Kimberly Brooks

Kimberly Brooks

“We’ve been donating to the Tax Credit Scholarship for the last few years. We love the program because it allows us to give back to our community in a meaningful way.”

“The program provides complete transparency for where the money goes and allows us to donate meaningful amounts through their rollover effect.”

“We feel really good about donating, knowing that our money goes directly to help families in our community. Through the Empower Illinois website you can designate which school the funds go to, so we designate the money to our children’s school so we can say with confidence that our donations go to families at the school.”

“So, we just feel really good to have that kind of transparency because you don’t always get to know that.”

“And the program helps insulate the funds to our community. We know we are helping people at the school who might be friends with our kids or someone our kids were playing with.”

“So, we really like the program, and I’m really sad to see them try to dismantle it.”

“We usually gave anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 every year before our school partnered with Empower. The first year, we would get a 75% tax credit back for our donation. I realized you could actually start to increase the amount of our donation every year because we would be able to take our usual annual donation and couple it with the 75% of our donation we received back from the prior year.”

“So, it’s easy to grow your donation over time, without having to put down a massive outlay in year one, you know? Even if you don’t have a lot of money and you put in $500 year one, then in year two, you’re getting back $375, and if you can donate another $500, you’re up to almost $900 without really coming more out of pocket.”

“The rolling effect of the scholarship program makes it very accessible [for middle income families] to donate meaningful amounts of money.”

“My previous company would match our donation, and my husband’s [Keyandez] does a three-times match. Each year we would roll the tax credit into a larger contribution.”

“The first year we were able to donate about $1,600. The following year we were able to give $2,000, then $2,500. Last year, we were able to give $3,000, in addition to $9,000 from my husband’s company’s match, so the school received around $12,000.”

“It’s awesome to be able to roll over our giving into a new, larger donation every year. We love giving back to the families that are actually using it to go to private schools, and it makes the private school environment more diverse. [It’s a win-win for everyone.]”

Kimberly Brooks
Chicago, Illinois

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