Frequently Asked Questions about Pledging for 2013/2014
Q: What is the Annual Pledge Appeal for 2013/2014?
A: The church depends upon pledges from members and associates to pay for operating expenses. These include staff compensation, utility and insurance bills, financial reserves and all other program and ministries expenses. This year, we must also begin to pay for the two year process of ministerial transition. Once each year, we ask all members and associates to commit to what they will be able to personally contribute for the coming fiscal year. Pledging is a requirement of membership.
Q: What is the timeline for this process?
A: The church’s new fiscal year begins July 1, 2013 and ends June 30, 2014. The budget must be developed by the board and then voted on by the entire membership at the Annual All‑Church Meeting on Sunday June 2. Members and Associates are asked to make their pledge now. The official pledge period ends with a “60th Anniversary Stewardship Celebration” on Friday night, April 19. There is a preliminary budget discussion with the congregation at 6 p.m. on April 18; following this the Board will discuss the budget at its April and May board meetings. Pledging is vital to the ministries and programs of the church since the Board must construct a balanced budget from these funds. Actual payments fulfilling these pledges may be made throughout the period July 2013 to June 2014.
Q: How can I make a pledge?
A: Pledges may be made online at the church’s Web site: http://c3huu.org beginning March 10. A paper form will be available for each Member or Associate at the "We Celebrate This Community" Sunday on March 10, at the following Sunday March 17, or, failing those deliveries, at the Sunday stewardship table or by mail when necessary. There will be a box for the deposit of paper pledges at the stewardship table each Sunday or you may mail them to the church.
Q: When should I make my pledge?
A: At the latest, please make your pledge before April 19, 2013, so the budgeting may proceed on a reasonable schedule, and so your household qualifies to attend the “60th Anniversary Stewardship Celebration.”
Q: Does Membership require an annual pledge?
A: Yes. Please look into your heart and reflect on how your participation in the church calls you to generosity. The role of the church in your life and your own financial situation are the most important considerations in helping you find your answer. The goal is for everyone in our community to participate and to feel good about their pledge. Associates who take part in the life of the church, but are not members, are thus also asked to consider a generous pledge.
Q: I put money in the plate during the Offertory on Sundays. Isn’t that enough to fulfill my financial obligation as a Member?
A: The weekly offering collections are sincerely appreciated. But the church is unable to include cash donations on your year-end donation receipt. And, as you know, some Sunday offerings are given to in‑house causes and to the community through “Share the Plate”. Members are required in our Bylaws to pledge each year. A pledge that commits to a certain contribution amount for the year is vitally needed so that the Board can budget and the congregation can approve an annual financial plan.
Q: What about the time I volunteer?
A: Volunteering lets us demonstrate our commitment to the church by using our time and talents for worthwhile actions that benefit us all and the wider community we serve. Our pledge of financial donations supports the operations of the church, which is the underpinning for our good works.
Q: What are other people pledging?
A: The average pledge for the fiscal year 2013, per church member or associate household (individual or family) was $1,520. The majority of pledges fall between $500 and $4,000 per year, but any amount is welcomed. The 2013-14 budget needs to meet current costs, support our vision and strategic plan and meet the new challenge of ministerial transition. To do this, the average pledge needs to increase by at least 5%.
Q. How much should I pledge?
A: Please pledge as generously as you are able. You may be helped in your decision by the discussion and suggestions about how much to pledge included in this packet and on our Web site at: http://c3huu.org. The UUA considers a “Fair Share” pledge to be between 2% and 10% of a family’s annual income, which for many households in Chapel Hill (earning between $25,000 and $100,000) would fall anywhere between $500 and $10,000 per year. We realize there are many extenuating circumstances and personal reasons that keep us from being able to commit to these levels year after year, but we provide these guidelines as a starting point for consideration.
Q. How do I pay my pledge?
A: Again, please recall that actual payments fulfilling these pledges may be made throughout the period July 2013 to June 2014. Many households contribute once each month or quarter by having a portion of their pledge amount automatically deducted from their checking or savings account. To set up automatic payments you must initially fill out the Vanco Service Authorization Form (found in your pledge packet or obtained from the church office), attach a voided check and mail it or give it to the church office, attention to Finance. The same account will be debited year after year as long as the account number and your pledge do not change. If you do not notify the church that you wish to change your pledge amount or discontinue your pledge, the same amount that you pledged last year will continue to be drafted from your account for the coming year. Alternatively, you may regularly place a check in the Sunday collection marked as “pledge donation” or mail it to the church, attention to Finance.
Q: I do still have questions. Who can answer them?
A: Every Sunday through April 14, both a member of the Board and a member of the Stewardship Committee will be available at the stewardship table in the Jones building to answer your questions and to hear your concerns.
Also, please feel free to call or email for more information:
For general questions: Paige Smith, Stewardship Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org or Bill Poteat, email@example.com.
For questions related to automatic payments: Andrea Sordean-Mintzer, Church Administrator, firstname.lastname@example.org, 919-942-2050.