More about the money: How and why we’re accepting money for the Central Texas Wildfire Fund

We’ve talked a lot on the blog about our seven bake sale locations, how to help with the bake sale, and which local businesses are supporting us. Now it’s time to talk about one of the most important reasons we’re having the bake sale: to raise money for The Austin Community Foundation Central Texas Wildfire FundOur goal is to raise $10,000 for the Central Texas Wildfire Fund at or before Saturday’s bake sales. That may seem like an audacious undertaking, but we are confident that Central Texans are up to the task!

Photo courtesy Nathan Russell Photography

Why the Austin Community Foundation?

The Austin Community Foundation has a proven track record of success in Central Texas. They have a four star rating from Charity Navigator, and have been working in Austin since 1977. The Central Texas Wildfire Fund was established earlier this month at the Austin Community Foundation to help donors assist the people and organizations affected by the fires over Labor Day weekend across Central Texas, including Bastrop, Leander, Steiner Ranch and more.

The Austin Community Foundation has a strong network of nonprofits in the region and can identify those working to help fire victims. Because of these relationships as well as ACF’s status as a charity and a foundation, ACF is well suited for collecting and distributing the donations, and helping donors track their donations for tax purposes.

The Austin Community Foundation has the infrastructure in place to accept a large gift from Austin Bakes for Bastrop and to use the funds efficiently where they’re needed most. The organization is a 501(c)3 non-profit, so gifts towards their efforts in Central Texas are tax-deductible. (More about that in a moment.) They have an extensive, transparent record of their financial information, including annual audits published online.

How to Give

Businesses and individuals supporing Austin Bakes for Bastrop can give to the Central Texas Wildfire Fund via cash, check and our online giving page. Each Austin Bakes for Bastrop location has two committed lead volunteers who will be responsible for managing individual gifts and ensuring that they are accounted for at the end of the bake sale. We have a game plan in place to track donations, report them transparently, and to make sure every penny ends up safely in The Austin Community Foundation’s hands.

Austin Bakes for Bastrop is a donation-based bake sale. That means instead of listing prices on each item, we’ll look to customers to decide the value of their purchase and support the Central Texas Wildfire Fund accordingly. We’ll accept cash and checks (made out to The Austin Community Foundation, please) at the seven bake sale locations in Austin and Round Rock. Supporters who wish to make a gift by credit card may do so at the Austin Bakes for Bastrop FirstGiving page. We’ll be able to make change and break some large bills at the bake sale next Saturday, but we are asking customers who are able to please bring exact change or a check made out to the Austin Community Foundation.


Here is detailed information about our handling procedures for gifts:

  1. Cash: all cash collected before and during the bake sale will be combined into a money order, payable to The Austin Community Foundation Central Texas Wildfire Fund, after the bake sale on Saturday October 1st. We will give the money order, along with all checks, to the Austin Community Foundation that day. Donors who give cash will not receive a receipt for their personal gift, but they will be able to see how much cash we raised collectively when we report the amount on here our blog and on our FirstGiving online giving page. 
  2. Checks: should be made to “The Austin Community Foundation” with Central TX Wildfire Fund written in the memo line. We will keep a log on our FirstGiving page of all checks that we receive. That way, donors can be sure that we have received their gift and see how their contribution has increased our total fundraising. We will give all checks to The Austin Community Foundation on Saturday, October 1st. The Austin Community Foundation will deposit the checks and mail each donor a gift receipt for tax purposes.
  3. Online: gifts in any amount can be made securely online at our FirstGiving page using a credit or debit card. Donors will receive two emails confirming their gift to The Austin Community Foundation: one immediately after their information has been received, and a second email confirming that their card was successfully charged for the gift. Donors can see their contribution on the Austin Bakes for Bastrop FirstGiving page, and their support will count towards our overall goal to raise $10,000 for the Central Texas Wildfire Fund.

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