949 West 49th Ave
Vancouver, BC V5Z 2T1
(604) 261-7204

Q&A about Pledging

 

1. What does UCV provide to me?

Spiritual growth, inspiring sermons and worship, ethical actions to further social justice and environmental sustainability, hope, education for children and adults, wonderful music and art, all achieved within a compassionate and visionary community, and magnificent buildings and grounds. Beyond the energy and spiritual boost that we receive each week, UCV is an extended family of support throughout our lives.

 

2. Where do our revenues come from, and where do they go?

2015 – 2016 Budget
% Revenues Expenses %
68% Pledges $363,000 $158,144 Administration 29%
21% Rentals $115,000 $138,225 Parish Ministry 25%
<1% Fund Raising $3,586 $101,126 Buildings & Grounds 18%
5% Donations $25,000 $52,316 Religious Education 10%
3% Lay Chaplains Net $14,105 $32,482 CUC Dues ($93/unit) 6%
3% Investment Income $17,000 $15,680 Committees/Programs 3%
$50,315 Church Music 9%
68% of our revenues are from pledges!
100% TOTAL REVENUE $537,691 $548,288 TOTAL EXPENSE 100%
OPERATING BUDGET DEFICIT ($10,598)

 

3. How did we make up our historically large deficit and obtain fiscal fitness?

From 2006 to 2007 our total pledges increased 25% (from $280,000 to $350,000), which cut our deficit in half (from $140,000 to $78,000). This fantastic increase and commitment occurred across all pledging levels. After some ups and downs (good years in 2009 and 2011, difficulties in 2010), and hard decisions on expenses, we reached a balanced budget in 2012 and 2013. There were deficit budgets in 2014 and 2015 and pledges dropped from $385,000 in 2014 to $363,000 in 2015. There is some pressure to reverse this trend and regain some upward momentum.

 

4. How much should I pledge?

We all have different financial situations. Some people have little money, but do volunteer work (e.g. buildings and grounds). But money is needed to keep our SHIP afloat (your Spiritual Health Insurance Plan). If we each contribute at least 3% of our gross income (income before taxes) then UCV would have a healthy financial situation, with more resources for unexpected events. Here’s a table with guidance for your pledge:

Gross Income $20,000 $30,000 $40,000 $50,000 $70,000 $100,000 $150,000 $200,000
Suggested % 2% 3% 3% 3% 3.5% 4% 4.5% 5%
Pledge $400 $900 $1,200 $1,500 $2,450 $4,000 $6,750 $10,000

 

The CUC dues ($93) and Bulletin ($30) cost $123 / member. A pledge of less than this costs UCV more money than it gets. Here’s a summary of the 2015 pledges:

# Average Median Just a 6% increase in pledges would eliminate our deficit!
Member Households 230 $1,400 $960
Adherent Households 31 $600 $600

 

The average member pledge is greater than the median. 680% of our total pledges come from 22% of the congregation. We’re vulnerable should any of our generous donors leave, have hard times, or die. UCV began in 1909. Sustaining UCV and the dreams we cherish will require a deep commitment, and the passing of the torch from older to younger members, particularly those of us 30 to 65 years old.

 

5. How important is UCV compared to other worthy causes to which I donate?

UCV is a community, and an extended family, providing you with life long spiritual renewal and support, and many other gifts (see # 1). As you are part of this community, UCV deserves the highest priority in your decisions about giving. Besides, as Harold Brown (our wonderful head of music for many years) was fond of saying: “What I love about pledging at UCV is that it’s sort of a one-stop shopping for so many things that I care about.” Other worthy causes may have tens of thousands of contributors, but there are only about 400 people keeping UCV afloat. UCV’s amazing legacy and opportunity depends entirely on us.

 

6. How and when do I pledge?

  • In person. Walk into the office, turn right, fill out a pledge card on the table, and put it in the green box.
  • By mail or phone. Send your pledge card to Ms. Ravina Sangara, Unitarian Church of Vancouver, 949 West 49th Ave., Vancouver BC V5Z 2T1. Or phone Ravina at 604 261-7204.
  • On our website. Go to the UCV website (vancouver.unitarians.ca), look under GIVING – Giving to the Congregation – Pledging), and pledge online.
  • How do I pay for my pledge? You can pay by cheque, by pre-authorized payment (PAP) from your bank account, or by credit card. If you are doing a PAP, you need to provide UCV with a cheque marked ‘void’.
  • Pledge during our Pledge Canvass in April.
  • Please pledge early, since the Board sets our budget for the next fiscal year in May. All of the money that you donate to UCV is tax deductible.

 

7. How does my pledge relate to weekly donations in the offertory?

If you put a donation into an offering envelope (available in the pews), you can specify whether it’s to go towards your pledge, the open collection (which includes contributions to the New Opportunities Seed Fund), or other purposes. You can use a mix of methods to meet your pledge commitment (e.g. PAP + weekly donations). Regardless of how you meet your pledge commitment, please pledge during the April Pledge Campaign so that the Board can forecast our revenues. If you’re uncertain, pledge an amount that you believe you can reliably contribute; if you’re later able to contribute more money to UCV, that’s great!

 

8. How can I get more information or help out?

From our website or the literature table, read:

  • The Thread That Connects Us, a play that looks at how resilient women and men have sustained UCV over the last 100 years, through many a financial challenge
    The Thread That Connects Us

To help the Canvass Committee (the most fun of all UCV Committees!), please email Liz Monrad, or phone her at 778-246-0370.

Printer friendly Q&A about pledging

Q&A about Pledging