The fundraising event calendar for Austin

We’re happy to partner with Laura Villagran Johnson and Kevin Smothers of Austin Social Planner to create THE fundraising event calendar for Austin.

Actually, I’m not doing much. Laura and Kevin and team created this amazing platform with Austin Social Planner, and GivingCity Austin is just directing folks to use it. I get lots of “can you please list my event” requests, but without a calendar on which to list them, I couldn’t really fulfill that request. So here’s the answer.

Austin Social Planner is simple yet robust, fun yet thorough, and geared especially for those non-Chronicle type events that seem to fall off other calendars so often. Please check it out, and PLEASE list your fundraising event on this calendar.

Thanks! ALSO, please add our event to your calendar: The next GivingCity Givers Ball is 1/11/11 at El Sol y La Luna! I can’t wait to see you all again.

Buy a sick-cute pet calendar, support a new nonprofit in Austin

I love discovering new Austin nonprofits, so when Brittani Bash contacted me about AustniPetFinder.org, I had to know more.

Plus… I mean, you gotta love this calendar (see below). Ridiculous and sick-cute at the same time.

1. What service do you offer pet owners in our community?

Austin Pet Finder offers pet owners easy access to online pet information in Central Texas. At AustinPetFinder.org you’ll find a growing resource for Central Texas pet owners, animal shelters, rescue organizations and veterinarians. We have a user friendly database for those wanting to post an ad in our lost and found database. We also provide essential information on pet health, Austin dog parks, pet friendly hotels, eateries and more!

2. What inspired the site? What need is it filling?

Austin Pet Finder was founded by Austin native, Katherine Holtry, in the summer of 2009. Katherine is a wife, mother and has been a radio and television personality for over a decade.

Katherine’s true passion is pets. As a child, she was always bringing home stray animals, and even today her household consists of several stray cats and dogs. APF was initiated on Facebook after Katherine rescued a stray kitten from a South Austin strip mall. Thanks to APF, the stray kitten enjoys a wonderful life with her loving adoptive family. Shortly after that time, APF acquired AustinPetFinder.org.

3. What are some ways we can help it grow?

Two ways:

1. In January 2010, APF’s first annual calendar was designed in hopes of taking its cause to the next level, becoming a non-profit organization. Calendars can be purchased online here.

2. We need volunteers. Our organization could not exist without volunteers.

Fundraising – APF is completely dependent on donations. Assist in all aspects of finding individual and business sponsors; develop and assist with fundraising events.

Marketing/PR/Graphic Design – Help educate the public about APF and our mission. Seek out public speaking opportunities; presentations at local fairs and other events; distribute PR materials at events and local businesses. Create a variety of promotional materials including brochures, ads, posters and flyers.

Volunteer Coordination – Assist in all aspects of recruiting, orienting, determining placement of, and coordinating volunteers for APF.

Write – Contribute a variety of marketing materials.

To help, contact Brittani,  Operations Director at 512 413-1064, or bbash@AustinPetFinder.org

Introducing … the Austin fundraising event calendar

Since the beginning, one of the killer apps (does anyone use that term anymore?) we planned for GivingCity Austin was a fundraising events calendar. If you’ve ever tried to organize a fundraiser for a nonprofit organization, one of the hardest things to come up with was the date – you don’t want to compete with another fundraiser or, worse, a Longhorns game.

Beyond planning, a calendar of Central Texas fund raising events would hopefully garner enough eyes to serve as a cross-promotional tool, too. When a nonprofit publicizes its fund raiser, it struggles to reach beyond its own group of supporters for attendees.

Right now I’m in love with Eventbrite. It seems like lots of Austin events are taking advantage of its simple platform, promotion and ticket selling tools. I’ve registered for a number of events through Eventbrite myself, and found it totally easy to use.

The GivingCity Austin fundraising calendar wouldn’t replace online applications like that. In fact, it could link directly to your Eventbrite page. Rather it would include your event on a public calendar – online, in email blasts and in the magazine – publicizing your event to anyone who comes to or gets GivingCity.

(And the other part of the plan is that everyone would come to or get GivingCity to see the fundraising calendar.)

Oy. Don’t get me started about how excited I am about this calendar thing.

I’m looking for feedback, ideas, requests as we speak. And we have top men working on the development now. Top. Men.

Stay tuned!

Get one of these Big Weekend Calendars for everyone on your list

big-weekend-calendar

I’m going to reveal to you one of my signature gifts for the past two years – the Austin Big Weekend Calendar. I first came across this calendar at the City Hall gift shop. I bought a few then, and another few last year, and am ready to buy more this year. They’re great gifts for people who love to get out and about in Austin.

What makes them so great? Two things. First, they list just about every major event in Central Texas, more than 250 in all. If there’s something fun going on, it’s already on this calendar. Never forget it’s Carnaval Brasileiro weekend again!

Second – and just as cool – 10 percent of the profits go to Keep Austin Beautiful, the local nonprofit that regularly engages the community in environmental projects that keep our parks and waters clean.

But wait, there’s more. The calendar’s made in Austin, features all original photography (no stock art), and costs about $15. Where can I get some, you say? Buy the calendar online or pick it up at BookPeople, Waterloo Records, Whole Foods, HEB and many other Austin stores.

(There are lots of other ways to give and get involed with Keep Austin Beautiful, whether you’re looking to make an end-of-year donation or seeking a volunteering opportunity for your family or group. Learn more on their site.)