View Full Version : Establishing a scholarship
09-28-2009, 03:07 PM
I am looking into donating money to a university for a scholarship for a student.
I am very intersted in writing this off on my taxes as well. Has anyone done that before? How do you go about getting that deducted?
09-28-2009, 06:37 PM
I'm assuming you're in the US. Rules and practices elsewhere are probably very different.
The university should have a office, called Development or something similar, whose job it is to receive donations and see that the money is used as the donor specifies (i.e., they will see that the money is used to create a scholarship with the rules you want). They will give you a letter, acknowledging your donation, that you need as backup when you take a deduction for a charitable donation on your income tax. (You don't need to include it with your tax return, but the IRS will want to see it if they decide to audit you.)
Your best bet is to contact the university you have in mind and discuss the details with them before you do anything. If you want the scholarship to be ongoing, you'll likely have to donate enough to establish an endowment that will spin off interest to fund it. They should create an agreement that spells out what you plan to give and what the university will do with the money.
I'm not a development officer or a tax lawyer, but I am a university administrator and have established a scholarship myself at my school.
09-28-2009, 07:02 PM
I'm a tax person, and would recommend following the same advice Topologist has. You'll need to make sure the school is the right type for donations to be deductible, and you'll need a statement from the institution for your tax records in any event.
If you wanted to establish a scholarship outside of a specific school, look into creating a private foundation. The PF is a nonprofit, so your contribution to it could be tax deductible. PFs have a lot of rules, so it's not a do-it-yourself kind of project.
In either case, if you have a specific student in mind, the donation might not be deductible.
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