Frequently Asked Questions about Pledging
What is a pledge?
A pledge is a promise to donate a certain amount of money to the church within the church fiscal year, which runs from July 1 through June 30 of the following year.
This year’s pledge drive will formally begin on Sunday, March 26, and it will end during the first week of May. The Board of Trustees will use the final pledge total to finalize the budget for approval at our Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 4, beginning at 8:30 a.m. All members are encouraged to attend the Annual Meeting to vote on the budget, and to vote on candidates for the Board of Trustees and other elected positions.
Your pledge that is submitted during this spring pledge drive will be in effect from July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024, in accordance with our church fiscal year. Pledges from new members are welcome at any time during the year.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The UUA offers Fair Share Pledging guidelines, which offer different levels of pledging for different income levels, and the guidelines take certain expenses into account as well (kind of like deductions on your taxes). The guidelines are available here: UUA Fair Share Pledging Guidelines.
The current average pledge is $2,100 per year, and the median pledge is $1,500 per year (half of our pledges are higher than $1,500 and half are lower).
For our 2022-2023 fiscal year we have 97 pledges, or pledge units. A “pledge unit” often counts for more than one member of our church, and we also receive pledges from many friends of Heritage who may not be formal members of the church.
We currently have 164 members.
We all share in the fixed operational costs of the church, costs such as staff salaries & benefits, utilities, office supplies, building maintenance, etc. In addition to these fixed costs, we currently pay a total of about $50 per member per year to the UUA, UU Justice Ohio, and the UU Council of Greater Cincinnati for membership in these important denominational organizations.
Please read a 2019 Heirloom column from Reid Hester for an explanation of our approach to budgeting and record keeping: Keeping a Finger on Our Financial Pulse.
Yes, our church constitution stipulates that members are required to make an annual financial commitment in the form of a pledge that is consistent with your individual circumstances. The congregation depends upon your pledge and those of all other members to create a realistic annual budget for the upcoming year. We welcome pledges or donations from visitors and friends as well. Everyone is welcome to attend services at Heritage UU Church, whether formally a member or friend, or not, with no financial obligation.
You may change your pledge any time during the year. If you find your life is taking an unexpected turn, a call to the ministerial staff might be a good step, too. Whether you’re adjusting your pledge up or down, know that we will be grateful for the information, which helps us budget and manage the budget. Know that every gift is valued. To change your pledge, contact: