I started to title this article, "The Credits are Gone!" By the time you read this, we should be out of SGO credits. Think about that for a moment ... $7.5 million in SGO credits has been awarded in less than 12 months. That translates to $15 million in scholarship donations for nonpublic schools in Indiana. Starting July 1, thanks to our Indiana legislators, we'll have an increase to $8.5 million in SGO credits available for distribution.I changed the title after finishing a phone call with one of our faithful donors to the Lutheran SGO of Indiana's general funds. He has been making online monthly donations for several years to help students enjoy a quality, Christian education in Indiana. I suggested that he wait until July 1 for his usual donation; he attended parochial school as a child, and while he enjoys helping to provide the same opportunity for Indiana families, he also greatly appreciates the tax credit.After sharing his appreciation of the advance notice, he hesitated and then asked another question: "Hey, Jon, can you tell me how much of my donation goes to salaries, fees, and other costs?" He said he'd read in the news about agencies that charge excessive fees for fundraising. "I certainly trust you guys," he continued, "but, well, can you give me a rough number?"
We always appreciate questions such as this one; not only does it indicate a certain level of trust and respect, but it also indicates that donors want to ensure their support has the the greatest impact for students. "Why, yes, I can tell you exactly how much our fees are ... 7 percent!" I responded.I went on to explain that while Indiana places a limit of 10 percent on administration fees, The Lutheran SGO has operated on less than 7 percent since it opened its doors in 2012. "Ninety-three percent of every gift is available as scholarships for students!" I told him."Wonderful!" the donor replied, "that's exactly what I wanted to hear. I will double-up my donation on July 1."That's exactly what we wanted to hear, too.