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 Butterfly Effect

by Susan Marler
January 31, 2011

Taking action towards solving community problems on both a systematic and individual level is crucial. This approach can help keep service providers and concerned community members from becoming overwhelmed by the vastness of some community issues. For example, the societal factors which lead to over 10,000 child abuse and neglect reports being filed in Travis County every year are innumerable and tangled up in family relationships. People who want to help stop child abuse face the daunting challenge of figuring out where to start. As I did research for I Live Here, I Give Here’s Community Need Spotlight on Foster care and Adoption, I learned about an initiative called The Heart Gallery, which is an art exhibit featuring photographs of children waiting for adoption after being removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. The Heart Gallery photographs introduce us to the actual children who are living in foster care and who have been affected by child abuse. Children who grow up in foster care are twice as likely to drop out of high school and only 3% of Texas’ foster children go on to receive a college degree. When one hears these statistics, it seems like a hopeless task to ‘do’ anything for these kids. Yet, after seeing the face of a Cental Texas child who needs a new home – people are taking action on an individual level. The positive ripple effect that begins when a child is adopted out of foster care is amazing. I am revitalized to continue to try to change the system by these individuals who have taken such momentous action towards changing the life of one child. 

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My Perfect Weekend (Part 1): FRIDAY

by Mackenzie Martin
January 25, 2011

The Wall Street Journal just came out with a Travel Guide for a weekend in Austin. I agree with many of their highlights, sounds like a wonderful long weekend. It got me thinking about all of the fantastic places that I like to go, see and do. So, I decided to chronicle my perfect weekend in Austin, in a three part blog. (note: This weekend would not take place on a football, wedding or festival weekend…because that’s a whole different animal.)

My perfect weekend in Austin would depend on the weather, obviously. But, let’s pretend that this particular weekend is in the very beginning of spring…where it’s sunny and 70. All three days. Perfect start to a perfect weekend.

It’s Friday afternoon, and my boss just let me off early! Thanks Patsy…you’re the best. (this is imaginary, remember) I’d start my weekend off by heading over to Dry Creek Cafe and Boat Dock (don't be fooled by this name, there are not boats and unless you want Fritos, no food) to watch a perfect Texas sunset with my friends.  We’d listen to that Owen Temple “Dry Creek” song on the way, just for old times sake. I’ve been going to this place since before I was really allowed to, and it looks the same.  The deck looks a little like it might collapse at any second, but DON’T WORRY I’ve seen 75 people up there, so I have confidence that it will hold us. I’d have to bring my own koozie and be sure to pick up my cans when I’m done, or risk getting yelled at. I’d also know that the only soft drink options are Caffeine Free Diet Coke that looks like it’s been there since 1960. When we were done, we’d head over to Fonda San Miguel for some amazing interior Mexican food and margaritas. This place can get a little pricey, so we’d sit in the bar and have appetizers. It’s way better people watching, and super fun to sit on the cute benches and chat. They also have a great cookbook, which I never cook from because I live around the corner. After we’re stuffed full of ceviche, tostadas and queso flameado, we’d want to stay north because we’re already there. So…we’d head to Lala’s on Burnet Road and Justin Lane. This place is my favorite, and not always popular with some of my friends, but this is my imagination, so they are all SO excited to go! It’s Christmas 365 days a year. There’s plenty of legends about why, but my favorite is that Lala’s husband died on Christmas and she never redecorated. There’s also plenty of stories about old bar fights and maybe even a murder or two…it’s got major character.  My Dad told me (because he used to go there when he was a LOT younger) that it used to have sign out front that read “Lala’s: A place for the debonair.”  When you’re parking, look inside the barber shop because there’s an actual barbershop quartet that practices there sometimes. I’ve heard that they might take requests through the glass window.  But, don’t stay in the parking lot too long, because you’ll miss hearing one of the best juke boxes in town. Lots and lots of Sinatra and Patsy Cline. The scene is a mix of regulars, neighborhood folks and hipsters.  The people are friendly, and funny and it’s a great place to play pool, have a drink and get together with friends. And, they have rolling chairs, which is the marker of a debonair establishment in my book.  We won’t stay out too late, because we have a big day ahead of us on Saturday. What a great end to the work week!

Stay tuned for my perfect Saturday and Sunday...

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Give Like A Local.

by Mackenzie Martin
January 17, 2011

Recently, I’ve met a lot of folks who weren’t born in Austin but live here, and have great pride for our fair city. Every time I tell people that I was “born and raised” in Austin, people tell me how rare that is.  

hihowareyou_01_17_2011_04_15.jpg

But, I feel like every year many of my “native Austinite” buddies seem to migrate back home, after some time in other places. And, they seem to be glad to be back! Still, no one can argue that there are a lot of transplants. And, it’s been getting a lot of attention lately.  The Gawker (my source for all things Mad Men, Real Housewives Gossip and royal wedding updates) even noted that “Eveybody is moving to Austin!”. AM New York (my source for all things Fashion Week, Heidi Fleiss gossip and trendy restaraunts I can’t afford) also noted how New York is losing people to cheaper and equally hip cities, Austin among them. Even Yahoo says that "celebrities are coming"! Goodness!

Jennifer K. Orr recently wrote a post for the Help Attack blog, where she asked the question “What makes someone a local?” She talks about feeling connections to places she has lived, and how that influences the ways in which she chooses to give back. She defines being a local in the following way:

 “ -To engage with those around me (at work, at play, online, in the grocery store…).

- To support my local businesses.

- And, to actively contribute to my local community by supporting area nonprofit organizations (through volunteer work and/or financial contributions) whenever possible.”

And, I like it!

People who live here, (whether native or not), care deeply about this community. We are so lucky for that. People want to support the agencies and non-profits that make Austin a better place for us all to live. Slowly, but surely, people are beginning to understand that each and every one of us can make a difference in our own unique way. We are beginning to understand that these agencies need volunteers and they need money to do good work. We are beginning to understand that it is ok to ask where our donations are going, and what they are accomplishing. And, finally, we understand that when we find an issue that we are passionate about, getting involved helps the agency, but also makes us feel really good. Giving to agencies that serve our community is one of the best ways to build a strong connection with our city. 

So, when thinking about your own giving, be sure to make it personal. Think hard about the things that are important to you, and make a choice based on those things. It will tie you to this city like never before, while at the same time making Austin a better place for us all to live!

Picture: Daniel Johnston's "hi how are you" mural on the corner of 21st and Guadalupe

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Back In The Saddle

by Patsy Woods Martin
January 10, 2011

I’m back in the saddle, again.  Finally.  After a December filled with travel, family and holidays, it took about a week to catch up.  And on this grey January day, it’s business as usual at I Live Here, I Give Here.  Much has happened to comment on.  For starters, take a look at the poll just released by the Statesman http://www.statesman.com/news/texas-politics/voters-want-schools-and-health-care-spared-from-11731,

Texans said, “we want schools and healthcare spared from government cuts but don’t tax us more to fund them.”  So, assuming Austinites still believe the “measure of a good community is how well it takes care of those at risk of falling through the cracks”, the November election and this poll is great news for those of us holding ourselves accountable for encouraging an increase in charitable giving.  If government isn’t going to make sure all Central Texans have clean air and water, healthcare, access to the arts which fosters creativity or even education adequate to succeed, it’s up to the people. And that requires a personal investment in solutions to problems we care about.

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New Year's Resolutions

by Carisa Bommarito Muñoz
January 4, 2011

Wow, it's already 2011!  As come often with new starts, the new year brings resolutions.  We resolve to take better care of ourselves, loose weight, go to the gym more often, quit smoking, or to spend more time with family... All are fantastic sentiments, and I've personally made almost all of them at some point in my life.  Some of them have been easier than others to stick to.  This year, my resolution is simple: To be grateful for the gifts that I've been blessed with, and to be generous with those gifts.  I hope you resolve to do the same! Happy New Year to all of you!

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