Guest article by Lindsey Moringy
If there is one thing Austinites have in common, it’s that they’re proud to give back to the city they love. It’s easy to see that hometown love put into action by looking at the amount of money donated to hundreds of Austin non-profit organizations each year. One annual project serves as a one stop shop for finding and funding the organizations that speak to you – Amplify Austin.
Created in 2013 by I Live Here, I Give Here, Amplify Austin is a 24-hour campaign to raise funds for over 500 local non-profit groups. Over the past two years, they have helped raise $8.5 million for community organizations participating in the campaign. Can you believe that sum was donated in only 48 hours? Participants range from Austin Pets Alive! to Texas Land Conservancy and everyone in between.
The best part (besides making a difference)? Donations are 100% tax deductible, and the choosing is left up to you!
Participating Austin Non-Profits
Browsing through the Amplify Austin site is like wanting to order every dish you see on the Kerbey Lane seasonal menu – it’s difficult to make decisions. Luckily, you can search participating organizations by category, county or alphabetically, and you can donate to more than one place.
A leader board on the site shows which projects are raising the most money, and which ones may need more help.
Amplify Austin’s Impact
With so many organizations participating, it’s amazing how much of an impact your donations can make for each one. Claire Grasso, Development Director of the Austin Playhouse, says, “The event not only attracted new donors to our organization, it inspired tremendous enthusiasm from our core base of supporters. We saw extraordinary increases in individual giving that have carried over into our other initiatives throughout the year.”
Joining the campaign late doesn’t mean an organization will raise any less, either, as Tom Spencer (Executive Director of I Live Here, I Give Here) recounts one of his favorite stories about Truth Be Told, a small organization that assists women in prison through personal development programs:
“They jumped into last year’s campaign at the last minute and admitted that they really didn’t know what they were doing. They didn’t set a high goal – but the story of their work really resonated with our donors and they ended up raising $24,000 – 27% of their annual budget in a day! Of their 295 donors, 207 were first time donors, many of whom made additional contributions during the year. So, it seems Amplify Austin really is exciting the generosity of new donors.”
So why does Amplify Austin work so well in a city like ours? Spencer suggests that “Austin loves to come together as a community to celebrate what makes us unique…Amplify Austin has become our day to celebrate the invaluable work of our local nonprofits and to help them as they make Central Texas a better place for all of us.”
Grasso of the Austin Playhouse agrees, saying, “The people of Austin are incredibly passionate, creative, and socially conscious people. I Live Here, I Give Here’s Amplify Austin site does a fantastic job of connecting them to those organizations that champion their individual causes.”
This year Amplify Austin will take place on March 5, 2015 starting at 6 PM and run through March 6, 2015 at 6 PM. If you’re forgetful like I am, you can schedule your donation now.
For more information and to participating in Amplify Austin 2015, visit AmplifyATX.org.
@theAustinot wants to know:
Which Austin non-profit will you be supporting during Amplify Austin this year?
Lindsey is a native Austinite who loves all things local. In her spare time she enjoys running around Town Lake, eating Tex-Mex, and writing bios about herself.