CBS Austin: City of Austin 2021 Gave Out $211 Million In Grants During FY2021 193_CBS_Austin-_City_of_Austin_2021_Gave_Out_$211_Million_In_Grants_During_FY2021

November 17, 2022 11:54 PM


The City of Austin paid out 1,292 grants for a total of $211,224,588 last year

Top 10:


Interesting grants included:

Descriptions of the nine interesting grants:

FII--National (Family Independence Initiative National)  based in Oakland, CA received a   $7,808,478 grant from the City of Austin. FII-National’s 990 shows for 2021 shows annual revenue as $76,416,139.  Looks like they renamed recently to UpTogether. There are 14  “chapters” of FII, Austin is one. 

There is a FII-Austin, but the check was to FII-National. Maybe it is administered out of Oakland? We requested comment from them. 

Background: In 2018  the St. David Foundation alongside the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and, celebrated the Austin launch of FII - Family Independence Initiative. FII trusts and invests in low-income families across the nation so they can work individually and collectively to achieve prosperity. When we decided to make a $425,000 investment to help bring FII's model to Austin, we did so because we believe in the value of an alternative model of investment to make poverty escapable. We believe it's time to start reshaping the narrative about low-income families. 

From the FII Austin homepage: One day, all families will have an equal opportunity to achieve their goals and dreams. But that will require systemic change brought about through the coordinated actions of low-income families and those in positions of influence. While families demonstrate that they can and will change their own communities; supporters, funders, and policy makers must shift to direct investment approaches that encourage, rather than discourage, initiative and mutuality.   

PEOPLEFUND Received a grant for $5,466,515.10. Their 990 for 2021 shows annual revenue of $14,535,836

PeopleFund creates economic opportunity and financial stability for underserved people and communities by providing access to capital, education, and resources to build healthy small businesses. BIPOC Accelerator program (Black, Indigenous, People of Color, which includes anyone who identifies as Hispanic, Latinx, Native American, Native Hawaiian, Alaskan Native, Desi, Asian or Pacific Islander) Special programs for women-owned businesses

CARITAS OF AUSTIN In 2021 received a grant from the City of Austin for $4,416,392. From its 2021 990 revenues were $15,511,664. 

Its mission: To prevent and end homelessness for people in Greater Austin.  They provide housing, food and education. From their website: In 2021, the annual Homeless Point-In-Time Count identified 3,160 people experiencing homelessness in the Austin area, but it’s estimated that over 10,000 people access homeless services over the course of a year.  

Workers Defense Project Inc Received a grant for $2,889,498 in 2021.  Annual revenue from 2020 990 was $7,693,277.

Its NTEE classification on their 990 is “Kindergarten, Preschool, Nursery School, Early Admissions (Educational Institutions and Related Activities)”  But its mission is:

A 501c (3)  WDF is Workers Defense Action Fund is an organization fighting for the rights of low-wage workers and immigrants across Texas, primarily on immigrant workers in the construction industry. From their website: “We ignite a powerful collective fight for a more just future… While we also have opinions and mobilize our base for issues relating to climate justice, criminal justice reform and more, our #1 issue is workers rights.”



“WDAF runs community driven policy and electoral campaigns that engage working people on the issues that impact their families

Our community knows that they have been underestimated and underserved. Texas has more workers making at or below the federal minimum wage than any other state, and it is the most uninsured state in the country.

Our worker members take the lead in everything we do, from endorsing politicians who will fight for worker and immigrants rights to passing policies at the local and state-wide level. Since 2014, Workers Defense Action Fund has endorsed local and state candidates across Texas.”

TEXAS RIOGRANDE LEGAL AID INC received a grant for $910,766. The latest 990 found (2020 on Guidestar) showed annual revenue of $38,619,804.

Represent Texas farmworkers, TRLA has grown into the nation’s second largest legal aid provider and the largest in Texas. TRLA provides free civil legal services to residents in 68 Southwest Texas counties, and represents migrant and seasonal farm workers throughout the state and in six other southern states. TRLA also operates public defender programs that serve at least 10 Texas counties.

Primary focus is free legal aid for illegal migrants through Operation Lone Star.

Good Work Austin received a grant for $635,175 . Their 990 for 2021 shows annual revenue of $906,448 (which means 70% of their revenue comes from the City of Austin).

From their website: 

“We began as a group of businesses uniting to work with the Austin City Council to write Austin’s Paid Sick Leave ordinance, and we continue to work together on creating a supportive environment for employers who want to do the right thing for their employees, communities, the economy, and the environment.”

Checkout the GWA Resource Guide— activities of the organization include: diversity training, voter “resources,” and more.

GWA’s primary goals are to provide support, education, and resources to all businesses and their employees through a robust website complete with toolkits for nurturing diverse, welcoming workplaces.

Casa Marianella received a grant from the City of Austin for $311, 948. Their 990 for 2020, shows annual revenue of $2,626,859

Casa Marianella welcomes displaced immigrants (Political asylum seekers, refugees, other immigrants to the United States, regardless of status) )and promotes self-sufficiency by providing shelter and support services.  In addition to shelter, Casa offers access to legal and medical and dental resources, food, clothing, English classes, and other resources.

CM Legal Services serves clients from around the world as they navigate the often confusing and complicated U.S. immigration laws.  CMILS assists Casa Marianella residents and some community members in applying for work permits, web renewing green cards, more about seeking asylum, petitioning for family members, preparing applications for U Visas and T Visas, and more.

Jane’s Due Process received a grant for $210,000. Their 990 for 2020 showed annual revenue of $1,057,447.

Jane’s motto is Teens reproductive rights. On the homepage: 

“Under 18 and Need an Abortion?   We know getting your parents’ permission isn’t always an option. Call or text us. We’re here for you and ready to help.”

The main thrust is Jane’s Due Process helps young people in Texas navigate parental consent laws and confidentially access abortion and birth control.  A judicial bypass is permission from a judge that allows a person under the age of 18 to consent to abortion care without parental involvement.

Babe’s Fest received a grant from the City of Austion for $7,854. Its 990 for 2020 show annual revenue of $208,968

Babes Fest is: Alongside our members, collaborators and partners, we cultivate spaces where women and queer creatives, founders and leaders can grow together. Its main product is the annual weekend  Front Market and Festival Inc . that exists to put women and queer creatives, artists, designers, founders and leaders at the front of our lineups.

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