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What We Do: Making a Local Impact

We believe Austin belongs to all of us and everyone deserves opportunity. As our region balances on an inflection point of growth and change, we are focusing our work and leadership on closing the opportunity gap through research, pooled resources and data-driven grantmaking.

Austin Community Foundation is a trusted local partner that employs this strategic approach:

We inform.

We commission research to understand the areas of greatest need and opportunity to close the opportunity gap in Central Texas.  We identify opportunity areas where together we can make a real difference. Examples of this strategy are:

Austin Area Funders - We convene Central Texas philanthropic foundations and funders to learn about our community's most pressing needs and emerging trends in philanthropy as well as to network with their peers. 

Understanding AustinThrough this collaboration we foster data-informed public dialogue, track progress on civic goals and report on needs and opportunities to inform philanthropic investment.

We invite. 

We are a place for convening conversations about the shared vision we have for Austin and Central Texas. We  bring together people, resources and ideas. Here are some examples of this strategy: 

Hispanic Impact Fund - We believe that when you support the economic security and advancement of Hispanic Central Texans, everyone benefits. The Hispanic Impact Fund leverages the assets, resilience and strength of our Latino community to invest in nonprofit and social enterprise solutions.

Women’s Fund of Central Texas - We believe that when women are economically secure, safe, and healthy, then families and communities are economically secure, safe, and healthy. The Women’s Fund employs a data-driven approach to grantmaking, impact investing, educational programming and leadership development.

Austin Leadership Fund - The Austin Leadership Fund supports our local change-making work focused on closing the opportunity gap in Central Texas. The Austin Leadership Fund supports our role as a gathering place for people who believe in our region's abundant resources, capacity and will to shape the future. 

We invest. 

Charitable solutions - We help donors simplify their giving and multiply their impact through charitable solutions and services. We also provide opportunities for donors to focus their impact, learning about and giving to the areas they care about most.

Community Grants - We believe that our greatest impact happens when we come together, pooling our resources.  We offer our fundholders the opportunity to learn about and give to local nonprofits working in the impact areas that they care about the most. Since 1977, we've granted more than $300 million in Central Texas, across the country and globally, mostly through our donor-directed funds. 

Impact Investment Fund - We are putting a greater portion of our assets to work doing social good in our community. We invest in Central Texas social entrepreneurship and problem-solving in areas of pressing need.

We are local.

We believe that we have the resources, capacity and will to shape Austin's future. Here are examples of ways we go beyond our basic strategies to foster and preserve local resources:

Bright Leaf Preserve – This 216-acre nature preserve in the center of Austin provides free guided hikes to Central Texas school children and families to teach earth sciences, preserve natural space for native species and provide sanctuary for all.

Fiscal Sponsorships - By offering this alternative to starting a nonprofit organization, we provide a cost effective way for individuals or coalitions to implement new programs and test new approaches for social change in our community. 

Highland Lakes Legacy Fund – This family of funds at the Foundation fosters giving in Marble Falls, Horseshoe Bay and surrounding communities.

Jewish Foundation of Austin & Central Texas – Guided by Jewish values and the individual interests of donors, this family of funds provides an opportunity for the Shalom Austin community members to make a lasting impact through philanthropy in the name of the Jewish community in Austin and around the world. 

What makes Austin the place we all love?

It's the result of deliberate generosity. Austin Community Foundation has helped community-minded people reach their philanthropic goals since 1977. Learn how we multiply generosity.

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