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Pledge FAQ

UUFA Pledge FAQs

What is a pledge?

A pledge is a promise to donate a certain amount of money to the Fellowship within the pledge period, or fiscal year.  Beginning January 1, 2016, our pledge period and fiscal year will coincide with the calendar year (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 pledge, please visit with the minister to discuss the possibility of a waiver.

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) or direct deposit from your bank account, so that a regular transfer takes place automatically. An EFT can be initiated by contacting Diana in 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 early January showing your contributions for the previous calendar 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?

A copy of the current operating budget, including line item amounts, is available in the member’s section of the Fellowship’s website. ( Members are welcome to attend the Finance Committee meetings (see church calendar for details).

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 the instructions and necessary documents. For donations of objects (e.g. lawn mower, furniture, kitchen equipment) please check with the UUFA office first.

Time and talents are another means by which we can contribute to the Fellowship.

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 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 $83 per member to the UUA?

We pay dues to our national and local 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 consider taking this into consideration as you set your pledge amount.

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