Austin Gives is looking to recognize businesses that donate money, services or time for its second annual GeneroCity Award Program.

The nonprofit’s purpose is to honor and spotlight Austin businesses that give back to the community, Director Debbie Johnson said.

“It’s our hope that we will encourage, motivate and inspire others to give back themselves or find new ways to give back,” she said.

To apply for the award program, a business first needs to become a member of Austin Gives, which is free and done through The only requirement to becoming a member is that a business must donate 1 percent of its pre-tax earnings through monetary donations, products or services, or by volunteering.

Businesses have until Dec. 2 to apply to the award program by visiting Austin Gives will choose one business from each category: Bolder Givers (more than 250 employees), Big Hearts (50–250 employees) and Charitable Champions (fewer than 50 employees).

Winners will be announced Jan. 7 at the GeneroCity Award Program luncheon with keynote speaker John Paul DeJoira, co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems, Patrn Spirits and JP’s Peace, Love & Happiness Foundation.

Last year’s winners were Give Realty, North Austin–based and Harden Healthcare.

“I think it was a really inspirational day,” Johnson said. “Attending is a great way to recharge your batteries.”

Austin Gives was founded 2012 and modeled after a similar program in Minneapolis called the Keystone Program. Johnson said the organization already has 175 member businesses with a goal of reaching 200 by the end of 2013.

If that happens, Johnson said Austin Gives would have more members than the Keystone Program, which has been around for 30 years and has 190 members, and more members than a similar program in Denver that has been around for 20 years with 160 members.

“We could declare ourselves the best in class for business philanthropy. We have a competitive drive,” she said with a laugh.

To purchase tickets to the GeneroCity Award Program luncheon, visit For more information, call 512-517-9485.


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