Getting creative: Three ways to support education

In addition to the celebrations of graduation season, education tends to get a lot of attention.

Tidewater Jewish Foundation can help donors make a difference in the lives of young people by funding education. While establishing a scholarship fund at TJF is one way to accomplish this goal, it’s not the only way. Here are three ideas to consider to make an impact through education.

Establish a Designated Fund for educational institutions

A designated fund provides support for specific organizations of the donor’s choice. For example, someone who wants to ensure that a particular Jewish day school receives funding each year, can set up a designated fund, or a family that has supported the same local college or day school for generations, may want that support to continue. At the same time, donors may want to be certain that their funds are used effectively. This includes protecting their monetary support from the school’s creditors if the school gets in financial trouble. A designated fund at TJF could be the solution.

Establish a Field-of-Interest Fund to support specific aspects of education

Through a Field-of-Interest fund at TJF, parameters for grant making can be established according to the donor’s wishes. If education is a priority with the donor supporting a variety of local organizations over the years that provide students with courses, tutoring, mentorship, and social services, establishing a Field-of-Interest Fund activates TJF’s expertise and research by delegating grant-making decisions to TJF’s team. This helps donors ensure their dollars will have the greatest impact.

Seek TJF’s advice for Donor-Advised Fund grant making

Many who have established Donor-Advised funds at TJF have likely used them to support an alma mater, children’s school, and other educational institutions. TJF would welcome the opportunity to explore education more broadly, beyond four-year institutions. TJF can also help identify charities that support teachers, classrooms, and school districts – all of which need resources to deliver the best possible education to students.

Support education through tax credits

In addition to these strategies, education can be supported through the Virginia Education Improvement Scholarship Tax Credit (EISTC) Program. TJF is an approved scholarship foundation under this program, which helps qualifying students from lower- and middle-income families attend local Jewish day schools. By participating in this program, donors can receive a 65% credit against their Virginia income tax. For example, a $10,000 gift can support local Jewish education and may have a net after-tax cost of less than 25 cents on the dollar. This is a powerful way to make a significant impact on education while also benefiting from tax incentives.

Donations are urgently needed to fully fund scholarships before local schools close for the end of the school year. Tax credit-eligible donations require preauthorization. Forms must be submitted as soon as possible to complete all donations in early June.

To better understand the benefits of donating to TJF for the EISTC Program, consider this simple illustration:


Donation (Cash, or FMV of Marketable Securities) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$10,000
Virginia EISTC (65% of donation as a credit to VA Income Taxes) . . . . .. . . . . . . . . $6,500
Federal Tax Savings (24% charitable contribution of NET . . . . . . . . . . . . .$3,500) – $840
Virginia Tax Savings (5.75% charitable contribution of NET . . . . . . . . . . . $3,500) – $201
Total Tax Savings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $7,541
Net After-Tax Cost of $10,000 Donation to TJF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,459
Important disclaimer in the above illustration: TJF offers this simple illustration for consideration by potential donors but does not offer specific tax advice. Interested donors are encouraged to consult with their professional tax advisors to confirm the applicability of any tax benefits unique to their specific situation.

“We are currently shy of donations by about $150,000 needed to fully fund this year’s scholarships,” says Naomi Limor Sedek, TJF president/CEO. “If our Jewish schools made their goals through this program for this academic year, what a difference that would make.”

For more information, contact Naomi Limor Sedek at 757-965-6109 or or Randy Parrish at 757-965-6104 or