This month we celebrate our church by kicking off the Stewardship campaign. Now that NHPR is done with their March funding drive, it is OUR turn! Which means we have some additional funding needed, and we have a lot to celebrate!
- We have become a multiplatform digital campus.
- Last year we paid our fair share to the UUA for the first time.
- And, we are declaring that our church stands for diversity, equity and inclusion.
Our pledges renew our desire to see our church succeed, and to forward our mission. This enables action that demonstrates our deepest values, often carried forward by our leaders. If each one of us contributes a fair share, together we create the force for good that we want our church community to be. What does it mean to be a digital campus? We are doing this every week with live streaming and in person services. Any church meeting can now be in person and on zoom, increasing our accessibility. We primarily use the internet for communication, though we do still send Parish Notes through the mail. This development of technology was mandated to survive the pandemic, and federal dollars supported us as we invested in equipment and people. The grant money has been spent, so now we must step up and fully fund the salaries of our staff. To continue to be relevant, we need to support an increase in funding in the long term.
All UU churches pay a donation to the UUA, and last year our church reached this Fair Share amount, a percentage of our total budget. This allows the UUA to represent all of us nationally, and be part of the larger conversation. We get a lot back for this Fair Share (like any tax) as opportunities open up such as applying for intern minister stipends. We are proud to no longer ride on the coattails of other churches who have done their part for years. Let us continue to give our fair share while supporting staff funding.
Equity is our value, and this starts at home. The UUA has asked all churches to analyze their staff compensations to determine equity between genders, educational, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Many churches have realized that their pay is inequitable, and even though we are at the beginning of this process, we know this is true for us as well. Your pledge increase will help us take a step towards achieving equitable pay.
What does all of this mean? Our goal is a pledge increase total of $30,000, in other words, we need $30,000 more than last year. Pledges make up 57% of the total budget of 513,000, and 53% of this is for salaries, to enable our important and hardworking staff to enact our values, and carry forth our mission. We would like more of our budget to be solid support for salaries. An increase of $30,000 for next year’s pledge income would be 63% of the budget. This increase is more sustainable in the long term.
What does this mean for you? If you are living through a time of financial insecurity, and your budget is already tight, we do not expect you to increase your pledge. You are loved and valued as a member or friend of this church. There are many ways to give, including time and talent as well as treasure. However, we would like to ask everyone who is able, members and friends, to contribute your own fair share. If everyone who is able increased by 10%, we would reach our goal. Can you do this? If your pledge is 500 per year, that would be $50 more, which is 4 dollars spread over 12 months. Sound like NHPR again? If your pledge is $1000, that is $100 more, about 8 dollars per month. It may not sound like much but these increases are crucial to our financial health.
The average pledge per member is 1100, can you make a step towards this? The average cost to the church per member is 1900, can you move to this? Can you make a larger increase, to help support those who are unable to at this time? Increasing your pledge expresses your commitment to our relevance, and inclusivity.
Let your values speak and choose to do your fair share. Click here to make your pledge. Thank you.
— BJ Entwisle, 2023 Stewardship Chair