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Tax credit scholarships provide an Illinois state income tax credit to individuals and corporations that contribute money to an SGO. The SGO awards scholarships to eligible students from low-income families. Individuals and corporations that donate to SGOs may receive a credit for their Illinois state taxes equal to 75 percent of donations to an SGO.
Example: A taxpayer donates $10,000 to an SGO. The taxpayer will be eligible to claim a $7,500 tax credit when he or she files their 2020 state taxes.

Donating to Empower Illinois

This week (January 15) the Empower Illinois Scholarship application went live to families interested in attending Catholic Schools but who need scholarship assistance.  We have the opportunity to donate to help fund scholarships while also earning a 75% Illinois State tax credit; and through February 29, 2020 the 2-for-1 Tax Credit Scholarship (TCS) Gift Program is open.  Any TCS donations designated to a school between now and February 29 (or until funds are depleted) are eligible for a 2-for-1 matching gift.  

The process to donate is a four-phase process.  It involves first requesting a letter ID from Illinois, activating your account at, reserving your credit and then making the donation.  The details around the whole process may be found at this link: How to Donate for Tax Credit Scholarship Program.  

We will be offering in-person guidance on how to donate from 7-8pm in the Multi-Purpose Room at the School of St. Mary on Monday evenings in February.  However, to get started on the first phase, and therefore save 7-10 business days, please consider doing the following as soon as you decide to donate (to maximize potential of 2-for-1 matching gift award): 

Log onto

Click on "Request a Letter ID"; under the "Miscellaneous section:

If you already have an account enter your username and password to verify

If you do NOT have an account, click the 'individual' tab

Enter your Social Security Number and one of the following: 


Most Recent Adjusted Gross Income

IL Driver's License Number

IL State Identification Number

Click 'Submit' and enter and confirm your email address; then click 'OK' to submit and receive your confirmation.

Your Letter ID will be mailed to the address on your last year's tax return.  You should receive it within 7-10 business days.

Then proceed to the second phase of the donation process: Activate Your Account

Please consider donating to Empower Illinois and designate School of St. Mary. We will be able to accept more families with generous donations, particularly if donations are completed by February 29, 2020. Please contact Mandy Castle with any questions on how to donate (