Karl Zinsmeister, Vice President for Publications at the Philanthropy Roundtable, says, “Private philanthropy is crucial in making America the unusual country that it is.”
This can mean many things, but specifically it means that nearly every other country in the world depends very little on charitable gifts from its citizens. No, taxes pay the bills. In many European countries even churches are subsidized by the state.
In the United States in 2015, Americans gave $358 Billion to charitable causes of all kinds, including St. Labre Indian School. As we’ve mentioned many times before, without you, St. Labre would cease to exist. And if that were the case, life would be very different for future generations of Native American children and young people who would otherwise attend St. Labre.
Simply put, no Indian reservation school in Montana or anywhere in the Intermountain West can point to the success of St. Labre when it comes to graduation rates, and graduates continuing into higher education and graduating from colleges and vocational schools. In every summer edition of the Morning Star, you read about this success, and you see it on the faces of the students who are moving on. Their smiles tell you that they believe in their future.
And obviously, you do too. You are among the many Americans who fulfill a role that makes life in our country better for millions of people, including the 750 or more students who will show up at the doors of our schools in a few short weeks.
You also know that success comes at a price: in the case of scholarships for our students that price is hefty– over $300,000 a year. Thankfully, The endowed Father Emmett Hoffmann Scholarship Fund was begun many years ago, the interest from which provides a corpus of scholarship funds to award to students each year. However, the fund needs to grow exponentially before the interest would approach $300,000 annually. Unfortunately, for the past eight years you and I have seen interest rates remain at the lowest levels ever.
We encourage you to donate to this fund, but we also encourage you to send gifts that can be fully utilized immediately, too. Here are some things to consider:
• The permanent Charitable IRA Rollover Law now makes it possible for people over 70 ½ years of age to have gifts donated from their account up to $100,000 to St. Labre. Many people are taking advantage of this law for several reasons: if you have $10,000 rolled out of your IRA to the school, you will pay no taxes on that amount. And since that $10,000 is no longer attributable to you as income, you could avoid being put into a higher tax bracket.
• Many people make charitable gifts on a monthly basis. Maybe you give $50 or $100 a month to St. Labre. That comes out of your monthly income from Social Security, pensions or a part-time job. You could have that rolled over to the school in a lump sum of either $600 or $1200 from your IRA minimum distribution, which in effect, would give you more spendable income each month.
• Consider making a gift to St. Labre in your final plans. You can earmark all or a portion to be used for scholarships, or you might want part to go to the endowed Father Emmett Hoffmann Scholarship and the remainder for immediate scholarships. Either way, your gift creates a legacy that will be lasting.
• Do you have highly appreciated stock that is paying you very little in the way of dividends? You can donate that stock and realize a dollar for dollar charitable deduction, which can be utilized for up to five additional years. If you do not itemize your taxes, use the stock to create a charitable gift annuity, the revenue from which you can donate for scholarships.
• In addition, Trusts can be created to provide scholarship income; real estate and personal property can be donated, and there are other ways you can keep sending these students onto the road of self-sufficiency.
Finally, remember it’s worth giving the St. Labre Planned Giving Department a call first, which specializes in gifts that provide benefits to you. For a no obligation chat with someone, call 1-866-652-0959.
Let’s keep these kids moving in the right direction.