Donor Profile: Laurie Hathorn

Laurie Hathorn has been involved with Community Foundation Boulder County since 2016, as a donor, volunteer, Legacy Society member, and overall extraordinary individual who cares deeply about the community. At the community foundation, she serves on the grants committee for the Community Trust and is a member of the Women’s Philanthropy Group. Laurie also serves as a board member for Boulder Housing Partners and CU Boulder’s College of Music. She and her husband Peter Spear add so much to the broader community and we’re grateful for her support.  

Tell us about your history in Boulder County and what brought you here? 

I retired in 2010 and decided to leave New York for Colorado. Having spent several years here in the 1970’s, I held onto a memory of a very special place in the west — a place with a big sky, lots of sunshine, mountains and trails, and a welcoming culture. So, I sold my home, packed my belongings, and moved to Boulder not knowing a soul. My memories were spot on. From day one I felt like I had come home to the place that had always lived in my heart.  


When and why did you first get involved with the community foundation?  

When my parents passed away about five years ago, I wanted to recognize them in a way that expressed our shared love for music. I explained this to my financial advisor, and he recommended establishing a Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) in their name, which I could use to make current gifts to organizations we cared about. My trusted advisor does not live in Colorado; however, he suggested I set up the fund with my local community foundation. He felt the connection with community would be important, and he was so right! 


What excites you about your donor-advised fund?    

Working with the team at Community Foundation Boulder County, I established my DAF so that I’ve been able to make philanthropic donations easily using the portal. As an estate vehicle, it will be the beneficiary of funds from my trust and be managed by the community foundation per my instructions. This process is very straight forward. I created a list of beneficiary organizations that will receive funds in perpetuity from my DAF. While I am alive, I can update the list whenever I wish without needing to amend any documents. I simply send the updated list to the community foundation, where it is put into my file.  


How do you look at your donor-advised fund differently now that you can draw on your IRA for charitable contributions too?  

 Since turning 70.5, I have directed qualified charitable gifts (QCD) from my IRA.  So, while there is no longer the same tax benefit for having a DAF, the long-term strategy of the fund remains the same.  


What in the community are you most involved with now and why?  

When I created my DAF at the community foundation, I also established an endowment in my parent’s name at CU’s College of Music. I continue to support the arts but have broadened my philanthropy to include organizations that support our community in important ways, such as housing, food insecurity, education, and health. This year I volunteered to review grant requests from the community foundation Community Trust. It was eye-opening work which revealed to me just how many local organizations are doing great work, and how much our support matters!  


What do you tell your peers in the community about partnering with the community foundation?   

I can list so many reasons why I love living in Boulder County. Being able to contribute my time and resources in meaningful ways gives me hope that our community will come together to support organizations that strive to fill the gaps and improve the quality of life for all. Community Foundation Boulder County exists to amplify the efforts of individuals to serve the greater whole.