Immanuel Lutheran school
INTRODUCING THE FAITHFUL SERVANTS SCHOLARSHIP FUND
Dear Immanuel members, friends, school alumni,
As you probably already know, we lost a good friend and a beloved former teacher of Immanuel with Bob Boetel’s passing on December 26, 2020. My wife Lynn and I have many fond memories of Bob. My daughters all remember their eighth-grade experiences with him, and I know many of you have shared stories about Bob as teacher or friend. We were blessed to have Gloria (kindergarten) and Bob (grade 8) as the “Bookends” at Immanuel Lutheran School for decades.
Immanuel has been blessed with many other “Faithful Servants” who have served the Lord and provided Christian ministry to generations of students and families. We think of teachers from the past such as Augie Prahlow and Dee Stritof, just to name a couple. Whom do you remember as a student, parent, or grandparent? How did these servants of the Lord make a positive impact on your life?
When Bob died, I know many of you gave memorials to Immanuel in Bob’s name. Now, I would like to expand on this generosity by offering an idea that I have shared with Pastor Fields, Principal Josh Bachman, and the Congregation Council.
The current tuition for a student to attend Immanuel School is more than $6,000.00 per year. Immanuel is eligible and does receive money from the Indiana Choice Scholarship Fund (vouchers) to defray some of this cost, but it is still a challenge for many parents to be able to afford to send their children to our school. To help narrow the tuition gap, and to honor our Faithful Servants, I propose that we utilize both the Lutheran Scholarship Granting Organization and Immanuel Endowment to raise funds to help current and future students and families.
First, let me explain how the Lutheran Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) works:
Let’s say, for example, you contribute $1000.00 to the Lutheran SGO and designate Immanuel Lutheran School as the beneficiary. The Lutheran SGO takes a 7% fee from your contribution, so $930.00 of your contribution is made available to Immanuel Lutheran School in the form of scholarships, which the principal can allocate to reduce the cost of tuition for students. Recent decisions have doubled the income limit for being eligible to receive an SGO scholarship. This means more students are eligible for financial aid. Any donations that are made to the SGO can be used not only for the current school year, but for future school year scholarships as well. We can take advantage of this to stockpile funds for the future of our school ministry.
But, you may ask, why use the Lutheran SGO to provide tuition assistance to Immanuel students? Answer: tax credits. Continuing with our example, for your $1000 contribution to the Lutheran SGO, you will receive an Indiana State income tax credit of $500 which would be subtracted to any taxes due on your tax return. If your tax from the state is $2000, you would only have to pay $1500.00. If you have already withheld your state tax, you would receive a $500 refund! As of the writing of this letter, the Lutheran SGO program has in excess of $6 Million in tax credits that are available.
So, because the Lutheran SGO is such a good deal, how, I wondered, could we get more folks at Immanuel to make a contribution to the SGO?
By providing even more incentive. That brings us back to the “Faithful Servants Scholarship Fund” idea that I mentioned at the beginning of this letter. In a sentence, my idea is to start the new scholarship fund by matching (fifty cents on the dollar) contributions made to the Lutheran SGO.
Let me explain. By congregation policy, at least $20,000.00 is needed to start a new named fund in our endowment, but let’s think big! Suppose we get commitments from individuals to contribute $100,000.00 to start the new Faithful Servants Scholarship Fund. We would then use those commitments for a “fifty cents on the dollar” match to any contribution made to the Lutheran SGO. To go back to our example, if you give $1000 to the Lutheran SGO, another individual would make good on a promise to give $500 to the new scholarship fund. After $200,000.00 has been contributed to the Lutheran SGO, the $100,000.00 matching contribution from this group of individuals would be donated to start the “Faithful Servants Scholarship Fund.”
The long-term goal is to build enough money into this fund to pay for a significant portion of the cost of our education ministry at Immanuel. The more we have in the endowment, the less we are dependent on other sources of income which, while they are a great blessing today, may not be available to us tomorrow.
What are three ways you can help?
- Spread the word. Tell your friends and family members about the idea. Encourage them to contribute to the Lutheran SGO or consider making a commitment to match contributions to the Lutheran SGO with contributions to the new Faithful Servants Scholarship Fund.
- Consider contributing to the Lutheran SGO yourself.
- Be part of the group that will pledge the minimum $20,000.00 needed to start the “Faithful Servants Scholarship Fund” endowment.
If you have any questions or are interested in contributing to this cause, please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you may call me at 219-241-8449.
Also, it would also be helpful for you to provide us with the names and contact information of alumni and/or parents of Immanuel graduates to let them know about this opportunity. Please contact Kristen Kearney at Immanuel at 219-462-8207 x273 or by email at email@example.com.