Gifts of Cash: Getting Started

The easiest, most common way for you to support Gustavus Adolphus College is with cash gifts—typically gifts by check.

Main Benefits

When you make a cash gift by currency, credit card or check to Gustavus today, we both benefit. Your generosity enables us to meet our most urgent needs and carry out our mission on a daily basis. Your benefits include:
  • The ability to choose how your gift is used.
  • The opportunity to see the results of your generosity.
  • An immediate charitable deduction on your federal income taxes, when you itemize.
CheckmarkIf You Don't Usually Itemize...
If you have few itemized deductions, consider alternating between years in which you take the standard deduction and make few charitable gifts and years in which you give double your usual annual philanthropic support and shift to itemizing.

How to Document Your Gift

For gifts by check of less than $250, a copy of the check is sufficient documentation. For a check of $250 or more, you should obtain a receipt from the charity.

For other contributions, be sure to get a written acknowledgement of your gift from Gustavus Adolphus College. It must include:
  • The amount of cash contributed.
  • Whether you received any goods or services in exchange for the gift.
  • A description and good faith estimate of the value of any goods or services you received in return.

How to Figure Your Maximum Charitable Deductions

Generally, the maximum deduction for cash gifts is 50 percent of your adjusted gross income. If filing jointly, use your aggregate adjusted gross income. Any excess deduction may be carried over for up to five additional years.

Example: Figuring Your Benefits

Donor profile: Richard plans to make a $1,000 cash gift to a qualified charitable organization. Richard's annual adjusted gross income is $45,000.

Gift amount
$1,000
Taxes saved [Richard's combined state and federal marginal income tax rate (28%) x his gift amount ($1,000)] $280
Net cost of gift (gift amount - taxes saved) $720

To learn more about supporting Gustavus Adolphus College today, contact Jackie Peterson at 507-933-7543 or jpeters9@gustavus.edu.