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 Mystification Factor

by Lauren Frock
June 29, 2012

“Hipsters deserve to die. “

“Cat lovers deserve to die. “

“Crazy old aunts deserve to die. “

Phrases such as these were printed on signs by The Lung Cancer Alliance anonymously at the beginning of the campaign in order to bring awareness to their cause. Posters and billboards were seen around cities on bus stops and buildings with the shocking statements. People that saw the posters expressed that were offended and some exclaimed that they thought the ads were horrible.

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The website for the campaign displayed a countdown until the cause was revealed online. As many people had guessed from the statistics, the campaign was for lung cancer with the disclaimer that “No one deserves to die.” 

It’s safe to say this campaign created quite a buzz, but is this the right way to inform the public about a cause? 

What do you think?

see the full entry

Green Butterfly Effect

by Lauren Frock
June 27, 2012

In my post about summer goals a few weeks ago, I mentioned making some green lifestyle alterations. So far I’d say that has been pretty successful! I definitely feel like I’m holding up more of my end in being more environmentally conscious than I was before.

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Here are five changes I’ve made to my daily lifestyle in favor of maintaining a healthy environment, or at least minimizing the damage:

1. Reduce omissions: As many of my coworkers know, I’ve started taking the Metrorail. Several people have asked me about it and have regretted that decision after hearing me launched into my spiel about why it is fantastic. It has been a huge saver of everything and I recommend it for anyone that likes saving money on gas, parking fees downtown, and wasted time sitting in traffic. It usually adds about fifteen minutes to my daily commute, but if that’s subtracted from the time I’d spend in traffic it’s about even and it gives me time to read, study, or talk to people. All of these personal advantages orbit around the big advantage; public transportation is much more environmentally friendly than personal vehicles.

2. Reduce waste: I used to be really bad about purchasing bottled water. I drink a lot of water, so I tend to go through a 24-pack very quickly. Globally, 2.7 million tons of water bottle plastic is used annually.  That is a lot! I decided that in order to do my part, I should start carrying my own refillable bottle to work with me, and wherever I go, to reduce water bottle waste I contribute. Not to mention, many studies claim that filtered tap can have positive benefits for dental health.  If you aren’t especially fond of tap water straight from the kitchen sink, filtering tap water at home is a great alternative that tastes better and promotes eco-friendly water consumption. Brita’s Filter for Good  program is a great initiative aimed at reducing bottled water waste.

3. Become more energy conscious: Let’s face it. Texas is HOT. In a state where 100 degrees and higher is the norm, it’s tough to give up blasting the AC on the hottest summer days. I admit; I have never paid particular attention to conserving energy when it comes to monitoring my thermostat or being aware of the resources I consume during the hot summer months. I recently downloaded an app called ERCOT. It is great at informing me about ways to cut back with conservation tips via text. It’s very convenient and the energy suggestions offer green alternatives to help beat the heat.  

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4. Reduce light energy: Did you know that 19% of all energy produced is used for lighting? I have not been the best steward of this valuable resource, so recently I have been making several attempts to cut back on the amount of energy I consume for lighting purposes. In the office and during the day at home I always use natural light. Studies show that natural light “lifts spirits, makes spaces appear larger and lessens demands on electricity, an important factor in today’s energy – conscious world. Natural light also has been shown to reduce eyestrain, increase productivity and even decrease absenteeism in the workplace.” Natural light is overall proven to promote better health than the alternative.

Another step I’ve taken is being more diligent in turning off lights in unoccupied rooms. Lighting rooms that are not being used is not only potentially costly, but also very wasteful. Of the estimated 20% of energy produced used for lighting, approximately half of that is wasted lighting empty rooms or as heat produced by inefficient bulbs and lighting fixtures. This leads to my next initiative. I’ve started replacing my light bulbs as they burn out with CFL light bulbs. These are also known as the swirly ones that are now gaining popularity as people strive to live greener lifestyles. These bulbs reduce energy consumption by 75% without sacrificing quality. They are considerably more expensive than incandescent light bulbs, but they last a lot longer and help conserve energy.

5. Reduce entertainment product waste: The last green initiative I’ve started recently is reducing the amount of waste I produce for entertainment purposes. I used to be pretty bad about purchasing and subscribing to magazines and reading newspapers and disposing of them finished. I have started keeping up with news and publications more through the internet and mobile apps, which are more frequently updated and reduce waste. 28.5% of all recyclable waste is paper waste. Fortunately, recycling efforts have kicked up and in 2010, 72% (7 million tons) of paper waste was recovered. Another source of waste people often don’t think about is CD’s and DVD’s. Although CD’s and DVD’s can be recycled, it is extremely costly. The resouces need to recycle this material, which is class 7 recyclable plastic, is 300 cubic feet of natural gas, 2 cups of crude oil and 24 gallons of water Although is can be done, a greener alternative is to reduce the use of those discs at all. The music industry has mostly shifted to MP3’s over CD production, but downloading MP3’s and streaming movies online is a greener way to enjoy the same entertainment at a lower cost to the environment.

These are some of my first steps in being nicer to our planet. I plan on continuing to research ways to cut back and conserve natural researches and limit my carbon footprint on the environment.

For more ideas on conservation around the home, check out www.futurefriendly.com

see the full entry

According to a government estimate, “the average American spends 90% of his or her life indoors, and as we get older we become even more inclined not to venture out.” 

Did you know that being outside could have positive benefits to your health? Being outside can raise vitamin D levels, increase exercise, improve concentration and healing, and inspire happiness.  Vitamin D has immunity increasing benefits and helps prevent anything from depression to strokes.

As I mentioned in my blog post last week, I have some big goals I want to reach by the end of the summer. One of them was to get outside more because it’s good for the body, mind, and soul, and just because Austin feels so great in the summer time. This weekend I focused on tackling that goal and had a great time in the process. It was an amazing weekend filled with sunsets, fireflies, and my dog, Molly, that I might have a minor obsession with.

The first thing I did was enjoy an evening out on South Congress. I had dinner out at the food trucks and afterwards, checked out the Austin Pets Alive! Trailer. (Is this not the cutest sleeping puppies picture you’ve ever seen?! )

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After getting my fix of cute puppies, and fantastic food I enjoyed some live music and arts and crafts in tents across from the food trailers. It was a great evening!

The next night I went for a nice little kayak trip and had a picnic with my family and Molly. Luckily not too many bugs were out, which is the best thing about early summer. It was very peaceful and exactly what I needed after a hectic week.

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Little Hands, Big Heart

by Lauren Frock
June 12, 2012

So far I’m really enjoying my adventures as the intern for I Live Here I Give Here. I will admit, though, that this wasn’t always the plan for this summer. In late February I was accepted onto a team that would be going on a trip to Bologna, Italy, to do college ministry. I was looking forward to a really amazing experience and had begun the fundraising process to raise the hefty sum that would cover all expenses for the six-week trip.

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Unfortunately, I had a minor injury that ultimately ended in a change of plans. After talking in great length with my surgeon and the project coordinator, we decided it would be better to resign from the project. I was pretty disappointed about the whole situation, but fortunate enough to come across the opportunity for this internship. Although I ended up not raising the rest of the funds to reach my original goal, the brief experience I had with support raising was profoundly eye opening.

I held a presentation to raise awareness of the trip and to form partnerships. I had slides prepared and offered a brief summary of the project, discussing the objectives the team would be striving for.  I even made a letter that I mailed out to friends and family. Shortly after I reached the conclusion that I would not be able to go on the trip and released the news to everyone that had been sponsoring me, I heard about a little girl named Lexy, who has a huge heart for a ten-year-old.

 Lexy saw the presentation and was so inspired to help with funding the trip, but had nothing to donate. She went home and made necklaces to sell at school and around her neighborhood. When I heard of her efforts I was so touched. I had received many checks from donors with much bigger numbers on them than the amount that Lexy had raised, but she had given of herself, which is something truly priceless. She had nothing, yet was so inspired to give that she combined her creativity and passion to help support the cause.

I went home and meditated on Lexy’s good deed for hours. How many times had I settled for the three words, “I have nothing”, rather than getting up and doing something about it?

An Arab Proverb says, “If you have much, give of your wealth; If you have little, give of your heart.” Lexy’s donation efforts were the perfect example of this and prove a very remarkable point; it doesn’t take a millionaire, a person of great authority, or even an elementary school education to make a difference. In the grand scheme of things, the sum that Lexy raised could not, alone, get me to Italy. However, she gave something much greater than that. Her actions gave me the wake up call I needed to see that my heart and mind were not in the right place when it came to understanding what it meant to truly give.

When was the last time you gave from your heart? 

see the full entry

Summer Loving: 10 Summer Goals

by Lauren Frock
June 7, 2012

Summer has finally come! Blankets and picnic baskets  dotting the hillside right before a Zilker Park musical, the  numbing cold water of Barton Springs pool after a relaxing  walk in the park, swirling patterns of furry bats across the  dusky painted sky, and the sweet Texas sunshine are a few  of the things I love about summer. Austin is quite a place to  be at this time of year!

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Although I’m thrilled to spend time with friends and catch some rays, do some shopping downtown, and stock up on mint chocolate chip ice cream, I have a list of goals I’m going to tackle this summer. Being around the I Live Here I Give Here team has really inspired me to be more involved in the community and give back more than just what is comfortable. Some of my goals even involve just getting more educated on issues and organizations in the community, because without being educated about what needs to change, it’s hard to move forward to advocate those changes and support a cause.  Although I’d love to get out there and save the world just as much as the next girl, I’m going to start small. In the end, it really is the little things that make all the difference, isn’t it?

Here are my goals:

1. Make five green lifestyle alterations. As much as I would like to say I went green when it was cool, I’m not convinced that I have. This summer I want to be more environmentally conscious and show our planet some love, because we only have one. (For now. Maybe one day we’ll have Mars too.)

2. Take the time to learn about a local nonprofit organization in depth. There are so many nonprofit organizations in Austin that I’ve heard of but haven’t had up close and personal experiences with. This summer I plan to choose an organization that I don’t know much about, learn more, and maybe even find ways to help out. 

3. Be more grateful. Let’s face it; for the amount of things we have to be thankful for, we often don’t show it on days that don’t involve turkey and corn on the cob. This summer I want to show more gratitude and be more aware of all the things I have to be thankful for.

4. Read at least three books each month of summer. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s mapped out a long list of poolside reading to do this summer. I hope to choose books that will help me understand more about philanthropy and get more inspired.

5. Do something nice for someone else that’s out of my comfort zone. It’s easy to shift into cruise control with work, school, and family obligations. I want to get out of that rut and do something nice for someone else that I wouldn’t normally do.

 6. Take part in a thrift store challenge. Tons of waste is accumulated yearly because of the clothing industry, and many thrift stores are built around the goal of helping the community. That sounds like a win-win. This summer I want to take part in some form of thrift store challenge to support the environment, the community, and maybe update my wardrobe a little bit.

 7. Support a local business that advocates a good cause. There are so many Austin businesses that support the community and its general wellbeing. I want to support those companies and get more involved.

8. Find three ways to donate. Out of the millions of ways there are to give back, I want to take part in at least three this summer.

9. Do one nice thing for each generation in the community. I think this goal will be a creative challenge, but I’m looking forward to all the possible outcomes that could come from trying this out.

10. Spend more time outdoors. With 40 hours of work each week and two classes for summer school, I spend a lot of time indoors. This summer I want to catch some extra Vitamin D and spend more time in the great outdoors.

I’m really excited about all of the things that might come from following through with these goals and I love a good challenge! I will be blogging about each of these goals throughout the next couple of months, so stay tuned, and hopefully we will learn a lot in the process.

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Meet Lauren!

by Lauren Frock
June 5, 2012

It has been about two weeks since I started my Internship with I Live Here I Give Here. It has been an amazing (and busy) two weeks and I’m so excited about all we will accomplish in the three months I will be here. I’m really thankful for the great group of women on the team at I Live Here I Give Here that have guided me along through the past few weeks, doing everything from working through projects assigned with me to showing me where the office kitchen is.

The thing I love the most about working with this fantastic organization is all of the nonprofit organizations I get to work with and help support and just the overall love of philanthropy I see in these women. I have a passion for serving the community and my volunteering experiences have shaped my ideas of success and what I want to do for a living someday, even when I didn’t think they had the potential to.

l_gs_photo_001_06_05_2012_03_18.jpgThe first experiences I had with volunteering were with the Girl Scouts in the Round Rock area and the Lifesavers. I joined at the young age of six and began learning the values of serving the community. (I have included a picture of myself as a Brownie for your own personal amusement.)The Lifesavers was a program a few of my friends and I came up with when I was nine years old to address the problem of bullying at my Elementary school. We would anonymously find people that were consistently picked on by other students, write them a letter telling them that they are special and cared for, tape a lifesaver candy on the note, and hide it in their cubby. We were always pleased to see the student find the letter and read it with a smile.

In middle school I began participating in National Junior Honor Society and upgraded to the National Honor Society in high school. Although I hated to admit it at the time, I was still a Girl Scout in high school, with a mother who was the Girl Scout Leader who simply wouldn’t let me quit! In case you were wondering, yes; it's nearly impossible to sell those cookies when you aren't cute anymore! I’m glad she didn’t let me quit, though, because earning my Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive, was quite an experience. I got the opportunity to decorate a room at Texas Baptist Children’s Home. It was so much fun to interview the girls to find out their favorite colors and styles, plan the color scheme, and shop for all the fabrics, paint, and wall decorations. I will never forget the looks on their faces when the two girls walked into their new room, beaming. I even returned to the cottage once a week until I graduated to teach the girls how to play the piano, since they had expressed to me that they were dying to learn. This experience, which took place over my senior year of high school, was the first time I truly realized that I wanted to make a difference and how powerful the feeling is after the fact. It was always such a great moment when someone else was benefited as a result of my work, even if I didn’t always have the best attitude about it.

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