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Pledge FAQ

UUFA Pledge FAQs

What is a pledge?

A pledge is a promise to contribute a certain amount of money to the Fellowship within the fiscal year.  Our fiscal year runs January 1 to December 31. 

Why pledge and how is my pledge used?

Pledges support the annual budget of our congregation, providing worship and music, lifespan religious education, social justice projects, pastoral care, Fellowship events, and much more. Pledge income also pays the salaries of our minister and staff, and for the operation and maintenance of our facilities. Our pledges allow us to project the funding for our operating budget for the coming year. Typically, pledges provide about 92% of the income for our budget.

Do I need to be a member to pledge?

Anyone can make a pledge to the Fellowship, member or not.

Do I have to pledge to be a member of the Fellowship?

Our bylaws require that we have a record of a pledge during the current fiscal year in order for you to retain status as an active member of the congregation. (An active member can vote in congregational matters, stand for elected office, and serve as a committee chair.) However, there is not a required pledge amount. If your financial situation does not allow you to make a financial contribution, please visit with the minister to discuss the possibility of a waiver and other ways in which you can contribute to the life and work of the Fellowship.

How much should I pledge?

We encourage you to consider what the Fellowship means to you. Silvio Nardoni, treasurer for the Pacific Southwest District of the UUA, stated, “Charitable giving should change your life in some way.” Stewardship is an expression of our religious or spiritual values. When viewed as an integral part of Ministry, acts of stewardship allow us to grow in faith and gratitude. Stewardship includes sharing a portion of all of our resources, including time, talent, and treasure. It is how we become who we are and what we are called to do as people of faith. 

How do I pay for my pledge?

We encourage payment by electronic funds transfer ("EFT," initiated by the UUFA) or direct deposit from your bank account, so that a regular transfer takes place automatically. An EFT can be initiated by contacting the UUFA office.  Additionally, you may pay by check (write “pledge” in the memo line) or cash, brought to the UUFA office so a receipt can be issued. It is very helpful to indicate how your pledge will be paid – whether monthly, annually, (please specify what month), twice a year, or some other time frame – for budgeting purposes.

Will I receive pledge updates and statements?

Pledge reminders are sent out quarterly upon request, and automatically to those pledging units who are behind in their pledges or who have not made a contribution towards their pledge (unless specific information was received –“One check in December”, for example).  For tax purposes, we provide a statement in January showing your contributions for the previous year.

When do I need to pay my pledge?

At your convenience, before the end of the current fiscal year.

How can I find out where my money goes?

Budgeting is completed in the autumn months, a process that includes open "hearings" where you can see the upcoming year's budget and ask questions.  The budget is then approved at the annual meeting.  The Board receives monthly expense reports, which are available for review in the member’s section of the Fellowship’s website (www.uufames.org/board-meetings).  Copies of the budgets and monthly reports can also be obtained, and any questions answered, through the office (uufa@uufames.org), Finance Committee (finance@uufames.org), or Treasurer (treasurer@uufames.org).

Is it possible to earmark a pledge for a specific purpose?

As a democratic community, our budgets are created to serve the whole of our work together. All pledges support the entire Fellowship.

What about non-monetary gifts to the Fellowship?

Stock may be donated directly to the UUFA, and there may be certain tax advantages for doing so. Please contact the UUFA office to obtain instructions and necessary documents. The Fellowship does not currently accept donations of objects (e.g. lawn mower, furniture, kitchen equipment).

Time and talents are another vital means by which you can contribute to the Fellowship.  Want to get more involved?  Contact the office today and we'll connect you!

How does a pledge relate to the weekly collection at Sunday services?

The money received in the offering is split equally between a local or national cause, designated by our Social Justice Ministry Committee and approved by the Board, and our Fellowship’s annual budget.  However, some people may wish to pay their pledge by a check into the weekly collection plate. In this case, it should be identified as a pledge in the memo line of the check.

Why do we pay per-member dues to the UUA?

We pay dues to our national and regional UU associations to support the work of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), which includes: ministerial settlement, building loans and grants, RE curricula and training, UU World magazine, and many other efforts. Please take this into consideration as you set your pledge amount.

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