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An Austin-based charitable giving company, Encast, has recently raised $2.2mil in seed funding, which company CEO Leo Ramirez Jr said would go toward product development, according to Austin Business Journal.

Encast’s Hero brand has two versions of their giving platform, one for individuals and one for businesses. The individual platform allows users to track their volunteer hours, find causes that they care about, and share their passions with their social networks-it helps to really show the impact that a single person can make. The WorkHero service encourages businesses to participate in their workplace giving platform to show that they have values both to their employees and their customers, telling employers, “It’s hip to give.”

In 2015, Austin ranked #36 on the list of top giving cities in the U.S. by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, giving 2.6% of total income to charity. Though charitable giving is definitely a list that Austin should strive to be at the top of, being #36 isn’t actually that bad. Consider that just four years ago, the 2012 version of this list ranked Austin at #48 out of 50, according to KUT. An increase in 12 places over four years is definitely something to be proud of, as is nearly $8.5mil that Austinites donated to more than 600 local charities in last week’s Amplify Austin campaign by I Live Here, I Give Here.

Bonus: Today is the last day of the Encast SXSW lounge at the Des Moines Embassy (at 6th and Red River). Doors open at 4pm with a wine tasting at 8pm.

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

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