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Carisa Bommarito Muñoz — Nonprofit, Charity, Philanthropy, & Giving Blog Authors — Austin, Texas — ILH,IGH
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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Let's Talk Admin Fees

by Carisa Bommarito Muñoz
January 6, 2012

For my final blog post, I thought I'd go ahead and tackle a tricky subject.  In the fundraising world there's a bit of contention around the subject of administrative fees. On one hand, with the best of intentions, donors often earmark their money to go directly to the programs that serve clients, and on the other hand, fundraisers know that those fees are essential to keeping the wheels turning and clients served.

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Dancing With The Stars

by Carisa Bommarito Muñoz
December 6, 2011

In case you hadn't already heard... our very own Patsy Woods Martin was quite the shining star on Sunday night!  She competed as a star dancer in Dancing with the Stars Austin, an amazing fun-draiser for the Center for Child Protection.  She danced the cha-cha beautifully, as we all cheered her and her professional partner on from the sidelines and they received all 10's from the judges!  (Okay, so did all of the other dancers, but that just meant that it was up to the audience to decide the winner in the end.)  Unfortunately, she wasn't the evening's final winner, but wow, did she ever give it her all!  And through the experience, she was able to contribute to what ended up being an amazing event.  

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Thirty Days Of Thankful

by Carisa Bommarito Muñoz
November 4, 2011

Lately, I’ve been noticing my facebook friends posting under the heading, “thirty days of thankful.” If you haven't seen this phenomenon yet, you're sure to see it soon. The premise is simple: for the thirty days of November, you post something each day that you're thankful for in your life. These can run the gamut from being thankful for one's spouse to being thankful for the BLT you just had for lunch. It's a cute and nice way to focus on those blessings in life that we're thankful for, and, in my opinion, an excellent way to gear up for the holiday giving season.  Somehow, thinking about all the things that you have makes you think of the things that others "have not."  

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Steve Jobs: Innovator. Visionary. Philanthropist?

by Carisa Bommarito Muñoz
October 7, 2011

This week, the world lost one of the most influential people of our lifetime. Steve Jobs changed the way we live, and ironically, many of us learned the news of his death on a device that he conceptualized. Mr. Jobs had a brilliant mind that thought in a different way than most people’s - he was able to marry technology with art and function with fun. He was universally admired and respected and I can't think of another CEO whose death would prompt such an outpouring of public grief and support.  

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Auction Madness!

by Carisa Bommarito Muñoz
September 9, 2011

Full disclosure: I have a love/hate relationship with silent auctions. I’ve headed up 5 auctions in my Non-Profit career, and anyone who has ever organized one knows what I mean. They require a ton of hard work and impeccable organization skills, but in the end, it's worth every minute invested. There are the exciting moments that come along while we're gathering unique and exciting items, there's the high you get when you make a huge "ask" and have it come through, and there's always the creative part when we finally get to work on the table displays. And then there is the most amazing moment when you realize that all of your hard work over the last 6 months has come together to raise a ton of money for your cause! That is, hands down, the best part. And it makes all the tough logistical stuff worth it.

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Who's That At The Door?

by Carisa Bommarito Muñoz
August 12, 2011

If someone knocks your door and asks for donations to Meals on Wheels, shut the door and call the police. Lately in the news, there have been several stories of scammers going door to door in Williamson county claiming to be asking for donations for the popular charity. Let's be clear here - the charity does not (ever, ever, ever) go door to door asking for donations. Whoever is at the door is an imposter with ulterior motives. One elderly lady even reported that the man at her door requested to gain entry to her house. Gratefully she declined and sent him on his way. 

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Help Us Give Away Money!

by Carisa Bommarito Muñoz
July 14, 2011

I cannot believe a year has gone by. Voting is open for the Big Give -- already! As events go, the Big Give is... well... BIG. And the work we put in behind the scenes is no different. From the moment we close the books on one year's celebration, we start planning the next. We grow from year to year and strive to make it bigger and better. This year, I have to say, we've outdone ourselves. Instead of a single prize of $10,000, we're offering both the Whole Foods BIG prize ($10,000 for agencies with a budget over $500,000) as well as the Heritage Title little prize of $5,000 for those agencies who have a budget under $500,000. We get to spread even more love amongst two fabulous Partners this year! The coolest part about giving away these grants, is that in order to spread the love, we're going to need YOUR HELP.

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New Beginnings

by Carisa Bommarito Muñoz
June 13, 2011

It's the beginning of a new era here at I Live Here, I Give Here as we bid farewell to our friend and co-worker, Mackenzie Martin.  She has been an asset that we could count on since our humble beginnings.  She's been a fabulous co-worker, a joy to work with every day, and a great friend to me.  We wish her nothing but the best as she moves to Fort Worth and starts the next chapter in her life. As with all things, all ends bring new beginnings.  We welcome Maddy Moffet as our new Director of Community Education and Special Events. I'm very excited to work with this fresh, eager young woman.  She will take on the BIG Give! See Jane Give, and Give Back Jack with a fresh perspective and make them her own.  Welcome to the team, Maddy!

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Networking & Knowledge

by Carisa Bommarito Muñoz
May 20, 2011

Last night I Live Here, I Give Here hosted the coolest event.  Our partner agencies have been asking for this event for over a year now, and it finally came together.  Beautifully, I might add. The event was a meeting of the minds – Non-Profit executive directors from across the board.  We had folks who were heads of the biggest and most successful groups sitting right next to one-man/woman- shops.  The mixing and mingling alone was very cool to watch.  To up the ante, we set aside a portion of the evening to make sure everyone got to learn something.  We asked Judge Scott McCown of the Center for Public Policy Priorities to speak on the current state of public funding.  While, to be quite honest, the take-away was bleak, if there is a silver lining, it's that knowledge is power.  Next, Mark McKinnon, “…political advisor in the United States, the President of Maverick Media, and the Vice-Chairman of Public Strategies, Inc., a business advisory firm located in Austin, Texas. He has worked for causes, companies and candidates, including former President George W. Bush, 2008 Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain, late former Governor Ann Richards, Congressman Charlie Wilson, Lance Armstrong and Bono.” took the stage.  He led an incredibly engaging presentation on messaging.  Even the most seasoned veterans in the group said that this was the kind of presentation that they’d pay for.  All in all, the response from the group was fantastic.  It was even suggested to hold these events quarterly!  While that frequency may not be exactly feasible, it’s so rewarding to have such wonderful feedback from an event, and we will definitely start thinking about the next one soon!

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Catch And Release

by Carisa Bommarito Muñoz
April 29, 2011

Have you heard about Warren Buffet and Bill Gate’s Giving Pledge program for the wealthiest among us?  According to their website, “The Giving Pledge is an effort to invite the wealthiest individuals and families in America to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.” No, this is not a brand new program, but I think it is amazing and truly deserves to be highlighted in the media as much as possible.   Clicking through, you see names like Michael Bloomberg, George Lucas, Ted Turner and Mark Zuckerberg.  All in all, there are 70 (extremely) high-profile names on the list.  Very impressive. I decided to write about it today, because when I searched for philanthropy in the news, I learned that 10 more billionaires have recently joined the ranks.  Which, of course, led me to a whole lot of googling.  I learned a lot about Warren Buffett in my online adventures.  Along with all of his savant-like skills in business and investing, I found this particular piece pertaining to his philanthropy to be especially interesting:  His children will not inherit a significant proportion of his wealth. These actions are consistent with statements he has made in the past indicating his opposition to the transfer of great fortunes from one generation to the next. Buffett once commented, "I want to give my kids just enough so that they would feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing". How wise of him to set his children and grandchildren up for success, but not do everything for them.   We may not all be million/billionaires, but the same principle can be applied to our own lives: you can’t take it with you, so why not donate it – kind of a catch and release, only with dollars?

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