Each Unitarian Universalist Church is solely responsible for funding its own programs and day-to day operations. Once a year in the spring we conduct our annual pledge drive with all members and friends. We ask that those who attend services or programs pledge or contribute to our fellowship. We have few resources of income other than our members and friends; therefore we truly need and expect the support of all newcomers as well as our regular congregation. To provide ongoing programs, we need to have predictable revenue. Our expenses for salaries, utilities and maintenance continue regardless of attendance. We cannot budget adequately based on fluctuating collection plate contributions and therefore a pledge is preferred to intermittent collection basket contributions.
Most members and friends contribute once each month, either by placing their check in the plate on Sunday, mailing their check to HUUF, or setting up automatic on-line payments. Some, however, prefer to contribute a lump sum to cover the entire year.
At HUUF we do not require a fixed pledge. However, when asked what an appropriate pledge would be, we use a rule of thumb of between 2% and 5% of household income. Since some of our members are either early or late in their earning careers, they contribute less. That means that others, who can, contribute more. One purpose of a spiritual community is to help those in more limited circumstances. Again, the Church Administrator can direct you to people who can explain this further.
Should a change occur in your financial status and you are unable to meet your pledge, it is possible to adjust your pledge during the fiscal year. We care about your situation, and will work with people who are having financial needs which affect their pledge.
In 2005 our Endowment Fund was established, to be managed by an elected committee whose members are selected at the annual Fellowship meeting, are separate from the Fellowship Board, and serve for three years. Contributions to the Endowment Fund will mostly come from assets donated by members after their death, but may be made at any time. The donations will be preserved perpetually by investing them wisely, preserving the original principal, and using only the earnings for special purposes other than regular operations of the Fellowship. The projects to be funded will be chosen by the Endowment Fund Committee after consideration of suggestions from the Fellowship’s members.
Contributions to the Endowment Fund differ from money pledged to fund our annual operating budget in several ways:
- The principal cannot be spent and only earnings are expended, thus allowing all gifts to carry out the Fund’s purposes in perpetuity, year after year.
- Decisions on Fund investments and the uses made of earnings are determined by the Endowment Committee and not by the Fellowship’s Board. This committee is directly responsible to the Membership and provides a report at the annual membership meeting, along with periodic reports to the Board.
- No funds will be spent by the Endowment Committee until sufficient capital has been accumulated to make expenditures reasonably worthwhile.
- The Fund’s earnings will not be used for the Fellowship’s general operating expenses but instead for purposes expressing the values of the Fellowship above and beyond the limitations of the budget. Such expenditures will represent in concept, if not in every detail, the suggestions of HUUF members that are made to the Endowment Committee.