UUCS Annual Pledge Drive – Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Annual Pledge Drive?

The Annual Pledge Drive raises the money we need each year to operate the church. We get some money from sub-lessors and the Auction, but almost all the rest comes from you, our Congregants. Each household is asked to pledge an amount for the upcoming fiscal year (our fiscal year runs July through June.) Although we ask for those pledges in March, payment is not expected until the next year (sometime during July 2020 through June 2021.)

  1. How much do we need to raise?

For the fiscal year July 1 2020 through June 30 2021 we need approximately $237,000 in pledges.

  1. How much should I pledge? (part 1)

We have about 80 pledging households (and need more!) Doing the math shows we need average commitments of about $236 per month per household.

The average breakdown per month of that $236 by household is roughly as follows:

  • $120 to pay for rent and utilities; plus
  • $ 70 to pay for our new Full-time Minister; plus
  • $ 12 to pay for Office Administration salary and costs; plus
  • $ 10 to pay for Religious Education salary and other cots; plus; plus
  • $ 8 to pay for Music salary and other music program costs; plus
  • $ 7 to pay for dues to the Unitarian Universalist Association
  • $ 9 to pay for everything else
  1. How much should I pledge? (part 2)

Last year’s pledge breakdown by household was:

Last year’s average pledge per month was about $196. This year we need $236 to pay for a new Full-Time Minister – an average increase of 20%.

  1. What happens if my financial situation changes during the year?

Changing financial circumstances are a fact of life. If your circumstances change, simply contact the church Treasurer and indicate the adjustments that need to be made. This is a simple and confidential activity. It is also not unheard of for people whose financial circumstances improve, to raise their pledge during the year 😊

  1. Why do we give away a third of our collection plate each Sunday to charity?

It has been a strong tradition of UUCS to do so each Sunday. We strive to do what we can for local charities – and this is one small way to show our support to the local community.

  1. Are my payments to UUCS tax-deductible?

To the extent you itemize deductions, yes. Donations to Churches are the same as donations to any 501c3 charity – fully tax deductible.

  1. How is our budget determined?

The budget for the upcoming year is estimated by the Finance Committee. At the annual business meeting of the church (usually held in May) the Congregation votes to approve or disapprove the budget.

  1. Does membership in UUCS require an annual pledge?

Our bylaws, approved by the UUCS Membership, state:

All members are entitled to vote, hold office, and enjoy all of the benefits and responsibilities of membership. Making and paying a pledge of record or communicating a request for a waiver is a requirement of membership. The Board may impose other reasonable requirements for new members.

So, while a pledge is not mandatory, Membership requires either pledging or requesting a waiver from pledging. Requesting a waiver may be done confidentially, and informally, by notifying one of the pledge drive chairs during the annual pledge process.

  1. How can I pledge?

If you pledged at the $200 per month or above level last year, you will be invited to one of two special event dinners and asked to complete a pledge form there. Otherwise, there will be several pizza lunch events immediately following the church service in March where a brief educational presentation will be made. You will be asked to complete a pledge form there. If you do not attend either of those events, you will be personally contacted by a member of the pledge committee to receive your pledge or request for waiver.

  1. How do I pay my pledge?
  • A check for the full amount as early as possible 😊
  • A recurring automatic monthly payment from your bank to the church
  • A periodic paper check in the collection plate with “pledge” on the memo line
  • An online credit card payment into the church’s PayPal account at http://uusterling.org/donate/pay-my-pledge/
  • A transfer of stock to UUCS
  • If you are over 70 ½ years old, you may transfer funds from a 401K or IRA directly to UUCS without those monies flowing to you as income