66% of Austinites feel uninformed about the issues.
89% say they would give to a specific need in the community.

Why We’re Here

I Live Here, I Give Here’s mission is to deepen and expand the culture of personal philanthropy by inspiring Central Texans to invest more money in our community. We educate and connect individuals and non-profits so more Central Texans experience the personal benefit of increased philanthropy.

I Live Here, I Give Here’s mission is to deepen and expand the culture of personal philanthropy by inspiring Central Texans to invest more money in our community. We educate and connect individuals and non-profits so more Central Texans experience the personal benefit of increased philanthropy.

Did you know that according to a study done by The Chronicle of Philanthropy in 2012, Austin is ranked 32nd out of the 50 largest cities in the nation in per capita charitable giving? This is a big improvement over our ranking at the beginning of the 21st century when we ranked 48, but there is still a lot of room for growth!

Austin is a vibrant city with a personality all its own. Central Texans are passionate, driven, and generous volunteers of their time and talent. But that’s not enough. The biggest problem facing Austin Nonprofits is there is not enough money.

Our community is well known for cherishing its environment and local businesses, its time to nurture our home-grown nonprofits in the same way!

We depend on our nonprofits to meet so many of the Austin's most basic needs; but the shortage of funds for these organizations is creating large gaps in services.

This is where I Live Here, I Give Here steps in. Our main purpose is to connect people like YOU with the issues you care about and the Nonprofits that support them.

I Live Here, I Give Here is proud of the work we have accomplished since our launch in 2007. We connect the people of Austin with the causes they care about.

We partner with nonprofit groups so they can be more accessible to you. We spotlight specific needs in Austin every month to let you know how you can help.

Please check out our Programs and get to know our Board Members and Staff!

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The BIG Give — Recognizing Charities and Nonprofit Organizations in Austin, TX.

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December To Remember!

by Carisa Bommarito Muñoz
November 30, 2010

If you’re anything like me, at the end of the year, my schedule virtually overflows with things to do.  We have Holiday parties to attend, dishes to prepare for potlucks, gifts to buy and wrap, trees to decorate, lights to put up, cookies to bake and charity and volunteer activities galore!  And for some reason, way back in the spring, when I got engaged, December seemed like a great month to plan a wedding.  Yeah, like we didn’t have anything else going on, right?  Haha!  So, on top of it all, we have our wedding and honeymoon to carry out this month!  Who needs sleep, right?  Thankfully (insert shameless plug here), there’s a cool new feature right here on the ILH,IGH website that makes it a little bit easier to balance my end of year commitments.  With busy schedules in mind, we created our Community Calendar.  To find it, click on “Community of Giving,” then scroll down until you see the current week.  Right below it is a button that will bring you to the full calendar.  Click it and you’re on your way to managing your very own community event schedule.  Need to know when the Ronald McDonald House Lights of Love celebration or the Austin Humane Society’s Rags to Wags gala is this year?  It’s all right there!  Planning an event for 2011?  Use our calendar to make sure you’re not double-booking with another event.  You can even submit your own events for inclusion.  It’s an incredibly useful tool. I know I’m relying on it a lot lately and I hope you will too!  Here’s wishing each and every one of you a very (organized and) happy holiday season and a very merry New Year! 

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November's Spotlight On Senior Services

by Susan Marler
November 11, 2010

I Live Here, I Give Here is focusing on Senior Services for our Community Spotlight in November.  This is a topic that many people avoid, until they are confronted with issues related to aging in their own life.  I would probably be the exact same way if it had not been for a job I had at a non-profit that served Seniors.

I am so grateful that at a young age I learned about the issues Seniors face – like health care costs, transportation difficulty, isolation and abuse – through this role.  My job was focused on educating the community – so I became an expert on the government programs that strive (but are seriously failing) to meet the needs of Seniors in our country.  One of the most important lessons I can pass along is that it is never too early to begin communication about, and planning for your own - or your loved ones – aging.  Starting points for such a conversation can revolve around your vision of the ideal retirement.  What would that look like?  A hammock on the beach?  Along with the hammock you might need to have your heart medication – and it could cost you hundreds of dollars a month.   If you get a Social Security benefit of $1200 a month then what would your budget include?  When one starts these discussions early, it is much easier to avoid the hard choices and stress that often come with meeting the needs of an aging loved one. 

Join us on November 18th to learn more or see our website for videos about the non-profits that provide crucial senior services and information for caretakers. 

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What a caring city we live in! In the last few weeks we’ve been getting calls and emails from folks who want to help their neighbors in need this holiday season. We all know that there are so many ways to help, and so many organizations who are doing great work to serve Austinites during the holidays and all year round. So, I asked our friends on Twitter and Facebook to let us know about organizations that are facilitating this help.

Below is what I’m sure is an incomplete listing of organizations that are asking Austinites to “adopt a family” for the holidays. Please let me know if there are more, I’d be happy to add them.

The Christmas Bureau

The Christmas Bureau of Austin, Travis County “Adopt-A-Family” program appeals to the Austin, Travis County community to reach out and adopt a needy individual, couple, family and children and provide food, toys and gifts to help them celebrate the holidays.

The neat thing about The Christmas Bureau is that you can review a family’s application online and choose a family based on your own criteria. There are families of all sizes and so many ways to help.

El Buen Samaritano: Hands for Hope Thanksgiving Basket Event

Since 1990, El Buen Samaritano has made a traditional Thanksgiving meal possible for hundreds of low-income families in Austin, distributing turkeys and the necessary ingredients to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

On November 20, 2010, El Buen Samaritano will bring the Austin community together once again to provide 1,000 families with the necessary ingredients to prepare a Thanksgiving meal.

Check the website for ways to spread the word about this event, and how you can get involved! There are opportunities to donate and volunteer.

Family Eldercare: Make the Holidays Brighter

Sponsorship includes fulfilling the "wish lists" of one or more clients with gifts costing about $30 per person. Wish lists will be distributed to sponsors by mid-November so let us know by November 8th if you would like to get involved in the holiday cheer! Please contact Faith Unger to participate at funger@familyeldercare.org or 483-3582.


The holidays are a difficult time for those we serve at SafePlace.  Compounded by the violence they have suffered, the issues of homelessness and severe lack of resources make it extraordinarily difficult to celebrate the season.  

SafePlace, has two programs to fit the needs of our clients: Sponsor A Family and Shop for the Shelter.

Visit the website to learn more about what you can do to help.

Saint Louise House

27 families are calling Saint Louise House “home” this 2010 holiday season. Your group, family or organization can make this holiday special for a Saint Louise House family by participating in our “Home for the Holidays” in one of two ways:

  • Sponsor a Family. Get together your favorite group of people—family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, youth group, Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop, service organization, Bible study, women’s group, Bunco or bridge club or men’s group—and sponsor a Saint Louise House mother and her children for Christmas.  We provide a wish list of gifts ($50 limit per family member), and you do the shopping.  New, unwrapped gifts must be delivered to Saint Louise House by Monday, December 6.
  • Provide a Gift Card. Like all moms, Saint Louise House moms love the opportunity to do a little shopping for their families.  You can help them by making a donation of a HEB and/or Target Gift Card in the amount of $20 per gift card. Also you can consider coordinating a Gift Card Drive with your co-workers, friends, school, neighbors or group. Gift cards must be received by Monday, December 13.

To sponsor a family, donate gift cards, host a drive or coordinate a group project please contact:

Karen Ranus, Volunteer and In-Kind Donations Coordinator
302-0027 ext. 17 or kranus@saintlouisehouse.org

As you can see, no matter what your interests are, or what your capacity to give, there are countless ways to help. All of these organizations are doing amazing work, during the holidays, and the rest of the year. Many non-profits get more attention during the holiday season, because giving is on people’s minds. However, I challenge you to join me in using this as a jumping off point. Let’s get involved with an organization and a family in need, and make it a New Year’s resolution to stay involved for the rest of the year. This way, the good feeling that giving brings will last all year long.

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Maybe We're Not So Different After All?

by Patsy Woods Martin
November 4, 2010

What’s the title of that old book?  Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, I think tells us men and women have different communication styles and ways of expressing love, etc.  No doubt, I could stand to read it….  However… I learned last week in our own little I Live Here, I Give Here Petri dish (the chemist in me loved it) that men and women seem to react to philanthropy mentoring in the same way- enthusiastically.  After hosting eight See Jane Give! dinners with very positive feed-back and good results, this team of I Live Here, I Give Here women, along with a few very good men volunteers (THANK YOU Kyle Parks and Chris Steiner), gingerly embarked on our first Give Back Jack! mentoring dinner for young professional men.  Evaluations were plentiful and overwhelmingly positive.  So, what does that tell us?  We are a caring community here in Central Texas.  But that’s not news.  The news is that we just need a jump-start for philanthropy.  We have a community of “latent givers” just needing a catalyst to produce a very productive reaction. I didn’t get that degree in Chemistry for nothing!! 

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Yikes - The Holidays Are Coming!

by Carisa Bommarito Muñoz
November 1, 2010

It’s that time of year again (already!).  The mornings are cooling off, the days are getting shorter, and the department stores are beginning to fill with holiday décor.  And for many of us, our thoughts begin to turn to charity.  We start scouting for volunteer opportunities at soup kitchens, the holiday solicitations from charities start filling up our mailboxes, and we start calculating how much we can share from the holiday budget.  Hamilton Wright Mabie may have said it best, “Blessed is the season which unites the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” 

So, how do you give back during the holidays?  Do you give your spare change to the Salvation Army’s bell ringers?  Do you send in checks in response to the mailers from needy charities?  Do you volunteer your time to serve Thanksgiving dinner to the less fortunate or wrap presents for a giving tree?  All of those are beautiful things that serve both our community and our own personal sense of community.  It’s that warm fuzzy feeling that we’re after and all of those things certainly accomplish the goal. 

But this year, why not be more intentional with your giving – really make a difference.  It’s not that the things I listed above don’t help – they most certainly do.  But I’m talking about really helping your community to work toward long-term change.  And it’s not as hard as it sounds.  It seems daunting, but it can be done in just a few easy steps.  Start by deciding what the issues are that are most important to you – is it children, education, homelessness, literacy, animals or something else?  Next, go to our home page and use our handy Connect With What You Care About widget to find your passion and research an agency that you can truly stand behind.  Once you have an agency or two in mind, you can put into action a personal giving plan.  Decide how much you can give per year – there’s another handy tool on our Learning to Give page that helps you calculate different percentages from your annual salary.  From there, it’s easy to figure out how much you can give per month.  Most agencies have the capacity to charge a credit card monthly.  Make the phone call and get your future as a year-round philanthropist started! If you want more information on how to create your very own personal giving plan, click here.  It really is that easy!

So this year, as the holidays approach and your thoughts turn to the less fortunate among us, I hope you still volunteer your time and that you give your change to the bell ringers.  But most of all, I challenge you to become proactive, rather than reactive with your giving.  Happy Holidays!

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