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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All Those Philanthropists, Doing All That Philanthropy

October 4, 2010
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Philanthropist. Just look at the word. Looks fancy. Just picture it… ball gowns, clinking cocktails, diamonds, furs, hobnobbing, chit-chatting, schmoozing, old money, family secrets, billowing cigars, bellowing laughter, big names on big buildings, more diamonds, private jets, chauffeurs, white haired men posing for pictures with oversized checks, golf tournaments and galas, men in tails, trophy wives, gold watches, scotch, butlers, big hair, firm handshakes, blue bloods, mansions, and crystal. I can see it now. All those philanthropists, doing all that philanthropy…

I asked a few friends what they thought of when they picture philanthropists. They were initially concerned why my image of philanthropists resembled a cross between 80’s TV saga, “Dallas” and the WB’s Manhattan prep school drama “Gossip Girl”. Good question. Great shows. However, upon further encouragement (threatening email, I have a deadline people!) I finally got some answers. I wasn’t so far off. Yes… so most people had a less dramatic version of what a philanthropist looked like. While my friends didn’t automatically think big Texas hair or Park Avenue cat fights, the central theme was the same.

A philanthropist is someone who has the resources to really make a difference. Big money. Name-on-a-building money. Money that would start literacy programs, build hospitals, cure diseases, build schools, hire scientists, build parks, cure babies, create jobs. Money that could…change the world? Not the kind of money hanging around in our checking accounts. Most of my friends did manage to squeeze in a little something about how they do give towards an employee giving program, belong to a Young Professional Organization or are involved lots of volunteer work. And therefore, are not without a soul. Good for you, guys. So why doesn’t this count?

It’s almost like this title of “philanthropist” is too overwhelming, it’s hard to live up to. It’s the kind of title that people wonder how you ever managed to get. You know those people, right? How do you ever become a “philanthropist”? A Gucci clad “it” girl with a past and a penchant for bad-boys? An alcoholic, former Miss Texas who remained in a loveless marriage with her unscrupulous oil tycoon husband only to father a son by his arch nemesis and ultimately be killed in a fiery car crash? Ok, so some are more appealing than others.

  We all like to get lost in fiction… to imagine ourselves in another life, with different circumstances. With those clothes! For many of us, the more ridiculous, the better. It’s make-believe, right? Now, I realize that I may be in the minority with my affection for stories of a modern day Park Avenue prep school or a Dallas ranch in the 80’s. Blame my Grandmother and my early exposure to her favorite TV shows. But, we all have one thing in common. We’re lucky. We live here! And we love it. Most of us are shocked to find out that Austin ranks 48th out of 50 in cities it’s size when it comes to charitable giving. What? Yes ma’am. And, you can bet your boots that it’s not because of Austin’s lack of big spenders and colorful characters. So, are we so scared of what it means to be a “philanthropist” that we are willing to just do nothing?The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. My idea of what it looks like to be a philanthropist is as bad as my taste in television. A philanthropist is simply someone who cares about a cause, and uses what they have to help. In some cases this may mean big parties, big dollars, big hair. But a philanthropist is also someone who gives what they can, when they can, and is proud to be able to support what they believe in. It is not important that you are dripping in diamonds to give. It is important that you find something that you believe in, and feel good about the contribution that you make. 

 Each month, I Live Here, I Give Here will be spotlighting an issue that effects people in our community. We invite you to attend the panel discussions, held on the fourth Monday of each month. These panels will include people who are experts on the issue. After the panel you are invited to “continue the conversation” at a different local bar or restaurant. It’s your opportunity to become your own kind of philanthropist. And to have a free drink. Wear your ball gown if you want to…but it is certainly not required. Get to know the issues, discover what moves you, and find out how you can help. Check the website for details or email me.

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