Invest in Kids State of Illinois Scholarship Program



We are so grateful for the generous donors who have contributed to Holy Family Ministries through the Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship program, “Invest in Kids.” This program provides a 75% Illinois state tax credit to individuals who contribute money to a non-profit Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO). Holy Family uses Empower Illinois as our SGO. Invest in Kids allows us to award scholarships to our most vulnerable students and families.

For example, a taxpayer making a contribution of $10,000 to an approved SGO, will be eligible to claim a $7,500 tax credit from their state income taxes, which can be rolled over for up to five years. The SGOs award scholarships to eligible students from low-income families attending private faith-based schools.

Invest in Kids is Tax Efficient

This is an extremely tax-efficient way to donate for those whose state income and real estate tax bills exceed the state deduction limit. If you are in that category, your after-tax cost of donating through the "Invest in Kids" program is only 25 cents on the dollar. In comparison, if you donate through the standard charitable deduction your after-tax cost of donating is 63 to 88 cents on the dollar. That means that you can give 2.5 times as much money to Holy Family through the "Invest in Kids" program at the same after-tax cost to you compared to traditional donations!

Be a Hero through Invest in Kids 

Join us in this significant step to provide Chicago's children with high quality education options without raising property taxes. Last year, nearly SEVENTY Holy Family students were able to receive additional scholarship assistance because of this program. 

How to Request Your "Invest In Kids" Tax Credit

Step 1) Request Letter ID
(if you already have a Letter ID from previous years, skip to step #3)

Visit Request a "Letter ID" by clicking on the blue "INDIVIDUALS" tab at the top of the page. Then click on "Request A Letter ID" and follow the instructions. The "Letter ID" is sent via the postal service and can take up to 10 days to arrive so please apply now. For step-by-step instructions with images click here.

Step 2) Activate your Account

As soon as you receive your "Letter ID", visit to register and activate your account. For step-by-step instructions with images click here.

Step 3) Request Your Contribution Authorization Certificate (CAC)

After receiving your letter ID and registering your account, log on to and request your Contribution Authorization Certificate. Important information your application must include:

  • The amount you will contribute

  • The region in which the contribution will be made (Holy Family School is in Region 1-Cook County)

  • The Scholarship Granting Organization to which the contribution will be made (for Holy Family, it will be Empower Illinois). 

Approved donors will have 60 days to donate the indicated amount to Holy Family Ministries through Empower Illinois. For full step by step instructions, click here.

Step 4) DONATE!

To make your gift, visit and follow the step-by-step instructions for making a gift via check, stock, or credit card.

Useful tips when finalizing donation:

  • When asked for your Designee, enter "Holy Family School Chicago"

  • When asked for your region, select "Region 1-Cook County"

  • There are three "Donor Authorization" boxes that have been pre-selected. We recommend de-selecting the third box, due to concerns that it would give Empower Illinois permission to use donor funds earmarked for Holy Family for other schools in the event we do not have enough qualifying students. 

Within 30 days, Empower Illinois will issue you a Certificate of Receipt. The Illinois Dept. of Revenue will also be notified that the Certificate of Receipt has been issued to you.


Contact Cynthia Schmidt at [email protected] or (773) 273-6013.