June 08, 2017 - Newsroom

Impact Austin Awards $403,000 to its Newest Community Partners

Five new Community Partners are improving lives of homeless youth, refugees, school-age students, first-time mothers, and families of incarcerated adults

Check presentations at 10 a.m. on Wed., June 14 at Austin City Hall

AUSTIN, TEXAS – June 8, 2017 – Great needs require great resources, and the 403 women of Impact Austin are awarding five, high-impact grants to its 2017 community partners whose programs will change the lives of Central Texas youth and families: The SAFE Alliance, The Contemporary Austin, Any Baby Can, Interfaith Action of Central Texas, and Seedling Foundation. Each organization will receive a grant of $80,600 during a presentation at Austin City Hall on Wed., June 14, 2017 at 10 a.m. The public is welcome to attend and may RSVP at https://impactatx2017.eventbrite.com.

The five 2017 Community Partner grants total $403,000, bringing the organization’s to-date investment in Central Texas to more than $6 million awarded by Impact Austin’s members since 2003. Impact Austin is one of the largest women’s philanthropy organizations in the United States.

“Our member-driven organization spends months reviewing applications, conducting site visits and selecting the most qualified and worthy finalists, all before our members select our newest community partners by live vote,” says Lisa Apfelberg, acting executive director, Impact Austin. “After making more than $6 million in grants, our members have affected the lives of thousands upon thousands of Central Texans. As our community continues to grow, Impact Austin members are proud of the collective voice we have in responding to our community’s varied needs.”

“On behalf of our 403 members, we applaud our new 2017 Community Partners, and look forward to celebrating their successes alongside them,” says Sharon Francia, board president, Impact Austin. “These organizations work hard to make our community a better place for all who live, work and go to school here.”

Chosen from more than 100 applicants, Impact Austin’s 2017 grant recipients include:

Health & Wellness - The SAFE Alliance – Alumni Services

SAFE is a merger of Austin Children’s Shelter and SafePlace, two longstanding, human service agencies in Austin. SAFE’s mission is to lead in ending sexual assault and exploitation, child abuse and domestic violence through prevention, intervention and advocacy for change. This grant will pilot a new Alumni Services program for former foster care youth previously served by SAFE, who are now struggling with homelessness and/or other barriers to living on their own. The program will provide outreach to up to 60 Austin-area youth per year; work with up to 40 youth per year to become self-sufficient and be leaders for their peers; and help youth gain skills to build independent, healthy futures.

Culture - The Contemporary Austin – Seeing Special Things

Seeing Special Things is The Contemporary Austin’s innovative outreach program for Title I schools in the Austin Independent School District. Throughout the 37 year history of Seeing Special Things, more than 18,000 children have participated in this art education program designed to build visual literacy skills and inspire learning in the museum environment. This grant would allow The Contemporary Austin to engage more deeply with the community by bringing exhibitions of student work to every school served through the program, where more students, families, and members of the surrounding community can participate, and by hiring a bilingual educator for Seeing Special Things.

Family - Any Baby Can – Nurse-Family Partnership

Each year in Central Texas, one in three women receive no or late prenatal care, leading to health problems for both mother and child. Any Baby Can’s Nurse-Family Partnership® enrolls first-time moms before the 28th week of gestation and serves them through their child’s second birthday. This long-term, free health service provides information, support and counseling, while enhancing prenatal care, focusing on the child’s development and mother’s growth. This grant will allow Any Baby Can’s Nurse-Family Partnership® to serve 22 families through this evidence-based program with proven results.

Education - Interfaith Action of Central Texas – iLearn: Refugee Youth Education Program

Interfaith Action of Central Texas cultivates peace and respect through interfaith dialogue, service, and celebration. As one of its four core programs, iACT teaches English as a Second Language and cultural skills to newly-arrived refugees. Its youth component, the iLearn Refugee Youth Education Program, provides refugee children language and cultural orientation in summer day camp, Saturday drop-in tutoring, and year-round teen mentoring. Interfaith Action will hire a Refugee Youth Program Coordinator to recruit, train, and manage youth volunteers and mentors. During the summer, 50 students will participate in the summer camp program and many will be provided on-going mentoring throughout the upcoming school year.

Impact Austin awards the Catalyst Grant to a well-qualified nonprofit organization that previously achieved finalist status during Impact Austin’s diligent grant review process.  

Catalyst Grant -  Seedling Foundation – Building Seedling’s Brand & Business Case

Seedling Foundation supports children challenged by parental incarceration through innovative, research driven, school­-based mentoring. Each year, the program helps more than 600 students in over 100 schools. The Catalyst Grant will sustain and grow this program by increasing awareness of this vulnerable population through enhanced marketing efforts to recruit mentors and engaging new school districts as potential partners. 

Impact Austin’s 2016 community partners are TreeFolks, The Arc of the Capital Area, Partnerships for Children, Capital IDEA and LifeWorks.  Learn about their community impact in five short videos online at https://www.youtube.com/user/ImpactAustin/featured.

National research supports the idea that women will give more when they know the impact of their dollars. More than 80 percent of women philanthropists (n=911) surveyed by Brown University reported that they donate to giving networks because they understand how their gift can make a difference. And, 78 percent said their reason for giving was to make a difference in their community.

Membership applications for 2018 Impact Austin are being accepted. 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. Other volunteer opportunities are available. Information is available at impactaustin.org.

About Impact Austin

Impact Austin is a 501(c)(3) public charity comprised of women seeking to transform lives in the Greater Austin area through high-impact and lifelong giving. Its only membership requirements are to be female and donate $1,250 each year. Impact Austin combines the annual donations from members and awards large grants each year to local worthy causes selected by its members. Grant applications are accepted in each of the following areas: culture, environment, education, family, and health and wellness.  In 2016, it also established a Catalyst Grant that is awarded to organizations to improve their infrastructure and sustainability. Learn more at www.impactaustin.org.

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