09.26.23

Community Partner Profile: Sophie and Jack Walker

Sophie and Jack Walker have been long time supporters, partners, and friends of Community Foundation Boulder County. They truly want to make a difference in so many people’s lives, and people are often drawn to them for their caring and compassionate ways. Sophie and Jack's love of the arts, philanthropy, and humanity is contagious, and together, they are quite the duo.

 

Can you tell us about your history in Boulder County and why you first became involved with the Community Foundation?

We arrived in Boulder in late 1992, fell in love with the town and have never left.  

Through a business meeting with Brad Feld in 1993, we learned of Social Venture Partners, which was part of the Community Foundation at the time. That is where we met Josie Heath, then the President of the Community Foundation. We were enormously impressed by her personality and her skills. We became, and have remained, friends with Josie and her dynamic husband Rollie, to this day.  

We became active members of Social Venture Partners and saw up close the workings of the Community Foundation. Around the same time, we were also made aware of the Community Foundation’s desire to grow so that it could meet the increasing needs of the Boulder County community. 

 

What inspired you to become a Donor Advised Fundholder at the Community Foundation?

Josie originally explained the financial benefits of creating a Donor Advised Fund to us and we recognized the value Community Foundation Boulder County offered to us as potential fund holders. Amongst other things, we could see the management and investment of funds were so well done, and the returns exceeded those of our own investment advisors.  

The team are so creative in the way they raise funds, and we learned to accept the frequent requests for money to meet one or other special appeal. We were both active in several non-profits, so we saw how requests for help were received and handled in such an exemplary way.  

Sophie was recognized for her work by being awarded the Stan Black Award of the Community Foundation, given to a person of outstanding merit who has served the community for a long time. As the 2013 floods in Boulder created a huge new demand for help, the Community Foundation stepped up to become the premier distributor of funds to those in need.   

 

What inspired you to become a Legacy Society member of the Community Foundation?

We had so many positive experiences with the Community Foundation and felt inspired to include Community Foundation Boulder County as part of our estate planning, thus becoming members of the Legacy Society.  

As Legacy Society members, we ensure the ongoing support of the Community Foundation, and our wider community long after we have passed. This unique gift also helps provide continuity for the Community Foundation’s work. Knowing funds will reliably come in over the years from legacy gifts better positions the Community Foundation to meet the obligations and needs in the community. 

  

What do you tell your peers in the community about partnering with the Community Foundation and your hope for the future of Boulder County?  

A major piece of the Community Foundation’s work is its investment in the Trends report. This report provides data on important indicators that relate to quality of life in our community, such as demographic changes, access to housing and education, arts and culture, and civic life, etc.  

Seeing a composite picture in this way inspires philanthropy; we tell anyone who will listen that giving to and through that the Community Foundation is the best way to leverage your philanthropic dollars. It is the proverbial biggest bang for your buck!  

Boulder has a history of lagging in its generosity. For decades people moving to Boulder had their philanthropy established in the city where they made their money. That is changing and wealth is being created and staying in Boulder County. The individuals creating that wealth need to understand the importance of philanthropy and be drawn into the circle of giving. Discovering the Community Foundation, as we did, and recognizing the critically important work it performs in the community allows individuals the opportunity to embrace the culture of giving and help their community thrive. We hope, by providing examples to others, there will be an awakening of generosity, and that it finds its way into the safe hands of the Community Foundation.