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Recapping 2021 Town Hall: Together We Shine Brighter

Our virtual Town Hall was inspiring, to say the least. Even gathering online, we could feel the excitement that comes with fulfilling our mission. We met four new Community Partners, issued grants totaling $226,200, and celebrated Impact Austin volunteers going "above and beyond." It was a proud Impact Austin evening. Watch the video, or read on for a recap.

Welcome & Introduction

Pam Friedman, Class of 2015, opened our event as Principal of our Title Sponsor Robertson Stephens Wealth Management. Pam welcomed the audience and described how joining Impact Austin was the start of her philanthropic journey. Through Impact Austin she found the organizations that "became part of my heart," Friends of the Children Austin, Jeremiah Program, and Emancipet. Pam recommended women's collective giving as "one of the best entry points" to effecting change, finding where one wants to focus her philanthropic efforts.

Impact Austin Updates

Christina Gorczynski thanked Robertson Stephens and all our event underwriters. Premium Sponsors included C2C Media, Enoch Kever, FVF Law, and Firehouse Animal Health Centers. The Flourishing Garden contributed as a Leadership Sponsor.

Christina shared our Mission, Vision, Collective Impact (see graphic below), and other powerful 2021 statistics:

  • 435 members were eligible to vote on our Fall Grants

  • 9 Community Partners joined us during 2021, including the Girls Giving Grants grantee

  • Grants totaling $430,000 have been awarded since January, 2021

Christina also announced a $20,000 match challenge from member Melissa Patel and her husband Hiten. All gifts made to the annual fund by 12/31/2021 will be matched up to $20,000. Gifts of $250 or more will be recognized within Impact Austin's Philanthropy Circle. Both Christina and the Patels urge Impact Austin members to investigate company matches for their own gifts, too! An earlier blog related how corporate support can boost our overall community impact.

A review of Impact Austin's 2022 grant schedule culminated with outcomes videos of six 2020 Community Partners whose grants had concluded this year: BookSpring, NAMI Central Texas, Welcome Table Austin, Eldercare Austin, Austin Child Guidance Center, and Casa Marianella. Their videos and other outcomes can be found on our website's See Our Impact page and on our YouTube channel.

Outstanding Volunteers

Several Impact Austin volunteers were recognized and thanked for their service in 2021.

  • Board of Directors - Christina thanked the Board and called out the newest Directors: Lillian Gray, Earind Jackson, Kimberly Klein, Joanna Nolte, Margaret von Flatern, and Ricki Wax.

  • Committee of the Year - Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging, including outgoing Co-Chairs Carmaleta McKinnis-Williams, and Kendall Antonelli. Christina welcomed new Co-Chairs Kassie Longoria and Rebecca Birch and announced that additional committee members are needed.

  • Val Kirk "Above and Beyond" Award - Lorene Phillips and Becky Austen, Co-Chairs of the Strategic Advisory Council were honored.

  • Core Values Award - This new award will honor a member who embodies Impact Austin's core values of Inclusivity, Empathy, Curiosity, and Impact. Class of 2019 member Linda Yang is the inaugural recipient of this award.

  • Volunteers of the Year - Christina announced three recipients: Lauren Lewis (Class of 2020), Deanna DeHaven (Class of 2019), and Risé Candelaria (Class of 2020).

  • Girls Giving Grants (g3) will exceed $100,000 in total grantmaking next Spring. Our g3 team was highlighted with a special video that includes detail of their 2021 grant announced in April.

New Community Partners

Board members Kimberly Klein and Risé Candelaria offered their own Impact Austin stories as introduction to Impact Austin's new Community Partners. Kimberly also shared the process by which our newest focus area developed: from Impact Incubator to Social Innovation Grant to Equity Grant.

2021 Equity Grant Community Partners

  • Con Mi MADRE - $90,500 (Ensuring Higher Education Access for Latinas)

  • Jolt Initiative - $22,600 (Unrestricted support)

2021 Health & Well-Being Community Partners

  • Texas Advocacy Project - $90,500 (Addressing the Mental Health and Legal Needs of Domestic Violence Survivors in Texas)

  • Austin Asian Community Health Initiative (AACHI) - $22,600 (Unrestricted support)

Calls to Action and Upcoming Opportunities
  • Collective Giving Tuesday - November 30 - Live webinar on the power of collective giving and an introduction to four Texas giving circles.

  • Membership Drawing - Join or renew by November 30 to be entered into a drawing to win a prize valued at $300 (one hour garden design consultation and gift basket)

  • Patel Match Challenge - Make a donation to Impact Austin's annual fund by December 31 and have it matched by Melissa and Hiten Patel. Gifts of $250 or more are recognized in the Philanthropy Circle.

  • Discovery Days - Jan 21, Feb 4, Feb 18 - Save the dates for lunchtime webinars that explore Impact Austin 101, DEIB topics, Central Texas issues, and Philanthropy Education.

  • Volunteer Opportunities - Most committees have open spots and all will welcome you! Spring Grant Review Committees will open registration will open in January; other committees need you now!

  • $8 million in total giving - We'll pass this threshold in 2022. Join or renew to be part of the excitement!

  • Share your Impact Stories - Part of the lead-up to Town Hall has been a call for members' stories. How has membership in Impact Austin boosted your personal philanthropy? Your individual gifts, volunteer efforts, leadership in nonprofit organizations? Your stories are the qualitative measures of Impact Austin's overall impact in Central Texas. What's your story?


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