Office of Advancement

FAQs

Index

Giving Basics

Is my gift tax deductible?

A.Yes! The IRS encourages support of charitable organizations by allowing an income tax charitable deduction to those who itemize their taxes. Here’s how it works:

  • Charitable gifts of cash may be deducted up to a maximum of 50 percent of your adjusted gross income.
  • There is a five-year carry over of unused deduction amounts, enabling you to spread the deduction over as many as six years.
  • There are other rules governing charitable deductions for other types of gifts.

It is worth a call to the Office of Development to discuss the tax impact of various gift strategies. We encourage all donors to seek the advice of legal financial counsel.

What is PLU’s Tax Identification Number?

A. The PLU Tax Identification Number is 91-0565571.

What does “unrestricted giving” mean?

A. Unrestricted giving provides the university with the flexibility to use gifts to support the areas that need it most. Gifts to the PLU Annual Fund allow the donor to designate a gift to an area that is meaningful to him or her, while allowing PLU to support the most prominent need within that designation at the time.

Why is giving important; will my small gift really make a difference?

A. Yes! Every gift makes a difference! Each gift, no matter the size, combines to further the experiences of students on campus by providing funding for educational and co-curricular pursuits, as well as allowing access to many students in the area of Student Scholarships.

PLU is rated by organizations such as U.S. News & World Report each year, and strong alumni support factors into the overall ranking of PLU. Additionally, when major philanthropic organizations are considering PLU for a grant, the alumni giving percentage is valued highly in the selection process as it indicates the level of satisfaction among our constituents and whether PLU is a sound investment.

What is PLU’s fiscal year, and how might that affect my giving?

A. PLU runs on a fiscal year from June 1 to May 31, similar to a school year. Giving and participation data are calculated and recorded based upon those dates. All gifts given to the PLU annual fund, will be used to support the university within the fiscal year they were donated. PLU’s fiscal year has no affect on the tax year (calendar year, January 1 to December 31) or how tax deductions are calculated.

Can I give anonymously?

A.Yes! If you wish you may give without being publicly recognized for your gift.This means you will not be listed in areas like th Honor Roll of Donors in Scene magazine, a donor recognition wall or other print or electronic public recognition of your gift.

You will receive a receipt and acknowledgement from the university along with our gratitude for your generosity.

If you are giving online there is a section in the donation form titled “Gift Recognition Information,” and the first question includes a drop down box where you may choose the option to remain anonymous for your gift. If you are giving by mail there is a section on our donate by mail form titled “Gift Information” and a subsection called “Optional Gift Instructions” with a check box for anonymous giving.

How is the Endowment at PLU doing?

A. Check out the 2013 Endowment Report to find out.

What’s the IRS Disclosure Statement for PLU?

A.IRS Disclosure Statement: Beginning with the 1994 tax year, the Internal Revenue Service requires non-profit organizations to provide donors with a good faith estimate of the value of any benefits received as a result of their gifts. When a donor calculates a charitable deduction, the value of any related benefits must be subtracted from the amount of the contribution. Benefits valued at 2% of the gift amount or $95 (in 2009), whichever is less, and certain low cost, token items are viewed by the IRS as insubstantial and do not need to be considered when determining the tax deductibility of a contribution. Consult your tax advisor with any specific questions or concerns.

Unless it is stated otherwise on your acknowledgement, no goods or services were provided in consideration of this contribution. If you receive a benefit at a later date as a result of this gift, you will be informed of its fair market value at that time.

What is the Electronic Funds Transfer program (EFT)?

A. The Electronic Funds Transfer program makes giving to PLU even easier. With your consent, PLU establishes a relationship with your bank. On the 12th of each month (or the next business day) your gift will be electronically deducted from your checking account and transferred to PLU. A record of you contribution will be on your bank statement each month. Using our EFT program saves you personal time and money by eliminating the need to write and mail checks each month.

Records & Personal Information

How do I change/update my records?

A. If any of your personal information has changed, you can simply fill out this biographical information update form and submit it to our advancement operations team who will ensure that your information is updated in our system and for all further PLU communication.

How does PLU protect my personal information? Do they sell or rent it to any third parties?

A. Personal records and information of PLU constituents are completely confidential and used only for communication from the university. This information is never sold, rented or given to any third parties for use.

The PLU Annual Fund

What is the PLU Annual Fund?

A.A gift to the PLU Annual Fund is used during the academic year (June 1 – May 31) in which it is received, and used to meet current needs.

How are my PLU Annual Fund contributions used?

A.Contributions made to the PLU Annual Fund are essential in helping the university address several top priorities. You can choose to designate your gift to student scholarships, academic excellence, campus life or the area of greatest need. The university will allocate your gift to the greatest need within each designation at the time of the donation.

Who participates?

A.Alumni, parents, friends, faculty and staff of the university, corporations, foundations and congregations.

Is there a minimum contribution amount?

A.There is not minimum contribution to the PLU Annual Fund. Donors give $5, $10, or $25 to $1,000, $5,000 or $25,000. Participation is an important factor in the university’s national ranking and grant funding so the amount you give is not as important as that you give each and every year.

How do I become a member of the PLU Annual Fund Leadership Giving Society?

A.Membership in Leadership Giving Society is acknowledged by giving level. Donors who contribute $500 or more, or those who have supported PLU for 10 or more cumulative years, are honored at one of six recognition levels. You can find more information on our
PLU Annual Fund page.

Lute Club

What is Lute Club?

A. Lute Club is PLU’s athletics fund.  Gifts to Lute Club are used to meet current needs within PLU athletics.

How are my Lute Club contributions used?

A. Contributions made to Lute Club support various aspects of the athletics program, from uniforms to equipment to travel costs for PLU teams.

Is there a minimum contribution?

A. There is no minimum contribution to Lute Club. Donors give $5, $10, or $25 to $1,000, $5,000 or $25,000.  Participation is an important factor in the university’s national ranking and grand funding so the amount you give is not as important as that you give each and every year.

How do I become a member?

A. Membership in Lute Club is acknowledged by giving level.  Donors who contribute $500 or more are honored at one of five recognition levels.  You can find more information on our Lute Club Page.

If I want to give a gift to a specific team will that still count toward my Lute Club membership?

A. Yes! Gifts to Lute Club can be designated to general athletic support, specific teams or specific endowed funds.  Options are available on our online giving form.

Endowment

What is an endowment fund?

A. The Pacific Lutheran University endowment is a permanent fund from which a portion of the investment income derived is used to ensure academic excellence, provide access and opportunity, and sustain the university’s mission.  Currently, that rate is equal to 5% of the average assets over the last three fiscal years.

How are endowment funds invested?

A. The PLU endowment is invested in highly diversified asset classes, providing stability in principal. This stability has allowed the university to continue to provide a five percent payout each year even during the volatile markets of the early and late 2000’s.

How much does it cost to establish a named endowment?

A. The minimum amount to establish a named endowed scholarship is $25,000.  Other named endowment opportunities are also available at appropriate funding levels.  A full list of endowment options and corresponding amounts can be found on our Named Endowments page.

What can an endowment support? Is it just scholarships?

A. You can endow much more than scholarships. Endowment options range from student scholarships to endowed professorships and chairs to student-faculty research – even the Wild Hope Center for Vocation! A full list can be found on our Named Endowments page.

Can I contribute to an endowment without starting one myself?

A. Yes! PLU is always seeking additional gifts to the endowment – and there are existing funds and projects that should interest everyone!  Contributions of any size may be given to these endowment funds.  Please contact our  Gift Planning Team at giftplanning@plu.edu for information about gifts to existing endowment funds or how you can create your own fund by contributing over a period of years or though deferred gifts such as bequests and gifts that provide income to you and ensure a future gift to PLU!

Planned Giving

How can I find out how much income I can receive from a Charitable Gift Annuity?

A. A Charitable Gift Annuity provides a guaranteed stream of income for the lifetime one or two individuals. The amount of income is based on the age (s) of the annuity income recipient(s) at the time the Charitable Gift Annuity is established. Contact PLU’s Gift Planning Team at giftplanning@plu.edu for a confidential illustration of how a charitable gift annuity will work for you.

Does PLU have to be the trustee of a Charitable Remainder Trust?

A. No, while the university does serve as trustee for many charitable remainder trusts, an individual, a bank, trust company or other financial institution can serve as trustee of a charitable trust.

Can I leave PLU a portion of my IRA?

A. Yes – and by doing so you not only provide a gift to PLU but you save potential taxes for your heirs!  Most IRA custodians can provide you with a form that allows you to name PLU as a partial beneficiary of your IRA.  If you have questions or required assistance, please contact our Gift Planning Team at giftplanning@plu.edu. You can also read this article on our Gift Planning page.

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