There has been a great deal of discussion lately on how the new tax laws will affect philanthropy. The new laws raise the standard deduction considerably and many pundits believe that people who previously itemized their tax return will no longer do so. Given that gifts to not-for-profits help decrease an individual’s tax liability, the increase in the standard deduction will no longer benefit those people. Hence they will not give.
True philanthropists, however, never give because they receive a tax deduction. They give because they believe in the mission of the organization to help others. There are really only two reasons to be philanthropic: one is to save lives and the other is to change lives. True philanthropists know this to be true and they want to help people.
At Eureka College, there is a man who exemplifies the spirit of a true philanthropist. His name is Rennie Atterbury. Mr. Atterbury is not a graduate of Eureka College but he is a man who embodies the spirit of Eureka. As a trustee of the College, he has seen firsthand the transformational difference Eureka College has made in the lives of its graduates. Rennie loves Eureka College.
Rennie’s annual support of Eureka College is significant. He contributes to the annual fund, capital improvements, the arts and many other important programs and projects. For all of these contributions, he receives a tax receipt letter and, like millions of other citizens, he deducts those gifts from his tax returns.
One gift however he does not deduct. This gift is not tax deductible. What is this gift? Each year Rennie pays the tuition, room and board, books and incidental expenses for one Eureka College student. It is a direct payment to the College. Money that is not tax deductible. Rennie does not know the student well. He does know the backgrounds of the students and they are challenging. They would not be able to afford college without financial help.
Why does he give this amazing gift? The simple truth is that he believes in people. Rennie believes in paying it forward. He believes in helping others. He believes in the future. On Feb. 6 Eureka College will conduct the inaugural National Day of Giving. Rennie has pledged to give $5,000 if 50 people give a gift on that day. The size of that gift is not important. The act of giving is what counts.
Please join Rennie Atterbury and other members of the Eureka College community in supporting Eureka College. EC is worthy of your support.