2016-17 Annual Campaign and Membership Renewal

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ALL IN: July 2016-June 2017 PLEDGE CAMPAIGN

 

Each year in the spring we turn to you, the members and friends of this congregation, and ask you to make a pledge of financial support. For some of us, this request to make a pledge is a new experience, an experiment in generosity and giving. For some of us, the practice of pledging is familiar, an ongoing part of our commitment to this community. But whether this is your first time giving or your fiftieth, we all have something in common: We are taking our place in a community of generous and loving people who are making a difference in the world.

We are an economically diverse congregation, perhaps more so than many people might think here in Santa Barbara. But no matter what your particular economic situation, your gift means a great deal to this community, and it takes each and every gift to keep us going. We hope that this year, our members and friends will be “all in” as we look toward the future together, ensuring that this progressive faith community continues to be a beacon of liberal religion in a world that needs our voice.

pledging FAQ

The Spirit of Giving

Annual Pledges account for approximately 54% of USSB’s operating budget, meaning each and every pledge plays an important role in USSB’s ability to fulfill its mission each year. Our pledges express gratitude, generosity and commitment. In giving to USSB, we build and sustain a community devoted to love, service, reason and justice. Generosity increases our joy and enhances the difference we make together. We all contribute to the health of this vibrant community, and it takes financial support from each of us to fund our programs. These contributions are an investment we make in living out our values and creating a community where hope and healing thrive.

What is the Annual Pledge Campaign?

The Annual Pledge Campaign is our yearly fundraising canvass that accounts for 54% of our budget. Each spring our members and friends make financial pledges to support the work and mission of USSB for the coming fiscal year.

What is a pledge?

A pledge is a promise to donate a certain amount of money to USSB during the fiscal year. At USSB we believe financial support is one of the responsibilities of membership, and we strongly encourage members to make a pledge consistent with their individual circumstances.

Who should pledge?

Members, non-members and friends of USSB are ALL invited to pledge. If you want to be a voting member, you must make and fulfill a pledge.

When should I make my pledge?

We welcome your pledge at anytime, but traditionally each spring we ask our members and friends to make financial pledges to support the work and mission of USSB for the coming fiscal year.

How much should I pledge?

Individuals are encouraged to base their giving on their “adjusted annual income,” which usually is defined as income after taxes, medical expenses and childcare costs. We recognize and deeply embrace the financial diversity of our congregation. To make this a community for all, we ask those with greater financial resources to make a larger financial commitment. Your pledge should fit your heart and your budget! Everyone’s circumstances are different. Let your pledge be an expression of joy. Every gift, no matter the amount, is important and cherished. Click on the chart below to find the UUA’s Fair Share Guide. The average pledge at USSB is $150/month.

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Is there a minimum annual pledge?

There is no minimum annual pledge, however USSB members and participating friends are asked to “pledge generously, to the degree they are able.” The reason for this is that we count on USSB to be here for us in a very supportive and personal way. We bring all of ourselves to this congregation as we make life’s journey. If the amount of your gift makes a meaningful difference in your life, and if you are satisfied you’ve done all that your own circumstances permit, you’ll know you made the right decision. No gift is too small and ALL gifts are valued.

Can I pledge to a specific program or fund instead of to the
Operating Fund?

All special designated gifts are appreciated. But gifts to our general operating budget are particularly helpful to USSB because such gifts support our programs from year to year. We need those funds to ensure USSB runs properly from every angle.

How will my pledge be used?

Pledges pay for the nuts and bolts: worship and music, children’s and youth religious education, adult programs and our many social justice projects. Pledges pay the salaries of the ministers and staff and for the operation and maintenance of our facilities.

How do I pay my pledge?

There are many ways to pledge, including mailing a monthly check, making automatic deductions, or contributing gifts of stock. Payment methods are detailed on the PLEDGE FORM. USSB prefers automatic withdrawal from your checking account (or ACH), as this saves paper, administration, and also costs no service fee. Of course, it is up to you how you choose to submit payment.

What if I cannot pay my pledge?

Financial hardship should never be an obstacle to membership. Through good times and bad, we are all in this together! Annual waivers are available to any member facing financial difficulty. Waivers
involve no paperwork or eligibility requirements; please just contact a Minister for a waiver.

Is my pledge tax deductible?

Because USSB is a 501(c)3 non-profit religious organization, your contribution is tax deductible. Our office issues end-of-the-year tax letters showing total contributions made.

Can plate offerings be made instead of pledging?

While gifts of all kinds are equally cherished, money put into the plate on Sundays represents just 3% of USSB’s annual income. Every week we share a percentage of the plate offerings with other worthy causes. For these reasons, plate offerings do not take the place of pledging.

What about the time I spend volunteering?

Members and friends of USSB are encouraged to give regularly of their time and talent; volunteer work sustains this beloved community. But USSB also requires financial support in order to fund our operating budget. Our bylaws set an expectation that all members will make an annual pledge, meaning volunteering should never replace a yearly contribution.

I still have questions. Who can answer them?

Contact Erin Wilson, Director of Administration, at erin@ussb.org.

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