Scottsdale Charros child assistance program channels tax credit to charity

Kids have a safe and fun place to play whiffle ball and other activities at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. (submitted photo)

All action begins with a single thought of motivation.

For Scottsdale Charro Jason Klonoski the action behind his thought of action has blossomed into the Child Assistance Program Sponsor program — an effort to give taxpayers an opportunity to contribute tax-credit dollars toward certain qualified charities.

“When I became a member of the Charros and I saw how much need there was beyond what we were able to give, I floated the idea,” Mr. Klonoski said of the spark to fuel CHAPS. “They said, ‘Great, go make it happen.’ So I did.”

The Scottsdale Charros — through the established Charro Foundation — created the Child Assistance Program Sponsor program to do more, Mr. Klonoski explains.

Jason Klonoski

Here’s how it works: a single Arizona taxpayer can give up to $400 to a Qualified Charitable Organization and receive $400 back from Arizona in a tax credit. So, if a taxpayer owes $500 in taxes, but the taxpayer gave $400 in a qualifying donation, the taxpayer would only owe Arizona $100 in taxes.

If you are a married taxpayer filing a joint return, you can give up to $800. It works the same for Qualifying Foster Care Charities, except the limits are higher: $500 for a single filer and $1,000 for a joint filer.

In addition, the Scottsdale Charros added the provision where an Arizona taxpayer can receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit of up to $2,200 when you give to the Scottsdale Unified School District.

For nearly 60 years, the Scottsdale Charros have been in constant pursuit of improving the lives of Scottsdale residents while preserving the community’s ties to its western heritage.

“I am extremely proud of the financial support this program has provided to many of our partners,” Mr. Klonoski said.

“I personally delivered several of the checks last week. Last year, we gave to 28 charities and 18 SUSD schools. I want to be clear this is new money. We always tell anyone that is already giving directly to a charity to continue to do so. Our goal is to raise awareness to those that are not currently giving and/or folks looking for a place to give. As always we focus on charities related to children.”

— Jason Klonoski of the Scottsdale Charros

In fiscal year 2018-19, which is a period of time annually measured between July 1 and June 30, the CHAPS program offered $84,780 in donations to various qualified nonprofits including:

  • Arizona Helping Hands
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale
  • Boys Hope Girls Hope of Arizona
  • Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship
  • Child Crisis Arizona
  • Duet: Partners in Health and Aging
  • Family Promise of Greater Phoenix
  • Feeding Matters
  • Miracle League of Arizona
  • NotMYkid
  • Reigning Grace Youth Ranch
  • Ryan House
  • Scottsdale Unified School District
  • Southwest Human Development
  • STARS

To learn more about this effort and how a donation to the CHAPS program can be funneled to a qualifying charity: chapscharities.org.

For nearly 60 years the Scottsdale Charros have been in constant pursuit of improving the lives of Scottsdale residents while preserving the community’s ties to its western heritage. (Submitted photo)

Charros are for the children

The Scottsdale Independent reached out to two 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations to learn how the CHAPS program has helped those entities fulfill their respective missions.

“The Scottsdale Charros are all in with their commitment to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale — investing their time, consistent funding and support for our mission of proving that every kid has what it takes,” said Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale President and CEO Robyn Julien.

A view of a youth baseball league supported by the Scottsdale Charros at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. (Submitted photo)

“The Scottsdale Charros have provided well over $2 million in funding over the last 25 years supporting youth sports as well as programming for youth who need us most. In 2017, we named our branch in the Paiute Neighborhood Center in their honor.”

This most recent fiscal year, through the CHAPS program, the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale received $12,500 helping to fuel youth programs that make a difference, officials contend.

“Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale is qualified to receive both the Charitable Organization and Foster Care Tax Credits,” Ms. Julien pointed out.

“Through the CHAPS program, Scottsdale Charros actively seek tax credit donations to be redirected to us. Last tax season, they raised over $13,000 in tax credits on our behalf. These dollars directly impact our ability to provide after school and summer camp programming for children in foster care and for those who are financially disadvantaged.”

— Robyn Julien, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale president

But for Ms. Julien, she says one of the most valuable efforts conducted by the Charros — a personal connection.

“In an age where personal interaction has become increasingly limited, the Charros have carried on a tradition of volunteerism and support of neighbors, providing a beautiful example of leadership and community,” she said.

“This is something we strive to instill in our club youth.”

At Family Promise — Greater Phoenix officials there say much of the Scottsdale Charros are there when needs arise.

“When Family Promise — Greater Phoenix thinks of the Scottsdale Charros, we think family,” said Lisa Randall, Family Promise community relations coordinator.

A view of children Family Promise of Greater Phoenix are helping to ensure they live safe and healthy lives. (Submitted photo)

“The Scottsdale Charros and the Charro Foundation have not only supported us by being a financial partner, they are advocates for our families and our emergency shelter program. Through their tireless efforts and dedication to host Spring Training baseball each year, they are able to fund many local non-profits, honor students and teachers and support worthy events with sponsorships.”

Ms. Randall says the dedication to volunteerism has made a difference for many who may never meet a Scottsdale Charro — but their effort echoes throughout the organizations they touch.

“The Charros have funded some incredibly vital projects here at our Family Promise Scottsdale location as well as supporting our general operating budget,” Ms. Randall said.

“In recent years, they have funded the commercial washers and dryers our families use every day as well as our ‘heat remediation’ trailer, used to prevent the spread of bed bugs and other unwelcome creatures. This past year, we received a grant to replace all of our refrigerators in our Day Centers with new commercial units.”

— Lisa Randall, Family Promise community relations coordinator

The mission of Family Promise — Greater Phoenix is to provide emergency shelter and social services to help families move toward independent housing and self-sufficiency. The staff at Family Process, with help by volunteers, partnerships and collaborations offer safe shelter, food, case management, counseling, life-skills training.

Ms. Randall contends Charro support is spurring Family Promise expansion.
Always innovating, the Charros CHAPS program has expanded the ability of their members, friends, family and the community to impact local qualifying non-profits.

“The funding we have received through the CHAPS program has helped us to not only serve more families but has allowed us to expand to Glendale (Feb. 2019) and very soon Mesa (Sept. 2019),” she pointed out. “Once the entire expansion is complete and fully operational, we will double the number of families we serve each year to 200. The CHAPS program has been an immense blessing to Family Promise.”

A view of the Scottsdale Charros during last year’s Parada Del Sol parade in Old Town Scottsdale. (File photo)

5 tax-credit takeaways

The CHAPS program works similar to existing tax credits, according to Mr. Klonoski. And, he offers five tips to better understand the process of the program:

  1. CHAPS is an extension of the tax-credit program the state offers to support qualified organizations.
  2. CHAPS helps Scottsdale-based charities or organizations that are the only provider for their types of services. For example, the Charros support Ryan house because they are the only palliative care provider of its type in the metropolitan area.
  3. CHAPS is different in certain ways. First it is free. If a taxpayer has a state-tax obligation the taxpayer is simply redirecting those dollars to a charity. Secondly, the expense ratio is zero. Every dollar collected gets distributed to the charity chosen. The Charros also pay the credit card fees that are charged.
  4. The criteria is set by the state of Arizona. If they are qualified to get money, the CHAPS program does not turn it or them away.
  5. Anyone can participate by going to the website: https://chapscharities.org

To learn more about the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale go to bgcs.org and to learn more about Family Promise — Greater Phoenix, go to familypromiseaz.org.

Independent Newsmedia Arizona Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at tthornton@newszap.com

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