Donor FAQ

Why should I donate to ACSTO?

Distinctly Christian

Our passion is Christian Education—we believe every student should have the opportunity to learn not just in a private school but, specifically, a Christian School. This is why we partner with over 125 different Christian Schools all across the state of Arizona!


We award 92% of all recommendations—more than the 90% required by law!

Customer Service

Our Customer Service Specialists have the best training, are available, friendly, and helpful!

We Protect the Tax Credit

We fight to protect Tax Credit Scholarships … including prevailing in ACSTO v. Winn at the U.S. Supreme Court. We believe in School Choice!

ACSTO's sole purpose is to make Christian Education affordable for everyone.

How can I donate?

Donate Online: Give through our secure Donor Portal.

Donate Monthly: Prefer to make smaller donations every month, instead of a large one once a year? Create a monthly donation schedule online through your Donor Portal account!

Donate by Phone: Call us at 480.820.0403 to donate by credit card. Our phone hours are Monday–Friday, 9am–12pm and 1pm–4pm.

Donate by Mail: Complete a donation card and include a check, money order, or credit card information. Mail donations to PO Box 6580, Chandler, AZ 85246.

When can I donate?

You may donate at any time of the year. We process as many donations as possible prior to each award cycle.

For donations made between January 1 and April 15, the donor can choose to claim the tax credit for the previous or current tax year. If claiming it for the previous tax year, donations must be made by the time you file your taxes or April 15, whichever comes first. Even if you file an extension, your donation must be postmarked or submitted online before midnight, April 15.

How much can I donate?

You can donate up to the combined maximum of the Original and Overflow Tax Credits, or your Arizona state tax liability, whichever is less.

Your state tax liability is the amount of money you must pay to the state in taxes based on your earnings. In exchange for your donation, the state gives you a dollar-for-dollar tax credit, essentially taking the place of what you would have to pay to the state. However, your donation cannot exceed the annual donation maximum allowed, or your tax liability, whichever is less.

In order to claim the Overflow Tax Credit, you must donate the maximum amount to the Original Tax Credit before any additional amount is applied to the Overflow Tax Credit, up to that credit’s allowed maximum donation.

For the current tax credit maximums, click here.

If you have no liability, you cannot receive a credit. However, what you give to ACSTO may be considered a charitable gift.

If I already get a refund, why would I need a tax credit?

You receive a refund when you overpay toward your state taxes throughout the year.

A credit is very different from a refund. Dollar-for-dollar, a credit offsets the tax you owe the state. Arizona gives you credit for each dollar you donate up to your state tax liability or the stated maximum, whichever is less.

When you take advantage of a tax credit, if you normally get a refund, you’ll get a bigger refund! Likewise, at the end of the year, if you typically owe tax, you’ll owe less or now receive a refund.

How much of my donation is awarded as a scholarship?

Arizona law requires that 90% of donated funds are awarded as scholarships. ACSTO awards 92% of recommended donations. We operate on an 8% budget which is used to pay for operating costs and numerous resources for our schools, parents, and donors.

Can I recommend a specific school or student with my donation?

Yes, you may identify a specific school and your donation will be used to award scholarships among applicants from that school. A current list of our Partner Schools is available here. In addition, you may also recommend an eligible K-12 student (or preschooler with disabilities) who is not your child or dependent.

However, you cannot "swap" donations with other people by recommending each other’s children. The law states, "A taxpayer may not claim a tax credit if the taxpayer agrees to swap donations with another taxpayer to benefit either taxpayer’s own dependent." ACSTO has always discouraged this practice.

Does a donor's recommendation guarantee a scholarship?

No, ACSTO's Selection Committees must retain complete discretion regarding all awards. Both Arizona law and IRS regulations do not allow guarantees. Recommendations are considered in the award process, but they are not the only factor. Our Selection Committees also consider the Financial Circumstances of the student’s family (a required factor by state law) and a Narrative about the student which are provided in the student's Scholarship Application.

Will I receive a receipt at the end of the year?

If you have an account on our Donor Portal, you may print your current year’s receipt at any time. If you have not yet created an account, an annual receipt statement will be mailed to you by January 31 of the following year.

Is my donation eligible for a federal deduction?

Please consult your tax advisor for specific tax advice concerning deductibility for your tax situation.

Are there other tax credit opportunities?

Arizona offers several other tax credit opportunities for public schools, charitable organizations, foster care, and military families. A taxpayer may donate to as many of the various tax credit programs as they like—as long as they have the state tax liability to do so. Visit the Arizona Department of Revenue website at for more information.

How do I claim my credit on my state tax return?

Donations to ACSTO for the Original Tax Credit are claimed using Arizona Form 323. Donations made for the Overflow Tax Credit are claimed using Arizona Form 348. If claiming any tax credits, you will also need to complete Form 301. Forms are available from the Arizona Department of Revenue at, or on our Claim Your Credit page.

Why can't parents know who donated for their child or how much?

The Arizona Department of Revenue has always maintained that donor names should not be shared with scholarship recipients. By providing the names of donors who recommended a child for a scholarship, the STO may give the impression that money donated will always be used for the student beneficiary recommended by the donor. In addition, as a 501(c)(3), federal charitable contribution laws expect donor confidentiality.

A.R.S. 43-1603(B)(3) prohibits an STO from awarding, designating or reserving scholarships based solely on a donor’s recommendation. We do not disclose dollar amounts for recommendations because there are no guarantees for the recommended amount. Tax credit law discourages any perception of an entitlement to scholarships that are not yet awarded.