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October 2013 - Volume 19, Number 4


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Philanthropy and Education Go Together

by Deborah D. Thornton

November 15 is National Philanthropy Day, to “recognize and pay tribute to the great contributions…made to our lives, our communities, and our world.” Iowans consistently rank near the top nationally (third in 2011) in volunteering and philanthropy. Education is a key philanthropy area.


Non-profit school tuition organizations (STOs) raise funds to help low-income children to attend accredited non-government schools.


Taxpayers donating to STOs are eligible for a tax credit equal to 65 percent of the contribution. Fortunately, the Iowa Legislature encouraged our philanthropy by raising the tax credits to $12 million last spring, and including S corporations, partnerships, LLCs, estates, and trusts in the allowable donors.


Families receiving the scholarships make no more than 300 percent of the federal poverty level. Because of the STOs, thousands of children can now attend the school of their parent(s) choice. These children now have the same opportunity wealthy children have. This is a good thing.


So throughout the year, think of yourself as a philanthropist — whether big or small. We can all help, and we can especially help every child attend the school of their choice!


FACTS & OPINIONS is one of our quarterly membership newsletters, arriving in January, April, July, and October. It consists of short articles of public interest with an emphasis on current issues.


FACTS & OPINIONS is published by Public Interest Institute at Iowa Wesleyan College, a nonpartisan, nonprofit, research and educational institute, whose activities are supported by contributions from private individuals, corporations, companies, and foundations. The Institute does not accept government grants.


Contributions are tax-deductible under sections 501(c)(3) and 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.


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Institute." The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Public Interest Institute.


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