Feb. 12, 2018.
By Senior Minister Rev. David A. Miller, Generosity Team Chair Dave Wiemer and Annual Giving Campaign Chair Meg Harrelson.
At this year’s UUCF Board of Directors retreat, the board decided it was important to be as transparent as possible in discussing UUCF’s budget and resources with the congregation.
The UUCF Generosity Team is also taking bold steps to be as transparent as possible in communicating how we give, the kind of financial support required and what our pledges support.
In a step toward that transparency, this year’s Annual Giving Campaign theme is On The Road To … Money Matters.
Let’s face it: Money is hard for congregations to talk about. But this year we feel it’s important to be as clear as possible about the importance of our financial support to UUCF’s ongoing health and operations. We’re going to talk openly about money and be transparent about the distribution of the funding base that supports the congregation. We are all in this together and it feels important to remove the mystery around the campaign and share what it takes to run this congregation, what it will take to help the congregation grow and thrive and what the impact may be without proper funding.
To that end, this year, every one of our current 433 pledging units (individuals or families) will be assigned a random number from 1 to 433. That number will be known only to that individual or family. There will be a visual representation on the Sanctuary Art Wall of a road with various giving levels along the road. We will start the campaign by placing those numbers on the road according to the amount given in 2017-2018. This will give congregants a chance to see where the gifts currently fall. Then, as the 2018-2019 pledges come in, we will move each number to its appropriate category. Remember, only you will know the number you have been assigned. The hope is to give everyone an understanding of what it takes to support each other. Though this method ensures privacy for each member, if you would like to opt out of your number appearing on the wall, please contact Director of Administration Jenice Jones-Porter by Feb. 26.
As we embark on this campaign, we need to remember that every pledge is valued. Each pledge represents an individual’s or family’s ability to give according to their budget and their dedication to UUCF, its work and its impact. Our congregation cannot survive and flourish without the triad of giving: monetary pledges, volunteer hours and in-kind donations. Each is vital to the success of this congregation.
Here are some questions to consider as we contemplate our giving levels:
- UUCF is seen as a leader in the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), but we were unable to make our full Fair Share contribution to the UUA last year. Do we want to show our commitment to leadership in our movement by returning to being a full Fair Share congregation?
- Are we committed to supporting staff in reaching at least midpoint in their compensation as designated by UUA standards? (Our campaign will share how far our staff is below this midpoint on a percentage basis.)
- Staff has not had a raise in 3 years. In fact, last year there was a staff furlough. Is this something we hope to change?
- How wonderful would it be to have at least a part-time social justice coordinator to help organize our many faith-driven social justice efforts?
This is an extraordinary time in our congregation and our nation. UUCF’s voice, presence, sanctuary and action are all badly needed in our community and in the world.
We cannot escape the fact that Money Matters to the long-term health of the congregation. We hope this year’s Annual Giving Campaign will help contribute to an important conversation about the times in which we live, who we are, who we hope to be and the impact we hope to continue to have in the world.
Our Annual Giving Campaign begins Mar. 18. Please start considering at what level your family can support our shared community in this incredible time of need.
On the road to ministry to the congregation, Money Matters.
On the road to Religious Exploration for our children and youth, Money Matters.
On the road to justice, Money Matters.
On the road to UUA Fair Share, Money Matters.
On the road to equitable pay for our staff, Money Matters.
On the road to congregational growth, Money Matters.
On the road to ministry for young adults, Money Matters.
On the road to the Beloved Community of all souls, Money Does Indeed Matter.