How to Support

Working Together
Lutheran Education Needs You!

Lutheran schools have been educating children in the St. Louis area since the mid-1800s. Thanks to the generosity and dedication of the St. Louis community, we can continue that mission well into the future. More than 8,300 children of all faiths attend Lutheran elementary and high schools in the St. Louis Metro Area, making it the second largest private school system in the Bi-State Region.

Founded in 2004, LESA provides educational support services to 34 member schools - including three National Blue Ribbon Schools and three related agencies. LESA is a Recognized Service Organization of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

Some services are also offered to schools and early childhood centers throughout the region as needed.

We invite you to continue helping children attending Lutheran elementary schools now and in the future by supporting our special events, donating to a LESA Endowment or leaving a planned gift. To learn more about LESA's Endowments, read more

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Ways You Can Support Our Students

You Can Be a Part of the Future of the Students LESA Serves!

As part of the planned giving program, LESA is offering “named endowments;” to donors interested in leaving a lasting legacy for future Lutheran elementary school students. These endowments are funded by individuals and foundations with a minimum gift of $25,000, the proceeds of which support student tuition assistance, educational programing, and LESA operations; their use may be designated by the donor. This $25,000 gift may be funded at one time or over a period of five years with a $5,000 annual donation. To expedite establishment of new named endowments, the Lutheran Legacy Foundation has awarded LESA a matching grant which will provide the final $5,000 gift to establish a named endowment for the next twenty (20) donors who complete the first $20,000 in named endowment gifts.

Thank you for helping leave a legacy for children for years to come through Lutheran education, and being a part of LESA's ministry. For your convenience, download an Endowment Fund Donation Form and return it by mail. Or contact Katherine Auble via email kauble at lesastl dot org or at 314-200-0797 for more information.

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A Tax-Effective Way to Donate to LESA

When planning your IRA withdrawal strategy, you may want to consider making charitable donations through a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). QCD is a direct transfer of funds from your IRA custodian, payable to a qualified charity like the Lutheran Elementary School Association. QCDs can be counted toward satisfying your required minimum distributions (RMDs) for the year, as long as certain rules are met.

In addition to the benefits of supporting the Lutheran Elementary School Association, a QCD excludes the amount donated from taxable income, which is unlike regular withdrawals from an IRA. Keeping your taxable income lower may reduce the impact to certain tax credits and deductions, including Social Security and Medicare. Also, QCDs don't require that you itemize, which due to the recent tax law changes, means you may decide to take advantage of the higher standard deduction, but still use a QCD for charitable giving.

Consider Supporting LESA Through Planned Giving with Pledges, Recurring Gifts or Estate Planning.

We’d be happy to discuss how you can be a part of the Heritage Club and leave a legacy for Lutheran education. The LCMS Foundation is one of LESA's partners in assisting you as you remember the students LESA serves in your estate plan.

As children of Christ, we are called upon to be good stewards of the assets with which we have been blessed. Good stewardship includes faithful financial planning for ourselves, our families and our community to assure that future needs will be met.

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What is Planned Giving?

Planned Giving generally refers to gifts that we make from our accumulated assets or other sources, such as insurance proceeds or annuities, to support the missions and activities of charitable or religious organizations of the donor’s choice such as the Lutheran Elementary School Association. Your planned gift will provide for Lutheran education in our community, so that it may remain vital in years to come. Anyone can make a planned gift. Planned gifts can take many forms including: wills, trusts, life insurance, gift annuities, real estate, and securities.  Click here to view the most common types of planned giving tools.

What is the Heritage Club?

Membership in the Heritage Club of the Lutheran Elementary School Association’s (LESA) Founder’s Society is reserved for those who have included Lutheran Elementary School Association of St. Louis in their will, trust and/or estate plans, have named LESA as a beneficiary (whole or partial) of an insurance policy or retirement account, and/or have established an endowment fund.

What is a financial plan?

Financial planning can take many forms, but every financial plan should include a current and up-to-date estate plan, whether it be a will or trust. If you’d like to discuss financial planning with a trained expert, contact us and we can refer you to one.

You may qualify for a matching gift.

Many of our donors may qualify for matching gifts through Thrivent Financial, and many may also quality for a matching gift from your employer. If your company is not listed, please inquire with your employer to verify if they have a matching gift program.

If your employer is listed below, please contact the Human Resources department and submit a signed copy of the matching gift form to LESA. We will do the rest.

St. Louis Area Employers With Matching Gift Programs

AAA of Missouri
American Express
Anheuser-Busch Inbev
Bank of America
Brown Group
Charles Schwab
Champion International Corporation
Cooper Industries
CPI Corporation
The Danforth Foundation – St. Louis, MO
First Data Corporation

Gannett Co.
General Dynamics
W. W. Grainger, Inc.
H & R Block
Harcourt, Inc.
Home Depot
Kemper Group
Laclede Gas
Mallinckrodt Medical Inc. – St. Louis, MO
MasterCard International
McDonnell Douglas Foundation
McGraw-Hill Companies
Merrill Lynch
Memco Barge Line
Monsanto Company
Mutual of America
Nestle Purina
Novus International

Office Depot
Pfizer, Inc.
Philip Morris Companies
Reliable Life Insurance
SAFECO Insurance Companies
SIRSI Corporation
Solutia Fund – St. Louis, MO
Tenet Healthcare
Tripos, Inc.
Tyco Healthcare/Mallinckrodt
U.S. Bank
Union Pacific Corporation
United Parcel Service
XTRA Corporation
Wells Fargo Advisors

LESA Endowment For Scholarships

With the help of the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis and the generosity of many, LESA's Building Blocks Scholarship Fund is currently $4.7 million and growing. While being good stewards of these gifts, the annual distribution helps meet some of the Building Blocks Scholarship needs, but not all. That is why your gift is so meaningful. Your generous gift will help build a foundation in Jesus Christ for future generations while also being a blessing to our 35 member Lutheran schools. To date, more than $4.1 million in scholarships have been awarded to students enrolled in member schools. For your convenience, download an Endowment Fund Donation Form and return it by mail. Or contact Katherine Auble via email kauble at lesastl dot org or at 314-200-0797 for more information.

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LESA Operations & Programming Endowment

A $2 million challenge grant for operations and programming was awarded to LESA by the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis in January of 2012. Again, with God's grace and the generosity of many, this grant was fulfilled in 2016. We ask for God's blessings as the staff and volunteers work to help make Lutheran elementary schools an affordable, quality academic choice for all families. For your convenience, download an Endowment Fund Donation Form and return it by mail. Or contact Katherine Auble via email at kauble at lesastl dot org or at 314-200-0797 for more information.

Download Form


Thank you for your interest in supporting Lutheran education. Through your support, you can make the difference in the life of a child.

Special Events

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Save the Date

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    LESA to Award Record $505,000 in Scholarships for 2020-21 School Year 
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    Thank You!
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