Kick Start Your Heart

Amplify Austin seeks to boost charitable giving

Kick Start Your Heart

With charity functions scheduled every weekend, hybrids plastered with bumper stickers, and every available bulletin board covered in a bricolage of appeals; one might think that Austin nonprofits are rolling in dough.

After all, this is a community obsessed with all things local -- breathing the mantra of "community" more than "om." If you can't part with your hard-earned greenbacks, the thinking goes, your neighbor is probably making up the difference. Or at least they'll do their best to make you think they are.

I Live Here, I Give Here's Amplify Austin event is hoping its first ever "giving festival" will be paved with more than good intentions. The 24-hour event aspires to raise $1 million in donations for more than 300 participating charities. Amplify sponsors University Federal Credit Union and the Austin Community Foundation are adding $160,000 in matching funds to sweeten the pot, and hourly prizes will be given to top fundraisers. And since no telethon is complete without a few musical performances, random donors will be selected to receive in-person serenades from area musicians.

Recently central Texas charities have taken a few gut punches. In July of last year, United Way for Greater Austin cut $1.2 million in donations to area non-profits. State budgetary cuts, including to HIV/AIDS services and women's health programs, have left many organizations scrambling. Amplify is hoping that the low entry-point for donations and competitive leader boards will help make up the difference.

Amplify Austin is accepting donations 7pm Monday, March 4, 2013 through 7pm Tuesday, March 5, 2013. A list of participating non-profits can be found here.

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