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Ready for Austin’s Changing Needs

Only two buildings lit Austin's night sky--the state capitol and the UT tower. Willie Nelson played at the Armadillo World Headquarters and the city was led by "hippie mayor" Jeff Friedman whose rally cry was "no growth." It was 1977, when Lloyd Lochridge, a prominent Austin attorney, helped create the Austin Community Foundation.

A native Austinite with degrees from Princeton and Harvard, Lochridge knew the power of a community-based approach to giving. Earlier in his career, Lloyd and his wife Frances lived in Mission, Texas, where they were touched by the needs in the border town and supported the local "community chest." Returning to Austin, Lochridge thought that many people giving as one could have a real impact on problems, while also consolidating an overwhelming number of requests individual donors received from worthy causes.

The fund Frances and Lloyd Lochridge began with their savings nearly 40 years ago has given back to the community ever since, making a quiet mark on nearly every aspect of the city--the arts, basic needs, education, the environment, and care for the elderly and for animals. As an unrestricted fund, the Lochridge Fund is a community-wide resource with grant decisions made entirely by the Foundation's Board of Governors.

"People have their pet charities," Lochridge says, "but there have got to be some causes that are worthwhile that may not occur to them."

Indeed, given Austin's remarkable growth and changes, few could have predicted the city's current pressing problems: transportation, affordable housing, education, dramatically shifting demographics, and the environment. 

"I leave it to the Austin Community Foundation to investigate and make decisions," Lochridge says with confidence. Having volunteered on the Board for many years, Lochridge knows how conscientious and thoughtful the Foundation's staff and board members are with the investments they make in our community each year.

"Without the Austin Community Foundation, there wouldn't be as much money going into these good causes," Lochridge explains. "They find donors and things that need attention in this community."