Geneva Foundation FAQs

Geneva Foundation FAQs
  1. What is the Geneva Foundation of Presbyterian Homes?

The Geneva Foundation is the charitable arm of Presbyterian Homes. It serves to separate the main business interests of Presbyterian Homes from the charitable mission which sets it apart from similar organizations. The Geneva Foundation was established to create a distinction between the fees-for-services that our residents pay for living in a Presbyterian Homes community and the donations they and others give to support older adults and others served through the mission of Presbyterian Homes. 

  1. Why does Presbyterian Homes need a charitable arm?

The heart of our mission, to help older adults, was often clouded by the daily operations of our residential communities. To continue to provide the highest quality of life and to meet the increasing demand for a four-star efficiency of service, we had to make a financial distinction between the business of operating a retirement community and the business of operating a charity. The two are forever linked but are stronger as separate entities.

  1. Are gifts to the Geneva Foundation tax deductible?

Yes.  The Geneva Foundation is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization. Our tax identification number is 71-0945228. The Geneva Foundation is exempt from federal income tax under the federal tax code.  According to the IRS, donors may deduct contributions to the Geneva Foundation of Presbyterian Homes as provided in section 170 of the tax code.  The federal tax identification number is 71-0945228.

  1. What is the Mission of the Geneva Foundation of Presbyterian Homes?

In some cases, you may need to know the official mission statement.  Your financial advisor, family foundation, attorney or donor-advised fund manager may request a mission statement from the organization you wish to support.  For your information, our mission statements are below. Presbyterian Homes, a faith-based not-for-profit, creates vibrant communities for older adults that inspire wellness, independence, joy and security – enriching the lives of residents and their families. The Geneva Foundation transforms lives by enriching our Presbyterian Homes communities through generous and responsible philanthropy.

  1. Where does the money go when I write a check to the Geneva Foundation?

If your gift is undesignated, the money will serve the operations of our charitable mission.  Each month the Geneva Foundation receives a bill for charitable services provided at each Presbyterian Homes community. Charitable donations are used to satisfy those expenses and, therefore, are not absorbed by the community. No charitable services are added to the costs of being a resident; all support is raised through traditional methods of fundraising and earnings on endowments. 

  1. Why can’t I simply write my check payable to a specific Presbyterian Homes community?

The distinction created by establishing the Geneva Foundation serves to manage your generous gifts better. In order to be the best stewards of your gifts and to be the most transparent about their utilization, the Board of Directors has mandated that all charitable giving should flow through the Geneva Foundation to maintain an auditable, measurable trail of charitable giving and work. You can be assured that any gift you designate to a specific community will most certainly be restricted for the purpose you state.

  1. If I restrict my gift to a specific program or campus does is it really go there? How does that campus know I made a donation?

Absolutely, when donors make a specific request, funds are deposited into a specific unique account tracked by the Geneva Foundation and the Presbyterian Homes Finance Department. These funds are reconciled monthly between the two departments to ensure that your gift is spent exactly as you intended for it to be used. The Geneva Foundation then notifies the appropriate department head of the availability of funds, the access numbers for the funds, and any specific donor requests for the usage of the funds. Responsible stewardship of gifts is our utmost priority.

  1. If I write a check for the New Hope Scholarship program, how do I know it will be designated for my campus?

The Geneva Foundation has several ways to ensure that your gift stays on the campus you intended. Each New Hope program has its own, uniquely designated fund which is never commingled. New Hope appeal return cards and envelopes are unique to each campus.  If you are a resident of a campus, it is generally accepted when you indicate “New Hope Scholarship” on your check that you intend for the funds to remain on your campus.  If we have a question, we go to great lengths to contact the donor for a clarification.

  1. What is the Woman’s Board of Presbyterian Homes? Is it simply a core group of volunteers? Where do revenues go when I buy something from the “Avenue of Shops?”

The Woman’s Board is a group of volunteers, which has been essential to Presbyterian Homes since our beginnings.  When Presbyterian Homes began the journey of caring for older adults, the Woman’s Board was formed to augment the staff - in fact, there was no staff in our humble beginnings – the Woman’s Board served to manage all home functions from cleaning to cooking to gardening!  The Woman’s Board has naturally evolved over the last 100 years to continue to serve in various essential positions including transport, wellness visiting, doctor visit drivers, and much more. The Woman’s Board operates the Avenue of Shops at Westminster Place. Revenue generated from these shops support the overall charitable mission and various projects at Westminster Place.  

  1. Does the Geneva Foundation accept gifts of stock?

Of course, you will need the following information to proceed with a gift of stock or securities.

For wire transfers send to:

The Northern Trust Company, DTC No. 0226

Geneva Foundation of Presbyterian Homes Account No. NT2122147

Our EIN federal tax ID number: 71-0945228, Our DLN number 17053216010033 

Please include this language with your authorization: “The purpose of this transfer is a gift of securities to the Geneva Foundation of Presbyterian Homes.” You may also indicate a designation of your gift. It is also highly recommended that you inform us directly when you plan a transfer so that we can properly designate and acknowledge your gift in the shortest time possible.

  1. My neighbor passed away and designated the Geneva Foundation for memorials. Is the family notified of my gift?

Yes, there are many residents and family members who designate the Geneva Foundation for memorials or in lieu of flowers.  Some see it as a way to say thank you for the care they received while living in the Presbyterian Homes community, others see it as a way to help their neighbors who may require support in the future.  Either way, the Geneva Foundation is happy to see these wishes carried out.  When memorial gifts are received, we thank the donor with a special letter and also send a memorial notification card to the family of the deceased.  This is done so the family is aware of your thoughtfulness.  Only your name and address is shared on the notification card, not of the amount of the gift. 

  1. How do I make a gift using my resident declining balance account?

Residents can use their declining balance account to make a gift to the Geneva Foundation. All donations made through declining balance account are for the benefit of the Geneva Foundation’s Annual Giving Fund.  These funds are used in areas of greatest need for the charitable mission of the Presbyterian Homes. A donation form may be obtained from your campus Executive Director’s Office or the Concierge Desk. It is of the utmost importance that this document is completed and signed by the Tuesday before your designated Friday roll-over into the next month.

  1. Why do donations from declining balance accounts have to be directed to the Annual Giving Fund?

According to IRS standards, a resident can use their declining balance to make a tax-deductible donation, however, it must be directed to a fund which serves the greater charitable mission directed by the Board of Directors.  

If the contribution were to be directed to a fund with oversight provided by a resident committee, the resident could, in essence, receive self-serving benefit from not only their service on the committee but also from their donation.  Therefore, all donations using a declining balance must be directed to the Annual Giving Fund, which is fully directed by the action of the Board of Directors, and in service to the global charitable mission.

  1. How many staff people are there in the Foundation? What is the percentage of fundraising costs vs. national averages? Where is the office located?

Including Todd Swortzel, the President, and CEO, there are five full-time employees of the Geneva Foundation. The team consists of Lisa Schiro, Senior Director of Development, Karen Normandt, Foundation Office Manager, Shana East, Development Specialist of Gift Administration and Margaret Xanthopoulos, Development Specialist, Annual Giving, and Events.

The percentage of fundraising costs or, the cost of operating the Foundation, is 7%.  This incredibly low percentage number reflects prudent oversight of budget and staffing levels compared to the national average of 25%. 

The Foundation has an office on each of the three campus locations. However, the corporate office is located at 8707 Skokie Blvd, Suite 400, Skokie, Illinois 60077.  The telephone number is (847) 979-3922.


Presbyterian Homes