But first a little more about the dream.
I am humbled and even embarrassed every day by our readers. I do nothing and complain about it. I hear their stories and just take notes. They make the city better, I make pretty pictures in a little magazine.
Among those I hold in awe:
women who serve on event committees
women who serve on fundraising committees
women who volunteer at thrift stores, the food bank, with children, at schools….
board members at every charity in town
millionaires who give it away
people who buy tickets to fundraising events
people who volunteer with children
people who volunteer with animals
The Junior League members
Leadership Austin members
Impact Austin, The Women’s Fund, Futuro Fund giving circle members (who commit to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to be members)
… and too many more to list
If there are 6,000 nonprofits in Austin and a nonprofit is required to have at least 3 board members, then in board members alone the GivingCity target audience is about 18,000 people. Junior League is alone is 2,200 active members. Leadership Austin is another 1,000 of the most active people in the city. And these are just off the top of my head.
I mean, these are ACTIVE, ENGAGED, GENEROUS PEOPLE who volunteer and give because THEY HAVE A LITTLE EXTRA TIME and A LITTLE EXTRA MONEY and they REALLY CARE about making Austin better. And I haven’t even brought up the people of faith, the Boys Scouts, the PTA members, the THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of state/city/county/major company employees who go through “giving days” at work so they can sign up to give millions back to local charities out of their modest paychecks every two weeks.
THIS is our audience. They think they work and donate in solitude, under the radar with no one really caring or paying attention. But WE CARE about them. We care about the dirt under their nails from tending a community garden. We care that they leave the office after a long day and go to a committee meeting all night. We care that they wake up at 4:30 am on a Sunday to set up water stations for a 5K. We care that they don’t just give online one time but rather sign up to give that same amount every month AND THEN buy a table at the annual gala and bring their friends.
We want to hear about how they’ve been a “big” or a mentor or a teacher to a kid in high school or a child in the care of the state. We want to hear about how they drive meals to the elderly or build houses for strangers or foster pit bulls until someone adopts them. We want to hear about how they commit to a race then ask all of their friends, co-workers, relatives and people they went to school with to support them with a donation, and then ask again. We want to hear about how they give away their profits, send their employees to volunteer and make giving part of their company culture.
We love these people. And gosh, they need the love. They sleep less, see their families less, eat less, buy less for themselves. They cry more, smile more, let out those big sighs from hard work more. They have more friends and more fun. They feel lucky and grateful and overwhelmed and deeply content.
GivingCity is about them and for them. It celebrates them, connects them, inspires them and helps them do more with less better. On every page, on every post they get to see themselves. At every event they get to meet each other. And over and over again, we tell them, “Thank you.” That’s the dream. That’s the goal.
There are tens of thousands of these people in Austin and Round Rock, Buda, Pflugerville, Hutto, Bastrop, Kyle, Leander and all over Central Texas. Is it too much to hope that we someday reach them all? Not for our glory, but for theirs?