FAQs about Finances and Pledging
How much is UUFR‘s annual budget? How is it decided?
UUFR’s annual budget for fiscal year 2021-2022 is about $705,000. Our fiscal year begins July 1 and ends June 30. The budget is first approved by the board and then approved by the congregation at the congregation’s annual meeting every spring.
How is that money spent?
One way to think about how money in our our annual budget is spent is to look at how much we spend in specific budget categories. The “UUFR Expenses by Budget Category” chart below shows how much UUFR spends in different budget categories. Like a lot of non-profit organizations, we spend more money on personnel, or staff costs, than anything else. UUFR is fortunate that we own our own building and recently paid off our mortgage!
But we actually think a better way to think about how money in our annual budget is spent is to divide our our budget into ministry areas or program categories. The “UUFR Expenses by Ministry Area” chart below shows that breakdown. What this means, for example, is that for every $1 UUFR receives in income, about 36 cents goes to support our Sunday morning worship services.
What are UUFR’s sources of income?
The “UUFR Income by Budget Category” chart below shows that the vast majority of our income comes from members’ pledges. Many years, rentals make up a greater percentage of our income, but since the pandemic began, our rental income is much lower than usual.
How much do members usually pledge to UUFR?
At UUFR, we have 249 “pledging units.” (While we have more than 400 members, couples usually make one pledge.)
Our average pledge is $204 a month.
Our median pledge is $111 per month, or less than a typical cable bill! (We also think we make a more positive difference in our members’ lives and in the larger world!)
Is pledging required of members at UUFR?
Yes, members are required to make a pledge when they join UUFR, and members are required to renew their pledge for the coming fiscal year each spring during our annual generosity campaign.
However, there are exemptions for people facing extreme financial difficulty, and no one is expected to fulfill their pledge if they lose their job, move away, or face other unexpected difficult situations.
How do people pay their pledge?
Pledges can be fulfilled weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. Some people write a check and mail it to UUFR. Some people drop a check in the offering basket on Sunday mornings. However, automated electronic giving is encouraged.
How do people decide how much to give?
There is no minimum pledge required for membership, but UUFR encourages its members to give as generously as they are able in a way that reflects what UUFR means to them.
Some people just want to pay their fair share for how they benefit by participating at UUFR. Some people pledge not only because of how they personally benefit but because they have come to care about other UUFR members and their families and because they value the work UUFR does in the wider community. Many people pledge simply because being generous and being a part of something greater than themselves feels good!
Recognizing that some people can afford to give more than others, UUFR encourages its members to calculate their pledge according to a percentage of their income. Traditional churches often encourage a tithe of 10 percent of one’s income. UUFR encourages a liberal tithe. UUFR encourages its members to pledge up to 5 percent of their income to UUFR and up to 5 percent to other worthy causes in the wider community and world.
If any individual or family is fortunate enough to be able to give more than 5 percent of their income, we encourage them to make a special gift to UUFR to one of our special funds in addition to their pledge.
Members can use the table below to help them choose an appropriate giving level.