GivingCityAustin A Project of the Austin Community Foundation
Wes Bos and the
Philanthropists Itâ€™s Art Time in Austin How to Give Now
spring fundraiser events
GivingCity A Project of the Austin Community Foundation
3 Questions for Eugene Sepulveda................15
Earth Day Concert..................6 Best Party Ever........................8 HAAM Battle of the Bands....9
WHY I GIVE
Robert Godwin chronicles philanthropy..........................16
The Biscuit Brothers Making music for kids..........11 How to End Panhandling MLF and DAA weigh in........11 Big Brothers Big Sisters What Being a Little Means.... Women’s Storybook Project Love on Tape..........................12 The Austin Bulldog Great nonprofit reporting...13 YNPN When do-gooders compete... .................................................13
GIVE BETTER What is a Captial Campaign? .................................................28 How to give to education .................................................29 Book Excerpt: The Future of Nonprofits.............................29 Pets vs. Kids Which do you “Like”?...........30
FEATURES The New Philanthropists 30 daredevils making a difference now......................18 Here’s the Art Taking art in Austin to the next level................................24 Leading Women to Safety Executive director and author Kelly White.............................24
PLUS CALENDAR.............................32 DIRECTORY............................32 The Giving Project One person’s 30-day experiment............................34
FROM THE EDITOR
really nice people What do the people in our “New Philanthropists” cover story have in common? Well, they’re all totally committed, wonderfully courageous and a little bit nuts. Maybe “nuts” is too harsh; what I mean is that they’re taking risks most of us never would because they have a vision for what giving back should be. Somehow they came up with their own, stubborn ideas about philanthropy, and they’re determined to act on those ideas. Crazy, but committed. Also, these are fine, fine people. Take Charles Wagner who not only teaches music to adults with developmental disabilities at The Arc, he raises money for The Arc and provides marketing support.
“There are those who risk their careers, personal incomes and probably health...”
I love the story Stephanie Fisher sent me about the boy who threw back starfish. As this kid stands on a beach full of starfish, he throws them, one at a time, back into the ocean to save their lives. When a man comes by to tell him he’ll never make a difference, he tosses in another and says, “But I made a difference to that one.” Go, new philanthropists, go!
And consider Susan Brubaker who created a volunteer corps and not only creates special events for the children at The Settlement Home, she sponsors three boys in the foster care system. Then there are the Laurie Loews, Drew Arnolds and Neil Goldmans who risk their careers, personal incomes and probably health to build a business of giving back from the ground up. Nuts, right? Even those who could spend most of their time shopping choose instead to use their resources to lure more Austinites into philanthropy.
Editor-in-Chief Monica M. Williams
THE GUIDE TO DOING GOOD IN AUSTIN
2011 Copyright GivingCity Austin and Austin Community Foundation. No part of this document may be reproduced without permission.
Creative Director Torquil Dewar October Custom Publishing
Photographers Gregg Cestaro Cody Hamilton Matt Lemke Joel Salcido
Download the digital edition with even more content, and visit us online at GivingCityAustin.com
Monica Williams Editor-in-Chief
Contributors Emily Babb Salvador Castillo Christine Cox Vicky Garza Amira Jensen
EARTH DAY CONCERT April 22 Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is one of the country’s top environmental advocates, and his speech, “A Contract with Our Future,” urges us to consider the role good environmental policy plays in our economy. Considering the ongoing disaster at Japan’s nuclear reactors, it’s a safe bet Kennedy will have something to say about nuclear energy, too. So it’s quite a feat that the nonprofit Hill Country Conservancy brings Kennedy to Austin for its 2011 Earth Day Concert, taking place in the new ACL Live studio on April 22. In the past, HCC’s Earth Day concerts were strictly musical events, but when Kennedy became an option, the ante was upped. With Kennedy’s timely speech to kick off the event, HCC hopes to call attention to Central Texas’ own environmental future. “We are elated to bring talent of this caliber to Austin in celebration of our greatest natural resource, the planet,” said executive director, George Cofer. HCC was founded in 1999 to preserve large, strategic natural areas that conserve critical water features, preserve outdoor recreation opportunities, and help maintain the Hill Country’s unique quality of life. “Our philosophy is simple,” says Cofer. “Once Hill Country land is gone, it’s gone for good. When HCC preserves it, it’s here forever.” Tickets for the Earth Day Concert featuring Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Bruce Hornsby and The Noisemakers (bonus!) are available online now.
LEARN MORE hillcountryconservancy.org
The Leadership Austin “Essential” class of HAPPENING NOW 2011 is the best class ever. But so was the 2010 Essential class and every class before that. In fact, each one of them claims the title, “best class ever,” which is why the annual event is called “Best Party Ever.” And it must be true. More than 500 people are expected to attend the 10th annual Best Party Ever this year, to be held at the historic Driskill Hotel. With a theme of “Gunslingers, Glamour, and Texas Giants,” the organizers have chosen a fitting location. At the center of the party will be this year’s honorees, Bill Stotesbery, Martha Smiley and Gregory Harrington, but it’s also a chance to celebrate leadership and the role it plays in our maturing community. Terri Broussard (right) and August Harris (left) lead the planning committee this year, and they promise to deliver on the name. Says Broussard, “The crowd is a fun one and refuses to sit. But don’t let the casual fool you, this year’s event will be fabulous and grand. After all, glamour is in the theme.” Tickets go fast for this one. Make sure to bring plenty of business cards.
LEARN MORE leadershipaustin.org
PHOTO BY MATT LEMKE
Best Party Ever June 1
Cirrus Logic Guitar Orchestra
Phil Spectrum and the Pantones
MAKE IT STOP HEB
HAAM BATTLE OF THE BANDS
PHOTOS BY GREGG CESTARO AND JOEL SALCIDO
Austin has lots of talented musicians who wind up HAPPENING NOW getting full-time day jobs. “There’s no shortage of people in Austin with skills enough to take the stage,” says Carolyn Schwarz of Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. So expect to be impressed at HAAM’s Corporate Battle of the Bands, April 28, at Antone’s. Now in its fourth year, the Corporate Battle of the Bands has more applicants than spots. Look for bands like Cirrus Logic Guitar Orchestra (above right), Phil Spectrum and the Pantones from Bazaarvoice (above left) and Make It Stop from H-E-B (bottom right). There’s a comaraderie among musicians in Austin that compels those with day jobs to help those choosing to pursue the musician’s dream, says Schwarz. Fundraising through Battle of the Bands helps HAAM provide access to affordable health care for Austin’s uninsured musicians.
The event is open to the public and is just $5 cover, so the audience can use its money to “vote” for the bands. Celebrity judges Amy Corbin of C3 Presents, who books bands for the Austin City Limits Music Festival, and Adrian Quesada of the GRAMMY-winning band Grupo Fantasma, will also select winners.
“These bands are actually really good. The judges are always surprised.” Bands are eligible for prizes like time at Ray Benson’s studio, passes to ACL, a gig at Stubb’s and gift certificates to Strait Music. All of which explains the serious competition. “These bands are actually really good,” says Schwarz. “The judges are always surprised.”
LEARN MORE myhaam.org Spring 2011
shot on location at Chuy’s by Gregg Cestaro
homemade tv Damon Brown can’t emphasize enough how small the production UPDATE team for The Biscuit Brothers is. “If you see Jerome, Allen and me in front of the camera, that means there’s nobody behind the camera,” says Brown, a.k.a. Tiny Scarecrow. But if you’ve ever seen The Biscuit Brothers on KLRU or any of the 40 PBS markets that get it free, that’s hard to believe. The children’s music education show has as high a production value as anything on the Disney Channel. But the show’s actually produced for a fraction of what it should cost, at least in money. That’s thanks to the multi-talented, entrepreneurial and unabashedly daring trio of Allen Robertson, Jerome Schoolar and Brown who play Buford, Dusty and Tiny (that’s Brown’s wife, Jill Leberknight as Buttermilk) as well as write, direct, produce, edit and perform just about everything else. “Daring” because in the beginning, none of them really knew how to put together 35 minutes of children’s programming. Not to mention raise money for it, distribute it and keep it on the air for six years. The big secret to their success lies in being able to stay true to the show’s mission: to teach, inspire and
LEARN MORE BiscuitBrothers.com
engage kids with music. “If a kid grows up watching just ‘American Idol’,” says Robertson, “he’s going to think music is just a competition.” Adds Brown, “Our show is more vision driven than commercial driven.” Letters from parents attest: “I do not doubt that your show has influenced my kids’ love of music,” wrote a mom from Indiana. And with school music programs being trimmed to extinction, kids need shows like Biscuit Brothers more than ever. Spring 2011
can these men end They might come from different organizations with distinctively different cultures, but Alan Graham and Charlie Bettsâ€”of Mobile Loaves & Fishes and Downtown Austin Alliance, respectivelyâ€”share a common purpose. And a common frustration. by Monica Williams, photography by Joel Salcido Reprinted from 12 Baskets Magazine for Mobile Loaves & Fishes.
Alan Graham and Charles Betts sat down in complete agreement on one thing: Nobody likes panhandling. Graham says it is “a cancer on the skin of our community” and Betts calls it “unacceptable behavior.” As president of Mobile Loaves & Fishes, Graham has spent the past 13 years digging into every nook and cranny in Austin, on the streets with homeless people and panhandlers, reaching out to them with food and fellowship. Betts has been executive director of the Downtown Austin Alliance for 13 years, working with a consortium of individuals, businesses, social service agencies and local governments to create a safe downtown environment. Clearly each is motivated to see fewer people panhandling on the streets. And they even agree on how to do it, what the biggest obstacles are and how many people need help. What’s interesting is how each believes they sit on different sides of the table. We sat them down on the same side of the table to talk about panhandling. 14
GC: What is the Downtown Austin Alliance doing about panhandling? Betts One of the basic goals of DAA is for people to be safe and secure downtown. Panhandling is a public order issue that is important to us. We have advocated strongly for permanent supportive housing for people who don’t meet the definition of “housing ready” because they may have been incarcerated, addicted, or the like. We feel that housing needs to be provided for this population, first, because it’s the humanitarian thing to do—every year about 100 to 125 people die on the streets. And, secondly, because these guys are a public order problem for the downtown community.
The Downtown Austin Alliance has created a number of programs to address what it feels are the root causes of panhandling: GC: Right now, is it illegal to panhandle in Austin? Betts Panhandling is illegal between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. in downtown Austin, but to panhandle aggressively is illegal in downtown Austin at any time of day. How do we define that? That’s the problem. There’s not a real clear definition, and that’s what makes the ordinance difficult to enforce. Graham I would agree with Charlie that is a public order issue, changing the law is not going to change the root cause. Panhandling is that melanoma on the skin of the community. We can pass laws to ban it downtown, but that just pushes it out to the suburbs.
1. Through community partnerships with the City of Austin Youth Development Program, the Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable, the Travis County Justice and Public Safety Department and other agencies, the DAA strives to employ people with barriers to employment to implement its street maintenance programs. 2. Leads the “Know Before You Give” campaign, which is an effort to educate the public about donating to social services rather than giving money to panhandlers. 3. Helped create the Community Court to provide creative and individualized sentencing for Class C misdemeanor offenders to reduce recidivism and modify offending behavior. 4. Committed $100,000 to Cartias to fund a full-time case manager to handle residents of its project to offer 24 units of permanent supportive housing for the most vulnerable of the chronically homeless.
Betts Well, not necessarily.... Spring 2011
Graham Well, that’s what I’ve witnessed. When you pass the no-sit, no-lie ordinance, a tremendous amount of homeless people began to show up in the suburbs in the community. GC: So what happens when someone is issued a citation for panhandling? Betts That person appears before community court. The citation indicates that you will pay a fine unless you avail yourself of other options. The other options include accepting a treatment program, again trying to address the basic core problem.
“Lifting People Off the Streets” Last year, MLF ran an awareness campaign that put Danny Silver, an alcoholic who was chronically homeless, on a billboard. The campaign kept Danny up on the billboard until it raised $12,000 for an RV through online and text donations. The campaign worked. Silver and his wife Maggie moved into the RV a month later. The campaign brought attention to Community First!, the MLF program that has already lifted 70 people off the streets and into permanent supportive housing. As that effort continues to grow, MLF has faced the same “not in my backyard” attitude as similar work. Since the campaign, Danny and Maggie have had permanent supportive housing through MLF. In the year they’ve been off the streets, they have reduced the amount of alcohol they consume and the amount of panhandling they do by 70 to 90 percent, reports Graham. But it hasn’t been a panacea. “This is a great victory for them, and for us,” says Graham. “There are no cures for this problem of panhandling, but this is progress.”
Graham Incidentally, that’s an enormous cost and essentially there’s no funding for treatment programs. Right now, the City of Austin funds two beds for the chronically homeless at Austin Recovery. And then if you take that and look at the mental health needs of this city... the services are razor thin, really nonexistent. Clearly there are political issues for trying to get more of our work done. Even with the Caritas project you mention, Charlie, there was plenty of community disgust at trying to create that permanent supportive housing for those 24 people. Look, this is going to be a long road for our community to try to get housing placed in any real number that’s going to have an impact. I’m totally supportive of the 24, don’t get me wrong, but we’re going to 24 ourselves to death and never get there if we don’t come out swinging the bat pretty hard. I will say this, having lifted up the most chronically homeless people in the gutter, deep alcoholics, crack addicts, people with very long criminal records... the unbelievable simplicity of housing itself is a miracle. And an overwhelming majority of the cases of people that we
have lifted off the streets say they don’t want support. They want a house. We have to understand that we have no choice in the United States about who gets to live next door to us. We need to get that argument off the table. GC: So if permanent supportive housing is a way to reduce the amount of panhandling, what’s the barrier to creating more of that? Graham I would say it’s two things: political will and the “not in my backyard” attitude. At MLF I am ready right now and have on the ground a model— not the model, but a model—that has proven extraordinarily effective. And we’re ready to spend the $3 to $4 million to help those 250 on the streets. Betts And incidentally, the DAA has been supportive of that. Graham We might be able to ban panhandling, but in my opinion it would move it somewhere else. Or the economic need someone has would be moved into a different form of behavior that we don’t like, like breaking into our cars and stealing our stereos. But if we really want to mitigate this problem at all, we’re going to have to get housing on the ground. Because I would love a downtown Austin that’s free of the parasite of panhandling.
HOW MANY? Graham believes there are about 1,000 chronically homeless in Austin, which he predicts to be between 10 to 20 percent of the entire homeless population. “But even if we bump that up to 1,500, this is number we can mitigate,” he says. Betts adds that in downtown Austin, he believes the number to be about 250. “I believe that if we took an aggressive stance as a community, we could mitigate that problem by 50 percent right away,” says Graham. Betts agreed: “Even a 50 percent reduction in what we’re seeing on the street corners would be a huge benefit.”
Betts We agree on that. We certainly do.
YOU CAN HELP Donate and advocate. Write to the Austin City Council.
Learn more about MLF and DAA. Learn more about homelessness in Austin. Spring 2011
LOVe on tape An Austin nonprofit finds a clever way to help incarcerated mothers read to their children. by Amira Jensen Since 2003, Women’s Storybook Project has been reconnecting incarcerated mothers with their children through books. Every month, volunteers visit five female state prisons to record mothers reading a story and saying a message to their child on tape. The tape and book is then sent to the child. For some children, it’s the only connection they have to their mother. The idea for this project came to director Judith Dullnig when she learned about a similar program through the Lutheran Social Services in Illinois. Today there are more than 150 volunteers who send out nearly 350 books and tapes a month.
“One of the comments we hear are ‘my child carries the tape wherever he goes.’” Women’s Storybook Project’s goal is to expand to all eight female state prisons. Long term, Dullnig hopes the program will help reduce the number of moms returning to prison and prevents future incarceration of their children. A program at Rice University is currently tracking the success of these goals. For now, Dullnig relies on the letters she receives from kids and 18
caretakers to know what difference the program makes. “Some of the comments we hear are ‘my child carries the tape wherever he goes’ and ‘my child talks back to the tape,’” Dullnig said. To be eligible for the program, mothers must be in good behavior for 90 days. Dullnig said this has improved behavior at the participating prisons. Once in the program, mothers are recorded reading one book a month for four months. The program also boosts mothers’ self-esteem by letting them do something good for their child.
Recently, Women’s Storybook Project received two awards and was the recipient of Barnes and Noble’s holiday book drive, which awarded them 6,885 books last year. More volunteers are needed as the program expands. People may donate their time by training and by going to the prisons to record. The program also accepts donations of books, money, postage, mailing folders and recording equipment.
LEARN MORE StorybookProject.org
A WIN FOR NONPROFIT MEDIA No nonprofit media outlet has shown more feistiness this year than the Austin Bulldog, an online investigative news website. Founded last year by Ken Martin, an award-winning investigative journalist and serial entrepreneur, the Austin Bulldog had a big hit this spring. In March, it filed lawsuits against the City of Austin, the mayor and each individual city council member for failing to respond to the Bulldog’s requests filed under the Texas Public Information Act. It began with Martin’s one-on-one interviews with each of the city council members. After a couple of those, Martin realized they were discussing meeting agenda items behind closed doors, an alleged violation of the Open Meetings Act. Martin then wondered if they were also e-mailing about the agenda items, and requested access to those emails in January. The city charged him more than $1,000 for the copies and staff time. “The day I got the hard copies,” says Martin, “all the other media got them on disc for free.” But Martin was willing to bear the cost. With the Statesman and others recognizing the Bulldog as a source, Martin says the attention has been great for fundraising. In fact, the Kirk Mitchell Environmental Law Fund recently came forward with a $25,000 challenge grant. “I’m always interested in stepping up to do my part when others may shy away from controversy,” says Mitchell, “and I hope this challenge grant will encourage others to do the same.” “I’ve never had anything that any other journalist didn’t have: a chair, a computer and something to publish my work in,” says Martin. “But I have a knack for finding stories and going after them on my own initiative, whether I’m working for somebody else or for myself.”
LEARN MORE theAustinBulldog.org
get your game on Get ready: The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Austin is set for its 2011 Do-Gooder Games on May 18. Julie Macalik of YNPN responds.
What are the “Games?” The Do-Gooder Games are designed like a trivia challenge game, although dance-offs and canned-food sorting have been known to occur.
What’s the pot? $500 donated to the winning team’s charity of choice. We also give out the Nonprofiteer of the Year Award.
Who participates? Anyone! The trivia is based on all things nonprofit, but you don’t have to be a nonproiteer or a YNPN member to play.
How can WE support the games? Four ways: 1) Create a team and sign up, 2) nominate someone for Nonprofiteer of the Year, 3) sponsor the event and have your brand showcased to the YNPN community, and 4) attend the event, cheer on a team and watch the hilarity unfold.
LEARN MORE YNPN.org
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WHAT IS CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY?
3 QUESTIONS for Eugene Sepulveda, CEO, Entrepreneurs Foundation On March 31, the Entrepreneurs Foundation will offer “Let’s Play: A Corporate Citizenship Conference.” As more businesses realize the value of supporting our communities, many are now looking for ways to improve and increase their efforts. Sepulveda’s organization hosts this annual conference, to be held at National Instruments. I’ve heard of CSR or corporate social responsibility, but what is it, exactly? I’ve never really liked the term corporate social responsibility and don’t think the implication that something is “owed” is very helpful. At our last conference, we tried recasting the phrase as “Corporate Social Opportunity.” Identifying the intersections of what’s good for the community and what favorably impacts a corporation’s bottom line is a better foundation for sustainable programs. We have to remember, creating well-paying jobs that allow men and women to support their families is foundational. On top of that, when companies can further invest in ways that improve our schools, environment, social safety nets and cultural infrastructure while increasing their revenues or decreasing their costs, that’s the win we look for. Are there Austin companies that practice corporate social opportunity today? Yes, in a very big way. Just look at the largess from those who made money at Dell, Tivoli, Silicon Labs, National Instruments and Austin Ventures as well as the ongoing investments and leadership from Seton, St. David’s, AMD, Freescale and Applied Materials. And, through the Entrepreneurs Foundation, last year alone, over 1,800 employees of startups donated over 11,000 volunteer hours, in addition to the $2 million plus we raised and contributed to other nonprofits. Are their opportunities to become even more sophisticated in creating shared value? You bet. That’s why we’re hosting the conference.
Who are some of the CSR leaders in our community? Many are presenting at our conference— National Instruments, AMD, Applied Materials, Silicon Labs, Dell, Seton and St. David’s. Austin thought leaders include Alyson Peerman of AMD, Charles Barnett of Seton, Trisa Thompson of Dell, Ken Gladish of Seton Foundations, Earl Maxwell of St. David’s, the Sosas of MPower and, fortunately, there are many others. I am especially excited about emerging companies and thought leaders who will make huge differences in Austin—Brett Hurt of Bazaarvoice, Brian Sharples and Carl Shepherd of HomeAway, and the teams at Innography, Troux Technologies and Convio are in a race to see which company can make a bigger impact. Especially today, the challenges in our communities are acute. We have historically high demand for services and funding constraints, both due to an anemic economy—on top of a real debate about the role of government in education, health care and other social services. Many companies and entrepreneurs see the direct link between their value, their earnings and the health of their markets and labor force. We’re gathering at this conference to talk about investments in our communities that generate quantifiable returns, not about corporate altruism. Frankly, I don’t spend much time promoting the altruism, even among philanthropists. We’re looking for investments.
LEARN MORE GivetoAustin.org
on being a little Three Littles share what it meant to them to have a Big. by Vicky Garza, photos by Joel Salcido Big Brothers Big Sisters is celebrating its 40th UPDATE anniversary this year. The organization is based on a one-to-one mentoring model that pairs children ages 6 to 16 with mentors. In its first 40 years, BBBS has paired mentors with more than 1,500 kids. And every time, the kid’s life—and sometimes the mentor’s—is changed.
Mason Robinson lost his father when he was only 10 months old. His mom became a single mother working three jobs to raise him and his older brother. When Mason was about nine years old, his mother thought he needed a male influence. BBBS connected Robinson with his Big, Scott Fleming, whom he considers a combination uncle, best friend and mentor; basically, “he’s every cool dude in the world.” They started off meeting at Amy’s Ice Cream, their headquarters on Sundays. From there, they’d take off to go bowling or play a few rounds of mini-golf. Fleming taught him how to play tennis, throw a curve ball, play chess ... Mason could go on and on. More than anything, Fleming took education very seriously. He would remind Robinson to pay attention to school, not friends or parties. Fifteen and a half years later, the relationship is still going strong and they still see each other about once or twice a month. Robinson is aware that not all matches go for that long. “I feel extremely blessed and lucky because Scott and I were just best friends 30 years apart,” he says. Robinson, now 24 years old, is studying mass communications/broadcast journalism at Texas State University and aspires to do sports broadcasting.
Mike McShaffry’s match only lasted about two years, but he considers the experience profoundly influential. His mom found out about BBBS through the church when McShaffry was about 10 years old. His parents were divorced and McShaffry, his younger brother, and sister were living with their mom. His mom thought it would be good for him to have a positive male role model in his life, so BBBS matched him up with his Big, Al Suarez.
His mom thought it would be good for him to have a positive male role model in his life. Suarez, a college student, would take McShaffry and his siblings swimming at the recreational center of his university. “He got me into bicycling, which is something that has been a huge part of my life since that time,” says McShaffry, who met many of his best friends through bicycling. Now 45 years old, McShaffry is the director of product development at Red Fly Studio, a computer gaming company, and he is still involved with BBBS, typically as a fundraiser now. He is also involved with a charity that puts on haunted houses for breast cancer. He credits his philanthropic nature to Suarez’s influence.
“Shyness and Sweets” Amy Jones would take Zenobia Marshall to Amy’s Ice Cream every weekend. Marshall was terribly shy, so she would sit there eating ice cream and not say a word, but she eventually opened up to her Big
Growing up, Marshall used to call Jones any time she had a problem. She still does today. Marshall ’s mom, a single parent, connected with BBBS when Marshall was eight years old and had been getting into a lot of trouble at home. Her mom thought that she needed more support since there was quite an age gap between her and her four siblings; her sister was 13 years older and her brothers were at least 10 years younger.
Marshall is not only thankful for Jones, but for everything BBBS has done for her. The organization found her counseling services when she was having issues with her mom and got her started in college, something she hadn’t considered. The organization gave her a scholarship, which encouraged her to continue her education. “Maybe one day I’ll get a master’s,” she said. Growing up, Marshall used to call Jones any time she had a problem. She still does today. Jones’s company is even involved in the school where Marshall, now 31 years old, teaches fourth grade. And Marshall still has a soft spot for Amy’s Ice Cream.
LEARN MORE bbbs.org Spring 2011
WHY I GIVE
still smiling For decades, Robert Godwin photographed the social scene for West Austin News. Here’s why he’s not ready to move on. by Robert Godwin, photo by Joel Salcido When I started as a rookie photojournalist at the Austin Citizen newspaper, my sights were set on the ultimate achievement, the Pulitzer Prize. Fires, floods, sports and human interest photos were the path to that goal. In fact, my duties also included the social beat, with its seemingly endless parties. “Party pics” weren’t going to bring me to the attention of the Pulitzer committee. 26
Carolyn Bengtson cast a new light on the party scene, and eventually became my mentor. Carolyn was already “Old Austin” and was one of the first lifestyle editors at the Austin AmericanStatesman. Now at the Citizen, she turned a deaf ear to my complaints and showed me what the social scene really meant.
What she showed me was this: The social scene was driven primarily by charity. All the parties had a fundraising element for a catalog of nonprofits. With Carolyn leading the way, I saw Austinites raising money for good causes— social services, medical needs, arts, education, historical preservation and more. It was an endless river of good work being done by good people. I met the children at Helping Hand Home that were the beneficiaries of the Helping Hand Gala; I saw the ballet blossom through the support of the Ballet Austin Guild; I photographed senior citizens on a day out with the Assistance League of Austin’s “Bus with Us” program. I have lots of great memories.
“When Austin found a need existed, Austin stepped up to help.” My favorite memory started with a request to promote a small fundraiser for a group of Special Olympic participants. They were hoping to raise $3,000 to provide transportation to competitions. I was moved by their modest request, so I mentioned their fundraising event in my column. When the paper came out, the event chair received a call, followed by a check for $5,000. Another $20,000 was generated by the event itself. The generosity shown to these participants followed a pattern I saw repeated time and again—when Austin found a need existed, Austin stepped up to help.
My experience in covering these charitable events tells me that communicating with the public is critical to the mission of the nonprofits. Good works not only affect the recipient, but they touch their family, their neighbors and the entire community. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that one journalist cannot possibly cover all the meetings, luncheons and events that take place on a daily basis. With newspapers and other media outlets cutting their budgets, fewer staff are available to cover charitable events across the community. The charitable message still needs to be told. After much thought and input from community leaders, I have formed a consultant relationship with St. David’s Foundation. Having watched the foundation for many years, I know we have a common interest in addressing immediate needs while working to mitigate future needs. Working with the foundation, I’ll conduct seminars, training and host a blog on the foundation’s website. Our common goal is to provide the smaller nonprofits with the tools to effectively tell their story. I know when their stories are heard, they will gain volunteers, sponsors and even clients in need of help. Together, we can continue to make Austin the best place in the world to live.
SEE Godwin’s new blog KeepAustinGiving.org
Godwin, far left, during his Austin Citizen days. Spring 2011
Each of the New Philanthropists asked the same question: “Why me?” Here’s why: Each of them stood out because of the personal, financial and professional risks they take and sacrifices they make to go above and beyond for Austin’s neediest people. Some left lucrative work to answer a less lucrative calling. Some see connection possibilities where others don’t, and work hard to make them. Some apply their experience and skills to the more frustrating field of philanthropy because they know how great the rewards can be. This is by no means the most authoritative list of people going above and beyond for Austin, but it’s a start. And if there’s anything to learn from these folks, it’s that it doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect. All that matters is that you start.
new philanthr by Monica Williams, photos by Cody Hamilton
L-R: Wesley Bos senior, Bowie High School: Bos led a food and coat drive at his school with the Legacy of Giving program that raised about 10,000 pounds of food and hundreds of coats. Charles Wagner senior software engineering manager, HomeAway: Wagner volunteers with adults with intellectual disabilities at The Arc of Capital Area, teaching music to clients. He also helps with marketing and technical support, raises money by performing and enlisted his employer to support The Arc, too. Blythe Plunkett advocate, Homeless Coach: Plunkett has spent the past eight years helping to build the nonprofit HomelessCoach while also reaching out to homeless people directly with rides, clothing and support. Billy Moyer president, SOS Leadership: Moyer has spent hundreds of hours of volunteering through his church and also created mentoring programs for college students, including a leadership advisory board at Concordia University. 28
“It’s more fun to give with others who share our belief: that our community will only be as beau just as we are all willing to make it.” Priscilla Guajardo Cortez This page, founding members of FuturoFund of Austin: Tina Fernandez director, Pro Bono Program at UT-Law: Fernandez was a Teach for America corps member, served on the Austin alumni board of that organization as well as the Hispanic Bar Association of Austin Charitable Foundation. Priscilla Guajardo Cortez associate director of development, UTAustin: Guajardo, an attorney, serves on the boards of KLRU and Ballet Austin and supports such organizations as the Hispanic Scholarship Consortium and Con Mi MADRE. Lonnie Estrada LimÓn vice president group account director, LatinWorks: Limón, a graduate of Notre Dame University, contributes to the Hispanic Scholarship Consortium, the Catholic Diocese and Santa Julia Catholic Church. Frank Fernandez executive director, Green Doors: Fernandez co-founded the housing advocacy organization, HousingWorks, and served as chair of the affordable housing bond campaign that successfully advocated for the passage of the $55 million City of Austin affordable housing bonds in November 2006. John-Michael V. Cortez community involvement coordinator, Capital Metro: Cortez serves on the board of Austin Community College and is a past president of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation and the Austin History Center Association. He also served board of Austin Partners in Education, Austin Independent School District Foundation and Hispanic Scholarship Consortium of Central Texas. 30
Joanna Linden chief development officer, Capital Area Food Bank: Linden has worked in development and executive leadership for organizations such as Easter Seals, the Austin Lyric Opera, and most recently as the president and CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central & South Texas. Paula Lange finance manager, Austin Community Foundation: Over the last 10 years, Lange has administered the finances for almost 300 organizations under ACFâ€™s 501c3 umbrella. Yvette Ruiz Freemyer community relations, National Instruments: Through various community partnerships, Ruiz helps connect nonprofits to individuals who are looking to give back to the Austin community through strategic charitable giving and volunteerism. Jennifer Wijangco director of development, Arthouse at Jones Center: Wijangco serves as a volunteer, board member and founder of strataTX in 2007, a young professionals giving group of the Texas Cultural Trust to support creativity in the arts, culture and economy. Narissa Johnson external communications manager, Southwest Key: In the last eight years, Johnson has designed and developed the plan for three galas and has been chair of and treasurer of two other fundraisers. These fundraisers have raised about $800,000. 32
â€œEdward Everett Hale said, â€˜I cannot do everything, but I can do something, and I will not let 34
Stephanie Fisher senior accountant, D&S Residential: Fisher currently serves as president of HYP, leading volunteers to raise funds and on-site volunteer hours to build one home with Austin Habitat for Humanity. Fisher is also the author of the blog Challenge52, which chronicles her personal mission to attend an average of one charity event per week for a year. Brock Sampson founder, It’s Bigger Than You: Inspired by the children served by the Miracle Foundation, Sampson created the nonprofit to engage the urban creative class in community activism through dance and performance. Susan Brubaker CEO, president, Austin Angels: Brubaker started the nonprofit, Austin Angels, to recruit volunteers and raise money for local nonprofits. She also organizes events to lift the morale of residents of the Settlement Home of Austin. Brent Hasty lecturer, College of Education, UT-Austin: Hasty founded mindPOP, a solutions-based organization effecting change in community/school creative learning system. Through mindPOP, Hasty is working to expand creative learning in Austin and support projects that improve the quality, impact, coordination and equity for creative learning by bringing together arts and education leaders. Alex Winkelman executive director, CharityBash: Winkelman founded CharityBash, a local nonprofit with the mission of creating the habit of giving. Since 2009, CharityBash events have donated $246,000 to area nonprofits. Mackenzie Martin director of community education and special events, I Live Here, I Give Here: Martin creates opportunities for people to learn more about nonprofits. As a member of the Junior League, Martin also supports the Dell Children’s Hospital and Planned Parenthood.
what I cannot do interfere with what I can.’ I remind myself of it every day.”
Stephanie Fisher Spring 2011
“What started out as a business model to differentiate myself has transformed me personally, and my definition of success has changed drastically.” Laurie Loew
Oné Musel-Gilley co-producer, Feria Para Aprender: Feria has reached 37,000 local Spanish speaking parents and youth since its 2007 launch and trained 3,500 area nonprofit and education leaders on population shifts, workforce development and parental engagement. Aimee Boone board of governors, Austin Community Foundation: Boone chairs ACF’s development committee, and also serves on the foundation board for SafePlace and for Planned Parenthood of the Texas Capital Region. She will also co-chair the 2011 Planned Parenthood Choice for Generations dinner. Boone is a member of the board of the Boone Family Foundation. Glen P. Mayes II executive co-chair, Young Professionals Council, Komen Austin for the Cure: Mayes acts as program director and head coach for 21st Century, an AISD after-school program that teaches kids life skills through soccer. As a volunteer leader of Komen Austin Young Professionals for the Cure, Mayes led them to raise $10,000 in their first year. Laura Villagran Johnson donor relations manager, KLRU-TV: Co-founded Austin Social Planner to be a resource for nonprofit event planners, attendees and organizations. Laurie Loew founder, Give Realty: Created a realty company that gives back 25 percent of the her commission to the charity of the seller’s choice, creating many first-time donors. Since 2008, Give Realty has donated almost $90,000 to charity. 36
Leo Ramirez, Jr. founder, MiniDonations: MiniDonations is an online social giving platform that collects donations in a personal, online, charity treasure chest, allowing users to choose which nonprofits receive their gifts. Ramirez predicts that within the next five years, MiniDonations will raise tens of millions of dollars per year for nonprofits across the country. Drew Arnold co-founder, Kiimby: Arnold created a loyalty and marketing company called kiimby, which stands for “keep it in my backyard”. Users register the card with charities of their choice, then shop at participating local businesses that give a portion of the sale to the user’s charities. Kathryn EngelhardtCronk president, Community TechKnowledge: Founded a software company that offers client and fundraiser data collection and management to nonprofits. Her background as a social worker and nonprofit employee compelled Engelhardt-Cronk to launch CTK in 1999. Mark Courtney founder, Affinity Interactive Group: In 2010, Courtney launched the agency to serve forprofit, nonprofit and social enterprise organizations with interactive marketing services. Affinity will also launch an online giving platform called 121Giving. Neil Goldman founder, Hotels for Hope: Goldman’s organization parlays the simple act of booking hotel rooms into a channel for social change. In its first 10 months, Hotels for Hope has raised over $22,000 and is projecting to donate over $1.4 million dollars by the end of 2015.
To share this story, click in the ISSUU tools above. Spring 2011
thanks to Women & Their work for hosting the photo shoot
“We believe that people are more likely to give more frequently online when they can connect with the needs around them and more tangibly experience the impact of their contributions.” Mark Courtney
HERE’S THE ART
How four nonprofits are building up the Austin arts scene this spring. by Salvador Castillo
It’s easy to think of Austin as a creative city, but where’s the art? Certainly there’s widespread support for music and growing support for film, and attendance at festivals like South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, Cine Las Americas, Fantastic Fest and the Austin Film Festival attest to the popularity of those media. But when it comes to contemporary art, Austin doesn’t have a scene robust enough to attract audiences from outside the city. Yet.
Austin is home to a number of great organizations working to create a city that supports artists and engages in current trends and ideas. Founded in 1978, Women & Their Work was the first organization in Texas to receive a visual art grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. A few years ago, the Blanton Museum of Art was the original venue for “The Geometry of Hope,” an exhibition that helped inject mid-century Latin American
artists into the national discussion of abstract art from that time. More recently, Arthouse invited artist collective Okay Mountain to the contemporary art fair PULSE, where they were awarded both the 2009 Miami PULSE Award and the People’s Choice award. These positive accolades have garnered Austin some attention as a hip city. But as a destination for art lovers to converge, it is still growing up.
The gallery system here isn’t yet robust enough to attract an art fair environment like Miami’s or even a more tourist driven economy like Santa Fe’s. The risk of supporting new ideas or difficult topics cannot be subsidized by sales so, much like other art markets, that mantle is worn by the alternative spaces and nonprofit organizations. “Austin is in desperate need of more places to show art,” says Shea Little of Big Medium, which organizes the Texas Biennial.
“There are pros and cons to overlapping our events, but I think it gives us momentum to show what a strong visual arts community this city has.” Up until this year, several Austin arts nonprofits had worked separately to create large events promoting Austin as a viable creative hub. But this spring, they will overlap their individual events to create a panorama of contemporary art across the city. “There are pros and cons to overlapping our events,” says Judy Taylor, director of Gallery Shoal Creek and ArtAustin.org, “but I think it gives us momentum to show what a strong visual arts community this city has.” Attendance of these events will be the core measurement of their success. “I’m about community engagement,” says Little. “It’s less about whether the audience hates it or loves it; we’re going to try to get as many people as we can to see it. “The majority of our funding is city money allocated to arts nonprofits,” he continues, “so this is a civic activity. We really want the audience to see a wide variety of art.”
JOIN: Memberships help support all exhibitions and educational programs and allows organizations to bring work by local artists to the public. BUY: Collecting art helps support the artists directly. Collectors can grow with the artists and know that they are helping sustain the creative class that makes Austin a vibrant place to live. VOLUNTEER: Festivals like the Texas Biennial, Fusebox and Art City Austin rely on volunteers to help things run smoothly. Bonus: Volunteers often get in to some events free! DONATE: Many of these organizations are nonprofits manned by artists who devote themselves to strengthening Austin’s arts community. Go online, give what you can.
OVERVIEW of SPRING ART EVENTS New Art In Austin: 15 to Watch FEB 26 - MAY 22 See art from 15 local visual artists at the forefront of their field at the Austin Museum of Art. Dana Friis-Hansen, former AMOA executive director and chief curator explains, “It’s a fine time to take the pulse of contemporary art in Austin by surveying the work of its emerging practitioners.” amoa.org ON SITE/New Art APRIL 1 - APRIL 10 Visit 16 galleries, museums and alternative spaces across the city to view exhibitions, installations, event and programs that highlight visual contemporary art. artaustin.org art city austin APRIL 2 - APRIL 3 Attend this two-day festival at Austin City Hall to see and buy art and enjoy live music, a kids’ area and more. Organized by the Art Alliance of Austin. artallianceaustin.org/at_city_austin.html
PHOTOS COURTESY ART ALLIANCE AUSTIN
Texas Biennial APRIL 9 - MAY 14 See the work of artists from across the state in venues all over Austin and in 20 participating cities. A project of Big Medium. “Texas is one of the few states that can truly support a biennial,” says curator Virginia Rutledge. texasbiennial.com
WHY ART IN AUSTIN “Our world is full of innumerable wrongs and rights and atrocities. Art has a way of looking at the good and the bad, and shifting your perspective on it. To be able to communicate with people outside your comfort zone is hugely important, and when art is good it really takes you outside of your comfort zone and it shakes you up. And that’s really important for what we as a society must continue to do: We must constantly question the way things are.” Shea Little, co-founder and executive director, Big Medium
Fusebox Festival APRIL 20 - MAY 1 See contemporary art and live performances during this annual festival that takes place in venues all over town. fuseboxfestival.com art week austin APRIL 27 - MAY 1 Be a part of collaborative art projects, gallery events, a bike tour of downtown and more. “Spring 2011 will mark a significant milestone for art in Austin. Never before has so much art-related activity happened in the city at once,” says Meredith Powell of Art Alliance Austin. artallianceaustin.org Hybrid Arts Summit 2011 APRIL 30 A first for the Austin arts community, featuring keynote speakers and panels. Full schedule and details to come. artallianceaustin.org
LEADING WOMEN TO SAFETY Once an abused wife herself, Kelly White went on to lead SafePlace and now Austin Children’s Shelter. A new book chronicles her story and others’. by Sun Connor, photo by Joel Salcido Kelly White says if you’d have asked her 25 years ago where she’d be now, she would have never guessed this. Twenty-five years ago, as a young mother in a small town in Wyoming, White lived in fear for her life, terrified that her husband would make good on his promise to kill her someday. She was an occupational therapist, working with children with disabilities at a small nonprofit. But it was clear even then that White was better suited for a role in organizational leadership. She thrived as a nonprofit leader. At the same time, however, White faced constant threats from her husband. She made plans to flee and began looking for a job out of state. That’s when she responded to a job listing: “Executive director for a private nonprofit human service agency.” “When they called and said, ‘Safeplace for Battered Women,’ you could’ve picked me up off of the floor,” White remembers. Not only did she get the job, White went on to lead SafePlace in Austin for 10 years, then the Chicago Foundation for Women and today the Austin Children’s Shelter. “The universe sometimes works to put you where you need to be,” says White, “I’ve spent pretty much my entire life running these kinds of organizations with a break here and there, but it’s really what I’m suited to do.” While those jobs would be enough for most of us, White knew she had a bigger role to play in women’s lives; she had a book in her. And so she got started. 44
She wrote in bed, surrounded by papers, pecking away at the keyboard and reliving her painful story. “It’s amazing that after all these years; I still feel the same level of intensity.” “A Safe Place for Women” offers chilling accounts of the experience of living with an abusive partner and takes the reader through the choices the abused make in order to survive. But it’s also much more. It’s a structured compilation told in the setting of the realities of law enforcement, schools, and healthcare systems and criminal and civil courts. “I wrote the book to help people understand the issue and what happens and how to move beyond it,” says White. The most important message of the book, she says, is that our work is not done. Organizations like SafePlace and Austin Children’s Shelter not only support victims of abuse, but produce educational and advocacy programs to end the cycle of abuse. “If we put in place the response and resources, we can in fact have hope and healing on the other side, and we can create a different world. If we can do it into the future, if you change a family today, then you change it for generations.” To purchase “A Safe Place for Women,”
ORDER ONLINE JUNE 10: SEE Kelly White read from “A Safe Place for Women” at BookPeople
Why capital campaigns are conducted behind closed doors. by Vicky Garza
Right now, about half a dozen nonprofits in Austin have a secret they don’t want to share…at least not yet. What they don’t want you to know is that they may have started a capital campaign, a coordinated effort to raise millions of dollars in a particular amount of time for a specific project, oftentimes for a new facility or to build an endowment. Why would they want to keep that a secret? Well, much like a building they intend to raise funds for, capital campaigns are multiple-team efforts and must be created in phases. First there’s the quiet phase, when organizations focus on raising their top gifts, usually $25,000 and higher, from a small number of major donors. The reason to focus on the big dogs first, according to Lisa Lee, director of development at the Austin Children’s Museum, is because “fundraising generally follows the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of total funds will be raised from 20 percent of the donor base.” “During this time, they also have to ensure that they can meet the expectations of these donors, especially if there is interest in naming rights to buildings, rooms, etc., and may need time to ensure that these are in place prior to a public launch,” said Sam Woollard, principal at Successful Giving. Once 50 to 80 percent of the goal has been reached, the campaign is launched and goes into the public phase, which can last up to two years. Why wait? It gives the public confidence that you will actually achieve your goal and, for some organizations, it is the threshold at which they can break ground. “Choosing to wait until we can have cameras around showing a ceremonial turning of the dirt sends a signal that the project is not all talk and charging ahead,” said Lee. “A lot of campaigns take years to compete, so organizations that 46
publicize before enough fundraising progress has been made risk the perception that the project is ‘taking forever’ or that the organization is incompetent.” Once the goal is reached, the wrap-up phase begins, which could last a couple of months. The organization will finalize reports, collect all of the pledges and make all the thank-yous. And sometimes that means putting a name in stone. Ready to see your name on a building? There’s no clear method for finding out which organizations are running capital campaigns, but ask your favorite nonprofit. They may let you in on their little secret.
CAPITAL CAMPAIGNS NOW Austin Sunshine Camps Started in 2009, to rebuild the 50-years-old activity center, pavilion, and main camp building at Zilker Park. The new facility will increase capacity of all of their programs by 50 percent so that more Central Texas low income youth will have the experience of going to summer camp. The ZACH Theatere broke ground in February on the new 26,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Topfer Theatre, which nearly doubles the seating capacity. Other new elements include an open-air event plaza, a rain garden, and additional surface. To date, $17.3 million has been raised towards the $22 million goal.
How to Donate to Education
What everyday donors can learn from how foundations give. by Emily Babb Everyone’s worried about education funding right now. State funds are considerably limited, districts are cutting teachers and individual schools are nixing programs. The good news is, you as a donor can help. But how is the general public supposed to figure out which projects, programs and nonprofits are doing the best work? Because local foundations are in the business of evaluating which nonprofit programs are most effective, it makes sense to turn to them for guidance. In most cases, foundations require nonprofits to go through a competitive grant application process to receive funding for a specific project or program. In this regard, who the foundations fund can signal the most successful projects and programs. Up until 2008, however, most of the Austin-area foundations weren’t sharing this information outright, even with each other. Then in 2007, a group of education funders formed the Central Texas Education Funders (CTEF), which now includes more than 50 grantmaking organizations.
Since then, CTEF has produced a survey to understand where each of their interests lay and to learn where gaps might exist. It’s not only a resource for funders to use in analyzing their strategies, it’s a valuable resource for nonprofits to use in developing programs, collaborating with other nonprofits and applying for the right grants at the right time. And it’s a great resource for individuals, too. Says Marisol Foster of the Webber Foundation, who spearheads the survey project, “For those who don’t have a specific education goal, this is a way to figure out where the gaps are.”
LEARN MORE centraltexasedfunders.org
how to give to schools The Austin Community Foundation makes it easy to raise money for your public or private school. With ACF, you can... • Accept credit cards and online donations via AustinCF.org. Just publicize the link. • Create a school “savings account” by starting an endowment. • Start a scholarship fund to support a college-bound senior. For more information, visit AustinCF.org
what do foundations support? 25
A. . . . . . . . . . . . Early Childhood Ed B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Core Academics C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Arts Education D . . . . . . . . . . . . . Special Education E. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mentoring F. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Risk Avoidance G . . . . . . . . . Work/Career Awareness H . . . . . . . College Access/Readiness I. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Post Secondary J. . . . . English Language Acquisition K . . . . . . . . . . . . Workforce Training L. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Charter Schools M. . . . . . . . . Schools, Districts, Univ N . . . . . . . . . . . . . Systemic Change O . . . . . . . Professional Development P. . . . . . . . . . Community Organizing Q . . . . . . . . . . . . Dropout Prevention R . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Advocacy
Early Childhood $3,170,032
High School $4,751,445
Young Adults $3,328,939
Middle School $4,765,551
WHAT’S NEXT for Nonprofits
A new book by two Austin nonprofiteers strives to predict the future. Excerpt reprinted with permission from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Dave Neff and Randal Moss have found it: They’ve found the source for all nonprofit innovation. The good news is, it’s accessible, simple and doesn’t cost a lot. Want to know what it is? We’ve excerpted a passage from their new book, “The Future of Nonprofits: Innovate and Thrive in the Digital Age.” The book holds lots of insights, data and case studies that make their point: Nonprofits must change to survive in the digital age. Here’s an excerpt from the book.
Evaluating Your Organization’s Metrics With this concept of delving deep into the constituent experience, think about the resources that you have at your disposal to get it done. We know that some nonprofits are large with upwards of six thousand employees and a vast number of staff in the field, many of which work with constituents on a daily basis. If you work at one of these organizations, consider the learning opportunities to identify those “I wish that…” moments that come along every day. It is possible that your field staff is not actively looking for those moments because they are focused on driving other metrics. Maybe they do not believe that the organization is in a position to act on the information they may find and make changes to satisfy the constituents. Or it could be that your staff are simply not trained or encouraged to collect those types of valuable pieces of information during their regular tasks. 48
On the other hand, most nonprofits are made up of a skeleton staff, bootstrapping themselves, and trying their best to move their mission with limited-to-no resources. With this in mind we still feel that deeply understanding constituents is critically important to the innovation process. In a smaller organization, everyone from the executive officers to the administrative assistants needs to dedicate some amount of time to embed themselves with the constituents they come in contact with and learn from them. We recognize that being short on staff is a disadvantage and limits your ability to visit with vast numbers of constituents but if you are judicious about the time you spend, and calculated with whom you spend it, it is guaranteed time well spent. And remember, your key donors, most frequent service recipients, and active volunteers may give you that false positive rosy impression so seek out opportunities to develop the
most honest insights, not the most convenient. One important point to note that is not mentioned in Kelley’s book (though, we give him a pass… it was penned before the present online social media explosion) is the advent and popularity of venting likes and dislikes on social media sites. The popularity of sites like Facebook and Twitter has instantaneously improved an organization’s capability for delving deeper into the customer experience, no matter their size. So many people are expressing those “I wish that…” moments every single day online, and not just under their breath, in their journals, or privately with their therapists but out in the open on Twitter, Facebook, on blogs, in chat rooms, in YouTube videos, and on just about every other kind of social media outlet there is. Kelley would probably agree that these unsolicited aspirations
and desires of constituents are the most valuable feedback one could hope to be able to mine. It presents the opportunity to unexpectedly delight them with an improved experience. And all of it can be gained by simply searching on these respective networks. There is no substitute for being as closely connected to your constituents as they are to you. Part of being a first-class innovative organization is the ability to understand the needs and desires of your constituents and develop projects and programs that fill those needs. By creating a culture rooted in anticipating the constituents’ needs and fulfilling them you prove that you hear their concerns and, those concerns are top priority. The Future of Nonprofits will be available this May. PRE-ORDER HERE
“Why are Facebook pages for pet charities more popular than children’s charities? ” Aaron Bramley
Director of Digital Media Ridgewood: Ingenious Communication Strategies In thinking about the social media world in general, animals have always been far more popular than children. When it comes to the charity world, we all know people who like to look at adoptable pets, send links to friends and think about what it would be like to have a new companion. This type of behavior around children’s organizations is far less common. Second, digital visual storytelling is a large component of successfully growing social media communities. Children’s charities are often unable (or there are too many bureaucratic precautions) to actually show clients due to the sensitive nature of their work. Popularity, however does not imply success. Having 1,000 active and engaged fans who read and respond to text is better than 10,000 passive fans who only come for the pictures.
Volunteer Recruiter Facebook’s demographics are pretty broad, but it would be safe to say that the largest demographic segment of Facebook (18-24) has a higher familiarity with pets than they have with children and are probably more inclined to “Like” charities related to pets. Pets in general are perceived as not having a voice, and Facebook pages serve as an outlet for this demographic to share their support for pet charities. I don’t think you can draw a direct conclusion from this observation, but looking at the donating behavior for each Facebook demographic might provide some added perspective.
Do You like these FACEBOOK pages? *all counts as of Feb. 24, 2011 Austin Children’s Shelter . . . . 1,116 likes Big Brothers Big Sisters: . . . . . 1,100 likes CASA of Travis County . . . . . . . . 884 likes Any Baby Can . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 472 likes
Austin Pet Rescue . . . . . . . . . 9,146 likes Animal Trustees of Austin . . . . 2,145 likes Emancipet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,472 likes Love a Bull . . . . . . . . . . . . 4,991 friends
APR 9 SafePlace
10 AM – 2 PM Stephen F. Austin High School Benefiting: SafePlace safeplacefieldday.org SafePlace is hosting its third annual field day, where adults don their tube socks and sweatbands for a cause. People can form teams of five to fundraise $350 and complete in fun relays like sack races, cheerlead by fundraising online, or come out and watch for free. Top fundraisers will win prizes like a new 3G Amazon Kindle and gift certificates to local restaurants. Proceeds go toward SafePlace’s mission to “end sex and domestic violence through safety, healing, prevention and social change.”
APR 2 College Challenge 6: 30 – 9:30 PM Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum Benefiting: College Forward collegeforward.org APR 2-3 Art City Austin Austin City Hall Benefiting: Austin Art Alliance artallianceaustin.org APR 5 GivingCity Givers Ball 5:30 – 8:30 PM Benefiting: GivingCity Austin givingcityaustin.com
APR 6 Discover…Teach… Heal…Prosper : University Medical Center Brackenridge 11 AM – 1 PM Four Seasons Hotel Benefiting: Medical Research at UMCB setonfund.org APR 6 2nd Annual Spring Has Sprung Fashion Show 6 – 8 PM Arc of the Arts Benefiting: The Arc of the Capital Area arcofhearts.com
APR 7 Women on Their Toes 11 AM Hyatt Regency Austin Benefiting: Ballet Austin balletaustinguild.org APR 9 6th Annual Celebration for Children Cover 3 Benefiting: Partnerships for Children partnershipsforchildren.org APR 10 Sustainable Food Center Chef Series La Condesa Benefiting: Sustainable Food Center sustainablefoodcenter.org APR 10 The Nobelity Project Artists and Filmmakers Dinner 6 – 10 PM Four Seasons Austin Benefiting: The Nobelity Project nobelity.org APR 14-17 Old Settler’s Music Festival 18300 FM 1826 Benefiting: Campfire Boys and Girls & HAAM oldsettlersmusicfest.org APR 15-18 Austin Reggae Festival Auditorium Shores Benefiting: Capital Area Food Bank austinreggaefest.com
Event listing brought to you by AustinSocialPlanner.com Make sure to list your event on Austin Social Planner. 52
APR 15 Fashion for Compassion 6:30 – 11 PM Saks Fifth Avenue Benefiting: Austin Children’s Shelter austinchildrenscenter.org APR 16 ZACH Theater’s Red Hot & Soul Gala 6:30 – 11 PM The Hilton Austin Benefiting: ZACH Theater zachtheater.org APR 21 Women of Distinction Luncheon AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center Benefiting: Girl Scouts of Central Texas gsctx.org APR 23 Graphic V Bob Bullock Museum Benefiting: Breast Cancer Center of Texas bcrc.org APR 28 HAAM Corporate Battle of the Bands Antone’s Benefiting: Health Alliance for Austin Musicians myhaam.org
MAY 1 Seton Southwest Gala 6 – 9 PM Salt Lick Pavilion MAY 7 Austin Cattle Baron’s Ball Four Seasons Hotel Benefiting: American Cancer Society gala.acsevents.org MAY 12 14th Annual Arc Golf Classic 1 – 8 PM Falconhead Golf Course Benefiting: The Arc of the Capital Area arcofthecapitalarea.org MAY 13-14 Beyond the Lights Celebrity Golf Classic Hyatt Lost Pines Resort and Spa, Wolfdancer Golf Course Benefiting: Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis and Gridiron Heroes Spinal Cord Injury Foundation beyondthelights.org
MAY 27 The White Party 8 PM– 12 AM The Long Center for the Performing Arts Benefiting: LifeWorks lifeworksaustin.org JUN 1 “Walking In Sunshine” 6 – 8 PM Arc of the Arts Studio & Gallery Benefiting: The Arc of the Capital Area arcofhearts.com JUN 1 Leadership Austin Best Party Ever 6 – 10 PM Driskill Hotel Benefiting: Leadership Austin leadershipaustin.org JUN 3 16th Annual Texas Swing 8 PM – 12 AM Saengerrunde Hall Benefiting: Project Transitions projecttransitions.org
MAY 14 HYP Zoot Suit Riot 6:30 PM The Marchesa Benefiting: Habitat for Humanity http://austinhyp.org/gala
APR 30 Hill Country Ride for AIDS Benefiting: AIDS Services of Austin hillcountryride.org
MAY 14 Austin Heart Ball 6 – 9 PM Hilton Austin Benefiting: Research through American Heart Association ahaaustin.ejoinme.org
APR 30 The Wonder Ball 6 – 9 PM Palmer Events Center Benefiting: Wonders and Worries wondersandworries.org
MAY 15-16 CASA Kids Gold Classic The Hill Country Club Benefiting: CASA of Travis County casatravis.org Spring 2011
THE GIVING EXPERIMENT
donated items. I gave food and used clothing to Manos de Cristo, Goodwill and Lisa’s Hope Chest; I donated money to the New Zealand earthquake relief and children’s cancer foundations; I volunteered for The Miracle Foundation, Truth be Told and Lilith Fund. Shelley Seale decided to donate During my 30 Days of Giving, I had several or volunteer every day for 30 major revelations: days. Here’s what she learned. 1. Focusing on something outside ourselves I’ve always been one of those people they call and our own lives is extremely valuable—to “serial volunteers.” When I’m asked for help or ourselves personally, and to our places in the a monetary donation from one of my favorite world. Doing this every single day really woke me nonprofits or a cause, I can’t say no. up to this fact; and I will make an effort from That’s why the idea of the Giving Project here on out to focus on someone else or a bigger started flitting across my mind last year. My picture in the world every day. thought was to spend an entire year 2. It’s not that hard to find easy giving something every day, and blogging ways to incorporate giving into our daily about the experience. I was inspired lives as we go about our business. An GRASSROOTS by people I’d read about such as Reed extra dollar at the check-out line, a few Sandridge, who lost his job at a nonprofit cans of food to put in the food pantry organization in late 2009, then decided collection at the grocery store, dropping to dedicate 2010 to giving away $10 off a few clothes you no longer wear at a every day, to someone who looked as if he or she shelter or Goodwill. Don’t save yourself up for the could use it. I couldn’t help but wonder, if an “big give.” Try to do something small every week. unemployed guy could do it, why can’t I? I think it adds up more in the long run. The goal was simple: give something every 3. We all have something we can give. People day, whether that was money, volunteer time, or with less money and resources give, on average and as a percentage, much more “Focusing on something outside ourselves than wealthier people do. If they can do it, so can those of us who have and our own lives is extremely valuable.” plenty. 4. When you’re having a bad day or struggling with a problem, try doing something for someone else. Maybe it’s volunteering or making a donation, or maybe it’s just doing a favor or kind act for a relative, friend or even a stranger. Many days, when I have been stressed or maybe not had the best day, my giving seems to be the thing that centers me and makes my day good again.
LEARN MORE 30days2011.wordpress.com
For the price of a beer plus tip, you could provide a poor family of four with enough bread to last them a month.*
Philanthropyâ€™s not hard. We can help.
GivingCity A PROJECT OF THE AUSTIN COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
The guide to doing good in Austin GivingCityAustin.com
*With every $5 donation you make to Capital Area Food Bank.
What would you do today to change Austin for the better? Philanthropy doesn’t have to wait until “some day.” When you start a fund with the Austin Community Foundation, you can support the causes you care about now. The Austin Community Foundation exists to find creative and effective ways to help you give back to the community and create the kind of gift you always wanted to make — even if you never thought it was possible.
FI N D YOU R PASSION. START A FU N D.
Which Fund is Best For You? Since 1977, the Austin Community Foundation has fueled the philanthropy of hundreds of individuals, families and organizations. Whether you want to house the homeless, support the arts, impact education or help our community in many other ways, turn to the Austin Community Foundation.
Support the Community Austin Community Endowment Fund/Unrestricted Funds let you support the entire community in a single donation. By supporting the unrestricted endowment fund of the Austin Community Foundation, you allow ACF to engage in long-term solutions to social problems; to respond quickly to civic emergencies; to build families and inspire artists; to educate, inform and uplift. Our grants respond to what Austin needs, when it needs it.
Support a Cause Field of Interest Funds allow you to target a specific community need or cause. The Austin Community Foundation will research and prepare a plan to tackle the problem defined by you for that field of interest, and invest your fund toward the solution.
Support a Specific Nonprofit Designated Funds allow you to give ACF precise and specific instructions to support certain charities. ACF takes care of the investments and regularly pays the fundâ€™s earnings to the charities you dictate.
G E N E ROSITY M U LTI PLI E D
Stay Involved Donor-Advised Funds partner you with ACF to make grants to charities and causes we identify together, with you leading the way. Many donors use donor-advised funds as an alternative to establishing a private foundation.
Create Long-Term Support for a Charity Agency Endowment Funds provide the nonprofits of your choice with regular income for operations. These permanent endowments mean your gift will last forever, offering a strong platform from which a nonprofit can grow and flourish.
Support an Education Scholarship Funds can be established, invested, and managed through Austin Community Foundation. ACF attends to all the legal, tax, and operational requirements; works closely with donors and selection committees; and provides a permanent reliable home for such funds.
And Many Other Fund Types From special project funds, to community wide initiatives, the Foundation is a creative, reliable and responsive partner.
Contact the Austin Community Foundation to get started now.
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. EATING OUT El Sol y La Luna www.ElSolyLaLunaAustin.com Hat Creek Burgers www.HatCreekBurgers.com GOING OUT Gibson www.GibsonAustin.com J. Blacks JBlacks.com Molotov www.MolotovLounge.com HOTELS Four Seasons Hotel www.FourSeasons.com/Austin NONPROFIT CONSULTANTS Cultural Strategies www.Cultural-Strategies.com Ridgewood www.RidgewoodPR.com Knox-Woollard Professional Management www.KWProfessionalManagement.com Seeds for Change www.SeedsforChangeConsulting.com
Hotels for Hope www.HotelsforHope.org KIIMBY www.Kiimby.com MiniDonations www.MiniDonations.org ORGANIZATIONS Rise Global www.RiseGlobal.org PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Apex Auctions www.Apex-Auction.com INNU Salon www.Innu.net Give Realty www.GiveRealtyAustin.com UPG Video www.upgvideo.com RETAILERS Live Oak Pharmacy www.LiveOakRX.com Touch of Sass www.TouchofSass.net
ONLINE ADVOCATES GivShop www.GivShop.com HelpAttack www.HelpAttack.com Spring 2011
Featuring Austin's 30 New Philanthropists of 2011, plus Spring Art events, How to End Panhandling, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Women's Storybo...