Pledging 101

Unlike many religious denominations, Unitarian Universalist congregations are independent congregations that choose to join the Unitarian Universalist Association. Monetary support for a local Unitarian Universalist congregation is solely and entirely the responsibility of that local congregation, so everything from Social Justice initiatives to paying the electric bill comes from local support.

Pledges are the single largest source of monetary support for the church. Pledges allow the church’s governing Board of Trustees to plan a budget and make determinations about hiring staff and scheduling activities for the upcoming year. Pledges are solicited for the current fiscal year at all times except when the annual canvas/stewardship drive solicits pledges for the coming fiscal year. The St. Petersburg Unitarian Universalist Church fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.

Members and friends may pledge. A pledge is initiated by filling out a pledge sheet indicating the amount you will give, weekly, monthly, or an annual amount. Pledges start immediately unless they are submitted specifically for the following fiscal year during the pledge/canvas/stewardship drive, or unless the pledgers specifically indicate when they will start.

Pledges from new members and friends received during the current year are pro-rated to end at the end of the current fiscal year. These good folks are then approached with the rest of the congregation for the new fiscal year.

How Much?

A pledge is the result of studying your current financial picture and deciding what you can afford, and also deciding how much your church means to you. A pledge is a promise based upon the results of that introspection. Guidelines are provided by the UUA. Here is the shortcut:

http://www.uua.org/finance/fundraising/budget

How To Pay Your Pledge

You can pay once a year, monthly, weekly, or when you can. Please do your best, but circumstances do change. If they do, please amend or suspend your pledge. (You will not be ‘letting the church down.’ It is understood that circumstances change.)

Payment method: You can put your payment in the collection basket, give it to the Financial Secretary, mail it to the church either manually or via automatic payment through your bank account.

Currently, we do not have a direct deposit option, but it is coming. You may either:

1. Provide cash.
If this is your preferred method, please put it in an envelope, either one available in the pews or your own. Be sure to indicate your name and how much. If you do not, there is no way to attribute the payment to you. Please indicate that this cash is to be credited to your pledge.

2. Write a check/Generate a check via automatic payment
If you write a check, or have one sent automatically from your bank account, be sure to note in the memo that it is specifically to credit your pledge (Example: 04/10 Pledge).

Pledge vs. Non-Pledge Donations

Money is often solicited for specific functions/events/causes, or you may desire to designate money to a specific function/event/cause. If you have specific intentions for your donation other than a payment toward your pledge (Guest at Your Table, Minister’s Discretionary Fund, for example), please indicate via a note (for cash in an envelope), or in the memo (for a check). Any money received by the Financial Secretary that is not specifically designated, but can be identified as coming from you, will be assumed as going toward your pledge. Any money received that is specifically designated for a function/event/cause does NOT also count toward your pledge.