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Impact Austin and Girls Giving Grants Award $408,800

Impact Austin and Girls Giving Grants Award $408,800 to Five Deserving Central Texas NonProfit Organizations


Nonprofit Announces New Social Innovation Grant to be Awarded in November

AUSTIN, TEXAS – June 4, 2019 – We are thrilled to announce that 510 women of Impact Austin and 88 girls of Girls Giving Grants (g3) are awarding four high-impact grants and one g3 grant to five Central Texas nonprofit organizations working to make a difference in the lives of youth and families. Last night at the Impact Austin Annual Meeting, members voted on eight finalists out of 117 entrants, and will award four Community Partner organizations with $100,000 each.

This year’s Community Partners are Austin Bat Cave, Con Mi MADRE, American Gateways, and half Helen Foundation. At a check presentation on Monday, June 10, 2019 at 10am at Austin City Hall, leaders and members of Impact Austin will honor the four Community Partner organizations. And Girls Giving Grants will present The Refuge for DMST (Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking) with $8,800 -- the largest grant in its history.

Impact Austin announced a new Social Innovation Grant at the Annual Meeting. Applicants for the Social Innovation Grant must be a collaborative of two or more organizations working toward a common goal. This year, the Social Innovation Grant will be in the amount of $110,000 and will focus on identifying and funding work to advance equity for women and girls of color in Central Texas. For more information on how to apply for the Social Innovation Grant, contact

“It’s been so powerful to witness the generosity and strength of our more than 500 members,” said Christina Canales Gorczynski, Executive Director of Impact Austin since Aug. 2018. “I know that our collective contributions to identify and support worthy Central Texas nonprofits will leave a legacy in Austin and beyond,” she said.

The Women’s Philanthropy Institute of Indiana University and the Collective Giving Research Group studied women’s giving circles from 2007-2017. Their findings show that women in collective giving groups give more, and give more strategically and proactively, give to a wider array of organizations and causes, and volunteer more and are more likely to engage in civic activity.

Impact Austin membership is open all year, and 2020 members are currently being welcomed. Membership is open to all women for an annual donation of $1,250. Members may participate in the grant selection process including reviewing grant applications and making site visits. Information is available at


About Impact Austin and g3’s 2019 grant recipients:

Austin Bat Cave (ABC) - ABC Bat Mobile: A Classroom on Wheels

Impact Austin Grant Category: Education

Since 2007, Austin Bat Cave (ABC) has partnered with nonprofit organizations and Title 1 schools all over Austin to provide free writing workshops and summer camps for students ages 6 through 18, serving over 1,000 students each year. ABC’s trained volunteer teachers are novelists, poets, educators and other professionals, all passionate about writing and empowering young people to find their voices. Each year, ABC publishes a collection of students’ stories, and helps them pitch their writing to local and national publications. ABC will use the Impact Austin Education grant to expand free programming in Del Valle by converting a city bus into a mobile classroom. The Bat Mobile will be outfitted with a book-making station, library, study nook, internet access, Chromebooks, and desks, and will provide programming that directly responds to educational needs voiced by educators and parents in the Del Valle community.


Con Mi MADRE – Lifting Latinos out of Poverty through Education

Impact Austin Grant Category: Community

Con Mi MADRE is a two-generation organization that empowers young Latinas and their mothers through education and support services that increase preparedness, participation, and success in post-secondary education. Con Mi MADRE translates to ‘with my mother,’ which exemplifies a unique programming element -- the organization intentionally engages mothers in their daughter's educational journey from 6th grade through college graduation. Con Mi MADRE contributes to increasing college completion rates among Latina youth and decreasing the cycle of poverty. With support from Impact Austin, Con Mi MADRE will reach an additional 180 mother-daughter teams in Central Texas.


American Gateways - Capacity Building

Impact Austin Grant Category: Catalyst

For 32 years, American Gateways has been empowering low-income immigrants and their families to navigate the U.S. immigration legal system. Given this complex and ever-evolving system, and the decreasing stability of government funding for services that support the immigrant community, this work is especially critical today. Research shows that immigrants with legal representation are ten times more likely to win relief from deportation than those without a lawyer, but few can afford one. With Impact Austin’s support, American Gateways will build a development team that will implement a strategy to reduce their reliance on government funding and better leverage the tremendous support for immigrant rights within the Austin community. Specifically, the grant will help fund a Development Coordinator, Grants and Operations Manager, and a Communications and Pro Bono Coordinator. With this team in place, American Gateways will increase their capacity to engage more pro bono attorneys, assisting even more immigrants in Central Texas. 


half Helen Foundation - Optical Prime: transforming vision services for children in poverty

Impact Austin Grant Category: Health and Well-Being

half Helen Foundation (hH) has provided over 45,000 vision screenings for children in low-income schools. Vision impairment is the single most prevalent disabling condition among children. It’s not enough to identify a vision problem; 40% of children who fail a vision screening never see an eye doctor due to unmanageable cost or lack of transportation. In Austin alone, over 19,000 children are at risk of not receiving the appropriate follow up care after failing a vision screening. Uncorrected vision issues are associated with reading problems, poor attention, lower grades, lower test scores in reading and math, and can impact a child’s social, cognitive, and emotional development. Poor vision, education, and poverty are inextricably linked. hH is expanding its vision screening program to serve 10,000 children. Children that fail their vision screening will be offered a free eye exam and glasses at their school this fall, eliminating the two most common barriers to care. Impact Austin funds will help pay for the cost of a state-of-the-art grinder to allow hH to operate this portable, school based optometry clinic (not just screenings) and provide free eyeglasses on site. It will also fund the hiring of a part-time optician. 


The Refuge for DMST  - The SEE Program

g3 Grant

The Refuge for DMST™ (Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking) has developed The Refuge Ranch, a long-term, residential, therapeutic community for 48 girls, minors through age 19, who have been rescued out of sex trafficking. Built from the ground up on 50 acres in a beautiful and restorative setting outside of Austin, TX, The Refuge Ranch provides trauma-informed, holistic care for the girls on site, including: a University of Texas Charter School program, a medical clinic staffed by community partners and various therapeutic programs uniquely designed for the development of a child survivor. The Refuge Ranch is the largest long-term, live-in rehabilitation facility for child survivors of sex trafficking in the United States. g3’s $8,800 grant will help fund the SEE program, which helps integrate the girls back into society through fun and educational field trips.


About Impact Austin

Impact Austin’s mission is to cultivate the collective wisdom and strength of women to transform ourselves and our communities through philanthropy. After the June 10, 2019 check presentation at City Hall, Impact Austin will have granted nearly $6.9 million to nonprofit organizations in Central Texas, and the new Social Innovation Grant to be awarded in November 2019 will bring total giving to nearly $7 million. Impact Austin’s youth initiative, Girls Giving Grants (g3), creates learning and leadership opportunities for Central Texas girls in grades 8-12. Participants, each of whom contributes $100 toward a Central Texas nonprofit working to improve the lives of children, has awarded more than $80,000 total since 2006. Learn more at

Contact:  Jodi Bart Holzband



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