At a time when the weak economy is causing many nonprofits to cut back, A Glimmer of Hope Austin - the city's Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation of the Year for 2006 - is expanding.
The foundation has extended its funding to include projects for disadvantaged seniors and increased its annual program budget by 50 percent. These services for this underserved and growing population are in addition to the award-winning programs it already provides to the city's at-risk youth.
Seniors are a new area of focus for the foundation and $250,000 has been budgeted for this initiative for 2008. Services include helping seniors with their physical and mental well being; housing; transportation; and, legal services.
These efforts dovetail with A Glimmer of Hope Austin's commitment to improving the lives of people who suffer from exclusion, social injustices, neglect, abandonment and educational disadvantages. Since its 2003 launch, the organization's I live here, I give here philosophy has helped transform the lives of more than 45,000 young Austinites.
We are so proud of the work A Glimmer of Hope Austin has done in the community over the past five years. And, it feels like the right time to extend our efforts to include those who have given so much to that same community during their lives, said founder Donna Berber.
According to chairman Philip Berber, the foundation's business model means it is largely insulated from fluctuations in the economy.
We are principally a self-funded foundation that is not dependent on donations to determine our funding levels, he said. This is a community [seniors] that is in need and we are doing what we can to help.
Philip also pointed out that due to its unique model, A Glimmer of Hope Austin is able to offer donors the opportunity of investing alongside it knowing that 100 percent of their funds will reach the programs.
The full scope of A Glimmer of Hope Austin's impact can be seen at the foundation brand new and professionally designed website at: www.aglimmerofhopeaustin.org.
The new site has many new features including more great photos and videos; a Google Earth map of project locations; easy to navigate Grant information pages; and, a revamped and expanded In the News section.
Editor’s Note: A Glimmer of Hope Foundation is also increasing its support to programs in rural Ethiopia. By the end of 2008, A Glimmer of Hope will have funded more than 3,100 projects in that country since its launch seven years ago. These poverty-reducing projects are in the following categories: Water & Sanitation; Health; Education; Income Creation; Micro-Finance; Micro-Irrigation; and, Veterinary Clinics.