Pledging: Frequently Asked Questions
What is a pledge?
A pledge is a promise to donate a certain amount of money to the UFP congregation within our fiscal year (January 1 to December 31).
Why pledge and how is my pledge used?
Pledge payments are used for the yearly operation of the Fellowship. Pledges pay for the programs and work of the congregation, including Sunday services, music, outreach, and children’s, youth, and adult religious education. Pledge income pays for the salaries of the minister and staff and for our facilities.
When members and friends pledge, the congregation can establish a realistic operating budget for the coming year. Those who pledge receive written acknowledgement of contributions (quarterly statements) to use for their own budgets and tax purposes.
Do I need to be a member to pledge?
Anyone can make an annual pledge, member or not. Those who pledge but do not choose formal membership are known as “friends.”
Do I have to pledge to be a member or friend of the congregation?
Everyone is welcome to attend our services, with no financial obligation. However, we believe that financial support is one of the responsibilities of all congregants, if they are able. We strongly encourage you to live your values by making a pledge consistent with your individual circumstances.
How much should I give?
The Canadian Unitarian Council suggests that a pledge of 3% of gross annual income is a good target. By way of example, a $1,500 pledge represents 3% of a $50,000 annual gross income.
When should I pledge?
Any time is fine, but the best time to pledge is during the fall canvass. New members can expect a call from a canvasser to discuss pledging intentions.
How do I follow through with my pledge?
You can fulfill your pledge by:
- Arranging for monthly automatic withdrawals
- Providing post-dated cheques to the Treasurer
- Placing a cheque or cash in an envelope in the weekly collection plate and marking the envelope as “pledge” along with your name; or you can write ‘pledge’ on the memo line of a cheque.
Will I receive a bill or statement?
It would be most convenient if, when you pledge, you could provide us with up to 12 post-dated cheques . Regardless of how you pay your pledge, you will receive a quarterly statement indicating how much you have pledged for the year and how much of that pledge has been received. Calendar-year statements are sent out in January for tax purposes.
How does the pledge relate to the weekly collection during Sunday service?
Some people fulfill (or even make) their pledge by putting a cheque or cash in the weekly collection plate in an envelope. Other funds collected during the services also go into the general revenue stream of the Unitarian Fellowship of Peterborough. We occasionally have special collections that are announced and separate envelopes are provided.
Pledges are very important relative to the weekly collection, because the commitment you make at the beginning of the congregational year allows us to plan, whereas weekly donations are difficult to predict.