The Church will begin its annual pledge drive on Sunday, February 9th. For those of you who may not have made a pledge before, a pledge is a promise to provide financial support to the church during the up-coming fiscal year. The fiscal year begins July 1 and ends June 30 of the following year. The pledge is recorded as the dollar amount you would like to contribute during the fiscal year. This amount may be paid in a lump sum or in installments. Our pledge secretary keeps track of the payments and sends reports each quarter informing you of the amounts received. These reports will help you keep track of how much you pledged and how much remains to be paid. You are not bound to pay the amount of your pledge but we hope you will. We use the amount pledged for determining the revenue we will have to fund our programs.
The Canvass Team received suggestions from the congregation about how we might improve the annual pledge drive. Many people said we should improve our communications about how our financial situation affects church programs. To this end, we will send you information throughout the canvass season to help you better understand the financial needs of the church. On the other hand, we also learned that some people feel the canvass process makes them feel uncomfortable. This comment was made by both contributors and canvassers. Generally, we don’t know how to talk about money. This may explain why some congregants avoid meeting with or talking to their assigned canvasser and some canvassers put off making the calls.
We introduced a new process in 2012 to address some of these concerns: Instead of volunteer canvassers making the initial contact and asking to set up a one-on-one meeting, we sent everyone a letter with a pledge form in February. We asked that it be returned within two weeks after it was received. By explaining this process in January, contributors have plenty of time to decide how much to pledge so that the two-week deadline should not create unnecessary pressure. It is to up to each contributor to decide how much to pledge. We trust that our members and friends will take into consideration the needs of the church.
We will send a pledge form to each person electronically. Canvassers will not call you so long as you return your pledge before the two-week deadline. There will be three exceptions to this no-canvasser-will-call policy: (1) a canvasser will call if you request a call, (2) a canvasser will call people who have never pledged before and (3) a canvasser will call if you do not return the pledge form. We are asking everyone to return a pledge form and make a pledge as they are able. The form may be returned electronically, mailed to the church office or hand delivered on Sundays.
Please keep in mind that the UUCW is self-supported. It is only through your contributions and volunteer work that we are able to provide the programs we value so much and the space where we can connect with each other. The basis for this connection is not a creed, but a covenant – an unwritten sacred promise to support the church and each other; emotionally, spiritually and, yes, financially.
Thank you for your support.
& Canvass Team Co-Chairs