Impact Austin and g3 Award $173,000 to Five Grant Recipients for their
Spring 2023 Giving Cycle
“Impact Austin’s original tagline, ‘Ordinary Women…Extraordinary Impact,’ still rings true today,” said Demetria George Caston, executive director at Impact Austin. “In addition to the $8.4 million given and 94 important organizations served over the past 20 years, our grantmaking program continues to educate Impact Austin’s members – both through the grant review process and engagement with the nonprofit community – to create empowered, informed and effective philanthropists whose personal impact will ripple throughout community for years to come.”
Impact Austin combines donations from members and gives multiple high impact grants each year to local, worthy causes selected by its members. In 2003, the seed for the women’s philanthropy group was planted when founder Rebecca Powers read about a group of women in Cincinnati, Ohio, who pooled their individual $1,000 donations and gave $123,000 to a dental clinic for the homeless. Since then, nearly 3,000 women philanthropists have given $8.43 million through member donations to nonprofit organizations and collaboratives in Central Texas through Impact Austin and g3, including 117 grants serving 94 organizations. Many of Impact Austin’s members become directly involved with the nonprofits they were exposed to through membership, and some have gone on to start other giving circles, extending the organization’s reach in Central Texas and beyond.
“In twenty years of collective giving, the women of Impact Austin have strengthened the fabric of our community,” added Jennifer Evans, executive director at Austin Creative Reuse, a 2023 Education Grant recipient.
Impact Austin and g3’s Spring 2023 grant recipients:
Magdalene House of Austin
$65,900 Community Grant
Magdalene House of Austin (MHA) is a cost-free, survivor-led therapeutic community providing food, shelter, group and individual therapy, education and vocational training, employment assistance, and other services for up to two years for adult women survivors of sex trafficking. As the only long-term survivor-led residential program available in Central Texas for adult survivors of sex trafficking, MHA’s mission is to prevent women who have been trafficked from ever being exploited or sold again.
“We are a survivor-led organization that truly understands what these women endured,” said Toni McKinley, executive director at Magdalene House of Austin. “We turn away, on average, 17 women a month. We must increase our capacity so more women can heal from this devastating atrocity.”
With the Impact Austin grant, MHA will double the capacity of the program, increase staffing by 50% with an additional licensed social worker, and purchase and use evidence-based, trauma-informed materials specific to helping heal trafficking trauma.
$16,400 Community Grant
Established in 2008, Urban Roots works with youth leaders to grow fresh food and to build a community dedicated to achieving food equity. The only farm-based youth leadership organization in Austin, Urban Roots grows food for those experiencing hunger and local communities impacted by food inequity and food deserts. Urban Roots provides paid internships and fellowships to 75 young people each year, equipping Austin youth with the knowledge and skills to contribute to lasting food systems change. Together they work with 1,000+ community volunteers to harvest up to 30,000 pounds of vegetables and donate at least 75% of the harvest.
The grant is unrestricted and awarded in support of the mission and programs of Urban Roots.
Austin Creative Reuse (ACR)
$65,900 Education Grant
Austin Creative Reuse (ACR) was established in 2009 as Austin’s first creative reuse center collecting, processing, and re-selling new and used creative materials donated from individuals and businesses. Now the largest creative reuse organization in Texas and one of the largest in the Country, ACR has kept more than 1.9 million pounds of usable materials out of landfills.
Research shows that 94% of public school teachers pay for school supplies out of their own pockets. With the Impact Austin grant, ACR will launch Materials Mobile, a cargo van retrofitted as a mobile pop-up where busy K-12 educators will “shop” for new and gently used classroom supplies at little to no cost – bringing high quality, reuse supplies directly to them. “The Materials Mobile would be the first project of its kind in Central Texas,” said Jennifer Evans, executive director at ACR. “Impact Austin is helping us to fill in the last piece of the puzzle – the vehicle – which will allow us to directly connect the materials with the classrooms.”
ACR’s first-year goal is to complete a minimum of 85 visits to Central Texas schools, reaching 850+ educators, with at least 65% of the school visits made to economically disadvantaged schools. ACR estimates a first-year total of $144,000 in savings for educators, schools and families, and could potentially offset nearly $1.5 million in spending by educators and families over ten years.
$16,400 Education Grant
Seedling is an Austin-based nonprofit dedicated to mitigating the impact of parental incarceration on Central Texas children through school-based mentoring. Over 8,000 Central Texas children are impacted by incarcerated parents. Seedling focuses on starting relationships in elementary to middle school and supporting relationships through high school and beyond, including through scholarships for students who remain in the program. The Seedling Mentor Program has served over 2,700 students on 100+ campuses in 17 independent and charter districts in Austin and Central Texas.
The grant is unrestricted and awarded in support of the mission and programs of Seedling.
Wonders and Worries
$8,400 g3 Grant
Founded in 2001, Wonders and Worries provides free, professional support for children and teenagers through a parent’s serious illness, so that they can reach their full potential. Through individual and group therapy sessions, kids and teens learn about illness and build coping and communication skills. The only comprehensive programming of its kind in the US, Wonders and Worries has supported more than 14,000 children and teens dealing with a serious illness or injury in their families.
Fall 2023 Heath & Well-Being and Equity Grant Applications
A virtual nonprofit workshop to assist with online training for the fall 2023 giving cycle will be held June 30. Applications for Impact Austin’s Health & Well-Being Grant and Equity Grant will open on July 7 and close on August 1 at 5 p.m. CDT. On November 14, the grant awards will be announced and presented to the new Community Partners at Impact Austin’s annual Town Hall meeting. For more information about upcoming grant opportunities, visit https://www.impactaustin.org/grantmaking.
Impact Austin welcomes new members year-round, and identifying as a woman is the only requirement. Each member contributes $1,250 through an annual payment, monthly payments or a scholarship to fund the organization’s grants and operations. Impact Austin Community Partners are also invited to join at no cost. Members can get involved by voting on grants, joining a committee, participating in the review process, attending social events, learning philanthropy education and more. For more information, visit https://www.impactaustin.org/membership.
About Impact Austin
Founded in 2003, Impact Austin is a women’s collective giving organization funding nonprofits in Central Texas that provide services in Bastrop, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties. Impact Austin’s mission is to cultivate the collective wisdom and strength of women to transform themselves and their communities through philanthropy. Girls Giving Grants (g3), Impact Austin’s youth initiative, creates learning and leadership opportunities for girls in grades 8-12. Over the past 20 years, more than 2,931 local women philanthropists from Impact Austin and g3 have given $8.43 million to nonprofit organizations and collaboratives in Central Texas, including 117 grants serving 94 organizations. For more information, visit www.impactaustin.org.
Cindy Young Vanhoutte