The Austin-based Andy Roddick Foundation, which provides after-school and summer learning programs for children, used to depend on its annual gala for its go-to fundraising. But since 2014, it has embraced a new way to reach donors — raising thousands of dollars in just a 24-hour period.
“You can only fit so many people into a gala,” said Heather Arnos, the foundation’s development manager. “With Amplify Austin, there are no room limits.”
Amplify Austin, the online fundraising campaign produced by I Live Here I Give Here, is aiming to raise $11 million in 24 hours for more than 700 nonprofits this year.
For the Andy Roddick Foundation, participating in the city’s annual day of giving has been a game-changer for how the foundation approaches raising funds and working with volunteers, Arnos said. Last year, the $45,000 that poured in during the foundation’s Amplify Austin campaign covered the cost for 30 children to attend an six-week, all-day summer learning program with meals and snacks included.
Since Amplify Austin’s launch in 2013, the campaign has aimed to boost the city’s charitable giving. Austin has the highest number of nonprofits per person than any other Texas metro area, its reputation for charitable giving isn’t as high. Austin currently ranks 33rd among the nation’s most generous cities, while Dallas ranks fourth and Houston fifth, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Austin’s rapid growth should have a bigger role in the city’s charitable giving.
With 150 people moving to Austin every day, people have to take time to learn about the needs of the community.
While new residents represent potential new donors, it might take longer for smaller nonprofits without big budgets for marketing to reach newcomers — a problem that Amplify Austin seeks to tackle as well.
Amplify Austin also has a responsibility to teach how to give back, 40 percent of Amplify Austin donors last year were first-time givers.
745: Nonprofits participating in Amplify Austin’s 2019 fundraising campaign.
$11 million: Amplify Austin’s 2019 fundraising goal.
565: Pets saved by participating nonprofits after last year’s campaign.
80: High school seniors who received intensive graduation coaching.
235: New trees planted along the Lady Bird Lake hike-and-bike trail.
Amplify Austin’s efforts on raising awareness as well as funds has appealed to many nonprofits. Nonprofit involvement in the campaign has increased each year since the effort started six years ago. More than 700 organizations are participating in Amplify Austin this year — more than double the number that participated in 2013, according to I Live Here I Give Here.
For the Andy Roddick Foundation, this new fundraising avenue has also changed the way it connects to its volunteers. About 75 percent of the donations the foundation received last year came through fundraisers organized by its volunteers, who have access to a wider reach and different networks than the foundation.