Forget the Pink Bunny Suit; Go with the 529

Posted on Dec 10, 2020 by Jon Dize - Funding the Mission

In this post and this post, I shared my thoughts on the 529 plans and the expansion from college savings to include K-12 private schools.

As much as I enjoy mentoring and coaching our 19 partner schools in fundraising and SGOs, wouldn’t it be great if more of our families were able to pay for their K-12 tuition with 529 plan savings?

During these uncertain times when some families are moving their children away from our schools due to rising costs and job losses, the value of having a 529 plan would be immeasurable, allowing the student to stay in their favorite school regardless of family temporary financial upheavals.

As Vivian Tsai, chair of the college savings foundation says here, “529 education gifting tools can make saving easier while sending a powerful message on the value of setting long-term goals… these gifting programs provide a foundation for a child to plan and prepare for their future.”

Indiana’s 529 plan, Indiana CollegeChoice, allows plan owners to share a Ugift® code with friends and family so they can “give a gift that won’t be outgrown.” In addition to helping fund future educational costs, by sharing a link to a child’s 529 savings plan “families can educate their circle of friends about this option and empower their broader network to participate in a child’s financial and educational future,” adds Ms. Tsai.

So, forget the socks (and pink bunny suit) this year. After wrapping a good gift or two for Ralphie, ask their mom and dad about how you can make an impact on their future (and fund some SGO scholarships, too.)

For our schools, you should continue to promote the use of 529s to fund tuition costs. The more funds provided by 529s, the more funds that could be available for financial aid for other families or other projects.

For our churches, how about providing a set-up gift for a newborn’s 529 plan along with the candle after their baptism? There must be a few people in the pews willing to help fund just such an effort.

For families, the sooner you start, the sooner you can be ready to pay for the best Christ-centered education available in Northeast Indiana, in addition to receiving a state tax credit.

Quick primer on 529s for the curious:

Named after a section of the tax code, 529s allow individuals to contribute after-tax dollars to a savings fund that is invested and grows tax-free. Withdraws are also tax-free if used to pay eligible K-12 and college education expenses. Gifts to approved plans in Indiana are eligible for a 20% Indiana state tax credit, up to $5,000 that could result in a state tax credit up to $1,000. Contributors can be anyone… parents, grandparents, uncles, neighbors, former babysitters, anyone.

P.S. if you want the tax benefit but do not know of a student to benefit, let me know at

Picture Credit: Christmas Story