Rodgers says, but they can’t afford the utilities. Right

now there’s no heat and no lights. “We’ll have families come in here at 2 or 3 in the afternoon, and it’s already dark inside,” says Rodgers. “They can’t even see what they’re looking for. ” Rodgers wants to apply for a grant. Like everyone else in Bastrop County, she’s heard about the almost $4 million raised to help wildfire victims.


Rodgers says she would use the money to give Eskew and herself a small salary to keep the distribution center running and to pay for the utilities and, later, rent. “Otherwise, we’re going to have to close,” she says. “I don’t know how to write one of these grants,” she says, “but nobody’s telling me they can help. It just doesn’t make any sense.

“We go to these committee meetings and some people tell us one thing, another person tells us something else. I’m just trying to get families the help they need. I’ve never done this before.” In fact, not many of the Bastrop residents who have stepped up to help have done disaster recovery before. It’s a rare community that

takes every possible measure to prepare for disaster, and though it’s a testament to the county that the largest wildfire in state history had not more than two deaths, the number of those in need is still extraordinarily high. By its very nature, disaster recovery is a rare opportunity for a community to find out what it’s really made of.

Paul Phillips and his daughter Jess are standing in the kitchen of their home in the Circle D neighborhood in Bastrop, Texas. Paul served 32 years with the Austin Fire Department, and retired in 2007.

Winter 2012 19



CRISIS TO RECOVERY While the fires were still burning, the help poured in. Church groups from across the country drove in by the busload to help distribute food and clean-up home sites. The American Red Cross set up shelters and handed out supplies. And nonprofits from United Way to the food bank were everywhere. Donations poured in, too, and no organization collected more in donatios for wildfire recovery than the Austin Community Foundation. Right away, ACF and dozens of other nonprofits, agencies and faithbased groups began handing out gift cards for groceries and gas as well as assistance for hotels and rented housing during the crisis. Rodgers continued to serve as the make-shift center of basic-needs distribution in Bastrop. But with about 5,000 people displaced from their homes, it was clear that Bastrop had to create a more structured plan for recovery. And that’s when things slowed down.

United Way Capital Area acted as the chair and facilitator of the Bastrop long-term recovery committee in the first few months after the fires. She says that the crisisto-relief stage can be a scramble, with families coming to terms with their loss and thinking about their next move. This is where social workers from nonprofits step in to help a family navigate insurance, disaster benefits, rental payments and rebuilding contractors. ACF and others used donated funds to make grants to those nonprofits and keep those social workers working. “People want to see action, but a process has to be established to ensure accountability,” says Rosofsky. The process also ensures that each family recevies as many benefits as they are eligible for, and that none of them fall prey to shady contractors and vendors. Unfortuntaely, Rosofsky says, what the people of Bastrop County feel now is “a tremendous sense of urgency.” It feels like “hurry up and wait.” News about families sleeping in THE RULES OF CHARITY their car clashes with An official disaster-recommittee planning covery center was set up meetings where it seems at Bastrop High School, nothing is getting done. and while it became a Spendng donations one-stop shop for help, on social workers is volunteers and officials crticized for not providstruggled to spread the ing direct help to the word about assistance families. Combine that to families that had fled with news reports about the county. millions raised in donaThen came the commit- tions, and people start tee. Natasha Rosofsky of asking tough questions. Were all those fundJim Esquivel of the Mendocino raisers deceiving donors National Forrest Fire Service was and victims into thinking among the hundreds of firefighters that the money would from around the country, working actually get to those who around the clock to contain the fires. needed it? All across the

Relief Tweets Central Texans showed that they had big hearts when it came to donating after the wildfires. They also proved once again the power of social media. Twitter, Facebook and others lit up with calls for help, and across the country people held concerts, food drives, and collection campaigns for Bastrop County. @imagesbyp: #Austin #photog? Need help Dec 3 &/or 4 at a Bastrop Wildfire Benefit in Smithville. Need 3-4 more people @ut_ddce: UT community—come help clean up Bastrop wildfire area on Nov. 17! More information @freeleilawhi: Bastrop wildfire animals now up for adoption @lookn4ayardsale: Yard Sale in Austin: Bastrop Wildfire Benefit Sale Today (Manor/Webberville) @rcgrote: RT @gdinges: The folks at @MyFoxAustin are collecting toys for victims of the Bastrop wildfires: http://t. co/4pTDj5G5 #FOX7 @anitakc: Beyond excited! We raised over $2200 and a table full of donations for the Central Texas Fires @sheilahippert: $10 for $20 Donation to Victims of the Austin/Bastrop Wildfires! So awesome. DONATE NOW: http://t. co/cwMeoDW #txwildfires @alhannaford: @statesman Ok, they need more food and more tables for #wildfires evacuation effort. Trinity zion church, 151 shiloh rd., Bastrop, TX @craftyiscool: You can help 2 victims of the Bastrop #wildfires by chipping in here: or buying a pattern here: @nibblermcgee: If you would like to help any family affected by the Bastrop Wildfires that happened a few months ago, hit up @AdoptAFamilyUS !! Pls RT! @jdavisfd: Friends, please text “fire” to 84465 to donate $10 to families effected by Bastrop Wildfires THANK YOU #wildfirebenefit @thespunkydiva: Tweeting I #blogged Pillow Case donation info for Bastrop Wildfires @parkwayprimary: Info on how to help with the Steiner Ranch and Bastrop wildfires @jarradrwalter: Bastrop State Park: How the public can help - via @TPWDnews #Bastrop #wildfires @adelitagreen: Austin Bar Association to hold legal clinics starting tomorrow for persons affected by Bastrop wildfires Winter 2012 21



state, intrepid individuals held fundraisers for wildfire victims, from concerts to collections at conferences to bake sales. In October, Bob Schneider headlined one of the many concerts that raised almost $20,000 to the Texas Wildfire Relief Fund for volunteer firefighters, many of whom lost their homes and had to pay out of their own pockets travel and hotel stays to fight the Bastrop wildfire. “It’s obvious Austin musicians like Bob Schneider and others have a gift and want to use that gift to help the community,” says Chris Barron of the Texas Wildfire Relief Fund. But is that what’s happening? Yes, but it’s not that simple. For example, the Austin Community Foundation, which has raised more than $1.2 million so far, is set up to fund nonprofits through grants, not to provide direct services to individuals. As such, ACF created a grant application process that invites official, 501(c)(3) nonprofits to apply for funding. In December, ACF made its first round of recovery grants (see the Austin Community Foundation website for details). More than $500,000 was distributed to nine organizations. “One of our responsibilities,” says MariBen Ramsey, who is in charge of grant operations at ACF, “is to the people that donated to this fund. Our job is to be good stewards of this money and make sure it’s going to the organizations that Highway 71, looking east on September 7, 2011. Winter 2012 23

Rafael and Victoria Trevino and their parents returned home a week after the fire. Their dogs survived for an entire week on their own; The water tower stands among charred loblolly pines.

for goods and services they need, not by handing them checks. ADRN has handed out gift cards for groceries and gas, and has helped victims pay for housing rent, car are best able to serve rentals, rebuilding venwildfire survivors.” dors, says Daniel Geraci, Rodgers believes executive director. “But her disaster recovwe have been cutting ery center, which has checks to the vendors for provided donated goods this, not to the families.” to hundreds of wildfire He explains that as a survivors, should receive nonprofit ADRN can get some of that grant more “bang for the buck” money. But right now, because it can save on her resource center is sales tax and negotiate not a 501(c)(3) and is discounts. “We’re leverineligible for a grant. aging our status with Even among the other these vendors.” organizations collectAnother reason not to ing donations, none of give out checks, says them are going to write Geraci, is accountability. a blank check. In fact, “Sometimes when you handing out checks to give raw cash to folks, the nonprofits and disaster money can be misdivictims is not considrected in terms of where ered a best practice for they spend it,” says disaster recovery. Geraci. “Our goal is to The Austin Disaster get these people back in Relief Network is assist- a house where they can ing about 340 families in be self-sufficient again,” Bastrop County by paying he adds. “If we give them 24

the funds and they don’t spend them wisely, we can’t accomplish that.” ADRN was one of the nonprofits awarded a $130,000 grant from ACF in December to purchase items for affected families. ADRN continues to seek funding to create new volunteer coordinator positions to manage the thousands of volunteers from more than 100 churches that have joined the network—up from the original 60 or so before the wildfires—to help care for families affected. Most of ADRN’s efforts have focsued on assisting those families that didn’t have insurance, a point of contention for some in Bastrop County who feel those “responsible enough” to have insurance should also receive some of these funds. But evenly distributing the amount raised among all those affected would

not help the county recover in the long-term, not with estimates of around $300 million in damages. “If we added it all up and gave it out, it would hardly be anything at all,” says Geraci. “What we’re seeing is that those families that have enough are getting help from their own network, their family and friends.” It doesn’t make sense, he says, to give the same amount to a family with dual incomes and insurance as they do to an elderly woman on a fixed income and no insurance. Nonprofits must also protect donated funds from serving the greedy with the needy. “There are a lot of good-hearted people in Central Texas,” says Geraci, “but you’ll also find people who are trying to take advantage of the situation.” ONLY SO MUCH “Unfortunately, charity isn’t about getting people


to where they were before the wildfires,” says Ramsey of Austin Community Foundation. “It’s about making sure that this disaster doesn’t create a whole new class of people who are homeless or economically damaged. It’s about public benefit. How does assistance to this family help the overall community get back on its feet? And how can we help fund services for the greater good?” The task is huge. Early on, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) played an important role by helping survivors find food and shelter. It also created a registry that serves as a database for other agencies who are working directly with the families affected. Families were urged to register with FEMA through Jan. 6. As of this writing, there are more than 3,000 registrants.

“There are so many critical pieces to recovery, like this registry,” says Eliza May, FEMA’s volunteer agency liaison, “but those pieces all have their own timing.” After a while, the large agencies like FEMA start to pull out. When FEMA closed the disaster recovery center in November, community volunteers formed one of their own. And when a team of Americorps volunteers left the Bastrop Volunteer Reception Center in mid-December, more locals stepped up to help. Eventually, how well Bastrop County recovers is Bastrop County’s responsibility. People like Rodgers and Eskew and the volunteers on the long-term planning committee are doing their part, but without access to funding and support for the years it will take to recover, there’s only so much they can do.

Today Rodgers is looking for an existing nonprofit to partner with and apply for grant money that will keep her donation center running. As Bastrop County forges ahead, it will face the realities of rebuilding a community from the ashes, says May. “You have to ask, ‘Do they have the resources as a community? And is that what the community wants?’ “The answers have to come from them. It’s their response. It’s their goals. All anyone else can do is provide some tools, resources and guidance.” By all accounts, the need is great and recovery will take years. Unfortunately, as those in the nonprofit community know all too well, donations can’t fund everything. Note: The author is also communications director for the Austin Community Foundation. All attempts to be transparent and fair have been made in this article. If you have any questions, please contact the author at

Bastrop’s Wildfire • 5,000 people displaced by the flames • 2 people killed • 1,673 homes destroyed • 33,000 acres burned — an area more than twice the size of Manhattan — in and around Bastrop • Bastrop County home to 80,000 people • About 7% of residents lost homes • Insured losses from the fire should reach $325 million, according to the Insurance Council of Texas, making it the costliest blaze in Texas history • About 3,080 residents have applied for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance • 1.5 million trees burned in the fires. Source: Austin-American Statesman See the Statesman’s story, “Wildfire donations to Austin-area nonprofits: $3.8 million and counting,” from Nov. 14, 2011, for details of how nonprofits are distributing their donations.

Winter 2012 25


COMING BACK HOME In December, more than 850 1st Cavalry Division troops returned to Central Texas, fresh from deployment in Iraq. Their return marked an end to a war that cost the lives of more than 4,400 U.S. soldiers and left another 32,000 wounded. The good news is, for many of them, this time they’re home for good. But sadly many of the returning soldiers will struggle to transition back to civilian life, particularly in a bad economy. Many struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, addiction and even homelessness. In 2009 and 2010, the U.S. military lost more active duty service members to suicide than it did to combat deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. As community leaders struggle with the unparalleled task of reintegrating soldiers who have known nothing but the war for the past decade, find out ways you can help. The AMERICAN RED CROSS OF CENTRAL TEXAS is actively reaching out to veterans through a program called Operation Outreach designed to assist women veterans. AMERICAN WIDOW PROJECT provides support for others who are coping with the loss of a spouse. It was founded in 2007 by Taryn Davis after

her husband was killed in Iraq by multiple roadside bombs. DIVINE CANINES provides free animal assisted therapy services to the wounded warrior rehabilitation center. It assists in relieving symptoms of stress and other diagnoses such as depression, brain injury and PTSD in veterans.

R.O.C.K (RIDE ON CENTER FOR KIDS) offers a Horses for Heroes program to active duty service members and veterans who have PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, amputations, burns and/or neurological impairment. THE VET CENTER helps veterans and their families adjust to civilian life after combat.

VSA TEXAS gives veterans the chance to explore art and express themselves while potentially earning some money. SAMARITAN CENTER offers Hope for Heroes programs that are open to Central Texas service members and their families of any military branch.

Veterans In Need 76,329 homeless veterans nationwide 144, 842 homeless veterans spent at least one night in shelter in 2010 16 percent of homeless 15 percent of homeless people in Texas are veterans 6.7 percent of all U.S. homeless veterans live in Texas. Source: ‘Veteran Homelessness: 26

COMMUNITY SERVICES While serving a 12-month deployment in Afghanistan, U.S. soldier Adam Ramsey was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

The Homecoming Project Photographer Erin Trieb’s work chronicling U.S. soldiers has led her deep into the trenches of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But what affected the 28-year-old photographer more was seeing returning soldiers struggling with PTSD, addiction and depression. She told PhotoBlog on, “I hadn’t planned to do a story on PTSD, but when the soldiers got back and started showing symptoms, I felt I had to document it.” As a committed journalist, she found herself becoming immersed in her subjects’ lives. That’s why she launched The Homecoming Project, a grassroots campaign that uses photography and design to help create awareness around the issues faced by soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Trieb says she hopes the project will help encourage others to reach out for help. “If we are lucky,” she told PhotoBlog, “someone’s life might change for the better. It is my greatest hope.” Learn more at

I SUPPORT VETS works collaboratively with other non-profits in the community to promote education to those who directly serve our veterans. GREEN DOORS created a Transitional Veterans ReEntry Housing Program, which currently provides transitional housing, case management, support

services and referrals to 60 veterans. TEXVET serves as the hub for the statewide peer to peer counseling network and volunteers. CPL. CHAD ERIC OLIGSCHLAEGER FOUNDATION FOR PTSD Chad Oligschlaeger passed away on May 17th, 2008. His family and friends

created this foundation to help raise awareness of “The Hidden Wound.” MILITARY MOMS OF TEXAS is a group that provides support for its members and soldiers. PTSD COACH: MOBILE APPThe PTSD Coach app can help you learn about and manage

symptoms that commonly occur after trauma. ptsd. or resources THE DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS (DAV) provides free transportation to men and women unable to travel to VA medical facilities on their own. volunteers

adults are veterans 8 percent of homeless veterans in shelters are women 8.8 percent of homeless veterans are ages 18 to 30 A Supplement to the 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress’ by the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs.

Winter 2012 27


Young Talent Inspires Seriff


HOW LAWYERS CONNECT Susan Salch is what they call a cat socializer. In fact, she’s such a good cat socializer that she trains others to become cat socializers at the Austin Humane Society. ¶ Of course, that’s just her volunteer work. During the day she is a partner at the law firm of Cantilo & Bennet, which is currently on the hunt for more volunteer and sponsorship opportunities with Austin nonprofits. ¶ That’s right. Cantilo & Bennet are just putting it out there. In fact, in November 2011, the firm invited dozens of nonprofit representatives to their offices to learn more about what they do—that is, what the nonprofits do. ¶ “How can we grow our business and become part of the fabric in this community?” asks Salch. “We thought a great way to do this would be to try to identify nonprofits that excite us and form personal relationships so that they trust us.” It was an idea Salch said grew out of her own rich experiences as a volunteer. ¶ Salch has been a volunteer for years with Austin Humane Society, the American Heart Association and more. She knows the value of those connections, personally and professionally. ¶ “We’ve had discussions about whether we’re being inauthentic,” says Salch, “but it’s part of our firm’s overall plan to build trust and tell more people about what we do. Plus, it’s fun!” Learn more at



Marc Seriff, one of the founders of AOL now living in the Marble Falls area, is often asked to give. But the long-time philanthropist isn’t easily moved. When the Austin Symphony Orchestra held a concert featuring the work of young composers last year, Seriff and his wife Carolyn agreed to help underwrite the costs for the evening. “That night, the symphony performed 12 pieces, each of which was stunning,” says Seriff. “Each of the student composers, as young as 14, received a standing ovation from the crowd. “At the end of the concert, Carolyn and I turned to each other and knew that that was ‘the moment’ that caused us to give. Knowing that we had helped be a part of such a stunning evening—a wonderful orchestra in a beautiful hall, hearing the inspiring music of these young composers— was worth every penny we had given.” Seriff says that moment helps guide him in choosing other opportunities to give. “Whether you’re able to give $1 or $1 million or an hour of your time, I encourage you to find your moment. You’ll see it’s worth whatever you can give.”


Dell Children’s Gala

The Dell Children’s Medical Center Gala grosses more than $1 million each every year. Foundation director, Armando Zambrano, tells us what makes this event work. REVENUE SOURCES About 60% comes from underwriting and sponsorships, about 25% from the live and silent auctions and the “raise the paddle” donations, and the rest from pre-event raffle ticket sales and sales from “The Miracle Book.” Most of the vendors provide some kind of discount. “There’s a blanket commitment from all our vendors to come in at least 20 to 30% off their regular price,” says Zambrano.

SETTING THE SCENE To achieve some level of intimacy in the 43,000-sq-ft ballroom of the convention center, Dell Children’s brings in artists who can transform a room, like projectionist Bart Kresa, lighting artists Ilios Lighting and floral artist David Kurio. But it’s not all solely for dramatic flair. “For example, it makes financial sense to use a projectionist,” says Zambrano. “It’s different, it’s memorable. And if you’re a major donor and you see your name projected on a wall throughout the night, there’s your value.”



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THE PLAN An 80-person committee led by this year’s chairs Kay and Eric Moreland started planning almost a year in advance. Meetings with Dell Children’s leadership help them set goals and identify the year’s message, “The Art of Healing.”





For the Tandem project, each funder and nonprofit plays a role. education and family planning services. It works with school nurses who refer them to the program.

WHO DOES WHAT Funding In its history of funders, St. David’s Foundation has provided the majority of support, says Robin Rosell, LCSW, Tandem program director. Past funders include the Hogg Foundation, Dell Foundation, RGK Foundation, Topfer Foundation, Austin Community Foundation, MFI Foundation, United Way Capital Area, Girls Giving Grants, as well as city, county, state and federal agencies.

Case Management LifeWorks provides case management and fatherhood services, school-based services, support groups and access to GED, Workforce Investment Act and housing services. LifeWorks case managers also advocate for clients in school and help them navigate Medicaid. At least two of the case managers have doula training and are often with the client at the hospital when they give birth. Any Baby Can case managers focus on in-home, intensive case management with the enrolled families. Rosell says there are two bilingual program managers

Medical Care People’s Community Clinic is the lead agency for the program, and provides medical care for the mother and child as well as health

Mental Health Services The Austin Child Guidance Center provides therapists who meet with the teens at the clinic or at their school. “It’s important to offer these services at the schools,” says Rosell. “Just getting them the referral doesn’t necessarily mean the girl will get here.”

and two English-speaking only. “A lot of our clients come from families that are pretty overwhelmed with other circumstances, or they have a history of abuse, come from single parent homes or are undocumented,” says Rosell. Tandem recently added a fifth case manager, a People’s Community Clinic employee, to serve the Dove Spring area, which has the single highest rate of teen pregnancy in the city. Gauging Success In 2010, about 25% of teen mothers in Texas would become pregnant again within two years. That rate for girls in the Tandem project has been about 6% in the past few years. The girls recognize that being pregnant and becoming a mother can be a barrier to finishing their education. “But there’s less of a stigma of being pregnant,” says Rosell. “If you look back, having children at a young age has been part of every immigrant group’s history. It’s a way of establishing family and community. Most of our clients are good little mothers who just need some support and opportunities.”


Since 1986, People’s Community Clinic has offered prenatal medical services to low-income teens, and today that program sees between 200-250 pregnant teens a year. In 1988, recognizing that these young mothers needed additional support, People’s launched a collaborative program called Tandem to support the youngest and neediest teen moms and their children. The Tandem project now sees about 60 young families a year.



“Most of our clients are good mothers who just need some support and opportunities.” ROBIN ROSELL, LCSW, Tandem program director

A 13-year-old collaboration in Austin has led to a decrease in second pregnancies in Central Texas teen moms. Winter 2012 31





There are dozens of pet charities in Austin, so figuring out where your donation dollar should go sometimes boils down to which has the cutest puppy photo on their website. Our pet-charity chart can help you make a better decision about where to give. “Yes, we are all in competition for donor dollars,” says Lisa Starr of Austin Humane Society. “But I see the value in what everyone’s doing. During the wildfires we really worked together, with us taking in animals, Austin Pets Alive! trying to find foster homes and Austin Animal Center out there with search and rescue. The community needs all of us—and we need the community!”



Austin Animal Center 2011

The largest municipal animal shelter in Central Texas, providing shelter to over 22,000 lost or homeless pets annually while providing Animal Protection & Control services to Austin and Travis County.

Though it’s a tax-supported organization, it accepts donations to provide services above and beyond what is possible with their allotted budget.

Austin Humane Society 1952




Working on a “no-kill” implementation plan that focuses on programs, services and partnerships to reduce intake and increase live animal outcomes. department/animalservices

Volunteers required to work at least six hours a month, with shifts open throughout the week. Donations of money and pet-care items accepted.

Austin’s largest no-kill, Sheltering, adoption, nonprofit animal shel- spay/neuter. ter. Accepts overflow animals from the Austin Pet Center as well from the public.

Designated to provide emergency shelters in cases of disaster, hoarding or cruelty cases. Sheltered 175 dogs and cats during Bastrop fires.

austinhumanesociety. org

Help trap, neuter and return feral cats by attending a volunteer training, using one of AHS’s traps and bringing them in for sterilizing. Other volunteer opportunities available.

Austin Pets Alive! 1998

Led by Emancipet founder Ellen Jefferson, who took over APA! in 2008 with the specific purpose of making Austin a no-kill city. Accepts overflow animals from the Austin Pet Center.

Takes animals directly from local shelters’ euthanasia list and puts them in foster homes until they can be adopted. Now runs Town Lake Animal Center (a former cityoperated facility) to relieve overcrowding at city’s new Austin Animal Center. Evaluates the demographics of pets being euthanized and creates programs to save those groups of pets, like dogs with parvo, underage kittens and puppies, and dogs and cats with certain medical needs.

Emancipet late-1990s

Advocates for and provides spay-neuter services as a way to reduce the homeless pet population.

Specializes in low-cost and free spay/neuter services, surgeries and basic preventive wellness care.

Offers spay/neuter clinic at facility next to Austin Pet Center as well as a mobile clinic that travels across Central Texas.

Donors invited to host a table at the May 14 luncheon or by participating in Sit.Stay.Day 2012 on February 10.

Animal Trustees of Austin 1993

Committed to ending overpopulation by making spay/neuter surgery for dogs and cats affordable and accessible to the general public, and wellness care an option for all pet owners.

Offers special veterinary services including affordable surgical procedures, heartworm treatment and dental cleanings for canines.

Provides free veterinary care for the animals of homeless people.

Volunteer opportunities in the clinic and at special events.


Volunteers needed for a few hours a month to 40 hours a week, at the shelter and from your own home.


DIRECTORY A short directory of businesses that give back. Below is our growing list of communityminded, for-profit and nonprofit businesses that support GivingCity. APPTIVISTS The site has aligned with the most popular online shopping sites to offer users a way to give a portion of the sales to the charities of their choice. HelpAttack Help Attack offers you a chance to pledge a certain amount to your chosen charity every time you tweet. Hotels for Hope Every time you book a room with Hotels for Hope, $2 is given to local charities. KIIMBY Register your credit card with KIIMBY, and part of every purchase you make at participating businesses will go towards your favorite charities. SPONSORS/VENUES Center 61 A new coworking community for social entrepreneurs and nonprofits. Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf brings its diverse selection of specialty coffees and whole leaf teas to Austin, giving back to a local charity every month. Four Seasons Hotel One of Austin’s few premiere

venues for grand events and galas. FourSeasons. com/Austin

for extraordinary performance and impact.

impressive staff of professionals.

Hat Creek Burgers This Austin business make feeding the homeless its business, too. Watch for their Mobile Loaves & Fishes truck around town.

Knox-Woollard Professional Management 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.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Alt Creative Alt Creative donates 10% of the profits from all custom web design projects to charity.

Molotov Located conveniently on West 6th, Molotov welcomes your fundraising event. NONPROFIT SERVICES Apex Auctions Victoria Gutierrez offers invaluable input on running an auction, and hiring her will do wonders for your nonprofit event. Affinity Interactive Group A boutique interactive marketing agency based out of Austin, Texas specialized in online advocacy, content strategy and cause-related marketing. 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. Greenlights for Nonprofit Success Greenlights strengthens nonprofits

Purple Dot Events Event planning for nonprofits that creates memorable, impactful expressions of your mission. Qtego Helping nonprofit silent auctions raise more money—and keep raising money—via cell-phone texting. 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. 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

INNU Salon Innu is a community-minded salon offering the full-range of services. GiveRealty 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. RETAILERS Touch of Sass An accessory store specializing in jewelry, bags, and giving back. When you purchase art from, you select a nonprofit organization to support from a list of beneficiaries or supply an alternate nonprofit. If you’d like to be considered for the GivingCity Austin Directory, please contact Monica Williams at or 512-472-4483

Winter 2012 33



MARY MARGARET FARABEE One of Austin’s most beloved philanthropists reveals what motivates her giving.

There is a reason why Mary Margaret Farabee was nominated for a 2012 Philanthropy Day award. Actually, there are several. Farabee has been a longtime supporter and tireless volunteer for several Austin nonprofit organizations, and embodies a philosophy of giving that could be used as a model. Volunteerism has been a cornerstone of her life, and Farabee has focused her philanthropy on the arts, literature and health care. She helped create the Texas Book Festival in 1996 with Laura Bush, and was active in spearheading the restoration 34

of the Paramount Theater. She also serves on the President’s Council of Peoples Community Clinic. “I took acting lessons when I was a teenager and grew up as a huge reader,” Farabee says. “In junior high I would take the bus down to the Dallas Public Library. The reason I got involved with the book festival and the Paramount is because of my proclivity for the performing arts and books. “It’s a very personal approach to giving. I think a lot of people give to things they have an affinity for, or that they’ve grown up with

and feel strongly about.” Universities, as well, create a lifelong tie for many people, Farabee adds. “It’s a loyalty that sticks with you throughout life,” says the 1968 graduate in Master of Arts from the University of Texas. Farabee has done fundraising for a number of Austin organizations, and calls herself a “professional volunteer.” Being able to see, understand and relate to, on a very personal level, the mission of an organization is what propels her—and connecting with others who share the same feelings is what keeps her going. “Working with likeminded people for a cause can form lasting friendships,” she says. “It doesn’t even matter if you’re not in step politically or socially; when you share a passion for a cause, it’s a lot more fun to work together when you’re friends. And you can accomplish much more toward your goal.” Serving at Peoples Community Clinic has been especially rewarding for Farabee. “It’s a council that is very dedicated to going out into the community, reaching

out to bring more people into the giving circle. We also work on the annual luncheon, getting speakers and organizing the event.” Her philosophy of gathering like-minded people seems successful; the 15th annual luncheon in April 2011 raised more than $350,000 for the clinic, and brought together over 700 community leaders. When talking about special events such as the luncheon or galas and silent auctions that many nonprofits hold to raise money, Farabee advises that planners should always make sure the event will reflect the organization’s mission. “There are a lot of social things you can do, but it should always be in tune with and feature the mission.” Accountability and stewardship of the nonprofit is also very important to her. “You have to keep in mind the efficiency of the organization, its staff, and how the money is spent. The bottom line is transparency, and the quality of the board can go a long way toward making sure each penny goes as far as it can.”










WHAT IS CENTER61 Center61 is a Coworking Community of small nonprofits, social entrepreneurs and socially minded business professionals. Our mission is to cultivate collaboration among Austin’s numerous nonprofits and social entrepreneurs by providing a physical space to work, meet, converse and play.

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Will you Answer the call? Join us on Saturday, March 4 for It’s My Park Day, an annual community service day focused on improving Austin’s parks, greenbelts and trail systems. Individuals and community groups can lead or support projects ranging from simple cleaning to trail building, tree planting and playground installation. Sign up at Austin Parks Foundation has been protecting and preserving Austin’s parks by connecting people and resources to park improvements since 1992.

Austin Parks Foundation PO Box 300369 Austin, TX 78703 512.477.1566

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GivingCity Austin WINTER 2012  

The guide to doing good in Austin, featuring "Where Did All the Money Go?" for Bastrop wildfire donations (photos by Sarah Wilson) and "How...

GivingCity Austin WINTER 2012  

The guide to doing good in Austin, featuring "Where Did All the Money Go?" for Bastrop wildfire donations (photos by Sarah Wilson) and "How...