Amplify Austin Aims to Raise $12 Million
Annual day of giving benefits 750 Central Texas nonprofits
By Lauren Girgis,
7:00AM, Tue. Mar. 3, 2020
The eighth annual Amplify Austin Day aims to raise $12 million for Austin nonprofits, encouraging Austin residents to give back locally by donating online.
Hosted by I Live Here I Give Here, Amplify Austin fundraises for about 750 nonprofit organizations during a 24-hour period, kicking off Thursday, March 5, at 6pm. I Live Here I Give Here, whose mission is to make Austin the most generous city in America, has raised more than $57 million for Central Texas nonprofits over the past seven years. Last year, Amplify Austin raised $11.2 million.
Early donating began two weeks ago at AmplifyATX.org. The donations made early will be added to the nonprofits' leaderboards on the 5th and 6th. Users can search for organizations or browse categories and read mission statements to choose nonprofits to donate toward.
By partnering with foundations and businesses, Amplify Austin is able to match funds donated by individuals. For example, when donors are checking out, they can put in #LoveTitos and Tito's Handmade Vodka will add another $5 to the donation up to $10,000 total, explained I Live Here I Give Here Executive Director Courtney Manuel. "St. David's Foundation is our largest funder, and they give $1 million guaranteed to their St. David's grantees," Manuel said. "Depending on how much those charities raise, they get a portion of the St. David's dollars."
One nonprofit participating in Amplify Austin Day is Water to Thrive, which connects donors to nongovernmental organizations in East Africa to build water wells in the region. Events, Outreach, and Communications Coordinator Madison Magiera said Water to Thrive made about $5,000 through Amplify Austin last year. This year, they're fundraising to cover operational costs. "By I Live Here, I Give Here promoting this big day of giving ... we get more visibility to our mission," said Magiera. "We encourage our staff to even donate to other organizations, and it's a great way to learn about all the good that's happening in our community."
Peter Helf, executive director of Austin Chamber Music Center, said they usually raise about $10,000 through Amplify Austin. "Amplify Austin is really good for us to reach new donors," Helf said. "I don't use it as a way for our regular donors to make their donations, but it's kind of a good way to participate in a community-wide day of philanthropy and get our name out there among people that may not have ever heard of us or know what we do." Helf said the money goes toward the Center's free programs, such as the in-school coaching program which needs funds to pay instructors and faculty.
"We have data that shows that when somebody comes to the Amplify Austin site to visit and give to one charity, they stay on our site and explore additional charities and ended up giving on average to two," Manuel said, adding that it's also a way for organizations to grow their donor base since people stay on the site.
Amplify Austin "is a true demonstration of what it means when the community comes together collectively and really supports this generosity movement that I Live Here, I Give Here is all about," Manuel said. "These small gifts of $1 to $5 to $20 together on that day make a tremendous transformational impact on Central Texas."