AUSTIN, Texas--()--Today Austin Gives, a non-profit organization designed to recognize and celebrate business philanthropy, is hosting a celebratory luncheon in honor of this year’s GeneroCity Award recipients, Give Realty, BuildASign.com and Harden Healthcare.
“We are fortunate to live in a community supported by so many outstanding organizations who understand the importance of giving.”
The luncheon event, held at the Hilton Austin on Tuesday, Feb. 26, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., brings together local businesses and the non-profits they support to celebrate and encourage citywide giving. Mayor Lee Leffingwell will kick off the luncheon with an introductory speech followed by keynote speaker and notable philanthropist Roy Spence, Co-Founder & Chairman of GSD&M and Co-Founder and CEO of The Purpose Institute. Judy Maggio of KEYE-TV will serve as the event’s emcee.
The award recipients fall into the following categories:
Charitable Champion: Give Realty
(under 50 employees)
Give Realty was founded under the for-benefit business model, which commits a dedicated portion of company earnings towards philanthropy. With 25% of commissions given to charities of its clients’ choice, Give Realty has donated a total of $227,800 since July 23, 2008.
Big Heart: BuildASign.com
(50 to 250 employees)
Philanthropy has been a core part of BuildASign.com's culture from the very beginning. BuildASign.com makes in-kind product donations, financial contributions, and encourages employees to be actively engaged in the community. In addition, BuildASign.com provides military families with free custom Welcome Home banners for their loved ones returning home from deployment.
Bold Giver: Harden Healthcare
(over 250 employees)
Harden Healthcare’s philosophy is based on the Golden Rule. This simple yet effective guiding principle impacts every level of operations, from corporate policy, to community outreach, to the daily interactions of caregivers. The company supports numerous non-profits through donations and company-wide volunteer opportunities, including delivering Meals on Wheels, collecting Toys for Tots and mentoring youth within the community.
Austin Gives -- Grows:
Austin Gives is the result of a collaborative effort amongst the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas, United Way for Greater Austin, Austin Community Foundation and I Live Here I Give Here. The organization was patterned after the Keystone Program in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
All businesses, regardless of company size, are invited to join Austin Gives. There is no fee to join and the only requirement is to complete a simple pledge form reserved for businesses that commit to giving 1% or more of pre-tax earnings to local charities. Austin Gives then recognizes the generosity of its members’ philanthropic efforts at the organization’s annual award ceremony and through traditional and social media throughout the year.
As an Austin Gives member, organizations are eligible to apply for the GeneroCity Award, the organization’s highest honor that recognizes small-, medium- and large-sized companies. This year’s submissions consisted of applications from over 20% of eligible businesses, including finalists Silicon Labs, University Federal Credit Union, American Constructors, Texas Gas Service, Elizabeth Christian & Associates Public Relations, South Texas Money Management, Ltd. and Zuma Office Supply.
Due to the success of this year’s GeneroCity Award submissions, Austin Gives has welcomed 130 new members to its roster, soaring past its original new member goal of 100 - an incredible achievement for an organization that has only existed for one year.
“We are exceptionally proud of these results as other cities with similar programs have yet to experience the same success in this amount of time,” says Debbie Johnson, Austin Gives Director. A similar program based out of Minneapolis has approximately 190 members after 30 years in existence, and Denver’s version of a similar program has approximately 160 members after 20 years of operation.
The GeneroCity Award recipients were selected by a panel comprised of local community leaders including Nikelle Meade of Brown McCarroll; John-Michael Cortez of CapMetro; Ed Kargbo of Yellow Cab; Denise Bradley of St. David’s Healthcare; and Bobby Jenkins of ABC Home and Commercial Services.
“There was a tremendous response to the Austin Gives initiative in its inaugural year. The number of organizations applying for the award and the scope of their philanthropic work was impressive, making it difficult to select the winners,” says Denise Bradley, director of corporate communication and public affairs for St. David’s HealthCare. “We are fortunate to live in a community supported by so many outstanding organizations who understand the importance of giving.”
Event sponsors include St. David’s Healthcare and St. David’s Foundation as Presenting Luncheon Funders, H-E-B as Awards Presenting Funder, and Yellow Cab as Austin Gives’ Premier Founding Funder.