Stewardship Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a “pledge”?
A pledge is a promise to donate a certain amount of money to the congregation within the congregational year.
2. What is the “congregational year”?
A congregational fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30.
3. Why pledge and how is my pledge used?
All pledge payments are used to support the mission of our congregation in helping people search for meaning and serve the world. More specifically, pledges support the annual budget of our congregation, which provides worship and music, lifespan religious education, our many social justice projects, pastoral care, community events, and more. Pledge income also pays for the salaries of our ministers and staff and for the operation and maintenance of our facilities. When members and friends of the congregation pledge, we can establish a realistic operating budget for the coming year.
Those who pledge receive written acknowledgement of contributions (quarterly statements) that they can use for their own budgets and for tax purposes.
4. Is it possible to “earmark” a pledge for a specific purpose?
No. As a democratic community, our budgets are created to serve the whole of our work together. All pledges support the work of the entire congregation.
5. Do I need to be a member to pledge?
Anyone can make an annual pledge to the UUCP, member or not. Those who pledge, but have not yet chosen to become members, are known as Friends.
6. Do I have to pledge to be a member of the congregation?
7. When should I pledge?
Each year in March, we kick off our Stewardship Campaign. We encourage everyone to pledge before the end of the month. If you are a new member, you should pro-rate your pledge based on the remainder of the fiscal year, and then join the rest of the congregation in pledging in March for the next fiscal year (our fiscal year runs July 1 - June 30.)
8. Will I receive a bill or statement?
We encourage pledges by direct deposit from your bank account or credit card, so that a monthly transfer takes place automatically. Regardless of how you pay your pledge, you will receive a quarterly statement indicating how much you have pledged for the year and how much of that pledge has been received.
9. When do I need to pay my pledge?
At your convenience between July 1 and June 30. We encourage you to sign up for and use automatic payment from your bank account.
10. How can I change my pledge?
11. What about non-monetary gifts to the church?
Stocks held by the issuer in dividend reinvestment plans, the issuers transfer agent, or mutual funds may require a different approach. Please contact our Administrator for information.
In-kind donations, such as items donated for the annual auction and spring fair, do NOT count toward your pledge because they can’t be converted to cash to be used for our operating expenses. However, you can receive a tax form at the time you drop off the item.
12. How does the pledge relate to the weekly collection during Sunday services?
The money raised in the offering serves as additional income to benefit our annual budget. However, some people pay their pledge by putting a check or cash (in an appropriately marked envelope) into the weekly collection plate. You should write “pledge” and the pledge year for which you are contributing on the memo line of your check or on the envelope. This will insure that your pledge is appropriately allocated. We can make no guarantees that it is attributed to you correctly without this information. Please note: on special Sundays, the collection goes to an external program or organization as part of our service to the broader community.
If you decide to pay your pledge through the weekly collection, it is still very important that you complete a pledge card to allow us to establish a budget for the coming year. We cannot establish a budget without your pledge.