Annual Giving

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I PledgedOur congregation’s operating budget is funded primarily through annual financial pledges from members and friends of the congregation.

A pledge is a good faith commitment on record to support the congregation with financial resources during the coming2014 10 19_2362_edited-2 year. It is not a fixed contract or a legal document, although many feel a moral obligation to fulfill one’s pledge. It is important to the budget process to have an estimate of the amount to be donated.

Our operating budget compensates our talented staff fairly, maintains our beautiful facilities, and ensures excellence in our programming and outreach. It also allows us to contribute to the larger Unitarian Universalist movement, including renewing our membership in the Unitarian Universalist Association. In addition, each year we seek to grow our budget – not for growth’s sake – but to make room for our many voices.

We invite our members to strive for a pledge of 2.5 ­-5% of household income each year. We believe that this is an equitable way for people of differing financial means to be stewards of our congregation. We encourage those who are able to do more. generosity picture

For those of us currently enduring financial hardship, this is a time to rely on the strength of our community. To maintain your membership status and voting rights, our bylaws require a financial contribution without setting a minimum amount. If necessary, our ministers can also grant a one ­year waiver.

Common Questions

What is the Operating Budget?

Our operating budget compensates our talented staff fairly, maintains our beautiful facilities, and ensures excellence in our programming and outreach. It contributes to the Capital Campaign which we used to improve our facilities in 2001 and which we will use for our future expansion plans. It also allows us to contribute to the larger Unitarian Universalist movement, including renewing our membership in the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Who forms the Operating Budget?

The Board of Trustees, Staff and Committees share their goals and financial needs with the Budget Task Force, composed of members from the BOT, the Finance Committee, and our Leadership Team. The Budget Task Force creates the budget based on our strategic plan, our goals for the present year and our expected income. They then present the draft budget to the Board of Trustees who discuss, edit and finally approve the budget. The Budget Task Force Chair then presents the budget to the congregation at the Annual Meeting in early June for approval.

What is a pledge?

A pledge is a good faith commitment on record to support the congregation with financial resources during the coming year. It is not a fixed contract or a legal document, although many feel a moral obligation to fulfill one’s pledge. It is important to the budget process to have an estimate of the amount to be donated.

What percentage of the Operating Budget comes from pledges?

Approximately 83%. Here is a summary of our approved 2014-­15 budget.

What other sources of funding are included in the Operating Budget?

The Operating Budget also receives income from our weekly offering, annual services auction (our church-­wide fundraiser), donations and memorials, and contributions from our Endowment Fund. Over the next few years, the Capital Fund will also contribute for purposes associated with the expansion of our property.

How much is a member expected to contribute?

We invite our members to strive for a pledge of 2.5 ­- 5% of household income each year. We believe that this is an equitable way for people of differing financial means to be stewards of our congregation. We encourage those who are able to do more.

What happens if I have financial hardship?

For those of us currently enduring financial hardship, this is a time to rely on the strength of our community. It is important that you have the support of our ministers and community during life’s challenging times. To maintain your membership status and your voting rights, our bylaws require a financial contribution, without setting a minimum amount. If necessary, our ministers can grant a one-­year pledge waiver so that your voting rights remains in effect.

Can I change my pledge?

You can increase or decrease your pledge at any time if your financial conditions change.

Can I specify where I want my money to be spent?

No. Your pledge goes into the general operating budget.

Who knows how much I give?

UCS respects the confidentiality of all of your information, including how much you give. Our staff, members of our Annual Giving team, the Board of Trustees Treasurer, and the Chairs of the Finance Committee and Capital Campaign have access to your financial contribution.

Can I pledge online?

Yes. Just click Pledge Online and fill out the forms.

Can I set-up automatic payments to fulfill my pledge more easily?  

Yes. Just click Online Giving at the top of any UCS page and follow the instructions.

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