We are once again entering pledge season, and it’s time to consider the financial goals for our church in our next fiscal year and your ability to support those goals with a financial pledge. The HUUC Board of Trustees has created a proposed budget that aims to meet the needs of the congregation in the new church year with fairly compensated staff and the resources to keep everything in the church running and in good repair in an inflationary environment.
2023-2024 Budget Priorities
Our single biggest expense, as is true with nearly any organization, is our amazing staff. Our Personnel Committee, working with UUA salary guideline minimums for our region and church size, has recommended a baseline level of salary increases of 5% with 10% increases for employees who are well below UUA recommended salary currently. Here’s how the recommended salary increases apply across our staff at HUUC:
- 10% increase for Laci Adams, our Director of Lifespan Faith Development
- 5% increase for Steve McCamley, our Choir Director
- 10% increase for Kevin Palmer, our Tech Coordinator
- 5% increase for Martha Viehmann, our Church Administrator
We are also currently hiring for a new Music Director, and we have budgeted $15,000 for this open position, a significant increase in order to ensure a strong candidate pool and to be closer to the UUA guidelines for this position and the number of hours it requires per week.
Finally, our Committee on Ministry has recommended a 5.5% increase in salary for Rev. Bill Gupton, our Senior Minister, in order to stay in the mid-range for a church of our size in the upper Midwest region.
What do all of these recommendations mean for your pledge? We have a total of about $25,000 in proposed staff salary increases for the 2023-2024 church year, and we are starting from a 2022-2023 budget that is projected to create a $21,000 deficit by the end of June. In order to meet our Personnel and Committee on Ministry’s salary recommendations, which have been endorsed by our Board of Trustees, our goal is to increase total pledged income by 25%. If we hit this percentage goal, we will achieve a goal of $262,500 in pledges.
The need is clearly there, and there is no question that our congregation and its leadership support all of the services that we receive as a result of the planned expenditures in our proposed budget.
What if I am new to pledging at Heritage? Where do I start? The Fair Share Contribution Guide is a great way to determine an appropriate level of giving based on you and your family’s financial situation and your connection to HUUC. Based on the Fair Share Guide a pledging member or friend with an income of $80,000 a year (accounting for large and unusual anticipated expenses like medical expenses, educational expenses, etc. as adjustments to income), would pledge $195 per month at the Supporter level (the baseline level for giving), or $2,340 per year (3% per of income). That level of pledging is just above our average pledge at Heritage of $2,048 per year.
Here a few more statistics on pledges at HUUC:
- We currently have eight pledges for the 2022-2023 church year that are $5,000 or above. These pledges account for just under 30% of our total pledged income
- We have 25 pledges in the $2,000 to $5,000 range, accounting for 38% of our total pledged income
- We have 63 pledges under $2,000 per year, accounting for 27% of our total pledged income
It’s going to take an average pledge of about $2,300 per month from about 112 pledging members and friends (including members and friends who are new to our congregation) to fully fund our proposed budget for the 2023-2024 church year. The reality is that we will receive pledges well above and well below that average monthly pledge amount, as we do every year. Every pledge counts, no matter what its amount.
We only ask that you please consider pledging an amount that reflects a serious commitment to the place you have chosen as your spiritual home — not simply making a donation to yet another charity. Whatever amount you lovingly choose, we hope you will give until it feels good.
And now, it’s time to submit your pledge. The pledge form is right here on the HUUC website, just below on this page. Your pledge is secure and private.
Any questions? Contact Reid Hester at: