Givingcity Austin Issue 3


Published on

1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Givingcity Austin Issue 3

  1. 1. GivingCity N ew THE GUIDE TO DOING GOOD IN AUSTIN ISSUE 3 The PHILANTHROPISTS 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 GC BLOG
  2. 2. open for editor’s letter business 5 Ways GivingCity Can Help 1. New to philanthropy? If you’ve ever 4. Are you an advertiser whom our wanted to volunteer or make a readers might find interesting? donation, but don’t know how, we Because our readers are looking for invite you to browse the magazine and ways to support the community, blog for ideas and inspiration. advertising in GivingCity is a great 2. Already active? We can help you do it opportunity to put your message better - be a better volunteer, a more in front of a tuned-in audience. informed donor, an more effective Nonprofits and for-profits should board member, and a more inspired consider the value of placing your leader. We attend events, seminars, message among our content. lunches, and panel discussions across 5. Looking for ways to enlist more all nonprofit subsectors to bring you donors and volunteers? If you’re trying the most useful content and important to build and maintain relationships stories. with clients, donors, volunteers, and 3. Are you a nonprofit professional? supporters, passing on the link to We’re out there crossing subsectors and content from GivingCity can and listening to the innovative means save resources and still allow you to nonprofits are using to accomplish offer stories that inspire action. Let their mission. Intercommunication me know how our content might be among nonprofits is critical these days useful to you. if you’re going to serve your growing Our goal is to be of use to the community. client lists, and we hope GivingCity Please let me know how we can help. helps inspire new initiatives and collaborations. 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 GC BLOG
  3. 3. ABOUT US Editor Art dirEctor Monica M. Williams Torquil Dewar coNtriBUtorS PhotogrAPhErS Christine Cox Gregg Cestaro Katie Ford Owen Laracuente Tiffany Hamburger Joel Salcido Armando Rayo Tom Spencer AdvErtiSE iN thE ABoUt thE MAgAZiNE MAgAZiNE GivingCity Austin offers content you Tired of fighting for attention among won’t find anywhere else, in a modern ads for breast enhancement and luxury format that’s easy to use. Inside you’ll condos? Put your business in the best find information that will help you ... light by placing an ad in our next issue. Find your cause Our readers are engaged young Step up your community service professionls and community leaders Become a community leader who care about Austin’s success. Check Collaborate effort our media kit for rates and specs. Maximize impact No part of this may be reproduced without the permission of GivingCity and October Custom Publishing. For information about reprints, photos, and other permissions, contact october custom publishing 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 GC BLOG
  4. 4. SOCIAL ENTERPRISE: The New Laurie, the Realtor Philanthropists Clients can’t believe she’s giving away WHAT GIVING THE MAGAZINE Meet 20+ of Austin’s new WHY GIVE NOW part of her commis- LOOKS LIKE philanthropists who weave community service and sion - in their name. VIDEO professional ambition into a new kind of social Leaders in Training responsibility. Tom Spencer on Do cool people make Austin Under 40 how philanthropy is Leadership Austin Photos from the Too Many a wholly American idea. or does Leadership Austin make cool shiny event. Nonprofits? people? First Person Redundant efforts dilute Katie Ford meets - impact and reduce non- Teach a Child to Give but does not judge - profits to crumb-grubbing A new program incarcerated moms. competitors ... right? Here’s weaves philanthropy GIVE BETTER into the curriculum the data and a few ideas about what to do next. to heartbreaking effect. Unscripted The Secret to GRASSROOTS Collaboration Blondes vs. Brunettes Happiness Is Andrew Shapter’s Behind the scenes with the An all-girls flag new film offers an We Are One crowd. Here’s football game aims answer. PLUS Turk how nonprofiteers stretch to raise $25k for Pipkin’s new film AND DJ Stout your donation dollar. Alzheimer’s. the world’s first non- Bucking HQ VIDEO profit film fest, now to turn a design The Story Behind taking entries. excercise into the Stuff VIDEO something more Why your donations meaningful. make Central Texas Be the Change 2.0 Goodwill one of the Mando Rayo Clic biggest in country. suggests you use for ak here Non list of PLUS What’s with all social media’s super- in th profits is iss ue the new bins? powers for good. 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 GC BLOG
  5. 5. WHY GIVE NOW OuR ROOTS ARe IN GIvING Tom Spencer on our long In the early days of the American Republic a young French- man wandered across our nation reporting on the habits of England, in the United States you will be sure to find an association.” history of charity and why it these new people – the “Americans.” His name was Alexis de Tocqueville, and the book that he was writing, Democracy in Today, more often than not, we call these associations “nonprofits,” and persists and grows in Austin. America, is considered to be the first great work of sociology. Austin may very well be at the epi- One of the things that caught his attention was the curious center of nonprofit entrepreneur- habit of Americans to form civic and charitable associations ism. Indeed, some are dismayed by PHOTOS bY GReGG CeSTARO whenever some need arose in the community-at-large. To his the dizzying array of nonprofits that European eyes, this seemed like a new phenomenon, and he exist in our city and the competition noted that, “Whenever, at the head of some new undertak- for resources that results from having ing, you see the government in France, or a man of rank in so many worthy causes. However, I 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 GC BLOG
  6. 6. WHY GIVE NOW take a different view. I see our diverse nonprofit my career path as being guided by that we remain true to that unique community as an expression of a good will and “service” or “sacrifice,” I have always spirit first identified by that young creativity that we should be intensely proud of. thought of myself as being one of Frenchman, Tocqueville. Now, more However, without deepening and widening our the luckiest guys in town. Whether than ever, is the time for us to lift one culture of philanthropy, much of that good will through my long association with another up through our actions and may go unrealized. KLRU-TV, Austin’s PBS affiliate, or our contributions. In the Europe that “Philanthropy” literally means “the love of today as the CEO of the Austin Area Tocqueville had left behind, change mankind.” Coming from a gardening back- Interreligious Ministries (AAIM) every came from above – from great men ground, I think of philanthropy as a love that cul- day has seemed like a gift. and kings. Here in the United States, tivates and grows. And, this is a self-interested My favorite memory of the past perhaps more than in any culture the love – not some purely do-good activity. While year has been the time I spent with world has ever seen, we depend on I may nurture and care for my garden, I am also the individuals AAIM has helped one another and our “enlightened rewarded by the gifts I receive in return. The glo- through our Hands on Housing self-love” to grow the change that rious burst of color and energy in the spring and program. Hands on Housing uses the world so desperately needs. GC the harvest of autumn keep me going through volunteers to repair the homes of the dreaded heat of August. senior citizens and disabled folks MAKING HOMES SAFE living in poverty in East Austin. Celebrate Refugee Day wHeN SOmeONe SO PROfOuNdLY Hands on Housing is the largest volunteer home Many of our elderly clients had been Last year almost 800 refugees made THANkfuL HAS embRACed YOu, repair effort in Austin, mobilizing more than 1,000 volunteers to repair and upgrade 25 to 35 homes ready to give up their homes – they Austin their home, settling from YOuR LIfe wILL CHANGe fOReveR. and bring them up to suitable living standards. hardly had money to purchase food, countries like Afghanistan, Congo, Many of the program’s clients - typically over 70 much less repair their leaking roofs Iraq, Rwanda, Uzbekistan. AAIM Tocqueville recognized this self interest saying, years old living on less than $10,000 per year - or rotten floors. They greet all of our and other Austin nonprofits help have been asked to leave their homes due to realty “American moralists do not claim that one must pressure or unsafe conditions. Hands on Housing volunteers with genuine tears of joy them acclimate to their new home. sacrifice oneself for one’s fellows because it is helps them remain in their homes safely and with and gratitude; they tell us that our Bring the family and welcome them, dignity. a fine thing to do but they are bold enough to efforts are, quite literally, the answers Austin style, at this event featuring say that such sacrifices are as necessary to the To volunteer or donate to the effort, email Kathy to their prayers. world music, a world fashion show, Weiner of AAIM. man who makes them as to those gaining from When someone so profoundly and more. them. . . Enlightened self-love continually leads TOM SPENCER is the CEO of Austin Area thankful has embraced you, your life Interreligious Ministries. He has had a long-time SATuRdAY, JuNe 20, 1-5 Pm them to help one another and inclines them to professional association with KLRU-TV and is will change forever; you know that bOb buLLOCk devote freely a part of their time and wealth to the host of the station’s Central Texas Gardener you are the one receiving the gift. STATe HISTORY muSeum program. feATuRING SARA HICkmAN the welfare of the state.” In these tough economic times, LeARN mORe AbOuT AAIm I have worked in the nonprofit world for my with our nation feeling vulnerable CLICk HeRe fOR mORe INfO entire career and while some may describe and fearful, it is especially important 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 GC BLOG
  7. 7. GIVE BETTER bLONdeS vS. bRuNeTTeS One game, 100 girls, $25,000 for charity. c hicks playing football is pretty tough. event chairs who also leads the outreach effort. “But not all the girls Chicks playing football for charity have played football before. I think they’re signing up for a lot of is epic. Now picture two teams of reasons – some for the cause and some for the socialization aspect 50 young women – one team of blondes, – but I know that almost everyone involved has known someone another of brunettes – running plays, who has been touched by Alzheimer’s.” blocking tackles, and throwing passes for Recruits join after hearing being invited to happy hours at The a full four-quarter, flag-football game, Ranch or via social media. “When they hear about the game, trying to raise $50,000 for charity in they want to get involved,” says Allen. To be a part the process, then getting dolled of either the blonde or brunette team, each up for the after-party. That will “WHEN THEY player and coach commits to contributing be the scene on May 16 at HEAR ABOUT $250, which they can raise by selling tickets Austin High School for Austin’s or sponsorships. Other sponsors can THE GAME, THEY MORE INFO first Blondes vs. Brunettes flag contribute cash or in-kind donations. The football game, benefitting the WANT TO GET typical fundraising goal for a Blondes vs Blonde vs. Brunettes Alzheimer’s Association Capital INVOLVED” Brunettes event is $25,000, but Allen has put Women’s Flag Football Fundraiser for Alzheimer’s Association PHOTO bY COOkIe PHILLIPS fOR THe ALzHeImeR’S ASSOCIATION Saturday, May 16, 2 pm of Texas Chapter. the Austin goal at $50,000. Why not? So far, each Austin High School The game originated three years side has almost 50 girls signed up; yes, they realize Tickets to the game are $20 ago in Washington, D.C. with two sisters there are only 11 people from each team on the field at a time. TO PLAy: Players must commit to raising who had lost their father to the Alzheimer’s. “There’s a segment of the girls who have signed up but have no $250 and sign a release form. Since then, Houston and Dallas have held interest in actually playing,” says Allen, who actually played flag TO dONATE: Sponsors are welcome to games, and this year Austin will hold its first football in college. “Most of the girls have no idea how to run a donate to an individual player, coach, or to the event in general. powderpuff-for-charity event. route, how to execute different kinds of coverage. But a lot of them “This is a real, full-length flag football are athletic or at least interested in the cause, and if they’re willing CLICk HeRe FOR MORE INFO game,” says Lyssa Myska Allen, one of the to raise $250, we’re happy to call them a player.” GC 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 GC BLOG
  8. 8. THe STORY Noticed those mystery bins around town...? beHINd GIVE BETTER Goodwill Industries of Central Texas is one of the largest Goodwill’s in the world, and there’s a reason for that, says Davis. “Austin donors are some of the most generous in the THe STuff country.” But recent donations to Goodwill are down 11 percent. Unfortunately, this drop hits at a time when demand for Goodwill’s services is up 57 percent. Are Austinites donating less stuff this year? Maybe. But Get to know Goodwill. there might be another factor – those donation bins in parking lots around the city. Unfortunately, the stuff you put in some bins around the city is not necessarily going to the charities listed on the bins. F or the past 14 years, Central Texas Goodwill has put people to A number of bins are placed by for-profit resellers who have work ... but it’s not just the people who work in the stores. entered into agreements with charities to share a small per- “It’s important for people to understand what we centage of sales in exchange for allowing them to use their contribute to the community,” says Gerald Davis, “WE’RE ABOUT name on the bin. Some of the resellers aren’t even located in Texas. president of the Central Texas Goodwill, “and what we do is make people self-suficient.” TRYING TO AFFEcT It’s a practice for which there is a current bill in the Texas Take Latisha Fisher, a young mother who didn’t have a driver’s license, worked nights, and had a second child SOcIAL cHANGE, Senate. If the bill passes, it would require disclosure of such agreements to be written on the bin and it would on the way. And Willie Johnson who, after 20 years of AND WE DO THAT impose a fine of up to $2,000 for each violation. working in the tech industry, found himself homeless, struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues. BY HELpING pEOpLE “This is part of the problem,” says Davis. “Austin’s great because rather than throw out their stuff, they look to And James Fowler who lost his job and then had trouble WITH BARRIERS TO donate it. But it has to be convenient. So in trying to fulfill our mission, we’re also trying to fight these bins.” finding another employer who could accept his disabilities. Thanks to Goodwill, Fisher is now a heath specialist at a short- EMpLOYMENT.” The lesson is the same as with all donations to nonprofits: term psychiatric facility, Johnson a custodian, and Fowler a busser Make sure you know how your donation is being used. at Luby’s. 15 GOODWILL 10,000+ 885 pEOpLE 35TH LARGEST 21 AUSTIN 18 AUSTIN GOODWILL IN 2007 SERVIcE AREAS pEOpLE SERVED pLAcED IN jOBS EMpLOYER IN RETAIL STORES DONATION IN TExAS cENTRAL TExAS cENTERS 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 GC BLOG
  9. 9. AUStiN GIVE BETTER givES StUFF! cONSISTENTLY AMONG MOST GENEROUS cITIES TOp 10 IT’S qUALITY STUFF, TO – “AND O!” DAVIS. ON AVERAGE, ALMSAYS Depending on each person’s EVERY pERSON IN AUSTIOST situation, Goodwill’s case DONATES TO GOODWI N LL LEAST ONcE A YEAR AT workers collaborate with area nonprofits, agencies, and employers to put their clients on the right paths. First, case doNAtioNS: 2009 dowN BY 11% workers help them resolve some of their survival challenges like dEMANd: 2009 UP BY 57% food, shelter, transportation, or child care. Next a case worker starts the client on training doNAtioNS: 2008 for job placement; things like dEMANd: 2008 interviewing, resume writing, and soft skills like how to deal with coworkers. A client may need Goodwill’s services for a couple of months or a couple of years to gain that foothold. AUStiN, wE NEEd MorE StUFF! “At any given time, we’re working with about 200 MOVING INVENTORY, MAKING cHANGE employers,” says Davis. “Where your donations of stuff in 2007 to Goodwill helped we place them depends on put more than 10,000 people to work, some of whom what the client wants.” Only were first-time taxpayers. But how does Goodwill turn your clothes, vases, and furniture into jobs? a small percentage of clients When you drop off your bags of stuff, workers wind up working at the stores. inside the stores hustle to get the merchandise out on the floor to be sold, usually, within 24 hours of Right now there is no waiting being donated. Goodwill takes the money from those list for clients, a statement sales to pay case managers, trainers, and other services that get people jobs. Davis is proud to make. But with “It’s a system that’s worked for more than 100 donations to Goodwill stores years,” says Gerald davis, president of the Central Texas Goodwill. “The best we can do in our stories is down 11 percent, the prospect offer good customer service.” of a waiting list lingers. Not that There at 18 donations centers across Austin. Davis is worried: “I love that we CLICK HERE to find a drop-off center near you. have something to offer.” GC 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 GC BLOG
  10. 10. GIVE BETTER Don’t walk away. here’s why Laurie Loew is different. “HI, I’M by christine cox Let’s face it: Realtors can be kind business plan that includes giving 25 percent of LAURIE. I’M of creepy. There’s just something her income away? angrifying about seeing a realtor Loew’s different. As the ninth of 10 children, walk away with thousands of Loew lived 11 other people in an 1,800 square- dollars in commission when it foot home, which made her acutely aware how feels like you could have done all possible it is to live modestly, and happily. “I’m A REALTOR” that work yourself. from a big Catholic family, and my parents were So what if the realtor told you not wealthy, although most of my friends were.” that she would give 25 percent of She jokes that perhaps it’s the Catholic guilt her commission to the charity of she was spoon-fed that has brought her to a your choice, in your name? You get place of extraordinary, some might say unusual to write the check. You get to take circumstances. the tax deduction. Loew grew up working in her family’s bakery “This is a win-win situation for after school. “I learned early what it meant to everyone involved,” says Laurie Loew, work long hours to get ahead. It’s paid off in the founder of Give Realty. “The client real estate business to understand that concept,” gets to see his hard-earned money she says. From there she joined her brother’s go to his favorite nonprofit, the medical supply business, which is what brought beneficiary gets funding, and my her to Austin, where she met her husband. But, company is fulfilling a calling to do when the Austin office for her brother’s business something greater with our profits.” closed down, she found herself looking for a job Sounds suspicious, doesn’t it? for the first time outside of my family. What kind of entrepreneur writes a Eventually she landed an entry-level job at a 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 GC BLOG
  11. 11. GIVE BETTER “I FELT FORTUNATE TO BE semi-conductor company. While she quickly moved up, the division began closing its local offices. “I didn’t ‘have’ to keep working. My DIVVYING THINGS UP, RATHER THAN SHARING DEBT” Trying to Give it Away husband was in the oil industry, so we lived a very comfortable life. Still, I had the urge to work. It’s what I knew.” On a tip she chose to pursue a real estate Loew motivated. “I kept my idea to license, and at one point she had the highest myself for a long time, really only referral rate in the company. But it was her idea The buzzword in business these days is “social entrepreneur,” sharing it with only a few close friends,” but try to define it. Is it an entrepreneur who gives part of all for a realty company that gives back that kept she says. Still the time wasn’t right to of their profit away? Or an entrepreneur whose only profit is see it through. +$12,000 DONATIONS TO DATE impacting society for good? Should you or could you profit Then she and her husband divorced, from making social change? Loew, a social entrepreneur and Loew was struck with an epiphany. Give reaLty since 2008, Give realty clients have donated more “I felt so fortunate to be divvying poster child, tries to figure it out. than $12,000 to local charities, including - mobile Loaves and Fishes things up, rather than sharing debt.” “I think social entrepreneurs feel they be some of your biggest promoters in a - texas assn of chicanos in Higher education She began volunteering more, need to do more for the community and lot of ways. Their audience is the kind of - Down syndrome assn of central texas - church of Glad tidings Hispanic ministries realizing even more poignantly that be more involved and helpful, and we’re people you’d want to be your clients. - Hill country conservancy she was among the fortunate few. trying to figure out ways to do that. But “I understand why nonprofits can’t Go to Give reaLty For more inFo Finally deciding the timing would it’s much harder for a small business promote any particular small business. never be right, Loew turned her idea - the price of admission to get on the That’s why I’m a part of several groups for a charitable realty company into nonprofit radar is way too high. - from Bootstrap Austin to I Live Here, a reality. “Big companies can write the big I Give Here, the Austin Chamber, and That’s when she opened Give Realty, checks that get attention. But the others. We’re looking for ways for small Inc. “I had a need to build loyalty local coffee shop is just struggling to businesses who want to have a social among my clients in a different, stay afloat. And it’s very hard for small impact to work together to make the more creative way that actually businesses to feel like they can have an whole thing easier. Maybe that’s what PLAY contributes positively to something impact when the dollar amounts they it will take - someone forming a larger besides a shoe closet.” And a 25 can give are very small. group that can make the case for social percent reduction in her income is “I guess you would hope the nonprofit enterprise. But it’s got to be genuine and just enough to matter. “I might not community would encourage small it’s got to be easy. I’m a small business have missed only 10 percent or even businesses - the ones that give back - owner. I’m very busy!” 15. But 25 percent - that can hurt,” and support what we’re doing. They can Learn more about sociaL enterprise. she laughs. GC 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 GC BLOG
  12. 12. give better MANDO RAYO BE THE CHANGE 2.O D o you use social media for good? Have you As a volunteer, board member, invited your Facebook friends to a worthy or advocate, you have the power cause? Have you re-Tweeted a donation to persuade your friends and request or a call for volunteers? followers to support a cause. If you haven’t and you think this social media And it’s very simple to do. For craze is just that – a craze – think again. Do- every Facebook wall post about gooders, change agents, and anyone out there your volunteer work over the with ganas are using social media, not only to weekend, for every Tweet that engage their expanding networks in their causes mentions a fundraiser, you’re but to create real change in their communities. making community service Think of social media as an engagement channel; part of the conversation. consider it a platform to reach out to a new audi- But you don’t have to take my ence, cultivate relationships, stimulate conversa- word for it; search any nonprofit tions, create advocates, and connect with people these days and you’ll notice a in new and innovative ways. These new and often link to their FB page or an invita- free engagement tools (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, tion to follow them on Twitter. YouTube, Linkedin, Ning, and yes, even MySpace) You’ll see all kinds of people allow people to make meaningful, personal con- doing good with social media nection with each other, with causes they care from stay-at-home moms to about, with their favorite nonprofits, and with young professionals and sea- even with their elected officials. (Local, state, and soned board members. federal politicians make good use of Twitter to get Social media works ... when their messages out to voters – even several Austin you learn how to make it work mayoral candidates.) for you. GC 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 GC BLOG
  13. 13. GIVE BETTER THe SeCReT TO HAPPINeSS IS... A new film asks one of mankind’s most profound questions – and gets the answer. by monica m. williams A fter Andrew Shapter finished Others didn’t know what to say.” the film, “Before the Music Shapter didn’t have the answers either, but Dies,” a critical look at the an introduction to Alan Graham, he says, “trig- popular music industry, he wondered gered a dramatic twist that would lead to a de- aloud about the focus of his next finitive ending” for the film. project. “Before the Music Dies” had Graham is a founding member and president taught him everything there was to of Mobile Loaves & Fishes, an Austin-based non- know about the music industry, he profit that takes meals out to the homeless and says, “So I told people my next film had working poor. On that particular trip, Graham to be about happiness. It was kind of took him on a lunchtime truck run to the down- a joke at first.” town library. “It was a real cold, wet, miserable But the idea took on its own life, day, I remember,” says Graham. “Usually the and soon Shapter found himself once homeless move in there to stay warm and dry. again traveling to the far corners of They shot all the footage of us in that single PHOTOS COuRTeSY ANdRew SHAPTeR the country to talk - to anyone who truck run. I think (Shapter) got a lot out of it.” was willing - about happiness. In the video clip, Shapter shows Graham and “I’d just walk up to them and ask volunteers making plans in the food pantry them what their ‘pursuit of happiness’ area, loading the truck, driving to the Austin is. Some people knew right away. downtown library, and handing out food to 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 GC BLOG
  14. 14. GIVE BETTER Shapter on homeless men. Graham talks about his journey – how he was a successful real estate broker who Happy, Texas started asking the tough questions in life and “I was shocked to see the the small found himself investing everything he had to towns deteriorating. We have these create MLF. The nonprofit is now in four states and mass migrations to the big cities – like enlists 12 catering trucks and almost 10,000 vol- Houston, Miami, and Phoenix – because unteers a year. people are leaving these tight-knit com- It can be said that Graham is not exactly an ordi- munities where everybody knows your nary person. “If there were a Fortune 500 for the name. And it’s sad. world’s happiest people,” he says, “I’d be “There was this woman in Happy, at the top of that list.” His decision Texas, whose husband died, and that to relinquish his wealth in favor of caused the whole town to come to- service to the homeless is what gether and take care of her, support led to that happiness, he her through that time. But then that says. “I run into people all the time that say, ‘I “THE pEOpLE widow moved to Dallas and joined a support group for widows; there she wish I could do what you did,’” says Graham. WHO ARE HAppY met another widow who lived in Dallas when her husband died but said none “When people witness someone like me who IN THIS FILM ALL of her neighbors even knew her. That broke her heart. has made such a radical HAVE THEIR OWN “You know, our country is a nation of cAUSES” change in their life – and immigrants; we are people that believe now happiness is such an success and wealth lie somewhere else. intrinsic part of my life – that So it’s in our DNA. It’s why young people impresses people.” move away from home. What Shapter found, after inter- “What’s remarkable is that new im- viewing dozens of people from children to ac- sake of the extreme poor of that city. Kids, a nonprofit that helps homeless migrants are the ones re-making these complished and wealthy businessmen, was proof “People need to find their own Calcutta. kids in Central Texas obtain the resources small communities and keeping them that achievement, wealth, and fame don’t lead to The people who are happy in this film they need to succeed in school. (In Austin, alive. I think young people will continue happiness. Giving to and supporting a cause you all have their own causes,” says Shapter. more than 4,000 students pre-K through to move away and take that journey, believe in, he says, does. “The message is that you need to find high school are homeless.) “When I saw but what’s going to happen is that they He refers to a statement made by Mother Teresa, your own cause, and give.” the reaction from people after the initial will always get called back.” sainted for sacrificing her own well being for the For Shapter that cause is Capital City screenings, I thought maybe people were 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 GC BLOG
  15. 15. GIVE BETTER being touched by the film. So I made a request at PIPkIN fILmS fOR CHANGe Nonprofit the end of one screening here in Austin for do- nations to Cap City Kids, thinking I’d raise about $1,000. Turns out we raised more than $10,000 that night.” No one has all the answers, Videos That same night, a person affiliated with the Obama campaign was in the audience, and is but Turk Pipkin’s new film proposes a few. Wanted Pipkin is the entrepreneur- Could this be the now working with Shapter and C3 (producers of world’s first film festi- the Austin City Limits Music Festival) to build a ial actor, author, and director of the now famous “Nobel- val for nonprofit films? model for the film’s distribution. This summer, the That’s what founders team will enlist sponsors to take the film on a 40- ity”, his 2006 documentary in which he interviewed nine Aaron Bramley, city tour that will engage local charities and turn David J. Neff and screenings into fundraisers, with Shapter selling Nobel Prize winners (and Willie Nelson), asking them for Rich Vázquez are DVDs of the film at those events. saying. The 2009 “What I found then is that when people get answers to the world’s prob- lems. “One Peace at a Time” is Lights.Camera.Help over their egos, they generally stop doing what- film festival launched ever it is that is keeping them from being happy,” his follow-up to this film, and instead of asking questions, it May 1 and is accepting says Shapter. “They stop comparing themselves to submissions of film and people ‘above’ them and start looking around at offers some solutions. Pipkin travels to India to learn about video throughout the others. Then they start to help.” GC summer, with the fes- computer-access programs and Austin-based pia and providing laptops for children in Nairobi. The Miracle Foundation to visit orphanages. He It also produces “Short Flims/Big Changes,” a tival itself July 31. “The MORE INFO visits “The Condom King” in Thailand to learn film series that plans to produce four films a idea is to give non-prof- WATCH a clip of “Happiness Is” featuring about birthrates and HIV/AIDS; and watches year about the work of nonprofits. Last year the it videos validity and Alan Graham of Mobile Loaves and Fishes water wells being constructed by Austin-based screening of a short film about The Miracle Foun- merit by judging them,” WATCH a film by Andrew Shapter about A Glimmer of Hope in Ethiopia. dation raised $300,000 in donations. GC says Vázquez. “We want Capital City Kids If all this sounds like the adventure of a lifetime, people to see these WATCH the trailer for “Happiness Is” it is. But it’s one with a purpose. Pipkin’s Nobelity videos, know they’re Foundation supports on-the-ground efforts all WATCH the trailer for “One Peace at a Time,” learn important and support WATCH the trailer for “Before the Music dies” how to support the Nobelity Project, and find out over the world, raising money for wells in Ethio- about screenings in Austin. the cause.’” Shapter is looking for people to help spread the word about the film and introduce it to nonprofits and faith-based groups. LEARN MORE about GO TO Lights.Camera.Help. “Happiness Is,” the tour, and how to get involved. “There’s nothing magic about change,” says jody Williams, the founder of the International for more info. campaign to Ban Landmines. “You have to get off your ass and take action.” 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 GC BLOG
  16. 16. GIVE BETTER meRe mORTALS Need NOT APPLY ...and other myths about Leadership Austin, the city’s go-to training program for the next generation of leaders. by Tiffany Hamburger S omewhere along the way, “networking” became a vaguely dirty word, conjuring images of exclusive schmooze-fests and powerbroker backslapping. Somewhere along the way, Leadership Austin became associated with this kind of exclusivity, a who’s who of Austin to which mere mortals need not apply. 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 GC BLOG
  17. 17. GIVE BETTER F But Leadership Austin’s new CEO, Heather there’s new leadership here, with ounded in 1979, Leadership Each year, out of hundreds of applications, only McKissick, insists that anyone who has that a new view. Two, you’ve got this Austin began as a program of 55 people are selected for the Essential Class, and impression has got it all wrong. “It’s important for changing demographic, and we have the chamber of commerce, but 45 for the under-40 Emerge program. But there me,” says McKissick, “that people understand that to be able to responsive to that in now operates as an independent are four other programs, all of which are open to the programs of Leadership Austin are open and our programming. There’s also such nonprofit, though it’s hardly one public participation. available to anyone who wants to participate.” a significant demand for community- of a kind. “Pretty much everywhere This is a point that Steve Benesh, Leadership Yes, there is networking. But it’s the good based and nonprofit leadership. you go, there’s a program,” says CEO Austin’s board chair and a partner at law firm kind, says Marion Martin, a 2009 Essential Class Combine that with…a new president McKissick. “Most of them originated Bracewell and Giuliani, wants to emphasize. participant, who currently serves as the YMCA’s of the United States who is calling to help advance community-based “Regardless of where they are with regard to their director of financial development. The kind that the nation to service in a way that leadership and civic leadership skills, she says “opens lots of doors and provides lots of resources.” has not happened in decades. It’s a real opportunity for an organization as opposed to business-management type skills.” Leadership But Martin’s enthusiasm for the organization goes beyond the benefits of networking. “It’s like ours to reach out and develop leaders from all generations and all This still describes Leadership Austin’s basic mission, though Austin’s fantastic. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s walks of life.” the programs have evolved and “who’s who” incredible,” she says. While McKissick acknowledges that the proliferated over the years. One of the reasons for the organization’s reputation is a exclusive reputation is out there, she says several factors are responsible for a recent drive exclusive aura may be due to the fact that two of the six programs require chicken-and- to become more open and accessible. “One, an application and selection process. egg problem. NoW ACCepTiNG eXCel eSSeNTiAl eMeRGe eNGAGe eXpeRieNCe AUSTiN AppliCATioNS For Austin’s “most The original. Apply if you’re a Sign up to attend one of Sign up if you want to get The original Leadership experienced leaders.” Apply if you’ve already high-potential young eight events that cover to know the city on an Austin course, This program is still being exhibited some form of professional who topics important to the activist’s level. “Essential,” is still developed. Sign up for civic leadership. wants to take your civic community. Open attendance. around, but over the email updates to find out 10 full days in 9 months, engagement to the next 8 breakfasts in 8 months, 5 sessions in 5 weeks, past few years L.A. has more. 55 students, level. 6 sessions in 12 about 70 attendees per 24 students, expanded its offerings $3,000 tuition. weeks 45 students. topic. $25 per topic. $785 registration. Tuition TBD. 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 GC BLOG