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Austin Amps Up Giving: Non-Profits Net $2.8 Million

KUT News

Update: Amplify Austin ended its 24-hour fund drive with nearly $2.8 million in donations. 

Original Post (2:48 p.m.): Non-profit funding initiative Amplify Austin doubled its initial goal of raising $1 million in 24 hours – with time to spare.

Donations to more than 300 non-profits in Austin passed the seven-figure mark around 9 a.m., with the amount still climbing as the donation drive rolls on.

Patsy Woods Martin works with I Live Here I Give Here, the organization that created the non-profit moneybomb. Martin started recruiting qualified Austin area non-profits for the drive a year ago. Martin says each non-profit completed classes in social media and online fundraising training to ensure beneficiaries successfully connected with potential donors on the big day.

“We’re so excited to have exceeded our goal and it’ll be so exciting to see where we end up,” Martin says. “I think one and three-quarters million, maybe two million – that would be so exciting.”

In less than 24 hours, Amplify Austin raised more than $2 million for 320 non-profits, including KUT.

Hospice Austin currently leads all non-profits by a large margin – garnering over $100,000 in donations during the 24-hour period. Melinda Marble, a spokeswoman for Hospice Austin, calls the level of donations “unprecedented.”

“I thought we might make fifteen or twenty thousand – best case, you know,” Marble says. “There was someone here in our office that thought we would make $75,000, but everybody else just thought she was crazy.”

The hospice is one of the few non-profit hospices in Austin; Marble says last year they provided over $2 million in charitable care. When donations started pouring in, Marble and her coworkers sat glued to the screen, watching every uptick on Austin Amplify’s online leaderboard.

While Amplify Austin charges a seven percent administrative fee for credit processing costs and website infrastructure, it is far short of typical processing fees from sites like PayPal, Martin says.

Martin says that Amplify Austin hopes to expand the donation drive next year. Amplify Austin will continue to accept donations until 7p.m.

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
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