Day #26: Give By Studying the Issues with “I Live Here, I Give Here” in Austin, TX

Did you know that 60% of people that live in nursing homes never receive visitors?

Or that 1 in five adults in Austin can’t read well enough to fill out a job application?

Neither did I…until today when I met with Patsy Woods Martin, the Founder and Executive Director of “I Live Here, I Give Here.” [See Left].

We met in her office on the 12th floor of the San Jacinto Center in downtown Austin. She told me about the organization’s mission to educate and connect individuals and non-profits – and to increase personal philanthropy in Central Texas.

In my opinion, the coolest thing about what their organization does is host monthly Community Spotlight Conversations – 1-hour lunch panels that focus on a particular issue. For example, February’s lunch was all about Foster Care & Adoption; this month’s lunch will be about Childhood Obesity. Other past topics have been Illiteracy, Early Childhood, and Senior Citizen Care.

Tim & I have been reflecting on the fact that intentional giving begins with learning.

In fact, we are convinced that non-profits often go about recruiting volunteers in the wrong way. They try to get people to sign up as a volunteer or attend an orientation as the 1st step…instead of inviting people to come “study the issues” and discuss solutions first.

On the flip side – If there is an organization that you MIGHT like to volunteer with or be a part of in your community, why not start by calling to schedule a tour and/or to meet with the founder? You can even bring your kids along (like we do). You’ll be able to sense pretty quickly if an organization is a good fit for your personality, your skill set, your schedule, and your passions.

Do you regularly volunteer with a non-profit or church in your community? If not, what’s holding you back?


  1. I’m simply going to say “Amen!” to this statement: “Tim & I have been reflecting on the fact that intentional giving begins with learning.”

    So, so true – I wonder how many people don’t give because they have simply never been educated about the need.

  2. Yesterday I met w/ the Executive Director of @ILH_IGH (a non-profit organization based in #Austin, TX). #GiveEveryDay

  3. I live here, I give here is doing something great. Wow! I clicked to their webpage & love it!
    You guys are so right about impactful giving starts with learning. I don’t want tp just throw my money at something. But, when I realize how important something is, through someone educating me o the issue, I will gladly give.
    I need to be more purposeful in educating myself on issues.

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