Friday, January 29, 2010

Pledge Campaign: Everyone's Favorite Time

It is definitely that time in the church calendar. Through random circumstances, I receive four different church newsletters. In each one, the minister's column was dedicated to pledging. Sure, they may have been couched differently, but they were all talking money. Thus begins the season of the pledge campaigns. I have spoke before how UUs don't necessarily feel a strong obligation to pledge a certain amount. I know many religious denominations suggest somewhere around 10 percent. I freely admit that we don't come close to that. But, we do pledge as much as we can afford. Why? Because we believe in our church and its mission. We want to keep the doors open, the mission to be spread, and the staff paid a living wage. UU congregations don't receive any outside funding. It is up to each member to do what they can. Some of you can do more then others, please step up! I really encourage you to look deep within yourself and your budget and pledge what you can. Obviously, money isn't the only way for a church to run. I don't want to discount the countless volunteer hours put in by dedicated members, but if you have the means, don't forget to budget for the place that provides a spiritual home to you and your family.


Joy said...

This is lovely! Pay your way, what a great idea. I wish it wasn't true, but there is the 80 20 rule.. 20 % gives 80 percent of time talent and treasure. How to market to the bottom 80, especially now when the top 20 is hurting too? We do our campaign in October. So we can budget for the new year before the new year.

Modern Girl said...

10% is undoable when you cost of housing is 60% of your income. I became a UU member in October and my first season if "pledging" is leaving me dizzy. I'm a student, and given each Sunday starts off with a welcome to people of all "socio-economic condition" I try to tell myself that the professionals in the congregation understand I can't cough it up this year. But when I received the high pressure letter from the President, and the constant email invites from the Minister, I really started to wonder what I had gotten myself into. It was the first time I regretted joining the UU congregation.

plaidshoes said...

Joy - I think that 20/80 rule has pretty much applied to every congregation I have seen!

Modern Girl - I am so sorry you are feeling that much pressure. It is the rare UU who can pledge 10%. You shouldn't ever feel like you are expected to give more then you are able and comfortable with. The doors of the church should always be open and welcoming to everyone - regardless of their financial contribution. Church is about meeting people where they are at. It is unfortunate that you are feeling like that from your congregation. If you are comfortable, it may be worthwhile to talk to the Canvass chairs or your minister and let them know of your feelings. They may be unaware of how high pressure their tactics are. Most people do understand that young students will never be able to give that much - and it is OK!

Modern Girl said...

Thanks :)
You have no idea how much your comment means to me. I might be over-reacting, but I do find it really intimidating. Especially since tomorrow's sermon is called "Investments that Matter" I almost think it will be a full Sunday service about the pledges. I'm hoping to be proved wrong.