Allocate funds by April 15 for tax credit

Emily Belt (right) has participated in Allocate to Elevate for years. Now her daughter, Elisabeth, will benefit from the program when she starts her first semester this fall at Xavier College Preparatory.

By Lana Sweeten-Shults
GCU News Bureau

Emily Belt, on most days, is nestled on the Grand Canyon University campus, where she works as the Regional Director of Ground Admissions Operations.

But for the past few weeks, she has been nesting at home with 13-year-old daughter Elisabeth. When she's not working remotely during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place mandate, she's standing in as a teacher for Elisabeth, whose schoolwork has moved online during school closures.

But it won’t always be like this.

August will roll around, as it is apt to do. Schools will reopen, as they are apt to do.

And for Belt and her daughter, “tuition will still be due,” Belt said, as Elisabeth starts her first semester of high school at her “dream school,” Xavier College Preparatory.

It’s a dream that may never have been realized without the support of Allocate to Elevate, the employee-giving program that redirects the money employees would owe on their state taxes to GCU-supported charitable causes that align with the University's mission.

Although the date to submit state tax returns has been pushed back to July 15, the cutoff date remains April 15 to take advantage of the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit, which is how Allocate to Elevate is funded.

What that means is that if GCU and Grand Canyon Education employees want to include that tax credit on this year’s taxes, they must sign up to participate in Allocate to Elevate by April 15.

Sheila Jones

K12 Educational Development Home-school Director Sheila Jones, who also serves as the campus’ Allocate to Elevate representative, said the University has reached about $3.1 million of its $3.2 million goal. She’s hoping 120 more employees will sign up to participate in the program to help meet that goal.

Those funds will go to support Habitat for Humanity, public school extracurricular programs and School Choice Arizona in support of scholarships so students can attend private Christian schools.

It's important to note that take-home pay is not affected for Allocate to Elevate participants. Employees are simply telling the state how they want their taxes spent.

“The need for help in our neighborhood and schools is at an all-time high with COVID-19. What a blessing it is for us to be able to help in such a big way with zero dollars out of our own pocket," said Jones, who echoed Belt’s sentiment that families still will have needs. They still will have to pay tuition, and they will still need to pay fees for, say, band or athletics or after-school clubs.

Belt has been an avid supporter of Allocate to Elevate, whose pledge goal has grown significantly from its initial goal in 2013 of $218,000 to the $3.2 million today.

“I love the idea of having a say-so in where my tax funds go,” Belt said.

She has diverted funds to co-workers’ children through Allocate to Elevate in the past.

“When I first started, one of the people on my team had a child who had gone to a private school. I’ve split my allocation between Habitat and whoever’s child I’m supporting,” she said.

Now she’ll be the recipient of that generous support.

Her daughter is starting a blog to update the people who are supporting her through Allocate to Elevate.

“She knows the individuals who have contributed,” Belt said. “She’s so excited to do a welcome video and help loop them in.”

She added, “I wouldn’t be able to afford this without the support of my co-workers."

GCU senior writer Lana Sweeten-Shults can be reached at [email protected] or at 602-639-7901.

How to sign up:

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Related content:

GCU Today: Allocate to Elevate sets $3.2 million pledge goal

GCU Today: Employees pledge record total to Donate to Elevate

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