First graders at St. Joseph, Hessen Cassel practicing their map skills.

First graders at St. Joseph, Hessen Cassel practicing their map skills.

About the SGO

The Scholarship Granting Organization of Northeast Indiana (SGONEI) was founded in 2011 to provide low and middle-income families with scholarships to attend Catholic schools in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.  SGONEI is one of six approved SGOs (Scholarship Granting Organizations) in the state of Indiana and was created to allow diocesan families to benefit from the Indiana Tax Credit Scholarship program. Since 2011, SGONEI has granted over 4,000 student scholarships worth more than $4.3 million.

The Scholarship Granting Organization of Northeast Indiana is recognized by the IRS as 501(c)(3) organization.  Our Employer Identification Number (EIN) is 100941966.

What is a SGO?

SGO stands for "Scholarship Granting Organization" which provides scholarship awards to low and middle-income families to help them afford the school of their choice.  SGOs were enacted in 2009, but were expanded as part of the 2011 Choice Bill that features a 50% state tax credit for contributions made to these SGOs.  The funds donated can then be distributed to families who meet the income and other requirements.  SGO scholarships are funded by charitable corporate or individual private donations, not by the state.

 

Does the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend have its own SGO?  Can I restrict my donation to a specific diocesan school?

Yes, the Diocese has its own SGO and donations can be restricted to a specific diocesan school or be unrestricted and put in the General Fund.  Donors, however, may not designate to a particular student or family.  Also, you may not donate to the SGO if you have children receiving a SGO award.

 

How do I donate to the SGO?

To donate, go the home page of this site and click the blue "Donate Online" button.  It will take you to the donation page where you will input your information.  There will be various options for payment, including credit card, check, or stock transfer.  An email confirmation will be sent.  You can also contact your specific diocesan school or Karen DeRose at the Central Office for more details.  Following this process, the donor will receive a Tax Credit Certification Number (TCCN) in a letter to use on his/her tax return.

 

What is the unrestricted fund?

Unrestricted funds are those that have been donated to the SGO with no specific school designated as recipient.  The unrestricted funds are then allocated, by need, to schools requesting additional help to provide SGO awards to students above and beyond the funds raised by the individual school.  Annually, schools may request unrestricted funds through an application process to the SGO board.

 

What is the difference between the School Choice Scholarship (voucher) and a SGO award?

The School Choice Scholarship is a portion of state funds, already allocated for a particular child to attend public school, that are utilized to off-set the cost of a non-public school's tuition and fees.  So, when a student chooses to attend a non-public school the state funds follow the student and help to pay a portion of the tuition and fees for the private school.  Family income must fall below 150% of the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch maximums.  In contrast, the SGO awards are not funded by the state, but instead by charitable donations.  Family income must fall below 200% of the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch levels for the SGO.  Once a family has received a SGO award, the family is then eligible to receive a School Choice Scholarship the following school year, if they meet the income requirements.

 

What is the tax credit available to SGO donors?

Donors are eligible to take advantage of a 50% credit against their state tax liability for these contributions.  If a donation exceeds a donor's tax liability for the year, the credit can be used against future tax liabilities.

 

What is the difference between a tax deduction and tax credit?

Unlike a tax deduction, where your charitable donation can be removed form your taxable income, a credit directly reduces your tax liability "off the bottom line".

 

Who can qualify for the tax credit?

Individuals, corporations, partnerships, LLCs, PCs, and self-employed are all eligible for the tax credit; in fact, any entity with a state tax liability can receive the benefit from a donation to the SGO.

 

Is there a cap or limit to the SGO and tax credit?

There is a $12.5 million per fiscal year cap (through June 30) on available state tax credits for up to $25 million in donations across the state.  There are no limits on the size of donations per entity or individual; you or your business could donate $5 or $25,000,000 depending on the remaining tax credits available state-wide.  Tax credits are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.  You can check www.in.gov/dor/4305.htm to see how many credits are currently remaining.

 

Can I still take my SGO gift as a deduction on my federal taxes?

Yes, your gift to the SGO is tax deductible to the full extent of the charitable laws.

 

What is an example of the possible tax benefits for my gift to the SGO?

Depending on your tax bracket, a donation of $1000 to the SGO could result in:        
Donation to SGO                   $1000.00
50% state tax rebate              (-$500.00)
30% federal deduction         (-$300.00)
_____________________________
Net cost to you                       $200.00

**Consult your tax advisor to determine your specific tax situation.

 

Why should I make a contribution to the SGO?

Gifts to the SGO will ensure that more and more students in our community will receive a Catholic education!  An award form the SGO during a student's Kindergarten year, will most likely result in a School Choice Scholarship for the student's subsequent years of Catholic education (provided the family still meets the income requirements).