2023 has been an eventful year for Austin Community Foundation. Among a host of record-breaking firsts, we awarded $1.5 million to 53 Central Texas nonprofits through our three signature programs: The Black Fund, Hispanic Impact Fund, and Women’s Fund. We also funded more affordable housing projects and had our most successful year of Community Grants and scholarships to date.
As we reflect on our collective achievements, we also look ahead to a bright future. Austin in Common—a first-of-its-kind event focused on shaping Austin’s future, together—will be happening on April 30, 2024, at ACL Live Moody Theater. Plus, we’ll soon announce an exciting project to further accelerate housing affordability in our community.
Before we dive full steam ahead into the New Year, let’s celebrate all we accomplished together in 2023.
As this year comes to a close, so too did another successful community-led grants cycle—but not as we know it. In an effort to streamline the process for our applicants, this was the first year that nonprofits were offered the ability to apply to all three signature programs through a single grant application. What remains unchanged, however, is our commitment to transparency and equity throughout the grantmaking process. Approximately 175 community members participated in the grant selection process and thoughtfully vetted more than 255 applications. You can learn more and view a full list of our 2023 grant partners here.
In addition to a ground-breaking combined grants cycle, each of our signature programs celebrated their own significant milestones this year:
- In February, we hosted our inaugural The Black Fund Awards Show at the Paramount Theatre to recognize the first 21 Black-led and -serving nonprofits selected to receive $355,000 in unrestricted funding. For our joint grants cycle later in 2023, The Black Fund also debuted a fifth impact area: Arts, Culture & Preservation.
- In March, the Women’s Fund released a new status report: Women’s Issues are Community Issues. Developed in collaboration with RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service CONNECT Fellows program, the report sought to update critical data points tracked over the past decade, while shedding light on the impact of COVID-19 and the racial justice movement on the well-being of women and children in Central Texas.
- In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, held annually from mid-September to mid-October, we reflected on six years of creating impact through the Hispanic Impact Fund. Since its inception in 2017, the Hispanic Impact Fund has granted over $1.5 million to Latino-led and -serving organizations, hosted numerous community events, and released two key reports.
In addition to granting through our signature programs, we offer a grantmaking program for donor advised fundholders to provide direct support to local organizations addressing our community’s greatest needs. This year, our Community Grants program distributed more than $1.6 million to 106 grantees. Click here to learn more about what makes this program so unique.
Increasing affordable housing continues to be at the forefront of our work. To this end, ACF makes impact investments in the form of low-interest rate loans that serve to bolster the capacity of housing-focused organizations, enabling them to acquire land before it is lost to commercial developers. In 2023, we shared exciting updates on three of our recent investments: Cady Lofts, Project Transitions and Habitat for Humanity. Altogether, through our 2023 investments, we infused $4,425,000 into the creation of 569 homes for community members making <50% – 60% of the area median income. In 2024, we will continue to make strides for housing affordability in our community—so stay tuned!
Another way we support the community is through our scholarship program, which enables local students pursuing educational dreams to apply for more than 100 scholarships using one application. This year, thanks to the generosity of our fundholders and volunteer reviewers, we awarded 200 scholarships totaling $980,000—our largest amount to date.
GROWING OUR CAPACITY
As the scale of our work has grown, so has our team—which is why, this year, we moved across the hall into our new, larger office space. ACF continues to experience remarkable growth, and we extend our sincere gratitude for the unwavering support of our board members, donors, nonprofit partners, and everyone who makes our work possible. Together, we have achieved incredible milestones in 2023, and we are eager to welcome another year of creating positive and lasting change in the place we all love: Central Texas.
SUPPORT OUR WORK IN THE NEW YEAR
Austin Community Foundation is working toward a shared vision of a vibrant and equitable community for everyone—we need all of Austin to make that vision a reality. Let’s start by bringing our communities together at Austin in Common, an evening of connection, celebration and looking ahead to an Austin we all want.
We invite you to join us for Austin in Common on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, at ACL Live Moody Theater from 6 – 9 p.m. You can find more information and get your tickets at austinincommon.org.