2023-2024 Annual Pledge Drive

Each spring the UUFC asks its members and friends to make a commitment of financial support (a pledge) for the coming fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). Our Annual Pledge Drive provides the funds that make the life of our Fellowship possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Annual Pledge Drive?

Each spring the UUFC asks its members and friends to make a commitment of financial support  (a pledge) for the coming fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). Our Annual Pledge Drive provides the  funds that make the life of our Fellowship possible. 

Finances are important during the Annual Pledge Drive, but our real goal is to give everyone an  opportunity to reconnect with the Fellowship and to reflect on: 

* what brings you here, 

* what keeps you coming back, 

* our personal and spiritual commitments to each other and to our world,

* the fact that giving can be a spiritual practice. 

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What is a Pledge?

A pledge is a commitment to donate a certain amount of money to the Fellowship during the fiscal year. It is a statement of intent. It is not a legally binding obligation. Do not hesitate to pledge because you are uncertain about your financial situation. Pledges can be adjusted in times of shifting resources. We depend upon your pledges for the continued health and well being of our Fellowship.  

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Who Should Pledge?

Everyone! Everyone for whom the Fellowship is important in any way. We depend on those  who have signed the membership book as well friends of the Fellowship to make a pledge. We  know some folks who are hesitant, for different reasons, to formally become UUFC members,  but have made a long-term commitment to the Fellowship. All are needed, and appreciated! If  you have found the on-line worship services, religious exploration materials and classes, daily  devotions, and other weekly Zoom gatherings inspirational, make a pledge. If you have been  able to participate in “live” activities such as tending the grounds or have found working with  UUFC in community activities to be of meaning to you, make a pledge. If the life and the work  of the Fellowship makes a difference in your life, please, make a pledge of support! Think  about what more we will be able to do when we can once again join our spirits, voices, and  hands together in-person. Make a pledge. Doing so will allow us to extend these same benefits  to more people in our community and beyond.

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How is a Pledge Different from a Contribution?

A pledge is a commitment for on-going support. On the other hand, a contribution is a gift that  is appreciated and valued, but it is not something the Fellowship can count on into the future.  We gratefully receive contributions to our general operating fund, building fund, endowment  fund, or our monthly charity. Contributions may be mailed to the Fellowship or put into the  Sunday collection basket. Make your check payable to UUFC and indicate if it is for the  operating or another fund. 

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Is a Pledge Like a Membership Fee?

No. Many of us are members of organizations like Oregon Public Broadcasting where you are  encouraged, but not required, to pay a membership fee. The UUFC is different. UUFC  members and friends expect the Fellowship not only to provide worship and religious  education for us and our families, but we also count on the Fellowship to be here for us in  intensely personal ways: when we celebrate, when we grieve, when we work for justice. The  Fellowship strives to be a community that supports us throughout our whole lives. In  addition, we want the Fellowship to thrive and to continue to be a vital resource not only for  ourselves, but for our communities, the world and the future. The Annual Pledge Drive is the time of year when we each consider what financial support we can offer the Fellowship so  that it is here when it is needed most.  

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Do I Have to Pledge?

Making and fulfilling an annual pledge deepens our faith and sustains the UUFC for the benefit  of us all and the wider community we serve, but you are not required to make a pledge. That  said, per current UUFC bylaws, you do not have to pledge to be a member. At the same time, the Fellowship depends upon pledges, so all are encouraged to make a pledge. 

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When Should I Make My Pledge?

During the Annual Pledge drive each spring, we ask our members and friends to renew their  pledge of financial support to the Fellowship. This commitment supports our work and  mission and allows us to set the budget for the operations of the Fellowship. We welcome  your pledge at any time but pledging during the Annual Pledge Drive ensures the continued  health and well-being of our congregation.  

New members and friends who join us at other times of the year are invited to make a  financial pledge for the remainder of the current fiscal year.  

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How Much Does It Cost to Run the Fellowship?

Our proposed annual budget for 2022-23 is approximately $516,000. These funds pay for our  staff, provide for all the utilities and maintenance of our buildings, and provide for support of  the rich array of services, programs and social outreach we offer. 

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How Much Should I Pledge?

Everyone’s circumstances are different. We recognize and deeply embrace the financial  diversity of our congregation. To make this a Fellowship for all, we ask those who are able, to  carry a greater financial commitment to our beloved community. We ask all Fellowship  members and friends to pledge generously within their means. Or, as some have said, “Give until it feels good.” We each are asked to reflect on what that amount might be.  

It might help individuals and families to know that in order to meet our 2022-23 fundraising  goal of $450,000 in pledges we need at least 250 pledges at an average pledge of $1,800  per pledging unit (individual, couple or household making a pledge). 

We ask our members to consider pledging a percentage of their annual income. The UUA  has developed a Fair Share Giving Guide (below), with 2% of annual income considered as a  target for “fair share” giving. This is simply a guide – some of our members pledge at higher  levels and others at lower levels, based on their capability. For those into numbers and  details, see the pledging worksheet at the end of these FAQs for one approach to  determining fair share.  

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Is There a Minimum Annual Pledge?

There is no minimum annual pledge; however, we pay annual “dues” to the national Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) with some of these funds then going to the Pacific Northwest  District. Payment amount is based on annual budget. Our payment in 2021-22 was $32,146 or  about $150 per pledging unit in the UUFC (individual, couple or household making a pledge).  The UUFC has been a UUA “Honor” congregation for more than 25 years! https://www.uua.org/finance/apf/honor-congregations This means that we have given the  full amount that the UUA has requested, based on our annual budget level, in each year.  

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What Are My Payment Options?

  1. Automatic Withdrawal – Our preferred method is to have your pledge automatically deducted  from your checking or savings account. You can set this up in your Breeze account. Please  contact Jean Gilbert (businessmgr@uucorvallis.org) for further information. The Fellowship can  set up an automatic payment for you as well. To have this done, download the authorization  form on the Annual Pledge Drive page of our website and mail it to the UUFC Business Manager  at: UUFC, 2945 NW Circle Blvd, Corvallis OR 97330.  
  2. Credit Card – If you want to pay by credit card, please consider adding 3% to your pledge  amount to cover the fees we pay for those transactions. 
  3. Check – Checks can be made out to the UUFC. Please write the word “pledge” in the memo line  of the check. Checks can be mailed to the office at: UUFC, 2945 NW Circle Blvd, Corvallis OR  97330 They can also be placed in the mail slot to the right of the entrance on Circle Blvd.
  4. RMD distribution – for those who hold retirement accounts (401K, IRA and some others) who  are 72 or older, if you were born on or after July 1, 1949, or those 70.5 and older, if born  before July 1 1949, you can have your required minimum distribution (RMD) transferred  directly to the UUFC. The advantage of this for you is that you then do not have to pay tax on  these monies. Contact your retirement fund advisor or tax advisor for details.  

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What If I Cannot Pay My pledge?

Financial hardship should never be an obstacle to Fellowship participation. Through good  times and bad, we are all in this together. Annual waivers are available to any member facing  financial difficulty. No paperwork needs to be filled out, there is no eligibility requirement, just  have a quick conversation with our minister. Reverend Jill McAllister can be reached at  minister@uucorvallis.org or 541- 752-5218 ext. 101.  

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Is My Pledge Tax Deductible?

Yes, the UUFC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit religious organization recognized by the IRS. The  Fellowship issues end-of-year tax letters showing total contributions made. If you made a  financial contribution, you will get a letter in January letting you know the amount you gave.  

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Can Collection Basket Offerings Be Used in Place of Pledging?

While gifts of all kinds and amounts are appreciated, money put into the collection basket on  Sundays isn’t enough to pay for the Fellowship’s expenses. Sunday offerings for UUFC use  represent just 1% of our annual budget.  

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What About the Time I Spend Volunteering?

Members and friends of the Fellowship are encouraged to give regularly of time as volunteers.  Without our volunteers doing much of the Fellowship’s work, our paid staff budget would  need to be much higher or this work would not get done. Members and friends of the  Fellowship often find that combining volunteer time with their pledge has an impact in their  lives and in the life of our community that goes beyond either separate donation. Through  volunteering, you spend time with others whom you admire, cherish and learn to love. You  can learn new skills and share yours with others. Memories are often made. Volunteers with  councils and teams also help make decisions on how Fellowship funds are spent. We  encourage you to combine your pledge with your volunteer time to further our collective goal  of living our values. 

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I still have questions, who can answer them?

For additional questions please contact the UUFC office at office@uucorvallis.org or 541-  752-5218. Someone there will put you in touch with the pledge drive coordinator or Finance Council Chair who can answer your questions. 

(Our thanks to the First Unitarian Portland for some of this page’s verbiage)

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Determining Your Income for the Fair Share Giving Guide

UUFC Pledging Worksheet
Fiscal Year: July 1 – June 30

Start with Adjusted Gross Income
(from IRS form 1040)
Tax-exempt pensions and annuities ____________________________
Tax-free income ____________________________
Depreciation on rental property____________________________
Total Additions____________________________
Non-reimbursed major medical expenses____________________________
Care of parent(s)____________________________
Care of higher education____________________________
Cost of childcare____________________________
Total Deductions____________________________
Income to determine fair share commitment____________________________

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