Boulder County giving is on the upswing, according to new research of IRS data compiled by Boulder’s Sterling-Rice Group. Residents contributed $175 million to charitable causes in 2008, an increase of $27 million from 2002. Boulder County’s giving as a percentage of income in 2008 was 1.92 percent, slightly ahead of the state average but trailing the national average.

“This is both promising news and a call to action, that we can pull together and do even more for our community,” said Sterling-Rice Group’s Rick Sterling.

Bolstered by the auspicious state of local philanthropy, The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County is expanding its 13th annual Culture of Giving campaign, providing a greater opportunity for all of us to work together to improve lives in Boulder County. This year, The Community Foundation is suggesting a donation of one hour of income (annual salary divided by 2,080 hours).

This singular donation will  help hundreds of local nonprofits via The Community Trust, The Community Foundation’s unrestricted endowment that is dispersed year after year. Your gift will be leveraged with others to have the most impact in meeting Boulder County’s greatest needs now and forever.

The Camera has been a proud partner of The Community Foundation in this campaign from the start. It’s been very rewarding to see the growth in Boulder County’s philanthropic culture, and we’re just getting started. Do your part; look for the giving envelope in this Sunday’s Camera or visit commfound.org to contribute.