Girls Giving Grants, a program from Impact Austin that teaches girls in eighth through 12th grades how to do philanthropy wisely, has announced its 2020 grants.

This year, for the first time in the 14-year program, the participants have decided to divide their grant between two different local nonprofit organizations. Friends of the Children will receive 75 percent of the $10,300 grant and Mothers’ Milk Bank Austin will receive the other 25 percent.

This year 95 girls from 18 area schools participated in the program and each gave $100 toward the grant. Additional money was raised in support of the program. The girls then called for applications from local nonprofit organizations and evaluated the 36 applications they received.

Friends of the Children selects kindergartners who are considered at risk and aligns them with mentors through senior year of high school. Friends of the Children will use the grant to support activities that build community and engagement for its participants and their families. Mothers’ Milk Bank Austin will use the grant to provide breast milk for babies in Austin-area neonatal intensive care units.

“As we all grew more aware of the lasting impact COVID-19 would have on our community, including our many local nonprofits, we were inspired to offer as much of an impact as possible,” said Girls Giving Grants President and Anderson High School senior Katiana Soenen in a press release. “This spurred our decision to fund both finalists for the first time in g3 history. We hope that, in doing so, we can show our support for these organizations in this difficult time and be a part of their impact on our community.”

Since 2006, Girls Giving Grants have funded $90,000 in grants for the community. Each year the girls do research into each application and meet with finalists before voting on the recipients. This year they had to complete their work by Zoom meetings because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Next year’s program is on pause currently while the organizers at Impact Austin wait to see what the lasting impact of COVID-19 will be. If you know a girl who is interested, email