Survey: We are least open to minorities, immigrants and seniors. Generous with our time, but not our money
How to support immigrants and refugees
Build authentic, firsthand relationships by volunteering for organizations such as Intercambio.
Join a rapid response network.
Invite an organization to speak to your congregation or school about what’s at stake for so many.
Find out where your elected officials stand on issues impacting immigrants and refugees. Urge them to focus on the issue.
Give money to organizations advocating for immigrants and refugees.
“A line in the sand” for minorities and immigrants
Marta Moreno isn’t surprised to hear that racial and ethnic minorities and immigrants from other countries remain Boulder County’s most marginalized populations.
Every day, the founder of el Comite de Longmont helps immigrants by referring them to legal assistance, addressing their basic needs, promoting advocacy and empowerment and building community bridges.
“With this new administration, we have no news but bad news,” she said. “People fear that if they go anywhere for help, immigration enforcement will be there to meet them.”
Pick an issue and get involved
Let’s just say Denice Walker is civically engaged.
Since moving to Boulder County in 1980, she has had a career at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, received a Master’s Degree in religious studies and a PhD in media studies – both from The University of Colorado – and lived in Boulder, Louisville and Lafayette.
Denice Walker’s advice on how to get involved:
Work locally. Don’t be distracted by the political drama on the national level.
Choose a local cause you feel passionate about and focus on helping that one cause.
Be willing to live with a slower pace of change.
Tell the story of the local cause you care about.
More than half of us volunteer
Local volunteer activity remained high in 2017, with 55 percent donating their time to some sort of organization, according to the Community Foundation’s survey. This was up from 45 percent volunteer participation in 2015 and 51 percent in 2013.
The national volunteer rate was little changed at 24.9 percent for the year ending in September 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. About 62.6 million people volunteered through or for an organization at least once between September 2014 and September 2015. The national volunteer rate in 2013 was 25.4 percent.
A fund to support LGBTQ needs
While Boulder County is generally perceived to be open to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people, our LGBTQ community faces persistent challenges. That’s why donors like Tom Hay and his partner, Mark Hinson, have designated a portion of their estates to support the Community Foundation’s Open Door Fund.
“The fund supports the whole gamut of issues and concerns facing the LGBTQ community – from teenagers at risk of being bullied to seniors without a partner or other family members to care for them,” said Hay, who helped launch the fund in the early ’90s.
The importance of becoming uncomfortable
Jennie Arbogash’s parents struggled to make ends meet. And yet, she was raised in a generous family and community.
“Even when we had very little when I was young, my mom still drove seniors to doctor’s appointments,” she said. “I wouldn’t be here today without the childhood priest who put money in my backpack so my family could afford to eat.”
Five reasons people give
What motivates people to give of their time, talent or treasure? Why do people commit to making a difference in the world? Although there are hundreds of stories about why people give, Jennie Arbogash believes they fall into five categories:
A sense of social justice or a spiritual motivation
A desire to “pay it forward”
A commitment to a high quality of life for everyone in one’s community
An understanding that a high quality of life for everyone is in everyone’s self interest
Inspiring entrepreneurs to push the status quo
Inspiring early-stage corporate philanthropy, Pledge 1% Colorado is a network of entrepreneurs who share a common commitment to give back. A movement with roots at the Community Foundation, Pledge 1% connects young companies’ future success to philanthropy by allowing them to easily pledge 1 percent of equity, 1 percent of employee time to volunteerism, 1 percent of product and 1 percent of profit to local communities.
Building a culture of giving
.J. Heyman noticed something was different about Boulder County soon after moving here from the San Francisco Bay area in 1993.
“I was surprised to hear little talk of giving back – as had been my experience in other places I’ve lived or worked. Not only in San Francisco, but also in Boston, Dallas and other communities,” he said. “I read with shock that – while Boulder is one of the wealthiest, best educated, happiest and most fit communities in Colorado, or anywhere – we were below the state and national averages in giving.”
The power is in the asking
Giving back is in Leslie Allen’s blood.
“Both of my parents were teachers,” she said. “Both came from exceedingly challenging circumstances. One was abandoned as a baby, raised in an orphanage, and drafted to the front lines of Korea. My mother’s mom died early and her dad was an alcoholic. Yet my parents always were giving of their time and helping others.”
Today, Allen continues her family’s legacy of giving by helping nonprofits raise money through the company she co-founded, Front Range Source.
We, the people?
Boulder County’s elected leadership, and its advisory boards and commissions, are not reflective of the racial and ethnic diversity of the county as a whole.
In 1990, 93 percent of the county’s residents were Anglo, or non-Hispanic white. By 2015, more than 20 percent of the county identified as a person of color.
“Feelin’ the Bern” but failing to vote
The City of Boulder has a reputation for being a liberal political stronghold. The county has that reputation as well, to varying degrees.
While Republicans dominated the 2016 election nationally, Democratic support locally picked up steam.
Registered Democrats increased from 40 percent to 43.9 percent of the county’s voters between 2015 and 2017. Meanwhile, registered Republicans fell from 18 percent to 16.8 percent. At the same time, the county’s registered voters who were unaffiliated fell from 40 percent to 37.3 percent.
It may come as a surprise to some that locally, we are not very open to racial and ethnic minorities and refugees, according to the most recent Community Foundation survey. Openness to senior citizens is also waning locally, our survey found.