Learning and Giving Together

One unique benefit Foundation fundholders receive is the opportunity to learn about and connect with the most pressing needs of local nonprofits working in the areas they care most about. More than 1,000 people took part in educational experiences we provided on such topics as: the developing downtown Innovation District . . . challenges women leaders face in our community . . . the role of philanthropy in creating statewide policy . . . and engaging family members in philanthropy.

Something Remarkable is Happening in Austin

It’s exciting to see something remarkable being built right before your eyes. That’s what Foundation fundholders said after meeting for lunch to learn about the construction of the Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the Dell Medical School at UT. Many discovered it’s a rare opportunity to build a teaching hospital and medical school at the very same time. It’s also rare for a nonprofit hospital, major state university and county government to collaborate with a shared commitment to innovation and outcomes.

After lunch, the group headed to the top of the Brackenridge Hospital parking garage to take in the amazing view of eight 300-foot-tall construction cranes choreographed to erect a million square feet of new buildings in an area almost the size of a full city block. While admiring the burgeoning medical innovation district, visitors also peeked at the early stages of the transformation of Waller Creek, from a 1.5 mile flood mitigation channel into an extraordinary urban and natural gathering space. Though it was a typical muggy spring afternoon, no one was in a rush to leave. The cranes and tons of concrete are nothing compared with what is really being built: a completely new way of doing things. Seton, UT and Central Health (Travis County) are together creating a new model of care. A model that puts people first, not a patchwork of funding streams. This new model views people as customers seeking good health, not as sick people who are uninsured. The shared vision is simple: making Austin a model healthy city.

Inspiring Conversations Affirm Shared Values and Inform Giving

Can a Polish-born great-grandmother who escaped Nazi Germany share common values with her “Generation Z” great-grandson who grew up on video games in a post-9/11 United States? Community-minded individuals, couples and families gathered for an intimate learning experience with guest speaker Danielle Oristian York, of 21/64, to discuss the different — and common — values of various generations, especially when it comes to their charitable giving. Guests engaged in interactive activities to explore the values of various generations and how their own personal values — such as Compassion, Freedom, Faith and Loyalty — drive their decision-making. Such thoughtful and honest conversations are key to connecting across generations and aligning philanthropy with one’s values.

Celebrating a Community of Givers

“Because of you, our community of givers, and your vision, Austin is the city we all love today,” CEO Mike Nellis told Foundation fundholders and friends at their annual gathering.

Two hundred guests rekindled friendships, celebrated past accomplishments and considered future challenges a growing Austin faces.

Nellis affirmed that the Foundation’s primary work is to connect people with causes, foster an ecosystem of philanthropy, invest for the long term and make grants to change-making organizations. He aims to do so with greater efficiency, effectiveness and transparency than ever before.

“The Foundation is also providing more opportunities to learn and give through events such as a recent panel of women leaders speaking on challenges facing women in effecting change in our community, a joint program of the Foundation’s Women’s Fund of Central Texas and Leadership Austin,” Nellis said.

Finally, Nellis announced a new program, the Impact Investment Fund which will bring more Foundation resources into the community than ever before.

Nellis invited guests to become tomorrow’s visionary leaders. “I can use your help,” he said. “Together we can invest in Austin now and prepare for Austin’s bright future.”

Learn about: Our Leadership Fund

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