Superscripts: I Live Here I Give Here

Welcome to Superscripts, a bi-weekly summary column of past episodes of Everyday Superhumans. Each entry will cover the highlights of each episode and transcribe them into bite sized bits of superhuman inspiration for you to have on hand.

I Live Here I Give Here is the nonprofit’s nonprofit. Since 2007 I Live here I Give here has been the Austinite’s resource for all Austin based charities. Their website serves as a directory for every single charity in Austin, linking people to the causes they care about the most, and they work hard to ensure every qualified nonprofit on their list gets the funding they need to fulfill their mission. You might know them for their work behind Amplify Austin, the largest single day of giving in austin.

Charlie and Kyle chat with Catherine Lucchesi, Director of Communications and Programming, and Christine Herlin, Manager of Nonprofit & Customer Relations. In this episode, we talk about Austin’s 24 hour day of giving: Amplify Austin, where Texas ranks in volunteering nationwide, and helpful tips on thanking your donors.

Click here to listen to the full length episode.

How did I Live Here I Give Here get started?
Ten years ago their founder, Patsy Woods Martin, realized that Austin was not giving at the same rate as other cities. As a passionate philanthropist she wanted to change the giving culture of Austin. Her first move was to include a bunch of community leaders to figure out what could solve the problem and then I Live Here I Give Here was created. For the first 10 years, the organization was mainly just a marketing campaign, focusing on getting young people to give back in the Austin area. What happened next was the creation of Amplify Austin!

How did you two get involved?
Catherine Lucchesi: She has been working at I Live Here I Give Here for 3 years. She came from working at an Art museum, but she wanted to get involved in something that was going to touch everyone.
Christine Herlin: She started at the Big Give in San Antonio (their giving day) as an intern while studying history at Trinity University. When she moved to Austin her passion carried over and that was when she decided to join I Live Here I Give Here.

How big is the team at I Live Here I Give Here?
They are a team of 7 people. This year they they raised over $10 million for Amplify Austin.

What is Amplify Austin?
It’s the local day of giving in the Austin community. It’s a call to action to get online and give, and it happened on March 1st at 6 P.M. through March 2nd at 6 P.M. The goal was $10 million this year for around 700 organizations. To provide additional incentives I Live Here I Give Here offers prizes to organizations encourage their members to donate as a team.

What are the prizes for Amplify Austin day?
They do hourly prizes for the nonprofits. It’s a $1,000 for 2 organizations for the most donors or the most dollars. They award a large organization and a small organization every hour as well. There are also some $5,000 grand prizes!

How many people visit the Amplify Austin site on the big day?
Last year they had around 65,000 individual donors on that day, totalling $9.8 million. That’s $150 per donor!

What’s the benefit of donating local as opposed to donating international?
They’re definitely not anti-international organizations (there’s international organizations on the Amplify Austin site), but they find it exciting that when you donate locally you can see the direct impact you made on your community. Giving back to your community shows love and support to your fellow neighbors.

How does Texas compare to other states in terms of volunteering?
In Austin, 27% of people volunteer while the national average is below that at 25%.

If I ran a nonprofit in Austin, how would I get my mission on the Amplify Austin list?
You have to become an I Live Here I Give Here member. Their membership is far more than just Amplify Austin, it allows people to see your nonprofit on an entirely different scale. There are certain benchmarks that nonprofits must hit to be included so that donors know that they are giving to a secure business. You can read more on becoming a member charity here.