What is Your Passion? Finding Your Philanthropy

What do I consider philanthropy?

For me, it is the budgeting of a percentage of my family’s financial resources, donated yearly to nonprofits that are pursuing missions we agree are important and are being done well. My personal time and volunteer efforts may come along with this financial support (statistically, many people do give more to nonprofits where they volunteer), but it is not guaranteed. My husband jokes that I work more hours than he does in his full-time job, but mine are much more variable!

You have limited resources and only you can decide what is the best way to use them!

I started thinking of myself as a philanthropist through my work with Impact Austin. This is a collective giving group that gathers 500 or more women together who donate $1250 ($1000 to grants and $250 to overhead) and cumulatively give out half a million dollars or so a year in high-impact, targeted grants to nonprofits in the Central Texas area. Sounds kind of magical, doesn’t it? Few of us are wealthy, some are budgeting each month to make their yearly commitment, but most of us are in the middle. We can write that check but it definitely takes away from other charitable things we could do.

Why do women choose Impact Austin? Continue reading

By Women For Women – Impact Austin


IA Banner 2I am involved with a wonderful collective giving group here in Central Texas, called Impact Austin.

We have just concluded our recruitment season for the coming grant year and I had coffees and lunches with many women over the last few months, telling them my Impact Austin story, and answering any questions they had about becoming a member.

Often, when we share our stories and knowledge with other people, we seem to understand them better ourselves, and that is exactly what happened for me. As I listened and talked, I realized the genius that had gone into designing Impact Austin and its purpose.

The way I expressed this was to say to my new friends, “Impact Austin was designed by women, for women…and so it takes into account the many roles we fill throughout our lives.”

Just think about our twenties, when school or perhaps the beginning of our career or family filled our time. Then our thirties, when some of us were deep into child rearing, PTA and family and others were equally deep into building a successful career. Our forties, when some of us who married and started families young were already looking at empty nests and coming grandchildren and others were just now getting our chicks off to college…and our career women were nearing the top of their career ladders. Then our fifties, sixties and seventies, when some of us found ourselves with time on our hands and others were totally overwhelmed with the combined needs of our families, caring for aging parents, and careers or retirement activities on top of all that. Women do it all, and yet somewhere, there exists the time to give back to our communities in myriad ways. Continue reading