Austin ranked 12th most generous city based on Convio survey

Paxton Thomes

Austin showed its affinity for donating by jumping three ranks from its 2010 position to the 12th most generous city in Convio’s poll, based on data gathered from 1,500 nonprofit organizations that use their fundraising software.

Convio is an Austin-based provider of software that allows nonprofit organizations to maximize their interactions with their donors. They released a study naming Austin as the 12th most generous out of 273 ranked cities in January. The study is comprised of cities that have a population greater than 100,000 and ranks them according to average donations per 1,000 people.

Convio spokeswoman Karoline McLaughlin said Austin’s jump forward in its ranking is an impressive feat, and something not all cities can easily claim.

McLaughlin said over the past four years they have done the study to show the progression of online donating and they want to share their results.

“We are really proud to be the number one city in Texas,” McLaughlin said. “We have passed areas such as Houston who have greater populations, which means the population makeup of Austin is more generous.”

The change in rank can be attributed to the influx of people coming into Austin from different areas, McLaughlin said.

“A lot of people in the community are able to leverage their activities with charities,” McLaughlin said. “Austin is very wired when it comes to technology.”

Sly Majid, chief service officer in the mayor’s office said Austin is ranked higher than other Texas cities because it is a technologically engaged city that enjoys helping those less fortunate.

“The ranking demonstrates that Austin has generous community members who help support those who are less fortunate,” Majid said.

Majid said he thinks Austin’s rank will increase in the future as a result of many different factors.

“I do think donations will increase in Austin for many different reasons,” Majid said. “One reason being the creation of the chief service officer position whose job is to make people aware of different volunteer opportunities. This is one of the best cities for volunteer opportunities.”

Economics and mathematics senior Ava Villegas said the advances in technology that facilitate the act of giving are a great benefit to the community.

“I think the ranking is awesome. It shows how businesses cooperate with the community,” Villegas said. “Donations can make a change and it’s the principle of the matter that’s important.”