Tax Credit Scholarship Information for Donors

  • IMPORTANT NEWS: There is currently a Donor Matching Program that offers a 2-for-1 matching gift for donations to the tax credit scholarships for next year (2019/2020 school year). The program is only applicable for donations made via Empower Illinois from Dec. 1, 2019, through Feb. 28, 2019, or when the matching funds are depleted.

    What are tax credit scholarships?
    The Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program, “Invest in Kids,” provides a 75 percent Illinois state income tax credit to individuals and corporations that contribute money to a non-profit Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO). The SGOs award scholarships to eligible students from low-income families. Donors will use money already owed to the state (taxes) and donate it to a needs-based scholarship instead, all while receiving a 75 percent state tax credit.
    Through this program:
    • An individual or corporation will receive a 75 percent credit on donations to an SGO. For example, if a person donates $100,000, they will receive a state tax credit of $75,000.
    • Individual donors can designate their donations to the Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools.
    • The credit can be rolled over for five years.
    • Donors are prohibited from receiving a federal tax deduction for these donations.
    • The program is capped at $100 million in donations, resulting in $75 million in total tax credits issued.

    Triple Your Impact Opportunity
    To help donations have even more impact in 2020/21, several donors have agreed to pool their resources and offer a 2-for-1 matching gift program to the more than 160 schools run by the Archdiocese of Chicago. The matching pool fund is at $3.36 million with funds still being raised. This means for every dollar designated to a qualifying school through the Empower Illinois scholarship-granting organization between Dec. 1, 2019, and Feb. 29, 2020, the school will receive two dollars in matching funds. The donations are capped at $50,000 per school.

    The program will end when all matching funds have been depleted or on Feb. 29, 2020, whichever comes first. After April 1, 2020, any matching gift program funds that are not awarded at a designated school will be reallocated to eligible students at schools with unmet demand. Donors who would like to receive the tax credit for their 2019 taxes should begin the process prior to Dec. 16, 2019, to ensure that they have enough time to make their gift by December 31, 2019.

    What is the process for donating?
    Individual and corporate donors can reserve tax credits through by following these steps:
    1. Create a MyTax Illinois account on Anyone applying for a scholarship tax credit is required to have an account. If you do not have one, the first step is requesting a Letter ID from the Illinois Department of Revenue.
      • CLICK HERE for step-by-step instructions on how to request a Letter ID.
      • CLICK HERE for step-by-step instructions on how to activate your tax account. 
    2. Apply for a tax credit on Donors will need to provide the following information:
      • Region to which he/she plans to donate
      • Name of SGO to which he/she plans to donate (the Archdiocese is partnering with Empower Illinois)
      • Amount he/she plans to donate
      • CLICK HERE for step-by-step instructions on how to apply for the credit
    3. Donate to the SGO within 60 days of receiving your application approval and the Contribution Authorization Certificate.
    4. Provide a certificate from the SGO to use tax credit when filing a 2019 return in 2020.
    Interested in donating?
    To speak with the Tax Credit Scholarship Office, please contact or 312.534.2617